The largest convenience store in Korea with 13,000 locations across the country CU, will soon be accepting crypto payments.
According to local reports CU will integrate a payment system known as chai, which will enable consumers to utilize a Korean Won-backed stablecoin known as Terra to perform transactions. The same has also been confirmed by Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon, who has expressed delight at the partnership. Terra – the stablecoin CU plans to integrate- is a major KRW stablecoin invested by Binance, OKEx, Huobi, Arrington XRP capital, Polychain, and Dunamu.
BGF Retail, the parent company of CU and chai entered into a strategic partnership earlier this week that would allow consumers to use the barcode from the chai mobile app to purchase products using crypto. Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terra said that low margin businesses would have a hard time accepting crypto payments because of the volatility of cryptos.
“Bitcoin adds volatility cost to settlements, which doesn’t work well with low margin biz like convenience stores. Will just be Terra for now!” he said.
In major regions like Japan though, businesses have found a way to go around this problem. Large retailers, who accept crypto payments, set up deals with crypto exchanges that see crypto payments get converted to Fiat immediately. Kwon believes that South Korea is just not there yet. According to him, it will take some time for large scale low margin South Korean businesses to accept major cryptos unless a system that makes the process seamless emerges.
Han Chang-Joon, the president of Chai Corporation said in a statement that their platform would enable businesses to seamlessly transact crypto without some of the worries most businesses have in mind at the moment.
“Moving forward, Chai will continue to lessen the burden on franchises and increase the merit of consumers through partnerships with various companies like CU convenience store with an on and offline infrastructure.”
There was a lot of excitement about retail adoption of cryptos last year. That excitement has gone down thanks to regulatory uncertainty and Crypto price volatility. The adoption of cryptos by CU is a win for cryptos and if more and more retailers of its size adopt crypto, it may just sanitize the image of crypto payments.