On November 12, 2019, Bitcoin payments firm Fold announced that it now supports home-sharing giant Airbnb. Fold users will now get 3% back in Bitcoin (BTC) on every stay and experience booked on Airbnb.
Following the announcement, Airbnb was listed on Fold’s rewards program called “Fold Kickbacks”. The program supports Bitcoin’s second layer Lightning Network (LN), allowing users to buy gift cards for BTC worth $25 or $100 on the Fold website.
The Folds Kickback program was launched in July 2019 and currently supports some big retailers, including Amazon, Starbucks, and Uber.
However, the app only works in certain countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the UK. Fold expects to roll out more services in Europe in the near future.
On September 26, 2019, Fold raised funds in order to expand its platform with a fiat currency payment option. The new feature introduced a non-custodial way for users around the globe to transact with and spend their bitcoin.
Fold reportedly raised $2.5 million from the likes of Fulgur Ventures and CoinShares to add credit and debit card support in the newest version of its mobile app.
Upcoming Competition for Fold
While Fold is one of the most prominent bitcoin payment and reward providers offering BTC cashback on purchases, it is certainly not the only one as many other options that give crypto rewards are becoming available.
Fold’s largest competitor comes in the form of Lolli, a browser integration that allows you to earn BTC when shopping online.
Lolli has previously revealed they plan to rollout Lightning, and also unveiled support for major American grocery chain Safeway to provide customers with 3.5% cashback in Bitcoin on all their purchases.
In July 2019, Lolli CEO Alex Adelman told reporters that his firm was getting ready to launch a mobile app.
Lightning Network to Go Global?
The conversation around LN and its ability to cater to a global audience in a reliable manner have been non-stop for the last few years.
The network is currently under active development, with beta testing likely on the Bitcoin mainnet.
It goes without saying that if Lightning is to go mainstream, multiple platforms need to host it as a payment method.
Plans by lightning-friendly payment services such as Fold and Lolli to roll out Lightning could help its mass adoption, ensuring more companies start to accept a settlement in BTC.
According to Co-founder of CoinShares, Meltem Demirors, Fold currently holds a unique advantage because they promote non-custodial bitcoin use as well as the Lightning Network.