Binance Backs Massive Crypto Scalability Solution for Mainstream Adoption, As Largest US Supermarket Chain Expands Ban on Visa
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is supporting a blockchain startup that could rival Visa. Zhao says scalability issues are pinching the space and curbing mass adoption.
“The lack of valuable solutions and good user experiences of blockchain-based technologies are caused by its limited scalability possibilities which have been a major hurdle towards unlocking its significant adoption potential to date.”
He and his team have selected Celer Network, a scalability solution, as the next incubation project for the company’s venture capital arm, Binance Launchpad.
“Celer is currently at the forefront of solving this challenge with the early demonstrations of its sustainable crypto economics construct and layer-2 blockchain architect powering it.”
According to the announcement, Celer addresses key criticisms of blockchain technology – that it’s simply too slow and sluggish, and not ready for prime time, like credit processor Visa, which can handle high transaction volumes.
“Celer Network’s testnet currently hosts Ethereum transactions – and its finality latency – to be 20,000 times faster with zero-fees for smart contract transactions.”
Binance says the network effectively turbo charges blockchain technology, turning it into the kind of robust backbone that can rival legacy systems.
“Celer is positioned to unlock blockchain’s innovation potential on a larger scale for various real-world use cases and solutions, such as interactive gaming, general pay-per-use services, non-custodial financial assets exchanges, micro-insurance; and decentralized derivative exchanges, electricity power exchange and Internet services.”
Rapid developments with crypto scaling solutions, such as the Lightning Network and Celer Network, are coinciding with the latest corporate boycott against Visa.
Supermarket giant Kroger, the fourth largest private employer in the US, has expanded its ban on Visa credit cards.
Kroger says Visa’s processing fees are exorbitant.
The supermarket chain banned Visa credit cards last year at its Food Co. stores, and has now expanded its ban to its Smith’s division to include 250 locations, effective April 3. Smith’s 142 supermarkets and 108 fuel centers in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Arizona will no longer accept Visa credit cards.
Says Mike Schlotman, Kroger’s chief financial officer,
“We’re not going to stand for these high fees.”
Morgan Creek Digital CEO Anthony Pompliano says he has contacted Kroger to discuss implementing new payment options that are far more cost-effective: cryptocurrencies.
Just finished up first call with someone on Kroger Digital team.
World-class, forward thinking crew.
Looks like things are progressing.
Stay tuned 🙏🏽
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) March 3, 2019
Schlotman says Visa has run amok.
“They conceal from customers what Visa and its banks charge retailers to accept Visa credit cards. At Smith’s, Visa’s credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept. Visa’s excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked.”
“We are prepared to take additional steps to reduce the cost of accepting credit cards in order to keep prices low for customers. No option is off the table.”
Although there is no confirmation from Kroger about supporting cryptocurrencies at any of its locations, crypto advocates expect to see an increasing number of payment rails supported at big brand locations. Starbucks, for example, is reportedly gearing up to allow its customers to convert its Bitcoin to fiat in order to buy coffee.