You may soon be able to give the gift of crypto with a “crypto-linked gift card”. It’s like a regular gift card, for use with select retailers, except the recipient will never be sure how much it will be worth from one day to the next.
These gift cards are launched by a company called Giftcoin (opens in a new tab) in August, and essentially each one is a voucher for a big name, except the value of the card is set by the current value of whatever cryptocurrency is associated with it.
For example, you can buy a Starbucks gift card that is backed by bitcoin, which means that if the price of bitcoin goes up, the value of your gift card will also increase. $10 can become $100.
But this is also how bitcoin’s value can fall and your gift card with it: $10 becomes $1. No ice cold white chocolate mocha for you.
“You don’t need to own crypto, understand crypto or have any kind of crypto trading account – nada,” says Giftcoin. “You can just buy a Giftcoin card and then go to the store and spend all you want with the extra money on the card has earned. Talk about smart shopping.”
Assuming you earn money on your card, of course. Historically, bitcoin’s price has fluctuated massively upwards and then fallen back down. The price is currently in a slump of around $23,400, down 65% on the highest price to date of $67,000 during last November.
Starbucks is just one example of the kind of gift cards the company can offer. Target is another one mentioned in passing. The only one that Giftcoin is apparently guaranteed to offer is a Tesla + Dogecoin voucher, as it has promised one of these as a prize to one of its first customers.
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In related news, Tesla just sold off (opens in a new tab) almost all of its holdings in bitcoin, which at the end of 2021 were worth around $2 billion, despite being a major corporate backer of the cryptocurrency.
According to Giftcoin, all of this adds a level of fun to the shopping coupon that is simply unmatched by regular fixed-sum gift cards. Although I personally don’t want to think about a gift card any more than I already have to: use it and move on. I certainly don’t want to have to plan my trip to the stores around whether the volatile crypto market is up or down that day.
“Hmm, can I buy one or two pairs of boxers? Well, Elon Musk just tweeted about the dog coin, best to make it three.”