While not many people use cryptocurrency for everyday purchases, that trend is changing, according to a Morgan Stanley research report released Thursday (April 21).
As CoinDesk reported, Morgan Stanley points to a recent partnership between payments company Strike and point-of-sales supplier NCR and payments firm Blackhawk Network.
Read more: Strike Partners with NCR, Shopify, Blackhawk
That deal, as PYMNTS noted earlier this month, brings bitcoin — originally designed as a peer-to-peer payments tool — back to its roots as a potentially serious payment alternative.
Strike CEO Jack Mallers announced the deals at the Bitcoin 2022 cryptocurrency conference in Miami two weeks ago.
“You’re going to be able to walk into a grocery store, to Whole Foods, to a Chipotle, if you want to use a Lightning node over Tor, you do that,” Mallers said. “You want to use the Cash App? You do that.”
Morgan Stanley said collaborations between crypto companies and physical stores are a key milestone” in the “evolution of bitcoin usage as a medium of payment,” because more than 85% of sales in the U.S. happen in shops rather than online.
There is almost no fee for sending a bitcoin transaction using the Lightning Network, the bank said, which makes it more practical for small payments that would otherwise normally be made via debit card.
The report also argues that the historic volatility of goods priced in bitcoin has also prevented the use of digital assets, although the ability of merchants to accept crypto, either using crypto cards or existing payment terminals, might cause a decrease in volatility.
Meanwhile, the report points out that crypto is already a widely-used currency in the world of digital assets, required to purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs). As more and more companies enter the metaverse and look to advertise, there could be a rising need to accept a variety of methods of payments, the bank said.
The report arrived on the same day as news that the head of Goldman Sachs apparently met with the founder of crypto exhcange for a conversation about possible collaborations.