South Korean C-Store Accepts Cryptocurrency

Customers can pay for items via the Chai payment system, which trades in Terra.

October 25, 2019

SEOUL—South Korean convenience store chain CU will soon accept payments for goods in cryptocurrency, Retail News Asia reports. The chain operates more than 13,000 locations in South Korea.

CU will utilize the Chai payment system to accept Terra, a won-backed stable coin that has piqued the interest of large Korean investment firms. BGF Retail, which owns CU, and Chai partnered together to let buyers pay with a barcode from the Chai mobile app.

Terra co-founder Do Kwon said that low-margin retailers like convenience stores often struggle to accept more volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Some retailers even operate exchanges to convert cryptocurrency payments to cash immediately.

“Moving forward, Chai will continue to lessen the burden on franchisees and increase the merit of consumers through partnerships with various companies like CU convenience store with an on and offline infrastructure,” said Chai Corporation President Han Chang-joon.

In the United States, Sheetz is testing Bitcoin ATMs, while Starbucks and other retailers accept payment via a cryptocurrency app.