A new website lets users exchange unwanted Starbucks gift-cards for Bitcoin.
The website Card for Coin, founded by 25-year-old Matt Luongo, lets users trade unused Starbucks gift-cards in exchange for Bitcoin. Trading usually amounts to around 60%-70% of the card’s balance and pricing and transfers are done through the Coinbase exchange and wallet service. After the card info is entered on the website, and the transfer is complete the user is free to discard the gift-card.
While seasoned BTC investors may be turned off by the 30%-40% reduction of the card amount, Luongo is not bothered as he believes his service offers a more simple approach aimed at Bitcoin novices.
“It’s a great way for beginners to get Bitcoin quickly – usually signing up at an exchange takes a while, but trading BTC (Bitcoin) for services or goods is much faster. There’s no minimum balance on the cards (e.g. < $5 is fine), so I think that makes the value proposition better as well,” Luongo said.
Luongo’s inspiration for the innovative exchange spawned from his support of local businesses against corporate chains. As a coffee aficionado, he would receive quite a bit of Starbucks gift-cards, which he would not be interested in due to social and personal reasons.
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Luongo worked upon an idea he helped implement on Tonx.org, a virtual coffee shop that exchanges Starbucks gift-cards for in-store credit.
The annual average amount spent on gift-cards a year is $90 billion, with 10% of cards going unused. Many companies have been trying to take advantage of those unused gift-cards. PayPal has begun accepting gift-cards at checkout, and websites like CardCash.com created a gift-card exchange platform where users can trade unwanted gift-cards for ones they might be more interested in. Websites like Gyft have taken a different approach by selling gift-cards for major chains in exchange for Bitcoin.
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