Big Retailers Deny Involvement in BTC Cashback Scheme

Big Retailers Deny Involvement in BTC Cashback Scheme

Boots the chemist and the online supermarket Ocado were both namechecked in Mode's announcement, but have denied entering into a partnership with the company.

Big Retailers Deny Involvement in BTC Cashback Scheme

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A fintech company made a big splash when it announced plans to offer Bitcoin cashback on purchases at dozens of major U.K. retailers.

But in the hours that followed, Mode's news release started to slowly unravel — with several top brands denying reports that they were going to be involved.

The publicly listed firm's initial announcement had said British consumers would be able to earn BTC by shopping at the likes of Ocado, Homebase and Boots.

More than 40 merchants were said to be involved in the rollout, which was due to begin in the second quarter of 2022.

Mode argued that current loyalty and cashback programs are often difficult to use, slow, or offer rewards that are irrelevant to customers.

And according to the company, its offering would allow Britons to accrue Bitcoin without having to pour hard-earned cash into an investment. Claiming there was "accelerating appetite for the cryptocurrency," Mode's CEO Ryan Moore said:

"This marks a major step in making the asset class more accessible to consumers of all demographics, ultimately bringing Bitcoin into the hands of millions of customers across the UK."

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There's Always a But…

As you'd imagine, the news was gleefully picked up by a number of media outlets in the U.K.

Indeed, over on the London Stock Exchange, shares in Mode surged by 16% on the news — hitting 43.3p in intraday trading on Thursday.

But in a dramatic bombshell, Boots and Ocado — two of the British retailers namechecked in the announcement — denied claims they were involved.

Boots, the chemist that merged with the U.S. giant Walgreens a few years ago, was quoted by City A.M. as saying:

"Boots is not involved with this scheme. We have not been directly approached by Mode and they have used our name without permission in their press release and marketing materials."

Ocado, an online supermarket, also distanced itself from Mode.

In a statement given to the newspaper, Mode insisted Boots and Ocado had agreed to be part of its Bitcoin cashback scheme, but said the agreement had been reached "through a number of intermediary affiliate platforms."

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