Switzerland’s crypto boom has entered another dimension with retailers rolling out Bitcoin (BTC) vouchers and gift cards.
According to Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger, Manor — the country’s largest department store chain — is already selling Bitcoin voucher cards in 59 of its branches.
Meanwhile, the retail giant Valora will begin selling BTC gift cards in its kiosks across the country starting April 1.
Dubbed “Cryptonow,” the Bitcoin vouchers are from the stables of Värdex Suisse, a cryptocurrency financial services firm. Värdex is also a subsidiary of major Swiss crypto exchange Bitcoin Suisse.
According to Simon Grylka, head of operations at Värdex, Cryptonow offers a simple onboarding channel for would-be cryptocurrency adopters daunted by the usual avenues for acquiring virtual currency. For Grylka, the Cryptonow voucher is akin to digital gold coins.
The Cryptonow voucher cards will be available in three different variants ranging from 100 to 500 francs ($107 to $535). The Värdex Bitcoin gift card product is coming amid continued growth in Switzerland’s crypto and blockchain industry.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the top-50 blockchain firms in the Crypto Valley are up more than 680% in value since mid-2020.
With merchant adoption of BTC still growing, Cryptonow owners are limited in how to spend their Bitcoin gift cards.
Presently, the options available to them would be to redeem the vouchers via an exchange service or sell the BTC amount loaded on the card using one of the 70 Bitcoin ATMs operated by Värdex.
However, with the fixed and marginal fees charged by the retailers for acquiring the cards, Cryptonow in its present iteration seems mostly to be a novelty way of acquiring Bitcoin.
While there are several avenues that offer crypto-to-gift card trading, Cryptonow is one of the first products that offer gift cards loaded with cryptocurrency.
The use of gift cards to purchase cryptocurrency is popular in the peer-to-peer trading arena especially in jurisdictions with underdeveloped financial services infrastructure.