Business 18 February 2019

Erik Gibbs

Swych gift card platform makes a switch to crypto

A digital gifting platform that has partnered with more than 600 retailers is getting into cryptocurrency. Swych is expected to begin accepting digital currencies as payment this week as it moves to take advantage of the “revolutionary technology” to become a more flexible platform. Swych allows users to buy, send, re-gift, exchange and redeem gift cards from their smartphones. 

According to a report by Forbes, Swych will begin by supporting several of the top coins, including Bitcoin Core (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), among a few others, but will add support for other currencies as the company moves forward. The platform has working relationships with companies such as Nike, Target, Best Buy, Banana Republic, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and many others. 

Swych CEO Deepak Jain asserts that, as more consumers get involved with crypto, “it’s inevitable that [they] will be looking for way to spend their digital assets.” He adds, “Swych hopes to be one of the first companies pioneering this new way to spend, he added. We feel we are ahead of the game considering most retailers have not yet chosen to accept crypto payments. In keeping with Swych’s mission of providing our consumers with choice and flexibility, we’d like to provide new options based on our customers’ needs – crypto integration is one of the many requests we’ve received.”

Jain points out that accepting crypto is a logical step, given that the platform is 100% digital. Swych currently accepts Apple Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay and Google Pay, and cryptocurrencies are more aligned with the company’s business model.

He states, “We are the only platform today where consumers can send a gift card digitally to his friend using just a mobile phone number and the friend can spend it at any retailer across our network.”

Swych first entered the crypto space last December when it launched a blockchain-based gifting and shopping marketplace built on the Stellar network. He explained of that platform, “While digital gifting is undoubtedly an amazing use case for blockchain, so is payments and I think cryptocurrencies are gradually going to become the go-to choice for consumers to make purchases on the internet.”

Crypto continues to find its place in the retail world. While the volatility seen in the markets last year was a hindrance to greater adoption, crypto prices are now more stabilized and 2019 should see a considerable increase in crypto’s acceptance across the globe. 

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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