As the crypto sector continues to wrestle with the questions of whether regulation is needed to facilitate more widespread adoption and acceptance, business seems to be getting on with putting blockchain tech and digital coins to work. The latest announcement that will interest CFD crypto fans has come from Dallas-based mobile gifting company Swych which last week said that it will be accepting cryptocurrency as payment.
With an immediate start, Swych users will be able to choose other options than traditional payment methods and make use of digital tokens including major tokens such as BCH, LTC, ETH, BTC and ETC. The support for these five leading cryptocurrencies from the popular mobile application used for sending virtual gifts means that more than 600 well-known retailers will now be giving their practical, albeit tacit, backing to the crypto sector.
Mobile gifting platform
Founded by Deepak Jain in 2015, Swych has already proved popular and has won credibility by being financially backed by influential industry entity UAE Exchange Group, which is a global money transfer exchange and payment solutions provider that has provided capital investment funds.
Major US retail names such as Toysrus, Macy’s, Target and Best Buy will be just some of the retailers who will be involved in the gift card scheme. Other famous brands that can be added to the list of those who are now in practice endorsing the use of cryptocurrencies include Nike, Gap, Banana Republic, Sephora and Amazon.
The flexibility of the mobile application Swych means that users can purchase and send gift cards to a recipient, however, those people can then switch gift cards to a different brand from that originally gifted.
Crypto vs other payment methods
One of the big challenges that has so far stunted the potential growth of digital coins is the widespread use of other digitally-based payment methods that are not cryptocurrencies. Payment providers including Apple Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay and Google Pay are already used by Swych. The introduction of competition in the form of the five cryptocurrencies that will now be accepted will doubtless ruffle a few feathers. However, as CFD traders who dabble in the crypto sector will know, bigger trading volumes can only come from a wider acceptance and greater use amongst the general public, so any announcements of this kind are well worth keeping an eye on.
CEO of Swych Deepak Jain said: “We feel we are ahead of the game considering most retailers have not yet chosen to accept crypto payments.” He added: “In keeping with Swych’s mission of providing our consumers with choice and flexibility, we’d like to provide new options based on our customers’ needs — crypto integration is one of the many requests we’ve received.”
This isn’t the first move into blockchain technology that Swych has made, as last year, the company rolled out a cross border gifting platform built on top of the Stellar network. However, according to Jain, Swych is now the only application that gives users the option to send gift cards by just using a mobile phone number.
“While digital gifting is undoubtedly an amazing use case for blockchain, so is payments and I think cryptocurrencies are gradually going to become the go-to choice for consumers to make purchases on the internet”, Jain explained. This belief in the power of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency solutions to become transformative by increasing efficiency will be welcome news for observers of the crypto sector looking for positive moves to wider applications.
“For crypto holders, this means they can essentially use their crypto holdings for gift cards that are spendable at hundreds of different retail outlets”, Jain said, and perhaps with a nod to CFD traders he added: “there’s no doubt that this will be attractive to a large portion of the community, irrespective of whether the market is up or down”.
Marked to market
As CFD trades see prices “marked to market” each day, margin calls are always a risk. Assets such as those found in the crypto sector, whether as values of digital coins themselves or as part of a forex trading pair, present particular issues of interest to traders. Of course, having accounts that are reliant on short-term price fluctuations is part of the appeal for contract for difference trading due to the fact that small margin rates typically mean a small amount of money can be leveraged in order to hold a large position.
When applied to cryptocurrencies, this can become a significant factor in why so many CFD traders are drawn to the sector, as its current ‘new kid on the block’ status more or less guarantees pricing volatility over the short-term. As moves by forward-looking companies such as Swych become more common, it will doubtless have an effect on the crypto sector in general, but at the moment, it is a hard call to predict exactly what form that might take.