Fold, a company dedicated to adding accessibility and mainstream adoption of the Lightning Network, has announced that it is launching a new app following a wave of successful fundraising and new partnerships. Fold’s new app allows users to spend fiat via a credit debit card and earn bitcoin back on purchases with select retailers.
Will Reeves, the company’s CEO, announced the launch through a Medium post, which promised that the first to sign up will receive 100,000 free satoshis.
In July 2019, the gift-card-to-bitcoin exchange announced that it had become Lightning compatible. Later that month, it launched a “sats-back” program that rewarded users for shopping at certain retailers with bitcoin (via mainnet or the Lightning Network) with up to 20 percent back on certain purchases. This latest announcement adds fiat purchases to the sats-back program.
Adoption and Privacy Protection
The news follows a $2.5 million fundraise from investors like Craft Ventures, CoinShares and Slow Ventures. Fold plans to use the fresh capital to expand the operations of their kickback program, which currently includes retailers like Amazon, Uber, Starbucks and Hotels.com. The payout in satoshis, even if purchases are made in USD through the app, is intended to encourage even mainstream users to become more active in the Lightning Network.
The company has also taken a variety of measures to prioritize user anonymity, such as actively encouraging the use of independent wallets and a focus on purchasing prepaid cards. In addition to a mobile app launch, a press release claims that a desktop version of the Fold app will be arriving in October 2019.
Lolli, another crypto-based cashback platform, has a similar business model with some critical differences. Lolli has allowed users to earn satoshis back by using fiat purchases since its inception but does not have an infrastructure for allowing users to actually make the initial purchases with bitcoin. Still, by awarding users with BTC following their fiat purchases, Lolli is primed to expand the acceptance of bitcoin hodling among its users.