Crypto continues to go mainstream this week with popular fast food chain Chipotle and the second largest mall in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Majid Al Futtaim's Mall of Emirates, both gearing up to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Chipotle fast-tracked the process through a partnership with centralized digital payments platform Flexa and now accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and more at its nearly 3,000 U.S. restaurant locations, according to Restaurant Business. That's right, you can buy your next burrito with Bitcoin.
Flexa connects all major crypto wallets to existing payment hardware and software stacks for near-instant cryptocurrency transactions between consumers and retailers. The platform currency works with nearly 100 different cryptocurrencies, including digital stablecoins like DAI and USDC and native tokens like BTC and DOGE.
Flexa is currently integrated with retail giants Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, Lowe's, Whole Foods, Regal Cinemas, GameStop, and now Chipotle.
"We are constantly exploring innovation that will enhance our guest experience, and that includes now accepting digital currency payments with Flexa in Chipotle's U.S. restaurants," Chief Technology Officer Curt Garner told Gizmodo.
Flexa allows its partners to receive payments in either fiat or cryptocurrency, and it is currently unclear which option Chipotle will choose. While most retailers opt to convert to local currencies, more businesses are holding cryptocurrencies on their balance sheets.
And Chipotle isn't the only major news for the mainstream adoption of crypto this week. Majid Al Futtaim reached a partnership agreement with Binance and will start accepting cryptocurrency transactions at its 29 malls, including the second largest mall in UAE (the Mall of Emirates), 13 hotels, and more.
Majid Al Futtaim, an Emirati holding company based in Dubai, will work in collaboration with Binance to accept crypto at its more than 40 locations using Binance Pay. The collaboration also includes future Majid Al Futtaim NFTs to be listed on the Binance marketplace.
"The exponential rate of technology development today is matched only by consumers voracious appetite for exceptional customer experiences in both the physical and digital world," Majid Al Futtaim CEO Alain Bejjani said. "We are delighted to be partnering with global web3 leader Binance on the new frontiers of customer engagement and experience and look forward to working in tandem to evolve the third generation of web technology, develop strong capabilities, and deliver innovation and world-class omnichannel experiences to our customers.
Binance shares Bejjani's excitement.
"Majid Al Futtaim is one of the most prestigious businesses in the Middle East and has millions of customers every year," Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, said. "Integrating web3 technologies will give its customers access to innovative new ways to engage with its brands and provide new ways to pay. Through partnerships like these, we will see the innovative use-cases that come to define the next digital era emerge, and Majid Al Futtaim is positioned to become a trailblazer in bridging the gap between physical and web3 experiences."
Crypto's promise to make peer-to-peer or retail-to-consumer transactions faster, safer, and simpler continues to seep into the mainstream. Who will be the next retail giant to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment?