Nordic retailer IKEA has accecpted payment in digital currency using the Ethereum blockchain to settle a transaction with Nordic Store, a local retailer, at its Reykjavik, Iceland branch.
Reported in a press release, Tradeshift, the blockchain-powered supply chain, payments and marketplaces expert that facilitated the transaction, said the event marked a “major step forward in business payments and finance”.
Tradeshift’s platform completed the transaction using an ether-based version of the Icelandic krona created by Monerium, the first and – so far – only fintech company authorized to issue regulated e-money on blockchains.
Gert Sylvest, co-founder of Tradeshift, said the transaction was enabled by “smart invoices” – smart contract-generated bills that effectively settle themselves. Such programmable money, regulated by governments, will become the “foundation for e-commerce payments”, he said.
Smart invoices, he added, helped lower administrative hurdles in business-to-business, cross-border transactions and will enable the development of new financing models that make it easier for enterprises to improve access to credit and improve cash flow. He concluded:
For us, it’s about digitizing the financial supply chain and making it programmable. This can help break down country barriers for small companies and open access to finance in all of our 190 countries where the Tradeshift platform is operational.