Fold App: Get Bitcoin As “Cash Back” for Shopping at Airbnb, Amazon, Target, and Others
- The app can be downloaded on iOS and Android.
- Other apps and programs with crypto-related rewards include Pei, Lolli, and Earn.com.
As the holiday shopping season begins, getting discounts and rewards as consumers spend their money. Much in the same way that credit cards and debit cards offer promotional “cash back” rewards, a new app called Fold is doing the same. Downloadable on both iOS and Android, the app allows consumers to be awarded Bitcoin for their purchases.
The app allows consumers to get the equivalent of 20% of their purchase back in Bitcoin. The retailers participating in this incentive include Amazon, Starbucks, Airbnb, Sephora, and Uber. Other retailers can be found on the Fold app.
Consumers can download the app on their smartphone, though it previously was only available in beta. Once downloaded, the user should purchase prepaid cards for these merchants and other participating merchants with the use of their Bitcoin lightning wallet. The cards can be used for their shopping as they accrue Bitcoin.
Will Reeves, the CEO of Fold, spoke with Decrypt about the incentive, stating that over 3,000 users participated in the beta test. The instantly-awarded rewards and control over the coins are what Reeves states sets the Fold app apart from other apps that promise to award Bitcoin for their activity. Essentially, the Bitcoin earned by these users can be saved, spent, or withdrawn from their own wallets.
To protect shoppers, Fold has implemented a protective layer that conceals the identity of users, instead making transactions appear to have been performed entirely by Fold itself. Reeves explained,
“Because merchants only see a payment from Fold, rather than from the consumer, user data cannot be stolen by hackers or sold to advertisers.”
As for the retailers involved in the app, Reeves stated that the program is integrated to the prepaid program already implemented with retailers. Fold directly contacts merchants to get permission and approval to provide gift cards at a discounted rate, as well as store credits, which is why the rewards can be credited so quickly, rather than waiting for months like other programs. He added,
“Fold provides more value to merchants than affiliate programs because we offer merchants lower credit-card processing fees and reduced chargebacks. Fold accomplishes this by combining payment with rewards. There is also no way for affiliate markets to protect consumer data from being collected or stolen.”
The Fold app joins the ranks of other projects that offer Bitcoin as a cashback-style reward. Lolli, for example, was featured as one of the “most promising startups” of this year by CNBC. Pei offers cash back automatically with Bitcoin, while Earn.com requires consumers to complete different tasks to earn cryptocurrency.
To stand out, Reeves states that Fold is no affiliate marketing campaign. Instead, he states that the growing number of programs with cryptocurrency rewards are due to a report that Blockchain Capital issued, which alleged that almost half of adult consumers through age 34 plan to purchase cryptocurrency within the new five years. He added,
“Merchants see giant potential to grow their consumer base through this new audience. We will see many more crypto-focused discounts, promotional offers, and ways to pay.”