Over 40 retailers will be involved in the plans including Ocado, Boots and Homebase enabling millions of customers to build up their own stake in bitcoin from everyday purchases. With bitcoin currently at $58.7k (£43.58k) it will likely take a long time to own an entire coin though, with shoppers building up fractional shares. Mode says customers will be able to browse cash back offers at participating retailers on an app. Once they purchase via the retailer’s website they will be credited in bitcoin to their Mode account.
CEO of Mode Ryan Moore said: “I am delighted to announce the development of our Bitcoin Cashback offering as a standalone product, following the fantastic response from our customers, and accelerating appetite for the cryptocurrency.
“This marks a major step in making the asset class more accessible to consumers of all demographics, ultimately bringing Bitcoin into the hands of millions of customers across the UK.”
Mode already runs cash-based loyalty schemes with companies such as THG and LK Bennett which pay around five to 10 percent to shoppers.
It’s expected the bitcoin payments will be paid in a similar line.
Mode predicts payment in bitcoin will improve on traditional loyalty and cash-back schemes where they claim rewards can be hard to withdraw, slow to redeem or irrelevant to the customer.
The project is a further indication of cryptocurrencies going mainstream as interest grows.
CEO of data provider CryptoCompare Charles Hayter told Express.co.uk it was a “very exciting development for digital assets” adding “this will naturally push up digital currencies” by bringing them into mainstream use.
Senior Markets and Investment Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Susannah Streeter agreed this could help “propel cryptocurrencies more mainstream.”
She said: “Given that people are advised not to put money into crypto they can’t afford to lose, a cash back option on goods they may be buying anyway, will be viewed as a safer option financially.
“The era of open banking is likely to see more FinTech entrepreneurs enter this space and already we have seen intense crowdfunding interest in e-money apps like Ziglu which offers crypto currency trading alongside current accounts.
“It’s reported a 400 percent rise in customer numbers over the course of 2021, as more retail investors seek out alternative ways of investing in the crypto world. ‘’
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Research by casino review site CasinoSites.org recently showed Bitcoin was the most searched cryptocurrency with an average 24.7 million global searches a month.
It was followed by the meme inspired Dogecoin and Ethereum.
Central banks have also shown increased interest in digital currencies with the Bank of England and the Treasury consulting on a so called ‘Britcoin’.
Further afield Peru has announced it will partner with India, Singapore and Hong Kong in developing digital currencies.