Pick n Pay, a major supermarket chain in South Africa, announced on Tuesday that it now accepts bitcoins as payment in its online store, according to a local media report.

Customers can now pay with Bitcoin (BTC) using any Lightning Network-enabled app, such as BlueWallet or Muun, to purchase food, hygiene products, household items, and many other products offered at the supermarket. The Lightning Network is a layer 2 solution built on the Bitcoin blockchain. It speeds up transactions while being cheaper than the main Bitcoin network, making it more attractive to business enterprises.

Pick n Pay said it has tested the payment method in 10 stores over the past five months and is now available in 39 stores nationwide. The supermarket plans to roll out the payment method to its other stores across the country in the coming months, the report said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Pick n Pay described bitcoin transactions as easy and secure, just like using a debit or credit card, and much more affordable. “Customers scan the QR code from the app and receive the rand conversion rate on their smartphone at the time of the transaction,” the representative said in a statement.

South Africa remains one of the main regions with healthy cryptocurrency usage in Africa. Here is rising the popularity of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, in the nation. This is due to higher exposure among people as the country records more than six million people with exposure to cryptocurrencies.

South Africa ranks eighth globally in terms of public cryptocurrency ownership – 7.1% of its population owned the digital currency as of 2021, more than Britain or Brazil – according to UN trade agency. Cryptocurrency ownership is also widespread in Kenya and Nigeria among African countries.

Many young people in South Africa join in the hope of making money, despite authorities and financial experts warning of the dangers of fraud, massive losses and mental anguish.

Last month, South Africa he declared crypto assets as a financial product in efforts to bring digital assets more under the jurisdiction of local authorities and make it easier for regulators to monitor the market and help protect consumers.

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