One of the simple uses of assets (tokens) is a gift card. A gift card is simply a pre-paid item or pre-paid value. You see them hanging in the grocery aisles and redeemable for $25 Cold Stone Ice Cream, $15 Starbucks, or $50 for Home Depot.
These cards you see are just a unique number that’s in a database. It is like a pre-paid Visa card, but only good at one retailer. As soon as that number is used, it debits the $ amount. Somebody has to run that database. Ravencoin does it better.
Ravencoin Tokens as Gift Cards
Ravencoin lets you create redeemable tokens or value. The tokens can represent whatever you’d like. Each 1CUP_LEMONADE token can represent one cup of lemonade when redeemed at the lemonade stand. Or, when the lemonade stand starts selling cookies a new 1COOKIE token could be used, or each 1USD_LEMONADE token could instead represent one US dollar when redeemed at the lemonade stand.
You, the token creator, determine the redemptive value of your token. I’d recommend that you take advantage of the branding power possible with the Ravencoin network, and create a really nice PDF about your goods or service and attach that via IPFS when you create your tokens. That way it is very transparent and obvious what your gift token represents.
Let’s extend the lemonade story.
Gift Card Branding
First, create a beautiful PDF of the lemonade stand, and an explanation of how each token is good for 1 cup of lemonade. This will serve to brand your business and to inform the token holder of what the associated token represents.
Add your PDF to IPFS. This will return an IPFS content identifier (aka hash). It will look like this: QmTqu3Lk3gmTsQVtjU7rYYM37EAW4xNmbuEAp2Mjr4AV7E
Keep a copy of your file. The Ravencoin network is keeping track of IPFS files for now, but that may not be true forever, so you might need to use a service to pin the file, or pin it yourself. You can always PIN it later, or again if you have the EXACT file.
Creating Gift Card Tokens
There are several ways to create your tokens. One of the easiest is at MangoFarmAssets.com, but you can also use the Ravencoin core client, or one of the RVN Mobile Wallets.
Now, we choose how many tokens we want to create. We think our lemonade stand is going to be massively successful, so we will create 1 billion 1CUP_LEMONADE tokens. We have big franchising plans, so we’re going to leave it re-issuable just in case we need to create another billion tokens. Also, we don’t want to sell 1/2 cups of lemonade, so we’re going to set the Units to 0, so the tokens are not divisible. If we instead did 1USD_LEMONADE that represents a dollar at our lemonade stand, then we’d probably choose Units as 2, so that we have two decimal places and can divide to 0.01 (a penny).
Enter that IPFS hash here to link your PDF to the token on creation.
Now we, as the owner of the lemonade stand business, have 1 billion non-divisible tokens that each represent a cup of lemonade. We’re ready to sell them online, or in person.
Receiving a Gift Card
The recipient of the gift card needs a Ravencoin wallet. They could use the RVN Wallet for mobile, but those require syncing, and that can get frustrating if you’re waiting in the hot sun for a cup of lemonade, so I’d suggest either using MangoFarmAssets.com wallet on mobile, or Zelcore wallet. These are faster. The community is working on another quick wallet for Ravencoin assets, but it’s not ready yet. The recipient shows their Ravencoin address barcode or enters a Ravencoin address (when buying online), and the 1CUP_LEMONADE token is delivered.
Redeeming Gift Card
At every one of our lemonade stands, the highly-trained staff displays a QR code of a Ravencoin address that the customer scans when they hit [Send] on the 1CUP_LEMONADE token, and seconds later they’re sipping on sweet lemonade. A tiny bit of RVN is needed to send the gift card tokens. The easiest is if the gift-card issuer sends a tiny bit (0.005 RVN) to each gift-card holder.
Gifting a Gift Card
With gift cards, it sometimes pays to buy in bulk. Buy five, get one free, and that sort of thing. If you want to give a gift card to someone else and keep some for yourself, just send one the same way you’d send it to the lemonade stand. The recipient gets their own Ravencoin wallet (MangoFarmAssets, Zelcore, Ravencoin Core, RVN Wallet), and displays their QR code to the gifter, and receives their lemonade gift token.
Why is RVN needed?
The network is powered by RVN, so a tiny amount of RVN is needed to send. The need to think about it can be automated away with a GAS station. This would be a script that runs and sends a tiny amount of RVN to any holder of 1CUP_LEMONADE. 0.005 RVN should be enough to send a gift token.
The Future of Gift Cards
This isn’t ready yet, but I’d like to paint the picture because I think it is coming. Open your phone, search for Lemonade, and up pops the custom Sandy’s Lemonade Gift Card app. This custom app is really just a simplified Ravencoin wallet with a custom icon, custom colors, custom lemonade stand logo, and limited to just RVN, 1CUP_LEMONADE, and 1COOKIE tokens. There’s no need to carry a bunch of easy-to-lose cards. And the app is custom to the store and its two gift card tokens. This can be done with a customized thin-client wallet. There may be a small up-front cost to customize the app and put it into the Apple and Play Store, but now your store has its own mobile app.