Irish startup Prypto is developing cryptocurrency scratch cards, which could be purchased from brick-and-mortar retailers. The idea behind this is to turn the intangible cryptocurrencies into a tangible physical product, which has been attempted before. In fact, BitBill even tried to patent the idea. Can Prypto succeed where others have failed? The idea of using scratch cards to physically transfer intangible assets is not new. They were once in widespread use for Pay as you Go mobile phone plans, and can still be purchased to this day.
As with any other scratch card, a customer will purchase the card from a physical retailer, reveal a code by scratching away the top layer, and then redeem the code inside. In the case of Prypto, customers will redeem their codes at the CryptoScratchCards.com website. They will then provide a wallet address for the Bitcoin balance to be sent to. Alternatively, Prypto have opened up a merchant system that would enable customers to redeem scratch card codes at online stores too. As of yet, we’re not aware of any stores actually doing this. Prypto also says it’s offering a service for online gaming platforms to support in-game cryptocurrency balances.
Prypto isn’t just offering bitcoin. It also supports Dogecoin, Litecoin, Peercoin, Worldcoin, MinCoin, Quarkcoin, Vertcoin, and Maxcoin. Each are available in a range of amounts. For example, CryptoCoinsNews reports that Dogecoin scratch cards are available in denominations as low as 1,000 and as high as 25,000 DOGE.
For those who are already in to cryptocurrencies, this could provide an easy way to start distributing it among their friends and family. Rather than saying to your non-techy contacts, “oh you’ll have to get a Bitcoin wallet, then I’ll give you a few bucks”, you can just order a scratch card and, for example, send it to someone in a birthday card.
In theory, Prypto offers a service that takes all of the electronic and online aspects out of exchanging cryptocurrency. However, this is not a new way in which to transfer cryptocurrencies on paper. BitAddress.org offers a low-tech (and least secure) of doing this and BitcoinPaperWallet.com offers an attractive solution that individuals can print themselves, and just order holographic non-tamper stickers. However, there are less solutions like that available for altcoins like Dogecoin.
While this sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. Prypto has published an investment pack (PDF) that states “Pricing will be determined by the current rate of exchange at the time of purchase + 20%”. The potential convenience of Prypto comes with a fee.