CORRECTION AND UPDATE
According to a Reuters report, Kroger is currently investigating the publication of a press release that falsely claimed that the retailer would be accepting Bitcoin Cash as a method of payment. The release was featured on Kroger's investor relations page and on PR Newswire but was later deleted.
"This communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded," a company representative stated.
Grocery shoppers at Kroger stores will soon have a new payment option. In addition to cash or cards, the chain will begin accepting payments in Bitcoin Cash on Dec. 1. The cryptocurrency will be accepted both in stores and online.
"Throughout the pandemic, cashless payments have been thriving, and we see cryptocurrency as a natural progression of the trend to deal less with physical money," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Integrating Bitcoin Cash into our payment platforms lets us do just that—now and in the years to come."
Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency created by a fork of the original Bitcoin blockchain. During the separation, Bitcoin Cash introduced features such as bigger blocks that make it unique.
As a result, Bitcoin Cash transactions are significantly cheaper than bitcoin transactions, with costs often remaining under one penny even for considerable amounts. That means they are also a lot cheaper and more secure than credit card transactions that often carry swipe fees of 3.5%.
Bitcoin Cash is a product of Bitcoin.com, a company set up to make using the cryptocurrency a lot easier. Thousands of stores worldwide already accept Bitcoin Cash and other cryptocurrencies, and Kroger’s stores will add to that total over the coming months.
Easier checkout experience
For customers, the check-out experience might be even easier. Instead of inserting their card or using cash, consumers will be able to scan a QR code provided by the merchant that'll automatically deduct the amount of the purchase at the current exchange rate in Bitcoin Cash.
This isn’t the first change that Kroger has recently made to its accepted payments. Three years ago, it temporarily stopped accepting Visa cards in a dispute over transaction fees. It dropped the ban two years later after it negotiated better terms.
Late last year, the supermarket chain announced its first major cryptocurrency initiative. The company allowed users of Lolli, a cryptocurrency-based rewards platform with more than 1,000 retail partners, to earn Bitcoin as a reward on purchases made at Kroger.
At the end of its rollout, Bitcoin Cash will be accepted nationwide at more than 2,700 Kroger Family of Stores, including Baker's, City Market, Dillons, Fred Meyer, QFC, and other company-owned retailers.
Consumers can use Bitcoin Cash by trading dollars for Bitcoin Cash using a digital wallet. The value of the cryptocurrency will rise and fall since it is linked to Bitcoin itself. Consumers then make purchases using the digital wallet.