On May 22, 2010 a programmer traded 10,000 Bitcoins for pizza. That pizza today would be worth about $5 million. But that doesn’t mean consumers have stopped buying pizza with Bitcoins. On Thursday eGifter will be supporting Bitcoin Pizza Day by giving an extra point back on all pizza gift card purchases made on May 22 to commemorate that Bitcoin anniversary.
Brands such as Dominos and Papa John’s accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as Litecoin or Dogecoin will be eligible, as well as a 10,000 point giveaway sponsored by eGifter, a social and mobile gifting marketplace.
Since I last interviewed, Tyler Roye, CEO and co-founder of eGifter, there have been changes in the world of Bitcoin and increased use of it and other virtual coin currencies. We had an opportunity to continue our conversation on Bitcoin.
Q: Tyler, what has changed to drive more business in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies?
Tyler: We have seen a bit of a spike in Dogecoin and Litecoin sales as the word continues to spread that we’re accepting them as payment. While there hasn’t been any single event that has created a big spike in Bitcoin or other coin activity, we do see a nice steady rise in activity each week.
There is definitely more chatter around digital currency adoption in the mainstream, especially Bitcoin, as larger retailers has started publicly accepting it. However, I think Bitcoin’s longer term success in mainstream commerce will have more to do with its staying power, and whether or not businesses and consumers alike continue to find ways that digital currencies fulfill their needs. Lower fees, lower risk of fraud and increased flexibility are already factors, but there are definitely more opportunities to push the boundaries with this kind of innovative technology.
Q: Has your Loyalty Rewards Program launched in April benefited from this technology push?
Tyler: Our loyalty offer, whereby we give 3x points (3 points per dollar) for all crypto purchases, has been received very nicely. I think that the program reinforced for us the value of a strong loyalty program, and the feedback has been quite positive.
This is part of the reasoning behind our Bitcoin Pizza Day promotion, for which we’re offering an extra point back on all cryptocurrency pizza card purchases (bringing it to 4 points per dollar), as well as sponsoring a 10,000 point giveaway. We hope to be able to forge an even stronger relationship with our Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin spenders by acknowledging their support on this landmark day, and we’re always listening for ways we can give back to all of our customers.
Q: What trends do you see for the future of Bitcoin?
Tyler: Part of Bitcoin’s future does rest in when and how major brands decide to add Bitcoin as a payment option, as the positive mainstream attention will reach both consumers and retailers. However, we are likely to see more regulatory changes in the US and internationally, and this will also continue to impact the timeline for mainstream adoption of Bitcoin.
Q: Do you have any comment on Jeremy Allaire's test program on Circle with selected customers in his development of financial services?
Tyler: Circle appears to be the most serious attempt to address all of the key issues that ultimately need to be addressed for Bitcoin to realize its potential. Making bitcoin easier to use, reducing risk for consumers and making it more of a utility, versus a speculative bet, are certainly among the top issues.
If Circle does not fix these problems, someone else will. In fact, they could see a lot of competition, which is a great thing for the industry as a whole. I am impressed by the scope of their effort and am optimistic that it will have a significant impact. Those with an interest or stake in Bitcoin would likely do well to pay close attention to Circle.
Thank you Tyler for your input and I look forward to Pizza tomorrow to celebrate Bitcoins for Pizza! You may find out more information on how to use eGifter digital cards and Bitcoin at their website.