Who Would Have Thought?
It wasn’t too long ago that El Salvador rolled out Bitcoin as a form of payment and legal tender. Unfortunately, this took place during the highs of 2021, making an already controversial move even more so. Had this move been implemented during the last quarter of 2022, the “immediate outcome” would have been better received by the media and public. However, regardless of public opinion, it was a significant step in terms of incorporating Bitcoin into the world in real terms. Whatever the motivation, strong bold moves are what eventually convince the onlookers and doubters. Without pioneering moves, advancement and adoption ultimately become dormant.
If you had said that Bitcoin would be legal tender in various countries back in 2016 you would have been laughed out of the room. People were not even ready to consider it as an “investment grade” asset at that stage. Fast forward a number of years and you have the unthinkable taking place all over the world. Numerous countries are in favor of Bitcoin and are allowing it to play a role in their economies, to various degrees. It’s crazy to think how far this idea has matured without any initial investment or backing from governments or leading business entities. If anything, it reveals just how much of a brilliant idea it actually is.
Once something begins to infiltrate “the system” it becomes rather difficult to reverse it. This is the one positive aspect that is in no way related to price: Increased adoption and integration ultimately secure the future. I know that Crypto back in the early days was a lot more exciting, and operated well below the radar of attention and mainstream narratives. However, now that certain advancements have been made, the only way forward is a powerful and assertive position of dominance within the finance world. There will also be some positive aspects to this “adjustment”.
Leading South African Retailer Adopts Lightning Payments
There are some of you who may be aware that Pick n Pay actually introduced Bitcoin payments in select stores as early as 2017. This was more of a trial run than anything else. The lightning network was not operational at that stage, indicating that transactions were taking place on the native Bitcoin blockchain. Lightning has been a game changer for Bitcoin, and will go a long way in making BTC payments a reality. I hate to say it, but this is what I have always said in regard to BCH. Second layer solutions will be its undoing. If it were not for the rollout of Smart BCH fairly recently, BCH would have been a lot deeper underwater than it currently is.
Even one of the biggest BCH investors and advocates, Marc De Mesel, recently announced that he was rather unimpressed by the recent performance of BCH. This led to him restructuring his portfolio and moving out of BCH, at least to a large extent. He is still heavily invested, in relation to your average BCH whale, I am guessing, as he is known to be the “money” behind Noise.app and Read.cash. The earlier version of Noise was also, to a large extent, funded by Marc. Getting back to Pick n Pay, this is one of the Top 3 retailers in South Africa. Currently, there are 39 stores nationwide that are accepting Bitcoin as payment.
A recent article suggested that within a number of months, all Pick n Pay stores will be accepting Bitcoin as payment. As mentioned, this is all made possible via the lightning network. This ensures fast and cheap transactions. You cannot even consider the transaction cost on a lightning transaction as a cost, as it is next to nothing. I am sure that this will also enable shoppers to conduct a cash-back, ultimately transforming Pick n Pay stores into Bitcoin ATMs as well. I am not clear on this particular functionality at this stage, but I would be surprised if they didn’t incorporate it as well.
Unlike many who adopted Bitcoin in 2020 and 2021, Pick n Pay is choosing to incorporate this form of payment during what I consider to be the final leg of this bear market. Large entities are able to “sit on” their Bitcoin revenue, allowing time to eventually multiply their earnings. This could turn out to be an extremely viable move for the group in years to come, it all depends on the internal policies they choose to adopt. You can imagine that once the market turns, other leading brands will see the “opportunity” and follow suit. This could well be a “domino move”, resulting in significant adoption within the country.
You will also remember that the South African Reserve Bank recently announced that Crypto would now be classed as a financial product within the borders of South Africa. That will simultaneously create a much higher level of confidence in both investors, and businesses looking to adopt Crypto as a form of payment. South Africa is another country that finds itself embattled in terms of finance and leadership. The potential income that Crypto will bring is something that they are unable to turn away.
Bitcoin payments running on the lightning network are likely to surge across the globe, especially once the market turns. I believe that once Bitcoin is once again trading between $30K and $40K, we are likely to see “things happen”. It’s rather entertaining to watch Bitcoin continue its journey as the world’s most antifragile asset. See you next time!