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Värdex launches CryptoNow Bitcoin gift cards in Switzerland

Cryptocurrency gift cards are a simple onboarding channel for would-be cryptocurrency adopters who are often daunted by other avenues 

Swiss daily news outlet Tages-Anzeiger reported that the country’s largest department store chain, Manor, has begun selling Bitcoin voucher cards in 59 branches across Switzerland. In first-of-its-kind evidence of the increasing crypto adoption, Bitcoin gift cards add another dimension to Switzerland’s crypto boom.  Retail giant Valora has also stated that it will begin selling BTC vouchers and gift cards in its kiosks from 1 April.

The Bitcoin vouchers, called “Cryptonow”, have been developed by Värdex Suisse, a cryptocurrency financial services firm. Värdex, a subsidiary of major Swiss crypto exchange Bitcoin Suisse, also operates the country’s largest crypto ATM network, local OTC exchange points and is currently innovating in the crypto voucher cards area and distributing gift cards through its official reseller network in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Simon Grylka, head of operations at Värdex, pitched Cryptonow as a simple onboarding channel for would-be cryptocurrency adopters who are often daunted by other avenues for acquiring virtual currency. The Cryptonow voucher is akin to digital gold coins, the executive said. The Cryptonow voucher cards will be available in three different variants with the cost of each card ranging from 100 to 500 francs i.e., $107 to $535.

The Värdex Bitcoin gift card product is being launched amid the increasing growth and familiarity of the crypto and blockchain industry in Switzerland. The top-50 blockchain firms in the crypto valley have grown by over 680% in value since mid-2020, a Cointelegraph report recently said.

However, as merchant adoption of Bitcoin is still limited, Cryptonow owners have restricted avenues where they can spend their gift cards. Presently, they can either redeem the voucher via an exchange service and encash/ trade with the cryptocurrency or they can sell the BTC amount loaded on the card using one of the 70 Bitcoin ATMs operated by Värdex.

Despite its advantages, considering the fixed and marginal fees charged by the retailers for acquiring these cards, Cryptonow currently seems only a novel way of acquiring Bitcoin. However, its USP lies in the fact that it is one of the first products to offer gift cards loaded with cryptocurrency as opposed to the already present options that only offer crypto-to-gift card trading.

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