Safeway Shoppers Can Now Get Bitcoin Back as Change at 894 US Stores

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Bitcoin (BTC) rewards shopping app Lolli has partnered with major American grocery chain Safeway to give customers 3.5% back in Bitcoin on all their purchases. 

Making Bitcoin ‘part of everyday life’

According to a blog post announcing the new partnership on July 25, Safeway — and Albertsons Companies’ subsidiary — operates 894 locations across 17 American states. 

The system will reward customers in Satoshis (sats) — the name given to one hundred millionth of one Bitcoin — the smallest unit of the cryptocurrency.

In an interview with Yahoo! Finance, Lolli CEO & co-founder Alex Adelman said that teaming up with “one of the most well-recognized food retailers in the United States […] will give people the ability to get involved in holding and owning Bitcoin — perhaps for the first time.” 

He added that whereas the initial thought during Bitcoin’s early days had been that the cryptocurrency would first be used as a payments rail, his view is that earning Bitcoin will be the “first wave that gets Bitcoin in the hands of the masses.” 

As compared with retailers’ traditional fiat currency-denominated loyalty cards, he argued that cryptocurrency was a better store of value, likening it to a savings account that could reap lucrative rewards to long-term holders: 

“Points, as you know, are deflationary, and Bitcoin is non-deflationary, so I think it’s a better store of value than an arbitrary points system.”

Crypto adds value to loyalty systems

Beyond Bitcoin, various projects have been integrating blockchain technology and digital assets to merchants’ legacy points systems, including New York-based blockchain startup Long Blockchain and China UnionPay in partnership with IBM.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this summer, Lolli has recently added major booking service Hotels.com – to its partners, which lists over 325,000 properties in around 19,000 locations worldwide.

Back in November 2018, Lolli had raised $2.25 million in an oversubscribed seed round from investors including Digital Currency Group.

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