[Note: This article was published on April Fool's Day.]
ChangeTip just announced a product called ChangeTip SCAN that offers a new way for people to convert dollars to Bitcoin.
The company that gives many new users their first experience with bitcoin through social tipping is providing another way for people to easily convert paper fiat money into digital money. ChangeTip SCAN is an iPhone case combined with an app that syncs with one’s account allowing purchasing digital currencies, and then adding them directly to the user’s ChangeTip wallet.
“We’re always looking at new ways to make it easier to purchase bitcoin. Most of our users got their first taste of bitcoin as a tip sent to them on one of our ten social media channels that we support,” says Product Manager Dan Held.
ChangeTip kept the development under tight wraps. They hope the product will reduce the friction that people face when trying to acquire bitcoin. Dan Held calls it an “interplay of hardware and software.” Victoria van Eyk, Head of Community Development says,
“We’ve been keeping this under wraps for a while, because it’s quite a controversial project. However, we believe the value of Bitcoin is pushing the envelope in ways that benefit society—and this is one of them.”
Since they launched in November, ChangeTip has added several ways for users to easily top up their tipping accounts, including ACH transfers directly from their bank account to their ChangeTip wallet, and the ability to replenish their balance from other popular bitcoin wallets. Recently, another service called TipUp.me also allows users to use a credit or debit card to purchase bitcoin.
Held says that they still “wanted to go a step further” toward enabling mainstream adoption.
To Christian Williams, Head of User Experience, direct bank purchases still produced “too much friction.” He says they wanted to create an “instantaneous way to transfer debt-backed currency into an instant asset.” While they only support iPhones along with conversion of USD with this first version, cases that support other phones and fiat currencies are expected in the future.
ChangeTip SCAN for the iPhone is available to pre-order now and costs $199 + tax, and can be purchased with bitcoin. They are working on an Android version that will be available soon. More resources and a FAQ page can be found on their website.