CryptoConvert has stated that its CryptoQR platform is now operational in all Pick n Pay stores in South Africa, ensuring that shoppers can process Bitcoin payments via the Lightning network.

This update comes after a three-month pilot phase at 39 locations. In November of last year, Pick n Pay expanded its Bitcoin proof of payment to 39 stores.

As part of its nationwide rollout, the store’s customers will be able to pay for items using cryptocurrency via smartphone apps or by scanning a QR code and accepting the South African rand conversion rate at checkout.

Buyers will also buy airtime, electricity, flight and bus tickets and pay municipal bills with Bitcoin at the checkout. Pick n’ Pay worked with Electrum and CryptoConvert to create the system. The Electrum payment platform connects CryptoConvert and Pick n Pay, ensuring customers pay with Bitcoin Lightning technology at checkout.


“While for many years crypto was something for specialists on their computers or used by early adopters trying it out, things are changing,” Pick n Pay said.

Pick n Pay announced the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s classification of cryptocurrency as a financial product and established the acceptance of cryptocurrency as a mainstream payment scheme. In October, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) readjusted its financial advisory legislation to identify crypto assets as financial products, making cryptocurrencies under regulation for the first time in South Africa.

Also read: Finder report predicts that Bitcoin will peak at $29k in 2023; How realistic is this?

“Increasingly, cryptocurrencies are being used by those underserved by traditional banking systems or by those who want to pay and exchange money in a cheaper and really convenient way,” he said.

More details on the acceptance of Bitcoin by Pick n Pay in South Africa

CryptoConvert founder Carel Van Wyk, who also co-founded South Africa’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Luno, has admitted that CryptoQR is now operational across all 1,500 Pick n Pay outlets in South Africa.

“Ask about the ‘Contactless QR’ payment option and use the CryptoQR QR scanner app with your favorite Lightning wallet,” Van Wyk said.

The Lightning Network is a scaling layer for Bitcoin that provides immediate transactions and minimizes network costs. A transaction processed on the Bitcoin blockchain takes longer. It requires approximately 30 minutes and an hour to resolve, decided by how sure the recipient wants to be that it is legalized.

Also read: Nigerian Cashless Offering Raises Bitcoin Premium to 63%

When the blockchain gets involved, transactions can also become expensive. Bitcoin transactions can be processed quickly and cheaply on the non-Lightning Network infrastructure layer, while subsequent settlement occurs on the main Bitcoin blockchain.

Pick n Pay to accept Bitcoin at 1,500 stores in South Africa

To use this feature, customers need to install a Lightning Network compatible Bitcoin wallet on their devices, such as BlueWallet or Muun, and transfer some Bitcoin to it. Also, to make sure it’s set up, you need to install the CryptoQR app. In the survey, choose the contactless QR payment option at the card terminal, scan the QR code with CryptoQr and approve the transaction in the wallet. Considering everything that has been highlighted, the transaction cost is R0.06.

“Cryptocurrency combines the convenience of cash with the security of electronic identification measures, such as biometrics and cryptographic encryption,” Van Wyk said at the launch of the pilot last year.

“It’s also cheaper than credit cards or the cost of handling cash.” But more importantly, it’s a digital payment that’s open to everyone, including those who can’t use traditional digital payment options.