• Is the retail industry ready for a crypto market boom?

  • The cryptocurrency market experienced a massive boom in August 2021, pushing the market’s value above $2 trillion for the first time since May. After falling below $30000 at the end of April and setting a new high in the same month, Bitcoin reached a new high of $48000 in August.

    Altcoins, Ether, Dogecoins, and Cardano, among other cryptocurrencies, have seen their prices rise as well. Even after the US Senate failed to amend the provision of cryptocurrency tax reporting in its recent infrastructure bill, cryptocurrency prices continued to rise. A broker, according to this bill, is a person who provides services that affect the transfer of digital assets on behalf of another person.

    Crypto supporters argue that this definition is too broad, and that it could be used to target miners and developers who don’t have any customers. Despite the fact that the bill’s definition remains unchanged, the US Treasury Department has stated that non-brokers will not be targeted. This is seen as the crypto industry’s coming-of-age moment, as it is expected to finally begin its long-term boom.

    Cryptocurrencies and crypto markets have become the way forward for several industries, including investments, banking, and retail, due to their enormous growth potential. Bitcoin is now accepted by young retailers such as Amazon and Expedia.

    These digital currencies are quickly becoming a “mainstream” mode of payment because they can be used to buy almost anything, from cars to real estate.

    The long-awaited cryptocurrency boom could be on the horizon.

    Coinbase is a well-known cryptocurrency exchange platform based in the United States. Due to the sharp rise in cryptocurrency prices, it increased its revenue by 4900 percent in the second quarter of 2021.

    The monthly number of users trading cryptocurrencies on the platform increased by 44 percent from the previous quarter to 8.8 million, while trading volume increased by 38 percent. Other types of cryptocurrencies, in addition to bitcoin, are breaking records in the crypto market. Coinbase reported that the trading volume of Ethereum surpassed that of bitcoin in the second quarter. This was the first time that Ethereum’s trading volume exceeded Bitcoin’s.

    The crypto market’s value increased after a series of tweets from Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, including Bitcoin and Dogecoin. For example, when Musk tweeted in May 2021 that his company was actively discussing bitcoin’s long-term viability, the price of bitcoin rose by more than 17% in less than 24 hours.

    Why Should Retailers Take Action Right Now?

    Several retailers have begun to accept cryptocurrency payments in order to stay on the cutting edge. Young people make up the majority of customers who use cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

    The most common items purchased with cryptocurrency by this demographic are high-value items like jewelry or electronics. The fast-food chain KFC Canada was an early adopter of cryptocurrency. It launched the “Bitcoin Bucket” in 2018, a bucket meal that can be purchased with Bitcoin.

    Phillip Plein became the first fashion house in the world to accept payment in 15 different cryptocurrencies last month. Leading fashion houses such as Burberry, Givenchy, and Dolce & Gabbana are all investing in NFTs, another type of cryptocurrency, to keep up with the trend.

    Digital currency and access, according to these retailers, are the way of the future for Gen-Z consumers who are more likely to buy e-products. The use of cryptocurrency reduces transaction fees for both parties, making e-commerce simple, accessible, and, in many cases, affordable.

    The demand for cryptocurrencies in retail has been higher than it has ever been during the pandemic. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, shoppers have been forced to find alternatives to physical notes and currencies.

    As more people spent more time online pondering new ways to invest their hard-earned money in financially precarious times, there was also an influx of new customers interested in using crypto.

    With the crypto market’s advancements, retailers such as Walmart are already looking into the possibility of providing a crypto-friendly user experience. This follows a similar effort by competitor Amazon a few years ago. This suggests that major retailers will soon allow customers to make purchases using cryptocurrencies.

    What Are the Benefits of Using Blockchain in Retail?

    The use of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies in retail has a number of advantages for both customers and retailers. Compared to credit cards, blockchain payments offer faster transaction settlements, lower fees, and greater security.

    The same is true for supplier payments: invoices can be paid in minutes rather than days or weeks, cutting administrative costs by 90%. The Hyperledger Fabric Platform is used by a number of retail companies, including Alibaba and Walmart, to track their goods. This puts an end to the age-old consumer query, “Where is my order?”

    Customers nowadays demand as much information as possible about the products they purchase. They’re becoming more concerned about whether their food is organically grown or whether the clothes they buy are made in an ethical manner. The transparency and authenticity associated with blockchain technologies also benefit these tech-savvy customers.

    The customer can track the product’s lifecycle, ingredients, storage conditions, and ownership history using blockchain. Blockchain provides them with all of this data, allowing them to make more informed decisions.

    Customers who do not have access to credit cards or bank accounts may benefit from the use of blockchain technologies. Electronic payments are difficult for these people who are not served by traditional banking systems (which is quite an inconvenience in these times). These people can now use blockchain technology to make electronic purchases.

    The use of blockchain technologies also lowers transaction fees, easing the burden on customers who are underserved. This would be beneficial to retailers as well, as they would gain access to a new market of customers (who had not previously been served) and significantly increase their profits.

    This could be the ideal time for retailers to incorporate blockchain and cryptocurrency into their applications. Crypto will not only keep them up to date with new demands, but it will also expand into a new customer base of people who have been underserved by traditional systems.

    Since modern customers are becoming increasingly interested in the products they buy, it appears that the use of crypto and blockchain technologies in retail will maintain, if not improve, their credibility in the market. Crypto is the only way forward for retailers who want to appeal to Gen-Z and keep up with technological advancements.

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