Adam Ludwin of Chain.com and Vinny Lingham of Gyft took Centre Stage at 12:15pm this afternoon. They’ve announced a partnership along with a new white paper.
Some background: Gyft is a gift card platform for consumers and retailers that lets customers upload, buy, send, and redeem gift cards from any device. The company, now acquired by First Data, a global tech leader in the financial services industry has raised $7.5 million in funding to date. Chain.com has raised $13.7 million and is the leading block chain infrastructure provider to financial enterprises.
What went down?
The pair have announced a new partnership- Gyft Block,a new block chain based gift card value solution. They say this is a solution to issue, transfer, and redeem digital gift cards on the bitcoin block chain.
They took it a step further, and were daring enough to do a live demonstration of a transaction taking place on the block chain.
Why does this matter?
It solves problems in the pre-paid gift card market for issuers, merchants, and consumers by leveraging the block chain. All this with bitcoin and the block chain being completely invisible to the end user (it’s just an enabling technology behind the scenes).
This is the first time that anyone has demonstrated an end-to-end consumer and merchant experience for existing financial assets on the block chain, integrated with popular consumer and small business apps.
How does this relate to Apple Pay or Android Pay?
Apple Pay and Android Pay are focused on improving the payment and security experience with the existing card payment infrastructure. Block chain based technology aims at improving the gift card infrastructure itself, by leveraging bitcoin as a global secure transaction network. Because the bitcoin technology is open by nature, any wallet could potentially integrate the technology developed by Gyft and Chain and benefit from its capabilities.
Check out the Gyft whitepaper just posted today “Building Gift Cards 2.0 on the block chain”.