Gogocoin is a new Bitcoin startup that will offer easy-to-redeem gift cards for Bitcoins at retailers worldwide. In exchange for local currency, users will be able to enter retail stores and buy Bitcoins. The cards are then redeemed at http://redeem.bitcoin.com where a wallet is instantly created on blockchain.info, and the coins arrive at spot rate minus a 7% fee. Tom Longson, Gogocoin’s founder, first became involved in Bitcoin in 2011 when he began mining. He then created his first Bitcoin site in 2012. That same year, Tom Longson’s wife started accepting Bitcoin at her bakery – called Cups and Cakes Bakery – in San Francisco, CA. This sparked his interest in how Bitcoin and retail can coexist. He saw early on the potential and started thinking of ways of bringing Bitcoin to mainstream retail.
Cups and Cakes Bakery started receiving global attention when it began accepting Bitcoin. “In April of 2013 my wife’s business took off because of Bitcoin,” explained Tom. “She was interviewed by WSJ, Forbes, Financial Times of London, the BBC, CBS This Morning, Marketplace Money, and Al Jazeera, as well as reporters from around the world. In the fall of that year, I quit my job at Sony to build the startup into something real. This year we joined 500 Startups and went live with our Bitcoin Gift Card, and are rolling out many more stores in the United States.”
In order to comply with existing regulations, Gogocoin does identity checks to verify that the person redeeming the card is not deceased or on the OFAC list. Currently cards are being sold in California, and the team is working with CoinComply, a compliance solution provider for digital currency companies, to meet regulation across the United States on a state-by-state basis. Gogogcoin will first rollout in California and Texas and has plans to launch in emerging markets worldwide.
Tom Longson is bullish on the future of Bitcoin, and when asked about what the future for Bitcoin held he responded, “Wall street and Mainstream adoption. The market is still tiny, and has a massive upside for the world. I’m sure some big changes in protocols will help make that happen.”
Look forward to getting Bitcoins becoming as easy as buying a giftcard with Gogocoin.
Gavin Knight for CEX.IO