Contactless crypto: will retailers soon accept crypto in-store, or is it an impossibility?

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Bernadine Racoma, Content Manager at WorkSmartr.com, explores the idea of the future of cryptocurrency in retail.

Cryptocurrency is the latest biggest technological advancement and has grown exponentially in popularity over the past few years. However, one of the biggest arguments against cryptocurrency is that you can’t practically do anything with it right now besides trading and converting it into the national currency.

But will that be the case for long? Read on as we explore the idea of the future of cryptocurrency in retail.

Consumer habits
As yet, there is a demand that isn’t being met by the banks. Consumers are using cryptocurrency like DOTUSDT online because of the many benefits it affords them. For instance, there’s data security: users needn’t register their banking details with the vendor, instead they use their crypto wallet, which has its own set of security features. Indeed, use of cryptocurrency in this way is a simple extension of the alternative payment methods already widely adopted across the world, like PayPal.

Transferring this use to in-store purchases has obvious advantages. Apple Pay, for instance, offers a much faster checkout experience. Also, it’s convenient. If you use one payment method online the majority of the time, being able to utilise it in-store enables consistency.

The wider world
Some businesses might well have no choice in the matter. Both China and India have banned cryptocurrency, which might sound bad until we tell you that it is in service of creating a national digital currency that will run through the Chinese and Indian national banks. If businesses want to run in China and India or work with other businesses in these countries, they might have to just accept that digital currency is part of that deal.

And that’s added to the fact that there is regulation coming. The US Government is currently looking into regulating cryptocurrency, which should plug some of the cybersecurity holes in cryptocurrency and create a more stable environment for coins to grow.

A big part of China's decision to convert to a digital currency is the fact that its civilians are becoming more and more reliant on cashless payment systems. They are as close to a cashless society as we have as yet, leaving the door open for e-wallets carrying cryptocurrency to be used on a regular basis.

Even if they aren’t forced to, there are a lot of businesses taking it up. Tesla is an obvious example, but even if you’re not interested in buying some of the most expensive cars in the world, you might want to buy something from HomeDepot, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Subway, Domino’s, Juliette Interiors UK, REEDS Jewelers, Yum Brands, Coca Cola or Bic Camera with your newfound digital riches.

And it’s obvious to see why. Rather than crypto itself, retailers love the benefits that the mechanism of the blockchain offers, such as the enhanced security it offers, the automatic paperchain to customers, and faster transfer times.

Infrastructural changes needed
It is possible for retail to embrace technology, but it will be helped along with a lot of minor changes that can add up to mainstream acceptance.

Cryptocurrency is a very new concept, that is wrapped up in tech and software jargon that the average user won’t understand. In order for people to understand cryptocurrency, they will need to be educated, either with exposure, like coverage in the press, or with a dedicated campaign put out by the government, like you would get to educate the public on the effects of smoking in the ‘90’s.

Another problem with crypto is that is simply too risky for the consumer and the retail industry. The industry is left open for scammers and fraudsters using the fact that all transactions are final against crypto users. If the concept is to be held to a standard that will allow it to be used in retail, it will have to be regulated.

This is helped by the fact that Washington is already looking into the idea of regulating cryptocurrencies. With a little more work and some tightening of the rules you can see people using it to buy their milk on the way home.

Conclusion
In conclusion, yes, it is possible that cryptocurrency might exist as part of everyday life. As mentioned, cryptocurrency is a very new industry and will need to have a lot of elements ironed out before it’s ready for general public use. And then, once it is ready for public use, the public needs to be educated on how to use it.

Regulations from national governments should go a long way to quelling the issues cryptocurrency offers, but we all know how long it takes for legislation to be enacted, so there might be some time before these regulations are put into effect. It’s not impossible for retailers to embrace cryptocurrency without regulation – in fact, it’s already happening – but they are outliers, and a majority of businesses might need more stability before they take on the idea of cryptocurrency.