Purse And ShapeShift Allow Users To Shop With Ether

On January 23, 2017, Purse.io launched the Android version of their app following the iOS release last November. Purse is an e-wallet and e-commerce marketplace that allows users to buy items on Amazon at a discount. When they launched in 2014, Purse only accepted bitcoin (BTC). It was not until April 2015, when the company partnered with blockchain asset exchange platform ShapeShift, that users could convert Ether (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies into bitcoin (BTC) and purchase and sell goods with ease.

Purse offers their cryptocurrency users discounted shopping on Amazon, which prohibits gift card holders from transferring gift card balances. Purse capitalizes on this restriction by allowing their users to turn their gift card balances into a spendable cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Shoppers with bitcoin create an Amazon wish list through the Purse app and an “Earner” (an Amazon gift card holder) purchases the items on the wishlist with their gift card. The “Earner” then receives that amount in the form of cryptocurrency, minus Purse’s “Earner” premium of 15-25 percent. 

When placing an order on Purse, users have a “Name your discount” savings option, which allows for users to decide how much of a percentage they want off the original listed price on Amazon. Requested discounts are strictly between 5-30 percent. Higher discounts require longer shipping times and lower discounts provide faster shipping. After an order has been placed, Purse holds the funds in escrow and verifies that purchases have been made, shipped, and delivered. Once Purse has verified that an Earner has successfully delivered an item, they release the cryptocurrency funds, fulfilling the transaction for all parties. Because credit cards and PayPal are incompatible with Purse’s blockchain escrows, bitcoin (BTC) is required for all transactions. ShapeShift’s integration allows users to convert their cryptocurrency of choice into bitcoin (BTC) and receive the same discounts and service.

Purse also has a Purchase Merchant platform for individuals wishing to buy and sell goods to users directly. This option allows sellers to transact peer-to-peer without an intermediary like Amazon while still accepting a cryptocurrency. Additionally, Purse’s referral and rewards programs grant users the ability to explore business affiliate revenue models as a way to partner and generate income. Users can also easily track personal savings displayed prominently on individual profile pages.

Steven Mckie, Purse’s Head of Growth & Product Content, explained why the ShapeShift integration was important:

“The addition of Shapeshift allows Purse to leverage the growing adoption of outside crypto communities. Successful cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Dash, Monero - have their own unique communities and initiatives to advance adoption. We saw an opportunity to provide those individuals access to the same great service bitcoin users already enjoy, while not having to bare the burden of maintaining individuals wallet systems for each crypto that wanted to use Purse.”

With Android users now able to take full advantage of Purse’s discounts, the company aims to further their growth for 2017 and beyond.

“We're focused on improving the Purse shopping experience this quarter: making order processing more seamless, improving our mobile apps, expanding our Merchants offering, and making our APIs (Application Program Interface) available for developers to access all our features and products. It's gonna be a lot of fun.”

To see how Purse works, check out their video.