Fold App Adds Bitcoin 'Kickbacks' for Purchases at Target, Starbucks

Mobile shoppers can earn bitcoin for purchases from Amazon, Starbucks and Target, just to name a few. 

AccessTimeIconJul 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:52 p.m. UTC

The crypto payments startup Fold, which launched a portal for buying Domino’s pizza using the Lightning Network in February, now offers cash-back rewards in bitcoin to shoppers who use the mobile app for purchases at Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, Burger King, REI and Target, just to name a few.

The in-browser app Lolli already offers this feature for desktop users and is developing a mobile app of its own. Now with Fold entering the game, bitcoiners might benefit from competition between the shopping apps. But while Lolli offers an in-browser, custodial wallet, which can also be used to send bitcoin rewards to external wallets, Fold’s app automatically directs the rewards to an external wallet specified by the user.

“It's akin to accruing rewards points, just these are denominated in satoshis [fractions of bitcoin],” Fold product lead Will Reeves told CoinDesk. “They can be used for purchases within Fold or withdrawn to an actual bitcoin wallet.”

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Fold’s lightning compatibility also sets it apart from Lolli’s beginner-friendly service. This is possible because while Lolli works directly with merchants, Fold partners with pre-paid card networks and essentially buys a gift card with users’ bitcoin then facilitates the purchase on users’ behalf.

Reeves said the lighting pizza feature has generated nearly $22,000 worth of transactions so far, with dozens of pizza purchases still rolling in every day.

Executives at both Lolli and Fold now say their respective startups have thousands of active monthly users. Lolli CEO Alex Adelman told CoinDesk that, in addition to launching a mobile app, his team has plans to implement lightning options into the Lolli payout feature.

“Lightning will be a powerful tool to help with the mainstream adoption of bitcoin,” Adelman told CoinDesk. “I’m excited to eventually share it with all our merchants.”

Meanwhile, from Reeves’ perspective, competitors like Lolli have adapted incumbent affiliate models while Fold seeks to build a new payments system.

“Soon, Fold users will be able to spend any currency they choose directly with these retailers and get free bitcoin for doing so,” Reeves said. “Beneath all the fun of shopping and rewards we intend to introduce a whole new paradigm to consumer spending.”

Image via Fold app


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