Walmart Ends Gyft’s Walmart Gift Cards; Fellow E-Commerce Giant Amazon Also Shuns Bitcoin

April 14, 2014 21:18 UTC

3 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of writing an article I’d dreamed of writing for months and months on end. Gyft Adds Walmart Gift Cards!!  Alas, all good things are not meant to last.  For the last 3 weeks, Bitcoiners around the country have had the pleasure of buying Walmart gift cards with Bitcoin, receiving 3% back in the form of Gyft points, and in essence spending Bitcoin at Walmart on gas and groceries.  Making Bitcoin a cheaper option to buy gas has been a long standing dream of the Bitcoin community, this was the first step towards realizing that dream and said step has now been reversed.  Despite the loss of Walmart, Gyft is geared to provide more to smaller businesses with the launch of Gyft Cloud.

Gyft informed customers via email that “due to reasons outside of Gyft’s control” they are unable to stock Walmart gift cards any longer.  The Bitcoin community knows full well that Vinny at Gyft would not unlist Walmart Gift cards from Gyft’s impressive registry unless he was forced to.  There is no doubt in my mind that the initial decision that has culminated in today’s end of Gyft’s support of Walmart was originally made in Arkansas at Walmart HQ.

Walmart Gift cards are no longer available for Bitcoin

Amazon Also Shuns Bitcoin Use

As Jason Del Ray wrote in his Recode article on Amazon saying no to accepting Bitcoin:

Amazon isn’t alone in this stance among big e-commerce sites. EBay, Walmart.com, Target.com and other big names have shown no signs of moving toward acceptance. Probably the most well-known online seller to accept the digital currency is Overstock.com, which sells furniture online and has a comparatively modest market cap of $413 million.

Compared to Overstock and Tigerdirect, Amazon and Walmart are much much larger.  It seems that they have both dismissed Bitcoin as an annoying fly, not worthy of real attention.  Amazon’s Payment Team head Tom Taylor also told Recode that:

“…we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them and don’t have any plans within Amazon to engage bitcoin.”

As revealed by industry sources close to Amazon and hinted at by Amazon’s Payment Team, Amazon may be stepping into the financial sphere soon to contend with Visa/Mastercard/AMEX/Paypal, as opposed to just paying their usurious fees.  Some readers will remember that Amazon previously released Amazoncoins as part of a QE program to stimulate app development for their Kindles.  Amazon seems to have turned their back on Bitcoin; however, they are clearly still open to the concept of “Digital Currency.” Facebook just might be the same way.

Last modified: April 14, 2014 23:04 UTC

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Caleb is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Economics, East Asian Studies, and Mathematics. He is currently pursuing his MSc in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia.