Next Gen Investing

From Whole Foods to Gamestop, here are 5 retailers that accept crypto—but there's a catch

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Nearly 40% of millennials and Gen Zers who own cryptocurrency plan to use it to make payments, according to PYMNT and BitPay's "Paying With Crypto" survey.

Retailers are taking notice. About 75% of them plan to begin accepting crypto or stablecoin payments within the next two years, according to a recent Deloitte survey.

A number of companies are already welcoming payments with digital currencies — just not directly.

For example, Flexa, a digital payments platform, partners with a variety of retailers and enables them to accept payments made with crypto such as bitcoin and ether. Spedn, the company's mobile application, is currently available for Apple and Android devices.

Users store their crypto in the app's digital wallet and then can use a code to spend their funds at various participating stores.

5 stores that accept crypto payments via Spedn, according to Flexa

  1. Chipotle
  2. Regal Cinemas
  3. Whole Foods
  4. Baskin Robbin
  5. Gamestop

Flexa converts users cryptocurrency to U.S. dollars in real time, according to a 2019 press release. That means the price a user pays for a given product depends on the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the crypto that user is paying with at the time of purchase.

Despite the crypto market's wild price fluctuations, Flexa guarantees merchants that they'll receive their payment in whichever currency they choose, such as U.S. dollars, with zero conversion fees.

Another indirect way to spend your crypto is through gift cards. Services like Coincards and Bitrefill allow users to buy gift cards for a variety of companies such as Amazon and Delta using crypto.

Traditional payment processors are also entering the world crypto payments. In 2020, Mastercard partnered with Bitpay to introduce a debit card that allows users to convert their crypto into fiat currency such as dollars that can then be spent anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Before using crypto to buy a burrito bowl, an ice cream sundae, or a movie ticket, though, remember that cryptocurrency is a highly volatile asset that is subject to unpredictable rises and falls in value. Odds are you don't want to end up like the infamous bitcoin pizza guy.

The fact that crypto fluctuates so much also means that there's no guarantee you'll be able to receive a refund of the same value on a product you've purchased using crypto.

That's one of the many reasons why financial experts typically advise that you only invest as much money in cryptocurrency as you're willing to lose.

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