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Switzerland’s Biggest Online Retailer Starts Accepting Payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Altcoins

Digitec Galaxus AG, the biggest online retailer in Switzerland, has decided to enter the crypto space and has done so through the main door.

In an official press release published on its website a few hours ago, the e-commerce giant announced that as of today, customers will be able to pay for their purchases with Bitcoin (BTC) and a significant number of altcoins:

“As one of the first online shops in Switzerland, Digitec Galaxus now accepts cryptocurrencies: customers of the two online shops digitec and Galaxus can now use Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash ABC, Bitcoin Cash SV, Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), Binance Coin, Litecoin, TRON, NEO or OmiseGO to pay for all purchases with a total of over CHF 200.- or more”.

The firm was able to implement this new payment method thanks to a strategic alliance with the Swiss e-payments company Datatrans AG. This fintech, for its part, works together with Coinify (a crypto payment provider) to guarantee the instant conversion of crypto into traditional fiat currency.

Crypto Payments: Innovation is Always Good For Business

Despite not being wholly convinced of the advantages of blockchain technologies, Oliver Herren, Chief Innovation Officer at Digitec said that the company was willing to take that step a long time ago, but had to wait for the ecosystem to develop a bit to ensure a safe and innovative implementation:

“We’ve been wanting to do this for ages, but the effort it would have required has just always been too big. Now we’ve found a simple solution with Datatrans and Coinify. Thanks to our very own engineering team Spectre, the implementation has been a relatively effortless and straightforward matter”.

However, Claudio Schaad, leader of Team Spectre showed greater enthusiasm, explaining that the development team was really optimistic about the use of cryptocurrencies to expand their services:

The question of the hour was: what was the coolest, most impactful project they could come up with? They found their answer in a half-attempted but finally abandoned agile initiative: cryptocurrencies. The mystery-mongers at Spectre laughed and said: this fits us like a glove”

Mr. Herren explains that Digitec Galaxus AG would not be directly involved in the handling of cryptocurrencies. At the time of payment, customers send tokens that are immediately exchanged by Coinify into fiat, which is immediately transferred to the retailer. The process has a 15-minute payment window to minimize the risk associated with the volatility of the cryptocurrencies.

The payment option is enabled for all the 2.7 million products available for purchase on both Digitec’s website – geared towards consumer electronics – and Galaxus – an online warehouse for the general public.

The post Switzerland’s Biggest Online Retailer Starts Accepting Payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Altcoins appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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2.7M Online Stores Can Accept BTC, LTC, ETH Via Coinbase Commerce

Coinbase Commerce Overhauls Website

Coinbase is undoubtedly one of the most multi-faceted companies in the nascent cryptocurrency industry, with the San Francisco-based firm supporting a variety of features, products, and services for consumers, institutions, and retailers/merchants alike. For consumers, there’s Coinbase Consumer (Coinbase.com) and the firm’s ‘pro’ platform. For institutional investors, there’s Coinbase Prime, Index Fund, and Custody.

And last but not least, for retailers/merchants, there’s the Coinbase Commerce platform, which has begun to play a growing role in the cryptosphere in the past few months.

Image Courtesy of Coinbase

As per a tweet issued on August 20th, developers at the firm have overhauled the official Coinbase Commerce web page to hopefully draw in new retailers. The refreshed website highlights the key features, which are as follows, of the commerce-focused service:

  • “Up And Running In Minutes” — Coinbase Commerce allows prospective users to install and set-up cryptocurrency support “in minutes, not days,” through easy-to-integrate checkout pages, payment buttons and integrations into digital retail platforms.
  • “Free” — Coinbase Commerce does not charge any fees when using their crypto-commerce integration service. As the crypto startup puts it “accepting cryptocurrency payments is easy and free — just the way internet payments should be.”
  • “Stay In Control” — Coinbase Commerce is entirely peer-to-peer, with no intermediary, as the merchant accepting crypto is always in control of their assets. Additionally, businesses are not subject to chargebacks, as crypto payments are irreversible.
  • “Secure And Trusted” — Throughout Coinbase’s six-year history, it has held the coveted position of one of the most, if not the most secure cryptocurrency platform in this industry. Additionally, the platform built up a network of trust that spans millions of individuals, like you or I.

“2.7 Million Online Stores Can Now Accept Crypto With Coinbase Commerce”

According to a recent tweet from Kevin Rooke, a proponent of cryptocurrency and decentralized technologies, 2.7 million online outlets can now accept the “Coinbase Four” through five separate Coinbase Commerce plugins.

Rooke also noted that the peer-to-peer nature of these plugins should be seen as a positive, as internet payments should not be routed through an intermediary, which only can slow down and make payment processing more costly to merchants and consumers alike. While these integrations may have the potential to reach millions of stores and tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of consumers, according to Coinbase, only “2,000+” digital-centric merchants have begun to accept cryptocurrency.

This figure mirrors what Ethereum World News has reported previously, with retail-related crypto volumes still remaining relatively low, despite 2017’s bull-run. Blockchain research firm Chainalysis recently revealed that Bitcoin retail payments amounted to only (relatively) $60 million in May 2018, down from a high of $412 million in September 2017. Other networks reportedly saw a similar decline, including Bitcoin Cash, which saw a similar drop-off in digital retail use.

But many hope that the use of cryptocurrencies will begin to pick up again, as crypto needs to be used in the real-world before achieving widespread adoption.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

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Chainalysis: Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Still Hasn’t Achieved Widespread Retail Adoption

Just over one year ago, the original Bitcoin network was split into two chains in a ‘hard fork’ event, where individuals looking for something new altered Bitcoin’s open-source code to create Bitcoin Cash. Since then, Roger Ver, who has been dubbed “Bitcoin Jesus” in the past, has openly endorsed Bitcoin Cash (BCH) over the original Bitcoin chain, or ‘Bitcoin Core’ as Ver calls it. In fact, “Bitcoin Jesus” has even altered his Bitcoin.com domain to promote Bitcoin Cash, instead of Bitcoin as it did prior to Ver’s ‘conversion’.

Ver, who is rather outspoken about the power of decentralization, has continually noted that Bitcoin Cash has ousted Bitcoin as a form of digital cash. But according to recently revealed data from blockchain statistics firm Chainalysis, relayed by Bloomberg, this is far from the case. Chainalysis’ inquiry into the world’s 18 foremost crypto-centric merchant payment processing solutions, like BitPay, Coinify, and GoCoin, has found that Bitcoin Cash’s use in retail payments has taken a sharp decline.

As per statistics gathered by the aforementioned firm, only (relatively) $3.7 million in Bitcoin Cash payments were made in May, which is down from an all-time high of $10.5 million in March. In the case of Bitcoin, payments amounted to $60 million in May, which is down from September’s peak of a staggering $412 million.

This declining use in merchant payments has been seen across the board, as a likely result of the bearish trend the crypto market has experienced since the start of 2018. Speaking more on the situation with Bitcoin Cash, Kim Grauer, a senior economist at Chainalysis stated:

“There are fewer users of Bitcoin Cash, fewer holders.”

Grauer went on to note why the adoption of Bitcoin Cash in commerce has been minimal. He pointed out that a large portion of the distributed BCH is concentrated between a small number of wallets. Approximately 56% of Bitcoin Cash is controlled by 67 non-exchange-affiliated wallets. Of those 67, approximately two wallets hold between 10,000 and 100,000 units of BCH, or approximately $5.5 million and $55 million at current market prices. Citing these statistics, the aforementioned Chainalysis executive added that BCH ‘whales’ are likely the individuals who are utilizing BCH in commerce.

However, as continually pointed out by critics of this form of analysis, this is a problem that affects many of the major networks, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

However, Ver has seemingly remained calm in the face of these statistics, noting that “the long-term price of a crypto currency is a function of its usefulness as a currency.”

Cryptocurrencies In Retail Payments — The Next Step

Although there is a continual debate between the ‘Bitcoin Core’ and Bitcoin Cash communities, some have brought attention to the fact that this cryptosphere infighting should not be a priority, as crypto proponents should focus on increasing the adoption of cryptocurrencies and DLTs overall.

The issue is, many traditional retailers, whether it be your run-of-the-mill convenience store or supermarket chain, have been slow to adopt cryptocurrencies as a widely-accepted form of payment. Whether this is due to the lack of infrastructure, volatility in markets or a general stigma around the cryptosphere remains to be seen. But the grind continues, with developers and industry leaders doing their best to drive retail stores to accept crypto, as this should be the next step in the development of this nascent industry.

Photo by David Shares on Unsplash

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