Grocery retailer Pick n Pay is now accepting Bitcoin payments through the Lightning Network nationwide after a three-month trial phase.
South African grocery retailer Pick n Pay is now accepting Bitcoin
BTC called BTC
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$22,373 in cash
in all of their 1,628 stores after a three-month pilot test phase at 39 locations.
As part of its national rollout, store customers will be able to pay for items using digital currencies through smartphone apps or by scanning a QR code and accepting the South African rand conversion rate at the time of payment.
To pay with BTC, customers will need a Bitcoin Lightning Wallet and the CryptoQR scanning app from CryptoConvert, which connects to the Bitcoin Lightning Wallet. The payment process requires users to scan an item’s QR code through the CryptoQR app and then visit the Lightning Wallet to confirm the amount and complete the transaction.
Related: South Africa’s crypto landscape is poised for TradFi growth after FSCA regulations
Twitter users shared their experience using Bitcoin to pay for everyday items at Pick n Pay stores:
The move comes after the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FSCA), changed its financial advice law in October to classify crypto assets as financial products, bringing cryptocurrencies under regulation for the first time in South Africa and allowing financial services providers to offer crypto-assets both domestically and internationally.
The retail chain announced plans to roll out crypto payments nationwide in November, after years of piloting the service in select stores. The first experiment with cryptocurrencies took place in 2017, when the company started accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment in Cape Town, but transaction costs and waiting times hampered the process.
During its pilot program, Pick n Pay partnered with Electrum and CryptoConvert to allow customers to pay through the Bitcoin Lightning network, a second layer added to the Bitcoin blockchain that allows for off-chain transactions
Among African countries, South Africa seems to be making a big splash in adopting cryptocurrencies. South Africa ranks 30th globally in terms of cryptocurrency adoption according to Chainalysis’s 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index. It has been estimated that around 10% to 13% of South Africans own crypto assets.