Gyft CEO Talks Fighting Fraud with Bitcoin at SXSW (March 17, 2015)
Gyft, a San Francisco-based mobile gift card company and subsidiary of First Data Corp., has announced plans to use bitcoin to enable gift card providers to issue more secure, consumer-friendly digital products, according to Gyft CEO Vinny Lingham, who spoke during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals this week in Austin, Texas.
The company is still developing the technology standard, but Lingham said it would tokenize gift cards, enabling them to be transferred between peers and digital wallets by using bitcoin tokens issued on the bitcoin blockchain, according to a CoinDesk report. Blockchain is the underlying technology that serves as a record of all bitcoin transactions. “We’re months away from having a viable prototype, but we think it’s going to be good for the industry and great for consumers,” Lingham said. He also suggested the standard would enable gift card numbers to change, so they’re less susceptible to physical theft or tampering.
Gyft is no stranger to bitcoin. It offers 3 percent back in Gyft Points for consumers who pay with bitcoin.
Intel also is exploring the potential of blockchain technology, according to reports. The computer chip maker recently posted a job ad for a cryptographic researcher for its special innovations projects group. The researcher would “investigate hardware and software capabilities that advance the performance, robustness and scalability of open, decentralized ledgers.”
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