Pick n Pay to Accept Bitcoin as Payment
- Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency in South Africa.
- A Chainalysis report ranked South Africa thirtieth in global crypto adoption.
- South Africans between 18 and 34 are more likely to own cryptocurrencies.
South African grocery giant Pick n Pay announced that it would start accepting Bitcoin as payment. Pick n Pay is one of the country’s largest supermarket chains, and the move to accept Bitcoin across its stores is seen as a huge win for crypto adoption in the African nation.
After years of testing in a few stores, Pick n Pay plans to bring its bitcoin payment service to all of its locations in the coming months. The grocery store chain reportedly began experimenting with Bitcoin payments in Cape Town five years ago but was thwarted by high expenses and prolonged transaction wait times.
Pick n Pay said it plans to simplify its crypto payment offering. So, customers will be able to use “trusted apps” on their smartphones to pay for products using cryptocurrencies or by simply scanning a QR code and subscribing to the rand conversion rate at the time of payment.
Pick n Pay group executive for IT, Chris Shortt, noted that the development and growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology over the years made it feasible to offer an affordable service for low-value transactions that will encourage access to financial services in South Africa. During its test program, Pick n Pay reportedly collaborated with Electrum and CryptoConvert to enable clients to make purchases via the bitcoin lightning network.
How’s Crypto in South Africa?
Africa is one of the fastest-growing continents in cryptocurrency adoption, and South Africa seems to have made much progress in accepting cryptocurrencies for payment. Last month, the country’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) revised its financial guidance, enabling the sale of cryptocurrencies by both local and foreign South African-licensed financial services companies.
South Africa was ranked 30th globally for cryptocurrency adoption in Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, which was released in September. According to various estimates, between 10% and 13% of South Africans have cryptocurrency investments.
According to a Finder’s report, men in South Africa are 1.9 times more likely than women to own cryptocurrency, holding 65% against 35%. Furthermore, Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency in the country, with 52% of cryptocurrency owners holding it.
Regarding age, South Africans between the ages of 18 and 34 account for 45% of all cryptocurrency owners. Those 55 and older are least likely to own cryptocurrency. Interestingly, crypto adoption in South Africa is expected to increase in the coming months following the country’s decision to ease restrictions and have a rather relaxed approach to the industry.
Several encouraging regulatory steps point to a bright future for digital activities in South Africa. For example, the South African Reserve Bank released a guidance note recommending banks avoid severing links with crypto asset service providers.
Similarly, the nation’s central bank announced that it was developing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. While authorities are concerned about crypto-linked criminal activities, it is clear that South Africa sees cryptocurrencies as part of its economic plan.