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Gyft gift card app lets buyers use bitcoins

| Published on May 9, 2013 at 19:22 BST

Plastic gift cards are so 2012, but going mobile and digital with your gift-card purchases isn't enough anymore. Now you can pay for gift card apps with bitcoins.

California-based Gyft, a digital gift card platform serving the US, announced today that it has partnered with BitPay to begin accepting bitcoin payments from customers.

While Gyft offers both an iPhone app and an Android app, the bitcoin option will be available only on Android. The app itself is free.

By enabling bitcoin payments for gift cards, the Gyft-BitPay partnership essentially opens the door to let bitcoin fans indirectly spend the digital currency at numerous stores that don't currently accept bitcoins themselves.

"By using our existing network of retailers, we are able to offer bitcoin consumers the ability to instantly spend their bitcoins at hundreds of merchants," said Vinny Lingham, co-founder and CEO of Gyft.

Gyft supports gift card purchases from such retailers as American Eagle, Brookstone, Burger King, Gamestop, GAP, Lowes, Marriott, Nike and Sports Authority, among others.

"Any shopper in a participating retail store, with bitcoins on their Android device, can easily convert bitcoins into a store gift card and pay for their purchase," said Tony Gallippi, co-founder and CEO of BitPay. "The whole process takes less than one minute and can be done on a single mobile device."

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