Terra partners up with Korea’s largest convenience store chain to conduct offline payments

Vasilios Filip
3 min readOct 6, 2019


CU is Korea’s largest convenience store chain with 14,000 retail locations scattered across the country

Terra is a stablecoin that aims to become the first mass-adopted cryptocurrency. CHAI, its payments dApp, had already gained more than 400,000 users within three months after launching and has outperformed the more well-known KakaoPay on both Apple Store and Google Play Store. However, it looks like they are about to take their game to a whole new level. Terra Co-Founder announced during the Korea Blockchain Week that CHAI will be collaborating with BCcard, Korea’s largest payment processor, to create a debit card. Plus, CHAI will also be available on Yanojla, Korea’s number one hospitality app with over ten million users.

However, one of the more intriguing announcements coming out of the event was CHAI’s collaboration with CU stores. This partnership will allow users to make offline payments through the dApp in any one of the 14,000 retail stores located across the country. This could be potentially game-changing for the crypto space.

Terra and CHAI

Terra is a stablecoin that is collateralized by a second native token called “LUNA.” Luna is already available and listed on a lot of Korean exchanges as well as global exchanges like Bitrue, KuCoin, and Bittrex. In a short span of time, Terra has gathered a lot of valuable partners who push over $50 billion in annual transaction volume.

Terra’s exponential growth is mainly due to its payments dApp CHAI. CHAI allows users to make online payments by adding their bank accounts. By offering its blockchain technology through CHAI, Terra has leveraged CHAI’s considerable popularity and partnerships to becomes one of the busiest blockchain networks in the world.

What is CU?

Formed shortly after FamilyMart’s franchise license in South Korea expired, CU is South Korea’s largest convenience store chain. It is operated and owned by BGF Retail. CU stands for “CVS (Convenience Store) for U.” BGF Retail made $168.9 million in operating profit last year, which is 600% more than the profit they made in 2017.

Why is this game-changing for Terra and the crypto space?

Cryptocurrencies have constantly struggled with mainstream adoption. Whether it be its fluctuating prices or lack of scalability, crypto has struggled to find use cases where it is being used as an actual currency. With this partnership, Terra can change this narrative once and for all. There are several reasons why this partnership can turn out to be a historic one for cryptocurrencies:

  • Firstly, this is happening in South Korea. South Korea has gained a well-deserved reputation of being a technologically forward-thinking country. They will definitely not shun a payment method because it is “new.” Also, CHAI has already gained a considerable user base in Korea.
  • The fact that this partnership will enable offline payments is crucial since it will increase Terra/CHAI’s customer touchpoint significantly. CU has 14,000 stores and millions of customers every single month. Even if a small fraction of those customers starts using CHAI, that is still a vast number.
  • Finally, Terra’s stablecoin innovations will make it the perfect currency of choice for both merchants and customers. Merchants won’t be bogged down by complicated payment systems and forced to pay 2–3% transaction fees. With Terra, the transaction fee will drop down to as low as 0.5%. End-users/customers will be able to enjoy a 5–10% discount rate for every transaction as Terra keeps growing. Terra’s money supply growth will fund these discounts.


To summarize everything:

  • South Korea’s largest convenience store will start using CHAI for offline payments.
  • CHAI is powered by Terra which economically incentivizes both merchants and customers to use it.
  • As CHAI becomes more popular and starts attracting more partners, more users will begin to use it to make daily payments.

This is why the entire cryptospace should keep an eye on Terra and see the moves that they are going to make next, as they slowly start taking over the Korean economy. This kind of mass adoption will be critical to the growth of the crypto space.