If you’re bored with handing out generic gift cards during the holiday season and searching for something a little more unique, have we got a treat for you. Simultaneously trendy, techie and whimsical, you can now send your colleagues and loved ones a cryptocurrency greeting card.
Greetings with Crypto is a venture birthed by Atlanta-area iOS developer Jide Opeola. He says the ideal customer is someone who is well-versed in the cryptocurrency space, but wants to introduce a friend or family member in an easy-to-understand format.
“If you give someone a card with actual currency on it, it’s easier for them to understand,” Opeola says. “The crypto space is really complicated, so I think something like this has to be very straightforward, because people just get confused and turned off.”
He’s currently selling about 25 different cards for occasions such as birthdays, graduation, thank you, and, of course, the holidays.
The concept is actually really simple. The gifter selects a card, all of which run just under $8. They enter the USD equivalent of the amount they would like to be put on the card in cryptocurrency (for now, just ethereum), as well as the recipient’s phone number so Greetings with Crypto can send them a verification code.
Once the recipient’s card arrives, they activate it with the verification code. The card does not function like a debit card, so the recipient still needs to transfer their gift to a cryptocurrency wallet or digital account.
“Everybody now wants to go digital — if you’re a popular person you might get a hundred comments on Facebook saying “happy birthday.” But if somebody takes the time to actually send you a card, that will mean more to you,” says Opeola.
There’s also a pretty significant security benefit over mailing a traditional gift card. While a gift card holds its value intrinsically within the physical product, and thus is vulnerable to theft, the cryptocurrency card doesn’t actually hold value until the smart contract is activated by the verified user. Before that, the money is held in escrow.
Of course, that leads to the issue most often mentioned with cryptocurrency — its price volatility. Because the price of ethereum, bitcoin and others can fluctuate — sometimes quite a lot — the value of the money on the card could change in the week it takes to arrive at the recipient’s door. The value is tied to the USD equivalent the purchaser put on it.
But, Opeola is still enthusiastic about the potential for the technology. The venture is early and he has a lot of plans for expansion and improvement.
For starters, he’s working on allowing buyers to purchase cards by credit card, rather than solely ethereum. He also says they’ll soon support bitcoin gift cards.
Lastly, they’re working on pre-loaded cards that can be purchased up-front and will only require a quick scan to activate. This will allow the startup to sell cards on-site at events or in stores.
Eventually, they could expand beyond cards to other products like fliers, business cards and more.
Greetings with Crypto takes $1 off of every transaction as a fee, and users must also pay traditional cryptocurrency mining fees.