Samsung has announced plans to accept cryptocurrency payments, including Dash, at select Samsung stores in the three Baltic states and plans to expand the offering if the pilot is successful.
Samsung will be partnering with a European fintech firm, CopPay, to accept a limited number of cryptocurrencies, which includes Dash, at their stores. The feature will be rolled out at four select Samsung stores in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, to allow “[c]ustomers in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, and Kaunas [to] buy Samsung smartphones, tablets, laptops, TV-sets, and more with digital money”, CopPay said in their announcement.
If successful, there are rumors that Samsung will expand the feature to other stores and their online store as well, but no deadlines have been announced. CopPay currently serves as a cryptocurrency payment gateway at 31 other merchants throughout Europe, which provides Samsung opportunity for easy expansion. This integration adds to Samsung’s foray into cryptocurrencies as they previously announced initiatives to produce ASIC chips as well as a blockchain shipment tracking software.
Increasing physical world adoption
The new initiative announced by Samsung marks the growing trend of physical storefronts beginning to accept cryptocurrencies for payments, which is key to larger adoption. For years, cryptocurrencies have thrived only in online stores since early adopters were able to use the internet to connect from all over the world. However, for wider adoption and use, physical storefront adoption is key, as that is where the majority of the world’s population still makes a majority of their purchases. Samsung has recognized this by deciding to test cryptocurrency payments in physical stores before their online store so they can expand their market reach to a significant segment of the population. Samsung’s strategy will not only target cryptocurrency users that still want in-person transactions, but will also spread awareness of cryptocurrencies to consumers that currently do not use cryptocurrencies.
At first, it might seem confusing as to why the global electronics maker chose the relatively small countries of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia as test beds for their new program. However, upon second look, it makes a lot of sense since these three Baltic states have been making relatively favorable laws towards cryptocurrencies over the past couple years and are already very innovation friendly by consistently ranking high on global economic freedom scales. In addition, the Baltic Tigers have a significant technology presence and adoption rate, which makes cryptocurrency adoption more likely than other areas.
Dash is designed for both brick-and-mortar and online use
Dash is already achieving significant adoption within the Baltic states because of its unique features. On DiscoverDash.com Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia combine for a total of 23 Dash accepting merchants, which are relatively significant numbers for relatively small countries. Dash has seen its highest adoption in other areas such as over 430 merchants in Venezuela and so many merchants in New Hampshire, USA that some can live exclusively off Dash. The rapid growth of Dash adoption is a testament to how easy it is to use Dash in everyday life at brick-and-mortar stores and online stores.
Dash is designed to be an extremely inexpensive, fast, and secure peer-to-peer digital currency that can be used in everyday transactions no matter how large or how small the purchase. This is exemplified by its full blockchain confirmations within minutes and its InstantSend feature for confirmations within seconds for only a couple cents more. This makes Dash very conducive for physical brick-and-mortar stores since Dash allows consumers to get their purchases instantly without the merchant having to worry about double spend possibilities or slowing down their customers. These features allow Dash to be used both online and in physical brick-and-mortar stores, which is key to wider adoption, as Samsung is demonstrating by including Dash in their pilot to accept cryptocurrencies at their brick-and-mortar stores.
*Update: Samsung HQ recently released information that this integration was not true, which led to confusion around the status of the Samsung premium resell stores accepting Dash and other cryptocurrencies. CopPay released a statement, with photo proof, on their medium page today explaining that “[t]he reseller is a separate legal entity” and an “official agreement was signed”. The post added that they “activated CopPay Payment Gates in Samsung Stores and trained personnel to show how it works, [and] even a few transactions were made”. However, “after Samsung officially announced that it doesn’t have any plans for the crypto and blockchain payments, the reseller decided to suspend cryptocurrency payment method[s]”. CopPay reiterated how they never entered into a partnership with Samsung HQ, but only the Samsung premium resell stores in the Baltic nations. The revision, nevertheless, highlights that there is still merchant desire for cryptocurrency payments and CopPay is committed to helping these merchants enter the cryptocurrency community.