Pick n Pay, which operates in a number of African countries as well as South Africa, piloted a payment system in partnership with startups Electrum and Luno. That initiative was limited to a staff cafeteria, CEO Richard van Rensburg told BusinessDay in an interview, and is no longer active.
As for when the supermarket chain might expand the option to an actual storefront, van Rensburg demurred, pointing to a difficult regulatory environment as the root cause for hesitation.
He told the publication:
"We don't expect that in the near term accepting bitcoin will unlock any significant new business and we are unlikely to roll out the solution until the payments industry and regulatory authorities have established a framework for managing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies."