Coin For Coffee Opens New Doors For Bitcoin
Less than 1% of businesses across the globe accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It has been restrictive for Bitcoiners who are not limited to a handful of products and services which they can buy with Bitcoin. But Bitcoiners are known for being innovative. If you want to get your hands on a product/service from a merchant who does not accept Bitcoin then you may want to consider an alternative route?
How about buying the store’s voucher, gift card or loyalty points from a customer who wants your Bitcoin.
That is the concept behind Card For Coin, a new service that lets users trade StarBucks vouchers for Bitcoin. It is an exchange of sorts where one user sells their vouchers to another user who wants to pay in Bitcoin. It may be restricted to Starbucks products for now but the concept is flexible enough to be adopted for other products and services.
Card for Coin
Card for Coin is not affiliated with the Starbucks Corporation and is open to any person who has a balance on their Starbucks voucher. It is the brainchild of Matt Luongo who is the co-founder of Scholrly. He was inspired by an initiative by Tonx, the online coffee store, which was providing store credit in exchange for Starbucks vouchers. Luongo changed that over to Bitcoin for Starbucks through his exchange Card for Coin.
The process is extremely simple. A user who has a balance on their Starbuck’s card enters the card number and pin on the Card for Coin website. A check is then done to verify the balance and Card for Coin makes an offer to the user. If the user is happy with the offer and accepts it, Card for Coin debits the Starbucks card and then pays the user in Bitcoin.
There has been some criticism about the low offers made by Card for Coin which claims to offer between 60% to 70% of the value of the points in Bitcoin. However, it must be remembered that the service has operational costs and it is not reasonable to expect a dollar for dollar return by converting points to currency, albeit digital currency.
Gifts, Points And Vouchers
The Card for Coin concept is an exciting development for Bitcoiners and there are a host of other possibilities that can arise from it. There is still much caution among big stores to take cryptocurrency. However, if willing consumers are prepared to sell their gift cards, loyalty points and vouchers from these stores to interested buyers who want to pay in Bitcoin, there is no reason that the transaction cannot be done.
It will effectively allow a Bitcoin user to buy at the store in question without paying for their purchase in-store with Bitcoin. Exchanges of sorts will be needed. One-on-one transactions can be risky – the seller or the buyer could be cheated. However, a trusted exchange will collect and hold the gift card, voucher or loyalty points where possible and only release it to the buyer once the seller is paid.
Apart from Bitcoin users getting the opportunity to buy products/services through this route, it also allows the sellers to get their hand on Bitcoin without having to earn it or use a traditional exchange. It is an exciting opportunity that will undoubtedly be capitalized upon given the innovative nature of Bitcoiners.