Gyft’s New Block Platform Takes Blockchain beyond Currency (June 23, 2015)
Gyft, a San Francisco-based mobile gift card company and subsidiary of First Data Corp., has partnered with Chain, an application program interface (API) developer, to create a gift card trading platform that uses blockchain technology. The platform, Gyft Block, makes it easier and more secure for consumers to trade, buy and redeem gift cards, according to the company.
Gyft Block, which will launch this fall, is part of Gyft’s larger mission to digitize gift cards, so they can be traded securely using bitcoin’s public ledger, or blockchain, versus the standard 16 or 19 digits on the card and a four- to eight-digit PIN, according to reports. Gyft CEO Vinny Lingham said the blockchain standard enables gift card numbers to change, so they’re less susceptible to theft or tampering.
“Consumers can redeem different forms of digital value in a single transaction: For example, a consumer can buy a cup of coffee by combining a gift card, branded reward point and coupon, since all blockchain-based digital assets operate on the same open standards,” a Gyft spokesperson told CoinDesk, a digital currency news source.
Gyft Block was unveiled at a conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, last week; however, Lingham announced plans for the blockchain-based platform during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals in March. Gyft has been accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for years and offers consumers reward points for paying with the digital currency.