Cryptocurrencies are evolving and becoming more relevant despite ongoing market fluctuations and the “crypto winter of 2022,” during which the value of popular cryptocurrencies plummeted.
Technological innovation, decentralization, censorship resistance and growing adoption rates contribute to the continued prominence of cryptocurrencies. As a result, convenience stores have the opportunity to integrate cryptocurrencies into their operations, attracting a broader customer base and offering additional services.
Some potential opportunities for c-stores include accepting cryptocurrency payments, installing crypto ATMs and kiosks, offering international remittance services, creating loyalty and rewards programs, adopting cryptocurrency-compatible point-of-sale (POS) systems and exploring blockchain technology for supply chain management.
Cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology, which is constantly evolving. Blockchain has numerous potential applications beyond cryptocurrencies, such as supply chain management, voting systems and decentralized finance. The underlying technology and its ongoing advancements maintain the relevance of cryptocurrencies and the broader blockchain ecosystem.
One of the core tenets of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is decentralization. This aspect makes them resistant to censorship and control by any single entity, such as governments or financial institutions.
As a result, cryptocurrencies can serve as an alternative financial system for people in countries with unstable currencies or limited access to banking services.
Cryptocurrencies offer a way to transfer value across borders quickly and with relatively low fees. This makes them an attractive option for remittances and digital payments, especially in areas where traditional banking services are expensive or inaccessible.
Some cryptocurrencies offer enhanced privacy and security features that are not available through traditional financial systems. These features can be particularly appealing to individuals concerned about data privacy and the security of their financial transactions.
Advantages for C-Stores
Branded cryptocurrencies, or custom tokens, can provide new opportunities for c-stores to engage customers, build loyalty and create new revenue streams similar to private-label prepaid debit and gift card programs.
C-stores can use branded cryptocurrencies for customer loyalty and rewards programs, gamification, customer feedback incentives, cross-promotions and alternative payment options. However, factors such as regulatory compliance, technological infrastructure, customer adoption, volatility and security must be considered before adoption.
Crypto ATMs and kiosks can offer significant benefits for c-stores, such as additional revenue streams, increased foot traffic, competitive advantage, catering to the unbanked or underbanked and enhancing brand image. However, challenges include regulatory compliance, security, initial investment and maintenance costs, and customer education and support.
Despite the potential impact of closures or interruptions in services like the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) and Signature Bank’s cryptocurrency network Signet, the integration of cryptocurrency services remains a promising opportunity for c-stores. Coin ATM Radar data highlights the substantial earning potential of cryptocurrency ATMs compared to traditional ATMs, with a single-purpose crypto machine generating up to $36,000 in top-line revenue per unit.
However, the closure of these services could lead to reduced access to banking services, liquidity constraints, increased operational costs, slower transaction times, increased regulatory scrutiny and market consolidation. C-stores must stay informed and adapt to the changing landscape to capitalize on the opportunities presented by cryptocurrencies.
Richard Crone is the CEO of Crone Consulting LLC, an independent advisory specializing in mobile strategy, autonomous check-in/checkout and personalized payments for c-stores, restaurants, supermarkets and other retailers. Follow him on Linkedin.com/in/richardcrone/.