Cryptocurrency gift card provider Bitrefill has added a service allowing users to book Airbnb rentals with bitcoin, ether and more.
Major U.S. cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase has entered the crypto gift card market, allowing customers in certain countries to exchange coins for brand e-certificates, according to their July 25 blog post.
In the post, Coinbase confirmed the new option was made possible through a partnership with UK-based startup WeGift, and will effectively allow cryptocurrency holders to pay for goods and services through brands such as Nike, Tesco, Uber, Google Play, Ticketmaster, and Zalando:
“Starting today, Coinbase customers in the EU and Australia are able to instantly spend their cryptocurrency balances on e-gift cards, making us the first trading platform to offer direct withdrawals into e-gift cards.”
The blog post notes that the new service will be initially be available in the UK, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia, with plans to expand both the number of retailers and markets “over the next three months, as well as looking to expand into other countries soon after.”
While cryptocurrency acceptance among major brands remains decidedly low — travel booking giant Expedia quietly removed their Bitcoin (BTC) payment option in June — other industries accepting crypto have met with positive responses. The nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation received a 1,000 Ethereum (ETH) (around $469,000 today) donation the first day it added crypto payment options.
U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is now offering a way to let customers purchase retail goods and services using crypto assets, thanks to a new partnership with a digital gift card startup.
According to a report from Bloomberg on Wednesday, Coinbase has integrated its wallet services with WeGift, a London-based online gift card platform, and now allows users to purchase gift cards with cryptocurrency stored in their Coinbase wallets. Currently, the exchange supports bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin and ethereum, with more likely to be added soon.
Based on information provided by WeGift’s website, gift cards purchased by cryptocurrencies can be used in over 120 retailers that accept WeGift, including Tesco, M&S, Uber, Carrefour, Google Play and Costa.
The service is so far only available in the U.K., France, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.
In 2013, Coinbase also partnered with a New York-based digital gift card firm called eGifter to offer crypto gift cards.
The move comes just months after the exchange secured an e-money license authorized by U.K. markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the license gave the company the ability to provide payment services and issue digital cash alternatives in the country, which can then be used to make card, internet or phone payments.
Coinbase image via Shutterstock
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