For all the publicity cryptocurrencies generate, consumers and merchants are still left wondering when the digital money can be used as a medium of exchange rather than simply be seen as an investment asset.
The latest effort to answer that question comes from a 3-year-old, Romania-based company called ZoidPay, which this week announced it is developing a platform that will allow consumers to use crypto to buy from any merchant, online or in-store, using their existing digital wallet.
The new platform will include a Google Chrome extension and marketplace, the company says, which should allow consumers to link their wallet for purchases. Physical merchants will accept payments by downloading a ZoidPay wallet, which can allow a smart phone to function as a point-of-sale device, the company says.
Information was not immediately available regarding how and under what terms merchants will participate in the online marketplace, though ZoidPay claims users “will be able to buy a new laptop from Amazon with Bitcoin … or buy weekly groceries with Ethereum.” Companies like PayPal Holdings Inc. have recently added to their digital wallets the ability to spend cryptocurrency, though the crypto assets are converted to fiat money for the merchant.
The company says its platform’s advantage lies in interoperability between wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges. Users will be able to link any crypto wallet to ZoidPay’s Chrome extension, the company says.
ZoidPay argues consumers are ready for technology that will enable them to spend crypto assets, particularly after the year-long Covid-19 experience. The company cites a Mastercard survey indicating two-thirds of millennials “are more open to using crypto than they were a year ago,” according to a news release from the card network. The same survey indicated 58% of all respondents answered the same way. The poll gathered responses on a wide range of topics from more than 15,000 people in 18 countries. Mastercard released the results May 4.
“The focus at ZoidPay from the start has been on building a platform that’s easy and safe to use, both for the consumer and the retailer,” Eduard Oneci, a cofounder of ZoidPay and its chief executive, said in a statement.