The adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment option for mainstream merchant stores outside crypto-related systems continues at a rather gradual pace. Retail Row, a retail merchandise store by Fortnite is the latest to accept exclusively Monero payments from the online video game community.
The announcement was made yesterday by Monero fans on Reddit and then on Twitter by the official Monero page. However, the Fortnite team is yet to comment with regards to the development.
The official Fortnite Merch Store is now exclusively accepting #Monero as a cryptocurrency payment option! https://t.co/NWmHhzE6Kg
— Monero || #xmr (@monero) January 1, 2019
The store already accepts payments through credit cards and PayPal, but for cryptocurrency payments, it uses Globee as the gateway. Globee also allows payments in BTC, LTC, DOGE, ETH and more across its gateway, however, the store currently accepts only Monero (XMR) for purchases as it is one of the most privacy-centric cryptocurrencies.
According to some of the replies on Monero’s Reddit and Twitter feeds, choosing Monero is a good thing since it preserves the identities of customers. However, some did suggest that they could use BTC or ETH to pay via proxies such as Shapeshift. BTC may as well be a potential option in the future as news outlet CCN disclosed that Fortnite is interested in Lightning Network.
In terms of worth and influence, the game company Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite was recently valued at over USD 15 billion during a recent funding round. Fortnite has become quite popular despite being less than two years old.
According to a report, Fortnite has influence over 125 million players worldwide, especially among the millennials. During a poll in 2018, many teenagers in the US who play the Fortnite game said they would prefer to receive V-bucks – the native virtual currency of the game or cryptocurrency as gifts instead of cash or gift cards.
The privacy concerns of Fortnite is an important one and cannot be easily dismissed as recent hacks and data breaches have made users of social media and other online transaction portals uneasy.
On a broader outlook, payments through cryptocurrency can accord such benefits as fast cross-border payments and transfers, relatively cheap transaction costs and privacy. But how long will privacy-centric cryptocurrencies last? Seeing how their very core antagonizes the will of the government beyond decentralization. In the latter part of 2018, the US government began making plans on tracking privacy coins such as Zcash and Monero to keep a line on transactions trail that could be considered illegal.
Cryptocurrency adoption on the merchant route may indeed be a continuous but challenging one. Different merchants will have to make concise and careful decisions on the choice of crypto-asset(s) to adopt for payment options as the commercial world continues to evolve in that direction.
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