This holiday season, shopping patterns show signs that cryptocurrencies are becoming part of the mainstream economy. Sales of leather wallets, a popular gift during the festive season, are declining. Shoppers are more interested in digital wallets to store their growing stash of cryptocurrencies and tokens.
If your wish list includes a popular RFID-blocking wallet in genuine cowhide leather, maybe you should go digital, instead. Digital wallets provide a new level of security and financial management capabilities. All your digital assets and accounts—from bank accounts and credit/debit cards to crypto tokens—can be securely managed electronically in a digital wallet. RFID wallets, on the other hand, are a hot trend driven by false security. No RFID identity or credit card theft has ever been reported, according to the cyber security experts at csoonline.com.
Digital wallets are moving onto the Blockchain to make your financial life theft- and fraud-proof. E-wallets are less likely to get lost—unless you lose your private keys, and even then they could be recoverable—and harder to steal. While they are not entirely immune from cyber crime, online thieves and frauds leave a digital footprint on the Blockchain ledger that hosts more and more digital wallets. Each transaction is stored on a transparent and trackable digital ledger making it easier to catch cyber crime in its digital tracks.
Bread, one of the earliest digital wallets, has gone a step further by operating as a truly decentralised, mobile app. The digital wallet does not operate from a web service such as competitors Coinbase and Blockchain.info, but instead transacts directly with the Blockchain via a mobile device, reducing the risk of system failure.
Many digital wallets are free. Giving a loved one some crypto tokens from a digital wallet initial coin offering (ICO) is a novel gift idea spiked with the potential future growth in value of the tokens. A plethora of new crypto wallets are competing on cryptocurrency trading fees, rewards and perks.
One way digital wallets are differentiating themselves is by turning into one-stop financial services shops. Bread (formerly, the ‘Bread wallet’) is the first digital wallet to store and trade all major cryptocurrencies and ERC20-compliant tokens. Beyond serving as a cryptocurrency purse, Bread is developing into a full fledged decentralised, digital financial institution.
Eating your cake, too
With over 1,300 cryptocurrencies now available, gifting a digital wallet that only holds Bitcoin is analogous to buying a wallet with only one credit card slot or no compartment for bills. Smart wallets like Bread are becoming a multi-purpose cryptocurrency purse. With over 800 tokens issued to date through ICOs, demand is high for crypto wallets that can store and trade them.
The next frontier for digital wallets is adding more financial services to crypto and fiat money management. Bread has already moved into financial services. Today, 750,000 digital currency users in over 140 countries use the Bread digital wallet. Services include direct deposit, payment services, money transfer, P2P lending, escrow and portfolio management. The digital wallet is now adding rewards, a popular marketing feature among banks.
Virtual wallets and rewards
Finally, and best of all, while leather wallets wear out after a year or two, digital wallet ICOs supply a financial asset with price appreciation potential in the form of tokens. Rewards, in the form of more tokens, are an integral component of most initial coin offerings. Like banks and airlines, digital wallets can develop repeat customers through loyalty rewards, a model recently adopted by Bread. As investor/owners, token holders are also incentivized to engage in promotional activities that increase business and, by extension, the value of their tokens.
Bread has decided to offer a few crumbs of its own—no pun intended. The cryptocurrency wallet has launched an initial coin offering called the Bread token, or BRD. Bread Rewards which are, in fact, Bread tokens, have been distributed through Bread’s initial coin offering.
The utility of the Bread Token will expand over time and include exclusive access to features and various perks. This includes a ‘large’ discount when trading in Bitcoin or Ethereum. Unlike most reward programs, Bread Rewards, or Bread tokens, never expire. Following the ICO, Bread tokens can also be earned by participating in marketing surveys or promoting Bread on social media.
It is not too late to gift some Bread tokens, but if you missed the ICO you will need to obtain them through a reward program or on an exchange. The Bread token pre-sale of $12 million worth of digital coins sold out after four days. The official ICO was fully funded on its launch date, December 16th, which sold another $20 million in Bread tokens. Unlike a traditional IPO or venture capital, investors do not have to wait to sell or distribute ICO tokens, so they could still show up in your holiday stocking.
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