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Gift cards have been prevalent for several decades, initially helping retailers and merchants to give individuals ways to spend and transact with them directly. Cryptocurrencies have been in existence for a much shorter period of time. But crypto and gift cards have been fused together, and now people everywhere can enjoy an age-old concept with a new and revolutionary form of currency used in the digital plane.
The History Of Gift Cards
Gift cards have been around for several decades officially. The most accurate public record shows that major retailers first began offering gift cards to their customers, client bases and the general public as early as the 1970s. The idea was birthed seemingly to enable individuals to purchase cards redeemable with specific merchants. Gift cards also replaced the antiquated model of paper gift certificates which many retailers utilized prior to the appearance of the thin, small cards that would ultimately become monumental special occasion and holiday products.
While there are instances where gift cards can be used by the gift card purchaser for one reason or another, the main purpose of a gift card is to be able to gift others. Funds are transferred from the possession or account of the purchaser onto the purchased gift card. The gift card is then activated and loaded with ‘in-store value’, thereby making it redeemable for all, or specified goods or services offered by the merchant, retailer or business entity.
What is Cryptocurrency And How Does It Relate?
Cryptocurrencies refer to digital assets which are used to power and support operations within digitally-based network environments. While cryptocurrencies can be associated with single or multiple digital ecosystems since the rise of Bitcoin, the first digital asset launched in 2009, digital currencies have become a more widely acceptable means of payment.
Today, many cryptocurrencies are not only used as digital money which is associated solely with specific networks, but also in different spheres of global business and peer-to-peer models.
This has impacted not only crypto and blockchain-aligned technology platforms but other industries and markets alike. Specifically, the gift card industry was positively affected by Bitcoin and digital assets dating back to 2011, into 2012, when the first crypto and more specifically, Bitcoin Gift Cards, first began to hit the open market.
How Crypto And Gift Cards Work Together
As referenced already above, cryptocurrencies work as alternative payment methods typically supported by a blockchain or distributed ledger platform. Cryptocurrencies were first accepted as payment for gift cards over a decade ago, and the model has evolved since. To date, several platforms offer crypto-based and/or cryptocurrency-funded gift cards.
For example, Bitcoin could be used to purchase a gift card through a gift card seller, supplier or distributor which is redeemable for the fiat currency equivalent with that retailer. In other words, the $BTC which is equal to a fiat dollar amount could be used to purchase products and/or services for up to the store value represented on the card.
Other Ways Crypto And Gift Cards Work Together
There are scenarios in which cryptocurrency gift card purchasers and/or recipients might want to keep the gift card value in $BTC or other digital assets. For that, some platforms offer gift cards with the value reflected in $BTC, ETH or other popular digital assets that can be used to purchase them. In these cases, the main purpose may not necessarily be to spend the gift card amount, but perhaps save the cryptocurrency which is loaded onto the card for investment or other purposes.
Platforms like BitCard® and their extensive global partner network offer individuals several interesting ways to use crypto fueled gift cards. The BitCard® platform is a wholesale distributor of BTC gift cards. Holders are able to utilize the digital platform to redeem $BTC from gift card form and transact through a digital wallet also supported by the platform. One official BitCard® partner, CardCash, purchases retail gift cards from individuals at a discount, and makes them available to the public for a discounted rate. For instance, an Apple gift card worth $50 in the Apple product ecosystem could be listed for a purchase price of $40 on the CardCash platform.
The Future Is Here
As clarified above, $BTC and crypto gift cards have been around for over a decade already. Platforms and even many of the most popular crypto exchanges are working diligently to build upon their models which integrate the two.
Regardless of the specifics and unknowns, the future of gift cards and crypto, especially when assessed alongside their associated real-world use, seems to only be pointing towards being more readily used in tandem in the marketplace for years to come.
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