The oft-derided memecoins took another step towards mainstream acceptance this weekend as Gemini-backed digital-payment app Flexa announced via Twitter this weekend that Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) is now integrated with its network. SHIB holders can now spend their Shiba Inu coins at more than 40,000 in-person locations across the U.S. and Canada, including Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s hardware, Nordstrom, Office Depot and Whole Foods Market.
Shiba Inu coin joins a list of other major cryptocurrencies already supported by the Flexa platform, including Bitcoin, Ether, Solana and Litecoin as well as stablecoins such as USD Coin and Gemini dollar as well as SHIB’s big brother memecoin Dogecoin, among others.
Flexa integrates with existing point of sale infrastructure to pay retailers in either the crypto or fiat currency of their choice while allowing customers to spend their preferred cryptocurrency. Instant payments on the platform are made possible via the network’s native token AMP, which works as decentralized collateral to reduce payment risk while rewarding those who offer collateral with further AMP for each successful transaction.
Perhaps a touch ironically, video game retailer GameStop is among the companies that are now accepting Shiba Inu coin via Flex. GameStop was at the center of the WallStreetBets saga earlier in the year when Reddit users rallied behind the company’s stock — which had been heavily shorted by hedge fund managers. This helped launch the idea of “memestock,” which fueled the rise of “memecoins” like Dogecoin, which then in turn spawned DOGE copycat Shiba Inu coin.
The move will surely make a few SHIB holders happy as a Change.org petition was launched a few months ago requesting the retailer begin accepting the memecoin. The petition’s author wrote on its page: “I believe Gamestop would be a perfect place to start with for bigger companies to accept as payment for goods. Lots of us gamers agree, Gamestop and Shiba Inu Token are a perfect match for marketing, and to bring more out of this token.”
At press time, the petition had attracted just over 60,000 out of its goal of 75,000 signatures. It is not clear, however, whether this integration with Flexa will satisfy the petition’s organizers.
News of Gemini’s adoption did little to change Shiba Inu coin’s fortunes, the prices of which have been generally trending downwards since reaching its all-time high in October, when SHIB briefly entered the crypto top 10 and overtook Dogecoin by market cap. Shiba Inu prices hit their all-time high following the news that Robinhood — the trading app that facilitated many of the trades of GameStop shares during the height of the rally — had added SHIB as an option in a customer sentiment survey, and SHIB rose over 200% in a matter of days to reach US$0.00008845.
Shiba Inu coin has been in steady decline since that time, with only a brief respite as global crypto exchange Kraken announced it was listing the token in late November. SHIB’s price rose 47%, close to its all-time price high, in the days that followed, though it sharply retreated shortly afterward.
While Shib Inu did jump close to 10% sharply over the weekend, SHIB’s price was still lower than what it was trading at the same time last week. Shiba Inu coin has since retraced most of that ground coming into business hours in Asia today and is trading at US$0.000036 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap.
Leading memecoin Dogecoin was also trading down roughly 3% over the past seven days at US$0.1658 at press time, sitting just outside the crypto top 10, according to CoinMarketCap.