“Whole Foods To Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments”
Since its arrival ten years ago, cryptocurrency has struggled to enter mainstream commerce. This could soon change thanks to a new initiative, announced on Monday, that will reportedly see big name retailers—including Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods—now accept Bitcoin and three other types of digital money. The retail initiative comes via a partnership between Flexa, a payments startup, and Gemini, the Winklevoss-owned digital currency company. It works by piggy-backing on the digital scanners that many big retailers use to accept phone-based payments from their apps and from digital wallets like Apple Pay.
“Microsoft’s First Decentralized Infrastructure Implementation”
Microsoft is launching the first decentralized infrastructure implementation by a major tech company that is built directly on the bitcoin blockchain. The open source project, called Ion, deals with the underlying mechanics of how networks talk to each other. For example, if you log onto Airbnb using Facebook, a protocol deals with the software that sends the personal information from your social profile to that external service provider. In this case, Ion handles the decentralized identifiers, which control the ability to prove you own the keys to this data.
“City of Austin Partners With IOTA”
The transportation department in the city of Austin in Texas has recently partnered with IOTA Foundation. They will work on blockchain transportation use cases, which will likely improve the interoperability between different transportation systems. The partnership underlines the growing importance of smart transportation in modern urban settings. It also indicates how crucial “Internet of Things” (IoT) and blockchain are, given the complex nature of smart transportation systems.
“eBay Rumored to Start Accepting Crypto Payments”
Adverts seen at Consensus 2019 are fuelling rumors that eBay will incorporate crypto payments on their website. While there has been no official announcement to this effect, the internet is already awash with hearsay on which cryptocurrencies eBay will use. At the same time, this has put their relationship with PayPal back in the spotlight. As an event sponsor, it’s clear that eBay is interested in exploring how blockchain can benefit their business. But of more considerable significance is the endorsement of crypto from a major internet retailer, which gives further confirmation of changing sentiment towards cryptocurrency.