The notion of normalizing cryptocurrencies for payments has taken a significant leap forward with the announcement that CU convenience stores in South Korea will be accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment through a partnership with blockchain startup Terra.
Terra has partnered with Chai, a Korean mobile payment service that will allow a Korean Won-based stablecoin, which operates on the Terra blockchain, to be accepted at the 13,500 CU stores across the country.
While many in the west will be oblivious to Terra, it has been garnering a lot of attention in the east with the likes of OKEx, Huobi, Polychain, and Arrington XRP Capital backing it.
It is understandable that a convenience store like CU, operated by BGF Retail, would turn to a stablecoin based on the local currency — especially for a payment system in their stores — but it does raise questions about Bitcoin’s merchant adoption.
In an attempt to try and sweeten the deal, as well as entice potential customers to use the cryptocurrency-based payments system, there will be low transaction fees offered to merchants. For customers, there will be discounts of between five and ten percent.
The use of cryptocurrency for payments has failed to take off in general across the globe. Many issues persist, including low adoption rate, high fees, longer transaction times, as well as poor user experiences.
The partnership between BGF Retail and Terra does appear to be addressing some of these concerns, especially the high fees and volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, but one has to wonder how it plans to entice users to adopt this Won-based stable coin beyond mere discounts.