I'm making an iPhone app that will allow people to pay for goods with Bitcoins. I'm trying to figure out how to make this process as seamless as possible and I have a couple of questions. Is there any good information out there on this? What's the best way to send a payment from an iPhone? From my current understanding of Bitcoin, I have the following options:
Use something like the Coinbase payment button. Since my app will most likely be based on PhoneGap, this should be easy to add. The problem with this? It requires an external wallet app to scan the QR code and make the payment. Since this is on an iPhone that doesn't run multiple apps simultaneously, this is pretty much a no-go.
Build my own Bitcoin client into my app. In other words, my app would have an integrated wallet client with it's own address(es) that the user can transfer money into using a client of their choice. When making a payment in the app, they'd enter their passphrase to unlock the private key and the money is transferred. Problem with this is of course that it may be a lot of work, and greatly increases the complexity of my app, since I pretty much have to provide an entire wallet application. There might be frameworks out there that solve this, but I'd still have to design my own app screens to make everything seamless.
Use an external wallet client via URI scheme. This would work similar to how logging in with Facebook works right now. We direct the user to a special URI starting with "bitcoin:" that contains the destination address and the amount, like this bitcoin:1NS17iag9jJgTHD1VXjvLCEnZuQ3rJEDGL?amount=20.3X8. An application registered to handle this URI scheme (such as a wallet app) would open and show a confirm payment dialog. The user would enter their passphrase there and send the payment, and the be redirected to my app.
Obviously, no. 3 is by far my favorite solution, but does it work? Are there any wallet apps out there that implement this functionality? I've seen some posts on here saying that Apple doesn't allow apps that make Bitcoin payments in their store, is this true? What's the current state on this? If there isn't a good way to make this work on iPhone, I might have to go Android first. Does anyone have info on the state of Bitcoin there? I've never had an Android so I'd rather work with a platform that I know, but I'll switch if I have to.
I added the app to my iphone. I had bitcoin (very small amount...late adopter) but no cash. Wanted to get some cigarettes and alcohol,classy I know. Bought a CVS giftcard via Gyft. Went into the store (Long's in Hawaii, CVS owned). Lines were long because of the holidays. Get to the front and ask if they take CVS giftcards, the cashier says, "yes". Order some cigarettes and I bust out my phone and the girl scans it twice with no luck. Have that awful feeling like I'm a horrible person for holding up the line...But I ask her to type it in just in case...but she scans it one more time instead. Bam I'm in business, the card works!!!. I then proceed to go back into the shop then buy more stuff with the remaining balance...and the cashier is like whoa that's cool, never having seen someone pay with a phone ,along with everyone in line. Main point?? Beats waiting a week for coinbase to debit my shit so I can buy some shit with my money.
Text extract from TBI's Daily Bit http://two-bit-idiot.tumblr.com/post/97100768474/bitcoin-is-inferior-to-apple-pay Last week I wrote about the big Apple payments reveal and how I believed it was a net negative for Bitcoin. I’ll double down on that argument today in the wake of the introduction of the iPhone 6, Apple Pay and Apple Watch (which I’m more excited about than the iPad, although I’m sure the first version will suck), and I’ll explain why mobile commerce and point-of-sale retail will probably be crappy areas for bitcoin companies to invest in going forward — especially if they operate in a developed economy. But first, the good news… Apple is going to have a monumental impact in converting people from their leather wallets to mobile ones. That will be true for both mobile purchases and PoS commerce. Tens if not hundreds of millions of global consumers are probably going to use the iPhone’s new mobile wallet in the future and thousands of large merchants will invest in the mobile and physical infrastructure to capture that new business. So thank you Apple for helping mobile wallets “tip” to the mainstream. That’s good for your company, good for your users, and maybe even good for bitcoin, the currency, which could easily become another Apple Pay payment method in the future. It’s not so good for bitcoin as a payment rail, though. In fact, I had to scratch my head a bit at the derision so many bitcoiners directed towards Apple in the wake of the formal announcement today. At first glance, Apple’s new bet on “tokenization” systems from leading payment technology companies like FirstData, TSYS and Visa appears to solve many of the same security issues as bitcoin. Apple added a “secure element” chip to its new phone, which encrypts card credentials and spits that information out to merchants via near-field communication in the form of new randomly generated account numbers - kind of like bitcoin’s public keys. Apple never touches the information (although I’m sure the NSA will make them create a backdoor), so the transaction information settles between the merchant and the user’s bank as it normally would - with a drastically reduced risk for fraud or theft. Anonymous? No. Secure and convenient? Yes. How quick we are to forget that killer apps in payments are about speed, convenience and security, not anonymity per se. Most of us (myself included) won’t care that our banks can still track our spending habits. I just don’t want Target losing my card info, and I want my breakfast burrito 30 seconds faster at the McDonald’s drive thru. Apple Pay is going to allow a) instant transactions with b) better security at c) cheaper costs to merchants (my bet), and you’re telling me that bitcoin still has a shot at being a better B2C payment rail anytime soon? I’m not buying it. All this said, there are some pretty big caveats here. I still believe there are many other applications for which bitcoin is superior - particularly in the developing world and for the underbanked. There is also a massive B2B opportunity to build applications which facilitate cross-border transactions that require currency conversions. Even though remittance applications might still be some time away from regulatory or legal viability, bitcoin is still a pretty sweet peer-to-peer, informal settlement method as well. In a world with Apple Pay, it would be nice to see the major bitcoin wallets and payment processors focus on these applications in addition to the niche B2C mobile experiences that bitcoin is uniquely qualified to handle - micro-transactions, m-of-n transactions, etc. I just don’t see Bitcoin payment technology taking off otherwise as a non-gimmicky B2C payments solution. I got a pretty big kick out of Xapo’s Wences Casares and his quote from his recent interview with The Verge where he called B2C bitcoin commerce a “side show for idiots.” I hope that sentiment becomes more mainstream. It’s healthy because it’s true. I, for one, plan to use Apple Pay — not bitcoin — for next year’s Uber rides. Apple has simply done it better.* Again. *I think. There’s an obvious part two to this post, which is also a good follow-up from my post yesterday. It has to do with bitcoin’s health as an investment. I’ll work on it tonight and shoot to post Thursday. Tomorrow I’m going to talk about our friends at NYDFS. Speaking of bitcoin companies and Apple, I’m interested to see how / whether Gyft gets integrated into Apple Pay given First Data’s recent acquisition. I have no idea. Haven’t given it much thought, but seems like there could be interesting possibilities. Final thought on bitcoin for B2C commerce. It’s going to take a while to actually gobble up the raw merchant data, but I think Overstock presents an early and telling case study about the over-optimism of bitcoin as a sustainable source of commerce. Remember when Patrick Byrne said that he expected bitcoin to drive $15-20 million in year one sales for Overstock back in the first quarter? He did scope shift earlier this summer by highlighting that bitcoin would add $0.04 to earnings, while quietly updating his bitcoin sales forecast to “as much as $8 million.” That’s a 50% reduction at least and it reflects anecdotally what we already know to be true: merchants get a bitcoin marketing bump initially, but it might not be a sustainably attractive payment method. Final, final thought. I’m still a bitcoin mega-bull, but I’m also a realist. Text extract from TBI's Daily Bit *Entrepreneur, former VC & Bitcoin's "most insightful journalist" according to the lucite on my desk... Mt. Gox slayer and BTC Foundation irritant... Other than that, I stay away from scandals.# http://two-bit-idiot.tumblr.com/post/97100768474/bitcoin-is-inferior-to-apple-pay
For our first transaction we paid to renew our domain via directnic who uses gocoin to process. We used an iphone with our blockchain app to scan a qr code on our desktop screen and hit send. When we made the payment nothing happened on the desktop screen. Checked blockchain and payment was sent but not confirmed. Emailed directnic support to find out what happened. They said they needed to research it, asked us for a transaction link and about a day later they renewed our domain. Not sure what happened there but we were glad to be able to point a vendor to a definitive proof of payment.
For our second transaction we went to Gyft to buy a gift card for our girls for Thanksgiving. Same problem as before, nothing happening on screen (except this time there was a nerve-racking countdown clock :) and again vendor claiming no payment received. We forward the transaction to support, they said we would get a refund. Still no refund received after about 2 weeks.
both of these payment processes time out in 15 minutes for some reason. Maybe it needs to be longer?
we're excited to see United Way, Save the Children and other charities add Bitcoin donation options. Glad we could lead the way :)
our Coinbase button broke recently. With Bitpay adding Microsoft we're thinking of switching to them.
we're going to use a new donation address for each year. (Just update?)
we just a paid $600(!) transaction fee for a large credit card donation. 7 days later, the processobank is still holding all the funds.
we also received a large donation on a good old paper check which was going to be held for over a week by our bank...unless we called the person's bank, confirmed by phone the funds were available, called the bank back to put them in touch with the same person....etc...then finally received funds.
While we did hit some bumps paying with Bitcoin, having a public transaction that we can point a vendor to was very empowering. Obviously, we had zero problems receiving ANY Bitcoin donations. So now we really wish all our donors used bitcoin and all our vendors used bitcoins so that we wouldn't have to get wrapped up in banking red tape. Merry Christmas Bitcoiners! edit: formattting
Use GYFT WITH BITCOIN on iPhone by loading the cards in a VIRTUAL ANDROID DEVICE!!!
Here's how it's done: Go here and download a VM image: http://androvm.org/blog/download/ I chose this one: vbox86tp version with gapps & houdini & flash : AndroVM_vbox86tp_4.1.1_r6.1-20130222-gapps-houdini-flash.ova Why Houdini & Flash? No fucking clue! :D So then go here: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads ... and get yourself hooooked the fuck up with whatever your OS flavor is! Run one in the other. Get it all set up with whatever your lame-ass google account is. Then use its app store equivalent(play store?) to get gyft. Sometimes it doesnt work, sometimes it does. IF IT DOESNT WORK: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gyft.android This page, in my firefox browser(not on the VM, but on the PC running the VM), somehow magically detected that I had this weirdass fake virtual android device plugged in. And it allowed me to download. Then just sign into whatever the gyft account is on your iphone and use gyft's bitcoin feature to raise some serious gift-card havok on your account, and watch the cards appear on your iphone once you have purchased them! TL;DR: run androvm in virtualbox to load up your gyft acct with bitcoin gift cards edit: OMG CAKEDAY!!! Just noticed!
Burger King Wouldn't Accept BK Gift Card on my Gyft App!
As a means of demonstrating to a friend the process of using bitcoin to buy gift cards on my iOS Gyft app, I bought a $10 Burger King gift card a few days ago. Yesterday, I went into BK and when she gave me the total, I pulled out my iphone and showed her the gift card with the number and everything. The cashier didn't know what the hell to do, so she called her manager over, and she was just as clueless. They couldn't/wouldn't take it, so I paid cash.
Pheeva extends it lead as best bitcoin wallet for iphone/iOS
Many bitcoin users seem to be unaware that there is a elegant, fast, secure, and feature-filled wallet available for the iphone / iOS called Pheeva. The app is everything you would expect visually for a polished iphone app and the wallet has previously included leading mobile wallet features such as integration with onename.io for addressing. Today Pheeva released a new version of the app called Pheeva Plus that is now fully integrated with Gyft. You can now seamlessly purchase Gyft cards on your iphone using bitcoin with Pheeva (something that you can't do on the Gyft app for iOS). Pheeva does not require a jailbreak of your iPhone. Instead, it uses an exception to the app store policy that allows non profits to distribute apps to its members. Therefore to download Pheeva, you need to go through a quick registration with the CoG coop at http://cogcoop.com. After that, it is a normal install. Some on this reddit have complained that Pheeva isn't open source and the use of the app does require that you trust its developer Lamar Wilson. All I can say is that Lamar is not asking you to store your life savings on Pheeva. He has done us a favor by making it available for free as a hot wallet for everyday purchases. I have used it for several months and have complete confidence in it and CoG. Its development is a great example of some talented person in the bitcoin community solving a problem that many of us face (Apple's antagonism to bitcoin). If you are paranoid, buy an android. If you like the iPhone, you have a great option in Pheeva that got even better today. Looks like more to come. Full disclosure: I am simply a satisfied user and have no relationship to Pheeva or CoG. I have never met Lamar Wilson but he has made his full contact details available on this reddit if you want to reach out to him
On Friday, Barry Silbert tweeted his "wish list" of the top five companies he hoped would soon accept bitcoin, and asked his followers which merchants were in their top five. Some of the most popular responses were Amazon, Target, Whole Foods, and Zappos, which ironically are all companies that work with Gyft, the mobile gift card company that is probably the industry's most crucial and useful consumer bitcoin app. One of bitcoin's biggest challenges is its lack of clear consumer use cases today. Unless you are a crypto-anarchist who is willfully "opting out" of the traditional banking / credit system, a privacy nut, a black market consumer, a bitcoin paper millionaire who spends bitcoin as a diversification strategy, or a prolific micro-tipper, you are better off using a debit or credit card for your day to day commerce. Said another way, bitcoin simply doesn't make sense for 99% of consumers. I saw this first hand last week when I paid for dinner at a bitcoin-friendly sushi restaurant in my neighborhood. I transferred the $72.88 due through the merchant's BitPay account with bitcoin from a Coinbase wallet that appeared to be worth $73.24. Sure, that $0.36 "surcharge" might only be a half percent, but when you add it to the 1% cash back I was foregoing (2-3% for some credit cards that have better restaurant rewards), the merchant's bitcoin savings were simply additional costs incurred by me. I was spending bitcoin that had appreciated 30% in the past week and it annoyed me; how would consumers interested in a more stable bitcoin feel about that hidden fee? Of course, I was at one of the few restaurants in my city that accepts bitcoin period. Forbes' Kashmir Hill demonstrated (for the second year in a row) how difficult it still is for any bitcoin enthusiast to live life without cash or credit cards. Hill's week using nothing but bitcoin in San Francisco showcased how there are not yet any reliable transportation vendors, point of sale systems or ATMs to make life on bitcoin truly viable. Instead, she spent much of her first post praising the existence of Gyft and its role as the bitcoin consumer's bridge to the non-speculative investment (aka "real") world where bitcoin can be used. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/05/06/living-on-bitcoin-a-year-later-will-it-be-easie) Gyft has, in fact, solved many of the early consumer use case problems for bitcoin. For starters, the company's mobile app has not been banned by Apple, making it usable for the millions of iOS faithful who might not exchange their iPhone simply to dabble with a new payment technology. Gyft also offers a 3% credit on bitcoin purchases, passing the cost savings back to the consumer and ensuring that I'll never see a surcharge for using bitcoin through Gyft as I will at my sushi restaurant. Finally, Hill outlined the life-saving utility of Gyft during her week-long experiment - gift cards to CVS, ride-sharing service Lyft, Fandango, etc. - that stems from its partnerships with over 200 retailers. Hill said it best: "Gyft is a very easy way to convert Bitcoin into usable money — without ever actually turning it into cash and paying the 1% fee charged by exchangers like Coinbase and Bitpay. Gyft absorbs that conversion fee for consumers, and at a lower rate due to its volume." Are there any other consumer applications that even come close to encouraging greater consumer adoption of bitcoin?
An easy way to import private keys on the iPhone would really help with adoption (more importantly, adoption of spenders), and here's why:
I have found the best way to show someone how easy it is to spend bitcoin is as follows. Take out a paper wallet (of which I always am carrying a few around), pull out my phone, and send it a balance. They're impressed at how easy I funded it, and then have questions about how there is now value on that piece of paper. Next step is to show them how they would spend it. I show them how easy it is to spend at a few different sites, and explain how its used in person. Everyone seems to like how easy it is to buy a gyft gift card. They walk away with their new paper wallet, and an interest in bitcoin. I left out one part though. The hang up is showing them how to get from their paper wallet, to the seemingly functional wallet I am demoing on my phone. If I could quickly show them an app to download, and a way to scan in the private key, it would go a long way. Currently the only option is the blockchain.info app, but it is so buggy. The "scan private key" button is below the archived addresses, which means I have to explain "oh, there is a bug in this app, you have to first archive one of your addresses for the button you need to show up." Always turns people off. Next problem is the "from" field under the "new transaction tab." I have many addresses, but when using the arrows to scroll through, they don't all show up. Sometimes I have to go through the full loop of my addresses 5 times before the address I need will decide to show up in the app. When this happens as they sit there, its quite a turn off. Lastly, its hard to talk about small transaction fees when the transaction fee is fixed at .0005 btc on blockchain's iPhone app. Thats 37.5 cents right now! Very hard to show someone how to move $1 around with a 50% fee after telling them how low fees are. Worse yet, I've seen some reports that occasionally the app leaves off a transaction fee all together, just randomly, and then important transactions sit in limbo. Lastly, the less registration needed for this low-value demonstration the better. I.e. if an exchange had an app with private-key import functionality, that obviously wouldn't help a quick street demo on their phone. tl;dr if I could quickly show someone how to import a private key on their iPhone, it would remove the rate limiting step in getting new people excited about spending bitcoin.
I discovered bitcoins back in April during a crazy (at the time) surge. I got right to mining because why the hell not? Get paid to let my computer sit around and think, yes please. I made a wallet with the full BlockChain desktop program. It took days to authenticate or do something, I still don't really know what it did. I also found slush's pool and started getting my first shares. Everything was cool and I was loving the ideas that came with bitcoin. Single international currency, anonymity, infinitely divisible, instant payments, and best of all (for me at least) no physical medium. Shit is the future, but I didn't know how to put that wallet on an iPhone, I was stupid, still am. So I made a new wallet somewhere else that had a step by step for getting set up with the BlockChain iPhone app. I put the wallet.json thing on an external HDD because I'm not dumb. I'm not going to loose my valuable bitcoins just as I'm getting going. Also I was reading that it was good to have multiple wallets in case something happens to your computer, or whatever else you have it saved on. I put it away and didn't really think anything of it until I was looking through my history on slush's pool. holy shit I have a third of a coin on there :D I should fire up the hdd and merge the wallets and shop around on gyft. They are doing nothing just sitting there. I do just that and I'm just confused at what I see, well it looks like someone formatted the drive and just used it to mule a bunch of movies around. We went to the beach the first week of August, I made sure we had a rainy day plan. I for whatever reason felt the need to format away a tiny file to make room for a couple of movies. Smart move past me. high five I'm only writing this because I just finished ripping the apartment apart looking for anything I may have written down about it in the past hour, I saw the site that can possibly crack the wallet if you can give them most of the info. I didn't pick the key since that was arguably insecure. It's some ungodly random string of shit. So it's gone forever, no arguments here, it's part of the design and I understand that, now. My current wallet though, I think I got it covered. The wallet.dat is saved in 3 physical locations and I have the paper wallets that represent them printed out in a firebox and at my parents house. My bitcoins aren't getting away this time! Still mining away, still watching them climb to the moon. Also waiting for some places around here to accept some so I can really take part in the badass future currency. TL:DR iPhones are too hard for me therefore I threw a third of a bitcoin away so we would have some movies to watch just in case it rained.
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Follow Us! https://twitter.com/prtechreviews Visit our website! prtechreviews.weebly.com Gyft is an app that helps you keep your plastic gift cards on your s... June 19, 2014 -- Sacramento, California -- MadBitcoins: Probably the best MadBitcoins in the world. DC Travel Update! We're taking this show on the road! MadBitcoins is going to Washington D.C ... AppValley Link: https://goo.gl/PAhWGk Do you want to know how to mine bitcoin on your iphone? This app allows you to mine cryptocurrency on your phone with n... http://coinrepublic.com Vinny Lingham is the CEO and co-founder of the site Gyft, a gift card registry and sales site. In this interview, Vinny explains why ... 7 iPhone Settings You Need To Turn Off Now - Duration: 6:33. ... Gyft Tutorial - How to Use Gyft App with Bitcoin - Duration: 2:11. MCKingJames Recommended for you. 2:11. Gadget Organization ...