Bitcoin’s ups and downs in terms of marketplace prices have been well documented in recent weeks. But more interestingly, this holiday season, according to some marketers, the virtual currency is starting to put a dent into transactions that in the past have been made with either debit/credit cards or Paypal.
Gyft, an online gift cards marketer that sells cards for major retailers such as Old Navy and Victoria's Secret, says Bitcoin has accounted for “millions of dollars” worth of transactions during the holidays. In fact, the San Francisco-based company claims—and this sounds pretty remarkable, if not hard to believe—Bitcoin was used more than credit cards on Black Friday.
Sure, giving Bitcoin purchasers one extra loyalty point compared to credit card users on the massive shopping day helped produce that result. But still.
Per a Gyft rep, the Bitcoin purchasing process is essentially identical to debit cards. Instead of paying with checking account cash, one spends from his or her well of Bitcoins. The virtual currency’s value is reflected by the current exchange rate determined via Bitpay, the rep pointed out.
And while the gift cards marketer shared the previously stated information with Adweek, it declined to comment further.
That’s unfortunate because it leaves a few important questions unanswered. For instance, if the Bitcoin—currently valued at $652 per unit after recently being worth around double that figure—decreases in value, will Gyft take a bath with all the Bitcoin payments it has accepted?