As part of its nationwide rollout, store customers will be able to pay for items using cryptocurrency via smartphone apps or by scanning a QR code and accepting the South African rand conversion rate at the time of payment.

To pay with BTC, customers will need a Bitcoin Lightning Wallet and the CryptoQR scanner app from CryptoConvert, which is linked to the Bitcoin Lightning Wallet. Checkout requires users to scan the QR code of the item through the CryptoQR app and then go to their Lightning Wallet to confirm the price and complete the transaction.

Related: South African Crypto Landscape Poised for TradFi Growth Post FSCA Ruling

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Twitter users shared their experience of using Bitcoin to pay for everyday items at Pick n Pay stores:

The move came after the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), amended its financial advisory legislation in October to classify crypto assets as financial products, subjecting cryptocurrencies to regulation for the first time in South Africa and allowing financial service providers to do so. Offers crypto assets both locally and internationally.

The retail chain revealed plans to roll out crypto payments nationwide in November, after years of trialling the service in select stores. I had my first foray into cryptocurrency in 2017, when the company started accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment in Cape Town, but transaction costs and waiting times hampered the process.

During its pilot program, Pick n Pay partnered with Electrum and CryptoConvert to enable customers to pay via the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a second layer added to the Bitcoin blockchain that allows for off-chain transactions.

Among African countries, South Africa appears to be making the most progress in adopting cryptocurrency. South Africa ranks 30th globally in terms of cryptocurrency adoption according to the 2022 Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index from Chainalysis. It is estimated that around 10% to 13% of the South African population owns crypto assets.