You may soon be able to give the gift of crypto with a "crypto-linked gift card". It's like a regular gift card, for use with selected retailers, except the recipient will never be sure how much it will be worth one day to the next.
These gift cards are being launched by a company called Giftcoin (opens in new tab) this August, and essentially each one is a voucher for a big name brand except the value of the card is set by the current value of whichever cryptocurrency is linked to it.
For example, you might buy a Starbucks gift card that's backed by bitcoin, meaning if bitcoin's price goes up, so too does the value of your gift card. $10 could become $100.
But so too could bitcoin's value plummet and your gift card with it: $10 becomes $1. No iced white chocolate mocha for you.
"You don’t have to own any crypto, understand crypto, or have any kind of crypto trading account—nada," Giftcoin says." You can just buy a Giftcoin card and then go shop, and splurge all you like with the extra money the card has earned. Talk about smart shopping."
Providing you earn money on your card, of course. Historically, bitcoin's price has fluctuated massively upwards and then plummeted back down. The price is currently in a dip at around $23,400, down 65% on its highest price to date, $67,000 during this past November.
Starbucks is just an example of what sorts of gift cards could be offered by the company. Target is another that's mentioned in passing. The only one that Giftcoin has seemingly guaranteed itself to offering is a Tesla + dogecoin voucher, as it's promised one of these as a prize to one of its first customers.
In related news, Tesla just sold off (opens in new tab) almost all of its holdings in bitcoin, which at the end of 2021 was worth around $2B, despite being a major corporate backer of the cryptocurrency.
According to Giftcoin, this all adds a level of fun to the shopping voucher that is simply unmatched by regular gift cards with a fixed sum. Though personally I don't want to think about a gift card any more than I already have to: spend it and move on. I certainly don't want to have to plan my trip to the shops around whether the volatile crypto market is up or down that day.
"Hmm, can I buy one or two pairs of boxers? Well, Elon Musk just tweeted about the dog coin, best make it three."