Winklevoss Twins Make Amazon Subsidiary and Other Major Retailers Accept Bitcoin

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by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
Winklevoss Twins Make Amazon Subsidiary and Other Major Retailers Accept Bitcoin
Photo: Whole Foods Market UK / Instagram

Through the partnership of a payments startup Flexa and Winklevoss’ Gemini, customers of Amazon’s Whole Foods, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, and other major retailers can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Gemini Dollar for payments.

Despite some are staying skeptic about digital currencies, every day there appears more evidence that cryptos are taking the world. Recently, Whole Foods, a company owned by the e-commerce giant Amazon, has announced they are accepting cryptos as a payment method. The currencies accepted include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Gemini Dollar (GUSD).

The initiative results from a partnership between a US payments startup Flexa and the Winklevoss-owned regulated cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.

Due to the partnership, users will be able to spend their cryptos at numerous retailers via the Flexa’s SPEDN app released at Consensus 2019 on May 13. The app is based on existing payments infrastructure used to accept digital payments such as Apple Pay. It is notable that each SPEDN wallet is securely custodied. To identify payments from the app, all the retailers must tweak their scanners. Moreover, SPEDN is easy to use. It has an intuitive interface that enables customers to make crypto payments quickly and easily by simply holding up the app on their smartphone at the point of sale.

According to Flexa, apart from Amazon-owned Whole Foods, companies officially accepting these cryptos include Baskin Robbins, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Caribou Coffee, Crate & Barrel, Express, GameStop, Jamba Juice, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot & OfficeMax, Petco, Regal Cinemas, Ulta Beauty. Also it’s notable, that despite of not being part of the official launch, Starbucks is in the list as well. All in all, almost 100 stores to start accepting Bitcoin and the other cryptos via the Spedn app by the end of 2019.

Merchants have the option to receive their payment in cryptocurrency or dollars. According to Flexa, with SPEDN, they will be able to lower processing fees, reduce fraud, and preserve user privacy with their new cryptocurrency-enabled network.

Gemini team stated:

“With Flexa, merchants get significantly less expensive and fraud-resistant transactions, can use the same payment hardware they currently use, and receive payment in fiat currency, not crypto. We believe that not only will this result in cost-savings to the merchant, but to the consumer in the long-term as well.”

Tyler Winklevoss commented:

“More broadly speaking, this is exciting for cryptocurrency users and our community as a whole. At Gemini, we have been trying to build a bridge from the island of crypto to the mainland of finance for the past five years. Flexa’s mission is to link the island of crypto to the mainland of retail merchants. Together, by providing Flexa with trusted custody and infrastructure, we hope to profoundly improve the payment experience; and merchants who are currently subject to overly complex, expensive legacy systems of credit and debit cards stand to benefit significantly.”

He added:

“The inspiration of living on crypto is now a truth. You have to well even now discontinue it. For the user, it amounts to being crypto conscious. It’s take care of being inexperienced.”

Currently, Flexa is working on expanding the acceptance of its SPEDN app by eventually releasing Wallet SDK, a simple drop-in developer kit that will let other companies incorporate Flexa payments into their own apps with a minimum of efforts.

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Darya Rudz
Author Darya Rudz

Darya is a crypto enthusiast who strongly believes in the future of blockchain. Being a hospitality professional, she is interested in finding the ways blockchain can change different industries and bring our life to a different level.

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