Gyft, a California-based digital gift card platform, integrated bitcoin payments in 2013 and initially saw a trend for this payment method, but since then this has reversed, according to a recent article by CoinDesk.However, Gyft’s co-founder and CEO Vinny Lingham, continues to be fascinated by the digital currency.Lingham told CoinDesk, “The reason we started [accepting bitcoin payments for gift cards] is because I am a bit of a bitcoin fanatic and being the CEO and co-founder is kind of one of those things where you build the company and its DNA around the things that you are passionate about.”“So we rode out the bitcoin bandwagon for at least a year throughout various hype cycles and so a lot of people adopted bitcoin and they used Gyft … and we became the de-facto standard for bitcoin usage,” he added.However, due to the highly volatile nature of bitcoin, Lingham does not consider bitcoin as a currency yet.“The reason for this is its just not stable and you can’t price things in the currency … right now it’s being used as a medium of exchange, the same way you would use gold,” he said.As he sees it, bitcoin will become a currency when its supply and demand are balanced and an industrial use-case is found.“There’s an unknown amount of demand, but a lot of speculation, so the price fluctuations are pretty intense and because the demand side of the equation is not fully calculated yet, this is why there is so much uncertainty in the bitcoin world,” he said.He added that eventually a day will come when bitcoin would be used as a currency, but we are nowhere close to that right now.Sharing his views on the potential of blockchain technology, he said,“There are so many potential use-cases [for blockchain technology] that I wouldn’t even know where to start. I personally think there are a lot of opportunities in identity, property ownership titles and obviously stock market trading and decentralised stock exchanges.”He pointed out that other companies, who supply gift card services to merchants are storing them in their own proprietary databases.“Why does that have to be the case? Why can’t you store this information publicly in a public ledger or in a public database and so whoever owns that gift card has access to that data and owns that data,” he added.Lingham said that this option would be cheaper, more secure and provide a better user experience. Gyft sets out to do this with Gyft Block (created in partnership with API developer Chain), a gift card trading platform that leverages blockchain technology.He concluded stating that with Gyft Block, the company is showing how a neutral third party such as the blockchain can be used to track “sensitive and financial data”, the report said.
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