Partnerships with brick-and-mortar stores critical to the future of Bitcoin, Morgan Stanley contends

April 21, 2022, 4:59 PM UTC

You might be able to pay with Bitcoin the next time you visit a store—great news for the cryptocurrency industry, Morgan Stanley wrote in a Thursday report, according to CoinDesk.

Payments company Strike recently formed partnerships with payments firm Blackhawk Network, as well as point-of-sale supplier NCR, which provides payment systems for more than 100,000 restaurants and more than 7,000 department stores and retail clients, according to the bank.

“If we can help make the Bitcoin network more accessible and usable, we believe we can change the world,” Strike CEO Jack Mallers said at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, according to CoinDesk.

Bringing Bitcoin payments to physical stores is key to the currency gaining more widespread adoption and the “evolution of bitcoin usage as a medium of payment,” Morgan Stanley contends.

More than 85% of purchases in the U.S. are made at stores rather than online, according to the bank. Up until now, crypto has not been widely accepted at retail stores because of high fees, unstable prices, and hesitancy on the part of merchants. For transactions made using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, which charges lower fees than other types of transactions, consumers can essentially pay zero fees for small purchases, which could lead to Bitcoin becoming more commonly used as a payments method, the bank wrote in the report.

Widespread adoption of Bitcoin as a payment method could help stabilize the fluctuating price of the digital asset, the bank contends.

As the metaverse becomes an increasingly important part of how companies operate, they will likely need to accept cryptocurrencies within these worlds, Morgan Stanley claims. This could further push adoption of crypto at brick-and-mortar stores.