US Retail Giant Drops Visa and Considers Using Lightning network

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Kroger is the third largest retailer worldwide, and it has just made the move to ditch Visa at yet another one of its chains. Last year Kroger dropped Visa from its Foods Co. supermarkets in California and began accepting Lightning Network payments instead – a move which it is about to repeat in its Smith’s Food and Drug stores nationwide. Visa has been lambasted globally for hiking its fees over the years, and with a fresh increase set to land in April, more and more companies are cutting ties with the company.

Visa Creating Crypto Adoption

Whether it’s intentional or not, Visa is helping drive crypto mass adoption faster than any other company in the world. By hiking up its fees, merchants are slowly having all of their profits drained, forcing them to seek alternative payment solutions. As the crypto industry becomes bigger and more mainstream, companies are increasingly tempted to start accepting crypto payments. While many are afraid of change, Visa is giving them the nudge that they need towards accepting crypto.

Is it Game Over for Visa?

Visa might not be about to completely fold on the back of the news – virtually every bank and payment processor in the world currently uses Visa, but it’s a sign of changing times. Visa finished 2017 at 161st in the Fortune 500 rankings, while Kroger finished at 39th. If the 39th largest company by revenue is happy to ditch Visa, it could set a dangerous precedent with other firms following suit.

Vasant Prabhu – Visa CFO – has already said that cryptos are used by “every crook and dirty politician” and now these very same cryptos are replacing his company in the global payment world – karma strikes back. With a CFO that’s so anti-crypto, Visa looks like it could be too set in its ways to fight off the crypto revolution.

Pompliano Coming to the Rescue

As soon as Kroger announced the move to drop Visa, Anthony Pompliano – Morgan Creek Digital Founder – Tweeted Kroger and offered to fly a team out to help implement a Lightning Network payment system. Within a matter of hours, someone from Kroger had taken Pompliano up on his offer, and a Lightning Network payment system looks set to be in place very soon.

The Lightning Network allows Bitcoin so scale to millions of transactions per second and reduces the cost of these transactions to levels far lower than Visa or MasterCard can offer. Kroger could eventually roll out Lightning Network payments across all of its brands and subsidiaries, dropping Visa in the process. It’s not an unrealistic expectation, and we could see it happen within the next year or so.