Pick n Pay has collaborated with Luno and Electrum to pilot the Bitcoin payment programme. The PnP Bitcoin trial took place last month at Pick and Pay’s head office store in Cape Town. This trial was the first of its kind; and it is without a doubt that Pick and Pay is now a tech pioneer in the retail industry. The success of this trial can be attributed to the Blockchain technology that Luno provides for both PnP and Electrum.
What is Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology is a decentralised and distributed digital ledger that has and will continue to revolutionise industries; particularly where cybersecurity is a concern. The Blockchain technology is built based on private key cryptography and P2P networks and programs. The private key cryptography technology facilitates the identity component of the user while the P2P network technology is the system of records that enables Blockchain’s database; the program is the platform for Blockchain. Blockchain’s key advantages from these technologies include the peer to peer network that allows the user to authenticate a transaction without a central authority; and the ability to encrypt the shared and authenticated data.
Blockchain Opportunity for Retailers
Though there is a struggle with Bitcoin’s regulatory issues (and keeping in mind that crypto-currency in retail is still in its infancy), there are still opportunities to be explored. One of these opportunities is the component to keep accurate record of every transaction that takes place.
Bitcoin in Retail
Pick n Pay in its trial demonstrated that using Bitcoin at a physical retail store is as simple as snap scan. However, there has been hesitance among international retailers due to Bitcoin’s scaling challenges: transactions being slow and costlier for the consumer due to its volatility. This is one of the reasons why Pick n Pay decided that they will not go further with the trial; and it is going to take some time before completely implementing this.
Blockchain and Bitcoin are game changers for many industries, including retail. Aside from demonstrating that crypto-currency is effective and realistic even in a digitally conservative lifestyle; the PnP Bitcoin trial showed that tech companies have a plethora of opportunities to collaborate with retailers to integrate Blockchain technology in their supplier chain and other B2B transactions.