A recurring discussion regarding bitcoin that is frequently brought up among both critics and supporters of the coin is the practical use of bitcoin in different facets of everyday life. Developing bitcoin into a currency that is viable for use by the average person is one of the largest obstacles the cryptocurrency has been working to overcome since its birth. Early on, finding relevant uses for bitcoin was a struggle. Today, however, more and more opportunities to spend, trade, and invest with the coin are opening up daily. Purse.io, a service that allows you to purchase goods on Amazon with bitcoin, is one such opportunity.
Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in the world. Millions of people all over the world use it to purchase and ship thousands of products daily. Many people send Amazon giftcards as gifts on various occassions, and Amazon giftcards are also common rewards on a variety of earning and gift sites. Not all of these giftcards get used. In fact, there is currently 15 billion dollars worth of unclaimed Amazon giftcard balances today.
Many of the giftcard holders don’t use their balances because what they want isn’t available on Amazon, and they would rather save. What some of these people want is bitcoin, and these people are the potential users of Purse.
The site has two major features; buying goods and buying bitcoin. Users who have bitcoin, and want items from Amazon, create a wishlist and import it into Purse. After importing the items they wish to purchase, they select a discount. The larger the discount, the longer it takes to be filled. Currently, the max discount is capped at 50%. Small discounts under 10% are typically processed the same day the order is set, while large discounts of over 30% typically take a week or more to be filled. After a discount is decided, the user must deposit the required amount of bitcoin into an escrow fund held by the site.
Once an order is placed, it is listed on the site dashboard, along with all other offers. From there, Amazon giftcard holders looking to purchase bitcoin can accept the order. Once an order is selected, they are redirected to a copy of the Amazon wishlist. From there, the items are purchased and sent to the address of the wishlist. The bitcoin recipient then puts a link of the order receipt onto Purse to verify the purchase has occurred. Once the bitcoin seller receives their goods, they indicate that they have indeed obtained their items on the site. The site then releases the bitcoin from the escrow fund to the recipient.
It is typically not possible to exchange Amazon giftcards for bitcoin, so the card holders agree to purchase bitcoins at a premium rate, thus supplying Amazon shoppers with a discount.
To promote security, first time users are limited to small buy and sell orders. As transactions are successfully completed, users gain access to higher priced transactions and more consecutive orders. Users can also receive more access through phone verification.
The site has faced scrutiny about stolen credit card funds being used to purchase bitcoin. To combat this problem, Purse.io has implemented a $10,000 insurance policy to protect all buyers against fraud.
Purse.io is a huge step in applying bitcoin to everyday uses. Expect more services like it to launch in the near future, as bitcoin’s usage for the consumer is increasing faster than ever before.