Elektra becomes first retail chain to accept Bitcoin

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Now accepting Bitcoin.

The company will offer discounts to Bitcoin users for a limited time

Elektra is the first chain of retail stores in the country to accept Bitcoin, the company announced on its website this week, explaining that it will offer a 20% discount to customers who pay with the cryptocurrency. Elektra will accept Bitcoin through the cryptocurrency payment platform BitPay.

Ricardo Salinas Pliego, the owner of Grupo Elektra as well as Banco Azteca, is a Bitcoin enthusiast and had previously hinted that Elektra might accept it as payment. In June, he announced that Banco Azteca would be the first bank to accept Bitcoin.

But that announcement was premature: in response, financial authorities proclaimed that the unregulated cryptocurrency was not legal tender, and any banks that accepted it would be subject to sanctions. Some opponents warn that the electronic currency could be used for tax evasion and to conduct illegal transactions.

The opposition clearly has not dampened Salinas’ interest in Bitcoin, which he has called “the new gold.”

“The rumors are true, Elektra is the first (retail) store in Mexico to allow buying with #Bitcoin. I’m so sorry to once again beat out the competition,” Salinas wrote in an emoji-filled message on Twitter on Thursday.

Bitcoin has gained popularity in Mexico as a tool for sending international remittances. Roughly 12% of Mexicans owned some type of cryptocurrency as of October.

With reports from El Universal