Venezuela’s Biggest Department Store Operator Has Installed Crypto-cash Registers

Traki, the largest department store operator in Venezuela has said that it will install crypto-cash registers at 49 of its retail outlets. The chain plans to collaborate with Pundi X, based in Singapore, to install the XPOS point of sale devices that facilitate crypto payments by shoppers.

Pundi X’s CEO Zac Cheah said the partnership with Traki was the exact use case for which they had created the POS systems. Michael Gomez, chief of crypto assets at Traki, stated that the partnership with Pundi X solidified their commitment to make cryptocurrencies as easy to use as fiat currency in their stores.

Pundi X currently has operations in 30 nations across the world and plans to sell 100,000 XPOS devices by 2021.It plans to expand the Pundi X crypto ecosystem of products with the Xwallet and the XPASS crypto debit card. The XPOS system supports crypto payments in various crypto coins such as ETH, BTC, and the BNB stable coin. It also supports the firm’s native NPXSXEM and NPXS tokens.  

Venezuela: Ground Zero for Cryptocurrency

Thanks to its never-ending list of economic woes, Venezuela has become ground zero of sorts for experimenting with cryptocurrencies as a medium of daily transactions. The inflation rate in Venezuela’s economy has skyrocketed within the last couple of years as the country lurched from one economic crisis to another. According to some accounts, people have developed alternate forms of payment, such as Amazon Gift Cards, for transactions.

In 2018, the president of Venezuela launched a crypto coin called the Petro. It was pegged to the nation’s massive oil reserves. At the time, banks and state-run firms were ordered to adopt the token. Traki was also reported to have PoS systems from Cryptobuyer, a Panama-based company, at its stores earlier this year. In an April interview, Gomez said crypto PoS systems offered an alternative to cash for Venezuelans and also acted as a hedge against inflation in the national economy.

Despite popular narratives about the benefits of cryptocurrencies to Venezuela’s economy, they have failed to take off. Gomez told journalists that only 1% of their store’s clientele used crypto as a form of payment. Petro also seems to have disappeared. Online publication Coindesk reported in August that only 488 businesses within Venezuela accepted cryptocurrency payments. Even they reported very low numbers for usage of crypto as a means of payment.