For a site hoping to survive off of the good-will of others, we have a lot to gain from the tipping economy promoted by ChangeTip. Today, the service that is at least partially aimed at bringing outsiders to bitcoin is making ChangeTip-provided bitcoin much easier to use by integrating Gyft into its system. ChangeTip users will be able to withdraw their balance into a iTunes, Amazon, Starbucks or Xbox gift card. If the program is successful, they may add more cards over time.

ChangeTip is great for giving your friends and family Bitcoin, especially those who may not already have a Bitcoin wallet. The problem arises when they want to turn that bitcoin into something they can use. Oftentimes, I have to give a rundown for new users on how to accomplish this. I have to get them set up with a Circle or Coinbase account, then I either tell them they have to set up a bank account to turn it into dollars or instruct them to use it on Gyft or its primary competition, eGifter. I don’t even bother asking them to brave the wild west of LocalBitcoins.com.

When their total balance is only a few dollars, the process can seem too convoluted to be worth it. Adding gift cards as a withdraw option greatly simplifies this process and helps demonstrate the power of Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer characteristics.

We have also been told that they foresee a future where tips could instantly be turned into a giftcard representing their value. A tip for a Coffee could represent a corresponding amount in a Starbucks giftcard. Victoria van Eyk, the VP of Communications at ChangeTip expanded on the concept.

“One of the biggest push-backs [ChangeTip gets] is “but what can I use it for?” People come into bitcoin then realize the friction around actually *using* it. Being tipped a coffee and actually being able to use that coffee is an incredible step forward for showing people the potential of bitcoin.“

The official announcement for Gyft integration into ChangeTip is expected to come today at 1pm PST, presumably, more information will become available at that time.


 

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