We can exclusively reveal that the store used in Mallers’ Bitcoin 2022 demo video is planning to accept Bitcoin but is not currently able to process crypto transactions.
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
The Chicago convenience store where Strike CEO Jack Mallers bought soda using Bitcoin (BTC) is currently unable to process crypto payments as demonstrated but plans to integrate them soon, a manager at the Galleria Market, Rhia Amin, told CryptoSlate on April 11.
The manager clarified that the store does not have the necessary legal and regulatory approvals to implement Strike’s new payment method but is in the process of securing them so it can integrate Lightning Network-based payments. They also confirmed that Mallers’ claim was factual, and the store will accept Bitcoin-based payments via Strike after securing the necessary approvals.
The manager also told CryptoSlate that the demonstration video from Mallers’ Bitcoin 2022 keynote was staged and filmed for “commercial purposes.” However, they refuted speculation on social media that the store did not know what was being filmed and confirmed that they were aware it was for Bitcoin payments.
Whether paying with Bitcoin and settling in fiat can be considered the same as accepting Bitcoin or not has been hotly contested. Many also believe that the Lightning Network is not capable of what Mallers suggested or that companies such as McDonald’s would even use it.
Building on the debate, a Twitter crypto trading group called whalepool claimed on April 8 that the demonstration video Mallers showed in his keynote was staged, and the store “had no idea what bitcoin was or what he was filming.”
The store doesn’t accept #bitcoin
The store owners had closed for Jack to video a commericial or some other event. pic.twitter.com/RmyJhLl9QG
— Whalepool Calls 🐋 (@WhalepoolCalls) April 8, 2022
As mentioned above, CryptoSlate contacted the store for comment and a manager confirmed that the film was shot “for commercial purposes only.” At the time of filming, the Galleria Market store in Chicago did not accept Bitcoin through the Lightning Network and is still unable to do so.
According to the Galleria Market manager, the store intends to accept Bitcoin in the future after completing the “legal” requirements and finalizing “approval” to install the Lightning Network.
Furthermore, the manager confirmed they knew Strike created the film to show how Bitcoin payments work. They also knew who and what Jack Mallers and Strike were contrary to part of whalepool’s assertion on social media. You can watch the video in question directly from the Bitcoin 2022 live stream below at 8:43:34.
Demonstration videos are often staged to ensure that the messaging is clear and comes across as intended. However, the criticism about Mallers demonstration being misleading appear to be true to a certain degree.
Additionally, from a small disclaimer — which was not highlighted during the keynote — on one of the slides, the presentation includes “forward-looking statements” related to bringing “Lightning network payments to the in-store checkout experience.”
The statements are considered forward-looking because there are “several known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are out of NCR’s control.”
These risk factors include those listed in NCR Corporation’s 10-K, filed with the SEC in February. The 10-K states that:
The Company also faces additional risks related to uncertainty in potential future regulation and legal oversight of markets and businesses engaged in products and services relating to blockchain technology, virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies.
The term “crypto” appears 16 times in the filing as the company seems to be focused on offering new and innovative payment service products. For example, they acquired LibertyX, a leading cryptocurrency software provider that already provides Bitcoin ATMs and in-store payments.
As a result, Mallers could have paid with Bitcoin using a LibertyX terminal less than a mile from the store he chose to demo the Lightning Network.
Do you think that Mallers was clear enough with his presentation that there are still some legal hurdles to finalizing the launch of the in-store payment processing from NCR? Let us know on Twitter.