If we had to choose a group of services that completely changed the Bitcoin ecosystem when they decided to accept Bitcoin, Gyft had to be one of them. The company, which allows users all over the world to buy gift cards online from hundreds of retailers and getting rid of the unnecessary plastic cards, decided to take that step and dive into the world of cryptocurrency in May.
More recently, Gyft released a new Bitcoin-friendly service, the Gift Card Registry, which allows Bitcoiners to use virtual currency to “purchase gift cards for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, holidays and other special events”.
Besides, Gyft serves a noble purpose, without even trying. According to the website Wired, there are some homeless people surviving on Bitcoin, in Florida, and they use Gyft to exchange Bitcoins for gift cards that can be used in local restaurants or cafes.
With all this happening, 99Bitcoins decided to talk with Vinny Lingham, Gyft’s CEO, and he has news to announce. Check out the interview.
After these last few months, do you consider the adoption of Bitcoin was a good decision for your business?
Vinny Lingham – Definitely, we are always looking at what’s coming up next in the overall payment space and Bitcoin was becoming popular and in researching it further, we decided it was a good option for our customers.
Do you have an idea of how many Gyft’s transactions include Bitcoin?
The Bitcoin community is small, but a growing part of our business. Accepting Bitcoins for gift cards expands the places where Bitcoin consumers can use their Bitcoins and our potential audience of Gyft users.
What about this new service, the Gift Card Registry?
We created Gyft as an easy way for people to manage – upload, buy, send and redeem – their gift cards digitally on their phones so they would have them whenever they shopped. Over the years, gift cards have grown in popularity and it’s expected that the North-American gift card market will hit $125 billion this year.
Coming out with a Gift Card Registry was a natural evolution. There are many special events including weddings, birthdays, baby showers, holidays and graduations where many like to pick a gift from a list of preselected options. You know they won’t take it back and they will use it.
How do you see Bitcoin’s evolution? Do you think Gyft will still be getting Bitcoin payments in 10 years?
There has been a bit of fluctuation, but you expect some bumps in the road when a new technology starts up. Overall, we are excited about the potential for future innovation on our Gyft platform for Bitcoins and are glad to be an early pioneer in the Bitcoin universe. In ten years, we think everyone will have access to Bitcoins. It has the potential to become an international currency.
Are you working on any future projects ?
We are currently working on a loyalty program that we think will be a global success. That’s all we can say for now.