Fold just released the final version of their new app that lets users get cash (in the form of Bitcoin) back from spending at Amazon, Target and more. It works through buying Fold registered gift cards through the Lightning Network. When you spend, they refund you a percentage.
Currently there are 17 merchants to buy from, including Starbucks, Chipotle, AMC, Delta and Uber. The least return users will get for purchases is 2% at Home Depot and the most they can get is 20% back from P.F. Changs.
Fold’s CEO, Will Reeves told Decrypt that Fold rewards are instant. Presumably, Fold is able to see purchases made with gift cards, then their system refunds Bitcoin via the lightning network.
“they can spend it on future purchases, save it, or withdraw it their personal wallets.” – Will Reeves
Users are also able to remain anonymous on the app because transactions are recorded as being from Fold rather than the actual customers.
Fold is able to give cash back rewards because companies save on credit card fees by teaming up with them. Cash (Bitcoin) back competitors use their status as affiliates with companies to provide returns for customers. Fold combines payments with rewards in order to provide greater returns.
One demographic that this could really gain traction for is crypto traders. Within the amount of crypto traders that are profitable, there is a group that purchases consumer goods through gift cards in order to avoid taxes on selling crypto, which can get pretty high.
Many of them trade on sites that don’t have KYC policies, so for all the government knows, they could have been given their crypto from a friend. Instead of exchanging the Bitcoin to fiat, they buy gift cards with Bitcoin earned to pay for expenses other than food and rent.
With Fold’s selection of stores, they are able to provide customers with all clothes and food from Target, electronics from amazon, a few places to eat and a some of the most popular airlines for travel. It’s a pretty good start for those who try to keep as much money as possible in Bitcoin.