Retailer Adoption of Bitcoin is Growing in the US and Canada, Despite Price Fall
Earlier this week, leading US electronics retailer Newegg expanded its bitcoin integration to its platform in Canada, allowing millions of customers based in Canada to pay for products with bitcoin.
Increasing Retailer Adoption
Newegg CEO Danny Lee emphasized that the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed since 2014, when the company first integrated bitcoin, and noted that bitcoin users have significant purchasing power.
“In 2014 Newegg was among the first major companies to offer customers a bitcoin payment option. Since that time the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed and customers holding bitcoin have considerably more purchasing power. We believe the time is right to broaden our acceptance of bitcoin to our customers in Canada,” added Lee.
Stephen Pair, the CEO at BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment processor that is responsible for handling bitcoin payments made to Newegg, also stated that the demand for cryptocurrencies from users in Canada has increased over the past few years, and Newegg’s integration of bitcoin would allow the adoption rate of bitcoin to grow throughout the country.
“We’re seeing a lot of traction in Canada, and we’re happy to see Newegg extend its bitcoin payment option north of the border,” said Pair.
Other than Newegg, e-commerce platform Overstock, one of the world’s largest travel booking agency Expedia, eGifter, Gyft, satellite television service provider Dish, and CheapAir also accept bitcoin as a payment method.
Factors of Growth
In January, prior to the major correction of bitcoin, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz stated that the organization is willing to integrate a cryptocurrency in the future if it is retailer friendly and it is able to handle a certain capacity of transactions that is sufficient for large-scale conglomerates.
During a conference call, Schultz stated that he personally does not believe bitcoin would be the global currency that will be adopted by retailers, but a cryptocurrency could be used in the future by retailers.
“I personally believe that there is going to be a one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology. And that legitimacy and trust in terms of its consumer application will have to be legitimized by a brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction,” said Schultz.
As Visa executive and Bitcoin Foundation co-founder Jon Matonis previously emphasized, the legitimacy of bitcoin as a global currency could continue to increase as major banks like Goldman Sachs and retailers like Newegg continue to adopt bitcoin as a payment method and a currency.
Currently, the extreme volatility of the market makes it dififcult for retailers to fully adopt cryptocurrencies as a payment method. But, as the market grows and matures with public investment vehicles and more regulated investment channels, bitcoin could evolve into a global digital currency that is widely adopted by retailers.
“I think it’s fabulous that they’re getting into it because it brings in new liquidity. They’re going to develop futures markets, options markets, I even think you’re going to start to see interest rate markets around bitcoin. We’re used to hearing things about Libor, the index for bitcoin interest rates is Bibor,” Matonis noted, emphasizing that the emergence of bitcoin-based investment vehicles would lead to overall improvement in liquidity and stability.