Bitcoin bummer: WalMart drops Gyft

Home » Bitcoin bummer: WalMart drops Gyft
Gyft logo.

Gyft logo.

Only last month, bitcoin-friendly mobile gift-card app Gyft announced a major coup: Retail giant WalMart had joined their program. In a matter of seconds, users could convert their bitcoin stockpiles into real-world goods, completely sidestepping the need to convert funds to local currency. Not surprisingly, the move was hailed as a milestone in bitcoin history.

Unfortunately, it was not to last. Citing “circumstances beyond our control,” Gyft removed WalMart from their catalog yesterday.

It’s not clear why WalMart ended their relationship with Gyft, and there’s currently no reason to think bitcoin played a direct role. As a mobile gift-card provider, Gyft supports a variety of payment methods, with bitcoin purchases being a relatively small percentage of their overall business. Even Gyft CEO Vinny Lingham seems unclear on the impetus behind WalMart’s decision, noting:

We will continue to talk to them, but it’s a giant organization … I can’t speak to their reasoning at this stage.”

Although the loss of WalMart is disappointing, it’s worth noting that Gyft still offers bitcoiners access to a range of other retailers, including rival retailers like Amazon, Target, Sears, GameStop and Whole Foods.

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