The global furnishing giant IKEA for the very first time stepped its foot into the world of digital currency by making a payment using public Blockchain. The Icelandic branch of IKEA used “Tradeshift’s platform and smart contracts” that is built on Ethereum blockchain to clear the payment of Nordic Store, a local shop that is a client of IKEA.
The transaction was done in “Monerium’s programmable digital cash.” Monerium, a fintech startup, has the backing of Ethereum development studio ConsenSys. Monerium is the first electronic money startup having the approval of the Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland.
CEO of Monerium, Sveinn Valfells, professed his joy,
“As the first company authorized to issue e-money on blockchains, we are delighted to demonstrate the benefits of blockchains for mainstream B2B transactions using a legal form of digital money.”
IKEA Iceland’s CEO resonated with the excitement, saying that “Programmable financial supply chain, where trading partners can connect information flows to money flows through smart contracts,” will revolutionize the way customers and suppliers network with each other.
What is to be noted is that while Ethereum was used, but the transaction did not involve cryptocurrency (except for the transaction fees). Valfells said,
“Unlike cryptocurrency which is volatile, e-money is a proven digital alternative to cash, regulated and redeemable on demand. Using programmable e-money in smart contracts heralds a new category of payments.”
The other big companies who have forayed into the use of blockchain are Morningstar, American financial services giant, and Banco Santander, the largest bank in Spain. The former is considering migrating part of its credit business to a blockchain system using Ethereum smart contracts and oracles; whereas, the latter settled a $20M bond completely on Ethereum. What is interesting is that all three companies used Ethereum smart contracts instead of Ether itself. However, there is hope that with the increased demand for Ethereum Blockchain, the demand for Ether will also grow.