Proposal | Unlocking the $160 Billion Gift Card Market


[VOTING HAS ENDED] Please click here for our latest Community Update Proposal | NEM Community Fund (NCF) | 1 of 3

Here’s how to vote in 3 steps:

  1. Review our proposal below

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Here’s why everyone should vote YES: is a perfect fit for the NEM Community Fund and plans on returning the funding several times over to the NEM Community. Here are the 3 main ways we intend to do this:

  1. Our gift card marketplace anticipates processing 10’s of thousand of transactions on the NEM blockchain on a daily basis within the next 5 years.

  2. All of those transactions will be gift card sales and all of those gift cards will have “Proudly built on the NEM blockchain” prominently displayed giving massive exposure to NEM among 100’s of thousands, if not millions of US consumers (see image below).


  1. 6% of the total supply of our mosaics brifs:brif will be given the NEM community and the NEM Foundation. Our success is NEM’s success.

But wait there’s more…
There are dozens of other smaller and less direct ways we are going to try to make the NCF’s investment in our project the best use of funds; helping other NEM projects, spreading the word about NEM to Venture Capitalists and the broader blockchain community, participating in events, to name a few. We encourage you to ask literally any NEMber or NF member that has interacted with us about what their experience has been like and what they think of our project.

Here’s are links to the Full Proposal:

This is our one page summary:

And here are several interviews with’s founder Charlie Muir:
NEM with Tony:
The CryptoClass:

And keep an eye out for the next episode of Inside NEM:

Thank you for voting & wish us luck!

Proposal Abstract is using NEM’s blockchain to unlock the $160 billion gift card market by building a trustless and decentralised peer-to-peer marketplace for unwanted gift cards. Our aim is to reduce the estimated $24 - $32 billion annual economic loss caused by the current status quo of low liquidity and poor fungibility.1 2

Note to the Reader

After speaking with scores of people about, we’ve found that many of the aspects which drive our proposal are nuanced and somewhat abstract. The foundation of the problem we are solving is built upon economic theory and our business strategy is based on an unstructured body of thought which is common to operators and investors within the startup space, but which is foreign outside of that sphere.

Because we want to make our mission available to the widest possible audience, we’ve thoroughly broken down the problem we’re solving, how we plan on solving it, and why that plan has strong potential to be a success; a success not just for, but for the broader NEM community as well.

In order to make this material more easily digestible, we’ve split out NEM Community Fund proposal into 3 separate posts to the NEM forum. To help make our proposal more easily navigable, we’ve included a linked table of contents below as well. We hope you enjoy reading our work and should you have any questions, please comment below or join on Telegram. Cheers!

Table of Contents Proposal | NCF | 1 of 3 Proposal | NCF | 2 of 3

  • How Solves the Problem

    • The Technical Solution | NEM Blockchain — BaaS
    • The Economic Solution | Business Model & Strategy
      • 0% Commission
      • Network effects
      • Expanding the Pie
      • BRIF Token
      • 0% Commission is a Strategy
      • 10X Better
      • Critical Mass Builds a Moat
      • Business Model
      • Retail Retargeting
      • Targeted In-App Ads
      • Brand Promotions
      • Monetization Summary
    • The User Acquisition & Retention Solution |Usability Proposal | NCF | 3 of 3

  • Company Roadmap
  • Our Team
  • Community Fund DAO Milestones
  •’s Commitment to Adding Value to the NEM Community

Executive Summary

“Is every asset in the world destined to become liquid on the blockchain? The answer is ‘yes’. That is the next revolution.” — William Mougayar 3

William Mougayar
Blockchain Thought-Leader

The team is on a mission to create mass adoption of the NEM blockchain in the US, by way of the BRIF mosaic. We’re carrying out this mission by providing US consumers with a frictionless way to save money on nearly all of their retail purchases.

From lettuce to laptops and from t-shirts to air travel, saves people money by creating a platform where they can buy and sell their unneeded gift cards. Sellers can put their idle gift cards to better use and buyers save a bit of money when they buy discounted gift cards securely using BRIF mosaics.

We’re building to be natural and intuitive for average shoppers by providing a user experience just like the ones that they are used to already for their online shopping. For many, if not most of these shoppers, the NEM blockchain will be their first experience with crypto.

As usage of the platform grows, so does the usage and awareness of XEM/NEM. For the NEM Community, buyers, and sellers it’s a ‘win’, ‘win’, ‘win’!

We are seeking $500K USD or roughly 2.0M XEM at the time of writing from the Community Fund DAO to help facilitate bringing this project into fruition, which will help reduce the vast economic waste within the current gift card market’s existing status quo.

The Task at Hand

Distributed ledgers in conjunction with smart contracts allow for unprecedented liquidity among a myriad of assets. This is due to the immutable nature of data on blockchains and trustlessness enabled by smart contracts in creating systems of record for ownership rights management, facilitation of clearing & settlement, as well as dispute resolution. These advances minimize transaction costs in marketplaces and exchanges by reducing or eliminating the need for a centralized mediating authority and expensive payment processing fees.

Additionally, tokenization has created a vehicle with which organizations can build the infrastructure needed to develop viable asset exchanges, while not requiring transactional value extraction (which traditionally took the form of platform commissions).

The mission is to utilize NEM’s multisig feature to verify gift card funds, and create an underlying system of record. We’ll use NEM’s Namespace and Mosaic to tokenize the gift card values, record & manage ownership rights, while also facilitating clearing & settlement; making gift cards significantly more fungible. With that infrastructure in place, the team is creating a vibrant marketplace where consumers can buy and sell their unwanted gift cards, without paying commission or payment processing fees.

0% commission and 0% fees make gift cards perfectly liquid. The difference (spread) between a gift card’s balance and the market price for a particular brand’s card would be determined by demand alone, without any intermediary value extraction. Gift cards would no longer be locked up by gift card issuers, who view unspent balances as free money. Nor would they be held hostage by incumbent secondary gift card marketplaces, which act as rent-seeking middlemen, taking as much as 15% of the seller’s gross.

We believe that gift cards belong to you, the consumer. Gift cards simply do not belong to the store that issued them and they are not the property of the secondary marketplaces, which demand their double-digit cut of all peer-to-peer sales. We believe gift cards should be as good or better than cash and we are not going to rest until that vision becomes a reality. Live Alpha with Revenue

The team has invested our own capital in developing our MVP (minimum viable product), in its thorough research and development, and an aggressive go to market strategy. One of the most universally important milestones in any tech company is launching an MVP to show proof of concept.

The question we attempted to answer with our MVP was “Can we source gift cards at discounted prices, at scale; and if so, will people buy them?” The answers we found were: yes, yes, and yes.

The team has been able to build a site where users can find some of the best gift card deals anywhere on the web. In doing so we have had thousands of people from all over the globe visit our website, and make purchases; all without spending any money on marketing.

Users found us in search results which drove a lot of free traffic to our site. So much so that we had to ask them to stop buying from us in a pop-up message (see image below).

The issue is that orders became a distraction from all of the other things that our small team had to focus on. After all, we’re not building a typical tech startup. We’re building a 0% commission business on the blockchain. We see ourselves as pioneers in tokenized peer-to-peer marketplaces.

The whole point of p2p marketplaces in the new economy is to cut out the middlemen, who remove value from the system by making money off of their users’ transactions.

In the earliest stages of developing, we realized that building a customer base meant building a customer support and order fulfillment team. The numbers on that just don’t pencil out without having a firm roadmap for integrating the blockchain to vastly reduce transaction costs.

So we rolled up our sleeves and doubled down on defining the problem, through R&D, while building our catalog of supported gift card brands. We now support over 130 brands including some of the world’s most recognizable companies, with more being added all the time.

Integrated Brands has been able to integrate with many of the largest brands in the US and abroad, and we’re adding more brand integrations almost daily. Below is an image of just some of the gift card brands we are fully live to buy and sell on

What’s the Problem with Gift Cards?

“I could spend $50 and buy something that would be worth nothing to you.” — Prof. Joel Waldfogel 4

Joel Waldfogel
Author & Econ. Professor

Top industry analysts, CEB (now Gartner) estimate that gift card sales will reach $160 billion annually in the US alone in 2018.1

Well known economist, Joel Waldfogel estimates that gift giving destroys economic value of roughly 15% - 30% of the amount spent.5 This is due in large part to people giving gifts that recipients do not value as much as the gift’s cash equivalent.

This phenomenon is known as ‘welfare loss’ or ‘deadweight loss’ in economics.

For example, have you ever gotten a fruit basket as a gift? Harry & David is a popular gift basket company famous for their delicious pears. Harry & David gift boxes can cost several hundred dollars, but one of their least expensive gift boxes is called the Merry Mix-Up® Gift Box.6

The Merry Mix-Up® Gift Box includes 6 Royal Riviera® Pears (2 lb 13 oz Approx.), Sharp white cheddar cheese (4 oz), and Mixed nuts [cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans] (4 oz) and costs over $40 with delivery.6 Okay, so they are great pears, cheese, and nuts, but are they worth $40 to you? Maybe they are, but maybe to some people, they don’t like pears, are lactose intolerant, and have a tree nut allergy.

To those people this gift is worth $0 (or less). The deadweight loss, relative to the cash equivalent, in that case is 100%.

That gift just caused $40 to evaporate from the economy in the form of welfare loss, and this economic principle extends to gift cards as well.

Billions in Economic Loss

“gift cards have a welfare loss that is comparable — although perhaps not worse — than physical presents.” — Prof. Jennifer Pate 7

Jennifer Pate
Economics Professor

Expanding on Waldfogel’s idea of economic destruction and applying it to gift cards, economics professor Jennifer Pate estimates that gift cards result in roughly 15% - 20% of welfare loss. Using the CEB (now Gartner) estimates of 2018 gift card sales running $160 Billion, then the deadweight loss of gift cards is between $24 and $32 Billion.7

To put it into perspective, that means gift cards destroy more than the entire Transportation Infrastructure Industry ($20.93B), which includes all of the owners and operators of airports, roads, tunnels, rail tracks, and marine ports, as well as the companies providing related services.8

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Works Cited

  1. CEB (now Gartner), 2015 Gift Card Sales To Reach New Peak Of $130 Billion, 2015-12-08
  2. American Economic Association, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Jennifer Pate Offenberg, Markets: Gift Cards, 2007-04-01
  3. Conference: Cryptospace Moscow, WIlliam Mougayar, Business on Blockchain, 2017-12-27
  4. PBS, NewsHour, Making Sen$e, Paul Solman and Joel Waldfogel, The economics of wasteful spending: The deadweight loss of Christmas, 2013-12-23
  5. The American Economic Review, Vol. 83, No. 5, Joel Waldfogel, The Deadweight Loss of Christmas, December 1993
  6. Harry & David, Merry Mix-Up® Gift Box
  7. American Economic Association, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Jennifer Pate Offenberg, Markets: Gift Cards, 2007-04-01
  8. Fidelity Investments (FMR LLC.), Research, Markets & Sectors, Transportation Infrastructure

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Table of Contents

How Solves the Problem

There are 3 components to describe how solves the issue of economic loss caused by gift card illiquidity: technical, economic, and user acquisition & retention. These 3 areas are interrelated and often overlap to form a cohesive solution.

The Technical Solution | NEM Blockchain — BaaS

The NEM Foundation has created a platform to help solve problems with smart contracts and blockchain. Some of the problems with competing blockchains are fundamental. The speed and cost of transactions on Bitcoin and Etherium, for example, render them impractical for transactions involving average consumers.

Perhaps most importantly though alternative blockchains lack a plug-n-play software toolset which means that many basic functions dApps commonly need require custom builds. NEM is not only a blockchain, it’s also a smart contract BaaS or blockchain-as-a-service.

Within a trustless exchange, perhaps the single biggest technical challenge is the problem of ‘double spend’. Gift cards on a secondary market are particularly vulnerable to double spending when a seller uses a gift card after they’ve sold it. Using NEM as a Blockchain-as-a-Service, facilitating a trustless exchange can be accomplished in large part by utilizing their ‘Smartasset System’ tool kit.

To overcome the double spend issue, will utilize NEM’s Smart Asset System by running a decentralized private/public blockchain. This will make the unique identification number of individual gift cards available only to the seller, until the transaction is completed and to the buyer only after it is completed.

Keeping the unique ID number of the gift cards on a private blockchain is a necessary step because it prevents it from being stolen by anyone viewing the public ledger.

The private / public blockchain (built upon NEM’s Smart Asset System): is using NEM’s Namespace and Mosaic features to tokenize the gift card values, as well as to record & manage ownership rights. Before management rights can be established however, will use NEM’s Multisig feature to conduct funds verification. Multisig requirements for Listing-to-Sale use case:

To do so, will use NEM’s inherent API flexibility to ping the closed-loop gift card issuers verification system to establish the first Multisig Key. Once funds are verified with the card issuer via API, the second key will be established along with the smart asset data, whereby the seller will list the asking price and confirm the listing.’s key will push the listing live and the smart asset will now be fully formed.

Once purchased, the gift card funds will be re-verified via API and NEM’s multisig feature will facilitate clearing & settlement on the public blockchain (with the unique card ID hashed).

The Economic Solution | Business Model & Strategy

The main cause of gift cards’ poor liquidity is that, as it stands today, the leading platforms for peer-to-peer gift card sales take 12% - 15% in commissions from all transactions that take place on those platforms. Part of this 12% to 15% is to cover fraud, credit card processing fees, operating expenses, and of course, profit for shareholders.

**0% Commission** By using the NEM blockchain, those costs can be reduced to such an extent that the team will not charge any commission or transaction fees. Furthermore, the team does not seek to profit from transactions whatsoever.

0% transaction costs, and the low-cost/high-trust enabled by using the NEM blockchain to put gift card ownership on a public/private ledger means that gift cards can be fully liquid. The current market for peer-to-peer gift cards is estimated to be between $15 and $20 billion annually in the US alone.

It’s also reasonable to assume, that if seller’s don’t need to lose 12% to 15% on sales of gift cards (on top of the discounted value of the cards themselves) that the market will expand with more buyers and sellers because of this new found liquidity. When we speak of increased liquidity, what makes the prospect of 0% commission so powerful is the phenomenon known as network effects.

Network effects

“Network effects. It’s one of the most important concepts for business in general and especially for tech businesses, as it’s the key dynamic behind many successful software-based companies.” — Anu Hariharan 9

Anu Hariharan

Simply put, network effects occur when adding additional users to a system, benefits all users of that system. In our case, that system is the gift card marketplace and the users are the buyers and sellers. A classic example of network effects is actually the internet itself. In the internet’s earliest days communication was very simple and there was not much a user of the internet could do besides maybe chat with other internet early adopters.

Fast forward and the potential of the internet is realized, when more and more people join and start participating in online commerce, wikipedia, dating etc.

Allowing people who are already buying and selling gift cards on the secondary market to do so with 0% commissions creates a network effect as well. The market for peer-to-peer gift cards should be set by the market’s buyers and sellers, but the 12% to 15% commissions charged by platforms, where those sales take place, interferes with the true market price (or discount off of the card’s full value).

Using round numbers, let’s say that the buyers and sellers in the broader peer-to-peer gift card market determine that the price for a $100 eBay gift card is $95. When a buyer purchases that card, makes a purchase with it, the buyer instantly saves $5 or 5%. But as it stands today, after paying commission on the transaction to the marketplace ($14.25 or 15% let’s say), the seller only walks away with $80.75 taking nearly a 20% haircut.

Expanding the Pie
Buyers are aware that sellers don’t get the full $95, but what if sellers did get the full sale price? Buyers would have leverage to change the market price for $100 eBay gift cards to $90, as an example. Afterall, $90 is much better than the $80.75 sellers were getting before. Now those buyers are saving $10 or 10% and sellers only take a $10 or 10% haircut. The prospect of saving 10% attracts even more buyers for whom 5% wasn’t worth the trouble. This also attracts more sellers that are comfortable taking a 10% haircut, but were not okay with losing almost 20%.

This virtuous cycle is network effects in action. This is a paradigm so much better than the status quo, that in addition to gaining market share, will actually expand the market for peer-to-peer gift cards. While getting an increasingly larger slice of the peer-to-peer gift card market pie, we see ourselves as the baker, who makes the pie even larger.

BRIF Token
The platform will use its own cryptoasset, the BRIF token, to make this all possible. The BRIF token will be fixed in supply and market dynamics of cryptoasset exchanges and user demand will determine the price of the BRIF at any given time. While the cost of the BRIF will fluctuate, it’s of little consequence to the gift card transactions on because all of the sales are pegged to the dollar.

This means that if BRIF tokens cost 1 penny each or $100 dollars each, it makes no difference to the buyers because they simply buy the BRIF at market rates at the time of purchase and then use them to buy the dollar-pegged gift cards. Same for the seller. If they sell a gift card for $50 on, then they get $50 in BRIF, which they can then sell on an exchange for $50. Whether that $50 is 5,000 BRIF or 0.5 BRIF is immaterial to them; it’s still $50.

0% Commission is a Strategy
The team at is not creating a commission-free gift card marketplace for the purpose of enriching its founders. We’re creating a 0% commission marketplace because it should exist.

People should be able to do whatever they like with things of value that they own and that is part of what makes the blockchain so exciting as an enabler of that. We just want to realize that potential in one relatively small area of the economy and that is why we do what we do they way we do it; however, 0% commission is also a business strategy.

10X Better

“Uber built a multi-billion dollar business by using mobile to create a 10x better product than the incumbent (taxis), and did so at a lower price. The “and” ‘lower price [sic]’,… is everything.” — Sarah Tavel 10

Sarah Tavel
General Partner

There is a rule of thumb in startups which states that if you are going to try and compete with incumbents, then you’ll need to offer a solution that is 10x (or ten times better) than the best in that category.

In marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Google Adwords, and so on, the first company to make a great solution generally gets most of the buyers and sellers onto their platforms. This is called a winner-take-most outcome. To beat the incumbents in a marketplace business, you’ll need to win over many buyers and sellers to be able to compete at all, and that is very very difficult, unless your business is far and beyond better than what the incumbents are offering.

We think that going from 12% to 15% commision to 0% commission is the exact type of thing that can take on incumbents and be the winner that takes most. We believe that 0% is 10x better than 12% to 15%; although mathematically the improvement is technically “undefined” (heh).

Critical Mass Builds a Moat
If gets significant market share by offering a 10x better solution, then according to the winner-take-most thought model, this can be expected to create a vacuum whereby surpasses a tipping point and becomes the place to buy and sell gift cards. This tipping point is known as critical mass.

Having a critical mass of buyers and sellers is what makes Facebook remain the dominant player in social media (and social media advertising). Critical Mass is what makes Google the predominant place people go to find information online (and the accompanying search ad revenue). This dominance acts like a moat around Facebook and Google, which can protect their businesses from newcomers that wish to compete.

0% is the Ultimate Moat

“Some of the greatest and most enduring technology companies are defended by powerful moats. For example, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook all have moats built on economies of scale and network effects.”— Jerry Chen 11

Jerry Chen

There is another benefit to charging 0% commission. Once a marketplace becomes dominant in their field, there is no fuel for newcomer marketplaces to get off of the ground. There’s no reason to start a new marketplace to compete, if there is no profit for which to compete.

Other teams may try, but they will find it very difficult to compete against a marketplace with a critical mass of buyers and sellers and without the ability to profit from transactions. Business Model
There is a practical matter of how can sustain itself, even with it’s extremely low operating costs without extracting value from transactions. We have 2 main streams of revenue to “keep the lights on” so to speak.

The first is charging sellers withdrawal fees, IF they chose not to be paid in BRIF. Some seller will opt to be paid in Bitcoin and USD and for that they will incur a 2% fee. Undoubtedly some percentage of folks, for whatever reason, would rather get 98% of their sale proceeds in BTC or USD than 100% in BRIF, and that is fine with us, as it will help support the marketplace as a whole.

The second and most compelling source of revenue for is from advertising. As we accomplish our goal of building a successful dApp, we can expect to receive interest from companies in the blockchain space who would like to reach a similar audience as the one we have created. But that is small in comparison to the revenue possibilities once reaches a broad audience of retail shoppers. If we can achieve that, then keeping the lights on will not be a problem.

Retail Retargeting
Retargeting ads trigger when you visit a product page online; a pair of Levi’s jeans for example, but do not make a purchase. Afterwards, you are shown ads for that exact pair of jeans on other websites. These are known as retargeting ads. They are particularly effective with consumer goods, so if is the place where a significant number of retail shoppers go online, then retargeting would be a viable source of ad revenue for the company.

Targeted In-App Ads
Have you ever Googled “Home Depot” (as an example) only to have the first search result show an ad for Lowe’s? Both Home Depot and Lowe’s compete to show ads for web searches for “Home Depot” as does Ace Hardware, Harbor Freight Tools, and so on. A similar dynamic will exist for advertising space on desktop and mobile apps. However, rather than being based on the search query, which would harm the user experience, ads could be displayed based on users’ consumption patterns.

Brand Promotions
Similar to targeted ads, which are shown to users based on the category or the brand they are looking to purchase, brand promotions would be shown on brand pages, which list a gift cards that a particular brand has for sale. Imagine Walmart, for instance, buying ad space from to advertise their free 2-day shipping policy which is designed to compete with Amazon, as seen in the images below.

Walmart’s Page (without ads)

Walmart’s Page (ad included)

Monetization Summary
The significance of a 0% commission marketplace is several fold. It’s the belief that gift cards should be freely transferable and secure; that unobstructed liquidity is the natural state of gift cards on the blockchain. 0% commission is also belief that by enabling this natural state for gift cards to be exchanged, BRIF tokens will become broadly adopted by consumers as a way to save money on nearly everything that they buy.

We believe that 0% commission is what wins the market and what brings crypto into the everyday lives of average consumers, many of them for the first time. 0% commission is what makes cryptocurrency, specifically BRIF and it’s exchange pairs, usable for nearly all forms of consumer purchases. All of a sudden, by using Ethereum or Bitcoin to buy BRIF, in essence you’ll be able to use Ethereum or Bitcoin to buy almost anything, and save money while you do it.

If those assumptions are correct, then the significance of a 0% commission peer-to-peer gift card marketplace, built on the NEM blockchain, extends far beyond the gift cards themselves. It not only makes gift cards a bigger market, it makes crypto a bigger market. If can have even a small impact on those markets, then BRIF can expect to see wide adoption and the revenue flow from non-BRIF withdrawals, and advertising revenue will certainly be able to sustain the 0% commission marketplace through the foreseeable future and beyond.

The User Acquisition & Retention Solution | Usability

As indicated in the business model sections, having a better mousetrap is what drives user growth. In software, marketing is important, but having a solid value proposition and an easy-to-use product is the only thing that can create category winners.

We are in the process of designing user flows in the form of animated gifs to walk interested parties through the processes of buying, selling and redeeming gift cards sold on our BRIF powered blockchain gift card marketplace, as well as how to easily buy and sell BRIF tokens. These user flows will be added to a subsequent version of this document.

Users will be able to store gift cards and BRIF in their account/wallet. Also, users will be able to buy BRIF natively from within our mobile and desktop apps. The process of making purchases using gift cards bought on the platform will be seamless. So too will be the process of selling BRIF on a cryptoasset exchange.

Good product is key, but marketing is still very important, and fortunately the team has a successful track record of scaling tech startups by leveraging industry leading acquisition strategies and world class UI/UX design. The team has had experience with doing the right inputs in this regard, which have resulted in outcomes in the tens of millions in revenue for other tech startups, we’ve previously worked with. The inputs are all anyone can control and fortunately they are one of our core skill sets. As a team, we are very comfortable in this arena.

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Works Cited
9. Andreessen Horowitz, Anu Hariharan, All about Network Effects, 2016-03-07
10. Medium, Sarah Tavel, How to build an enduring, multi-billion dollar business, 2016-02-15
11. Greylock Partners, Jerry Chen, The New Moats, Why Systems of Intelligence™ are the Next Defensible Business Model, 2017-04-24

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Table of Contents Proposal | NCF | 3 of 3

Company Roadmap

Phase 1 | Minimum Viable Product | Complete
The MVP has been operational since the end of 2017. We have momentarily paused our alpha test and will be announcing the launch of our beta test in the coming weeks. Both tests allow users to buy or sell unwanted gift cards and in neither case does take any of the transaction value as fees or commission.

Phase 2 | Community Building & Public Beta Test | Q3 2018
The team has built and alpha tested a working marketplace for discounted gift cards and the next step will be to scale up with a live public beta test. This process involves growing our customer support infrastructure and making our discounted gift cards available to a broader audience. This process also includes improving our buying and selling algorithms to accommodate higher patronage and increased sales volume. To do so we’ll be engaging with a growing user base for the purpose of building a community around the brand. Also, in this phase we plan to continue expanding our support for gift card issuers to include companies ranging from regional restaurant groups to internationally recognized consumer brand-names like Levi’s and McDonald’s, as well as gift card behemoths like Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, and Walmart.

Phase 3 | NEM Blockchain Integration & Roll-Out | Q4 2018 - Q2 2019
With the proper infrastructure in place to handle high sales volume and site visitors conducting gift card sales in USD, we’ll begin the process of retrofitting that infrastructure to utilize the NEM blockchain in order to manage the backend of the transactions on Once ready for release, Once ready for release, will support transactions in BRIF while phasing out the USD-based transactions. It is during this phase that BRIF will be listed on a handful of top cryptocurrency exchanges, so that the token will be made available for buyers and sellers on the platform.

Phase 4 | Exclusive Use of BRIF & International Expansion | Q3 2019 & Beyond
With the NEM blockchain backend fully integrated, USD transactions will cease and BRIF transactions will be the sole medium of exchange on the platform. With a strong foothold and significant market share of the US market, will expand into new markets; beginning with Canada, and then to Europe, Australasia, as well as select markets in Asia, Africa, Latin-America, and the Middle East. It is also during this phase that our advertising division will rapidly scale-up its operations, so as to finance this growth and sustain the 0% commission platform on an ongoing basis.

Our Team

Charlie Muir

A Growth Hacker by trade; Charlie has been instrumental in countless initiatives, which helped propel several early stage tech companies into sustained hyper-growth. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Charlie began in tech growth as the 4th employee at Y Combinator Summer 2014 batch company; LawnLove. Subsequently, Charlie lead SEM efforts which generated a pipeline worth $228.4M in total deal value over 12 months at Digsy, a commercial real estate tech company. Prior to founding, Charlie led Growth at ListReports, helping to bring monthly recurring revenue from middle/low 5 figures to well over $400K in less than a year.

Paul C. Espiritu
Blockchain Lead

Paul Christian helped pioneer the team in the United Arab Emirates. He became one of the key personnel leading the operations of NEM in the region expanding their reach to its neighboring countries and is now also catering to the queries coming from the entire Mid-East region and beyond. Paul Christian is a long time blockchain enthusiast and resident of Dubai for over 10 years. He is shepherding through NEM’s tool set, as well as helping with community management, technical recruiting, and funding.

Karen Santiago
Design Lead

Karen is a graphic designer specialized in branding and identity design based in Mexico’s Federal District. She has 8 years of experience working with startups and consumer brands. She has led design and branding campaigns for top consumer brands such as Colgate, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and more. She previously worked for Design Bureau México, Outdoorland Group, Detour Agency and more. Karen leads design for and her eye for design is present throughout’s branding.

Naomi Martin
UX / Web Design

Naomi is a graduate of the University of Cambridge with 15 years of experience in creative web and UX design. Based in the UK, Naomi’s has an ultimate passion for website design and development, focusing on creating a simple, clean, and attractive user interface. Specializing in Photoshop, Illustrator, Javascript (JQuery), and SquareSpace integration, Naomi’s aesthetic is the cornerstone of’s front end.

Dona Rinon
Blockchain Lead

Dona spearheaded the NEM UAE team, now NEM Middle East team. She co-leads the team in operations and external communications to the NEM Foundation and NEM Global team. She has a deep understanding of the NEM blockchain ecosystem. Dona helps navigate NEM’s software, as well as recruiting, and community engagement.

Community Fund DAO Milestones

The research and product to date has been entirely self-funded by the team itself. We’ve made quite a bit of progress and have exceeded our own expectations in many ways, and with proof-of-concept validated we are asking for $500,000 in XEMs (roughly 2,000,000 XEM at the current price of approximately $0.25 per XEM) to continue our march forward in helping to establish our corner of the New Economy Movement.

The following milestones are designed to be easily verifiable and to coincide with the sustaining funding needs of as reflective of our company roadmap.

Milestone 1 | Community Foothold Established & Public Beta Test Live | September 2018
25% | $125K | 500,000 XEMs
To be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  1. Public beta test live Removed of the “DEMO SITE >>DO NOT MAKE A PURCHASE” pop-up message on
  2. Allow for beta testers to purchase of up to $25 in gift cards per household every 90 days for the platform
  3. Integrated the following brands’ gift cards on the platform:
    • Amazon
    • Apple (store)
    • Levi’s
    • Mcdonald’s
    • Ralph Lauren
    • Starbucks
    • Walmart
    • Zumiez
  4. 500 Members joined the Telegram Channels

Milestone 2 | Fully Live Site & Community Program | January 2019
35% | $175K | 700,000 XEMs
To be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  1. Fully live website
  2. Ended of the beta test period agreement
  3. Removed of the 90-day $25 max purchase per household restriction
  4. Allow for the purchase of up $1,000 per day per customer on the platform
  5. Allow for the listing of gift cards up to $500 per gift card
  6. Released fully functional app gift card wallet (see image below):

  1. Hired one member from within the NEM community on a full-time or part-time basis to become a member of the team with a competitive compensation package

Milestone 3 | BRIF Transaction alpha Testing | June 2019
30% | $150K | 600,000 XEMs
To be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  1. Integrated NEM blockchain into backend of
  2. BRIF listed on at least 1 cryptocurrency exchange
  3. Completed internal QA of NEM blockchain using BRIF to conduct test transactions of gift card sales and purchases
  4. Began invite-only alpha test among select buyers and sellers who are current users of the platform

Milestone 4 | BRIF Transactions Publicly Available | November 2019
10% | $50K | 200,000 XEMs
To be disbursed upon completion of the following:

  1. Allow all users to transact on using BRIF
  2. Announced the date that transactions in USD will no longer be available on
  3. Integrated at least 3 major Canadian-specific brands
    • Swiss Chalet
    • MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op)
    • LE CHATEAU’s Commitment to Adding Value to the NEM Community

The team is incredibly grateful for all of the help and guidance we have and continue to receive from NEM Foundation staff and the NEM community at large. Here are some of the ways we plan to pay that forward:

NEM Community BRC Token Giveaways’s BRIF token (NEM mosaic) will come to be the sole mode of transferring value within our peer-to-peer gift card marketplace. The sole mode of purchasing the BRIF token will be on crypto-asset exchanges after our gift card marketplace is fully operational. In order to be listed on many exchanges, a token must prove broad ownership among thousands of people. The prospect of securing funding through the NEM Foundation’s Community Find DAO would place the team in an interesting position, whereby it may need to give away a large number of BRC tokens to be exchange listed — Any potential BRIF giveaways would be first distributed and weighted towards the active members of the NEM community.

NEM Missionaries
Our aim at is not only to be contributing members of the NEM community, but to be evangelists. Anytime it’s appropriate to do so, we’ll be mentioning NEM, as a core part of who we are, with phrases like “Powered by NEM” and “Proudly Built on the NEM Blockchain”. In fact, the footer of our website pages and the hero image of all of our blog posts include this image:

Rest assured that we’ll be taking every opportunity we get to advocate for NEM and to create content around our experience with their technology and organization.

NEM Community Feedback
We cannot build in a vacuum. We’ll need input on aspects of everything we do, from dev and design, to UI/UX, marketing and branding, and so on. The team is committed to reaching out to the NEM community for feedback early and often and incorporating the responses we get into everything that we do.

US & Global Retail Customer Exposure to NEM is by and large a retail consumer focused company. We want to make it very easy for everyday people to save money on their purchases with the discounted gift cards that are sold on our platform. We are certain that for many people, BRIF tokens will be the first cryptoassets they own and that they will see immediate value in using them. This positive association will be reflected onto NEM and should amplify awareness of XEM far beyond crypto’s relatively early adopters.

While supports global brands, our focus is aimed squarely at US brands and their US customers. We believe that our project has the potential to greatly amplify American interest in NEM/XEM.

Broadening US Crypto-Enthusiast Awareness of NEM
In evaluating which blockchain to build upon, we found NEM’s platform and plug-n-play functionality to be second to none for building dApps in 2018. There is an old saying on Wall Street, which goes, “Markets can remain irrational a lot longer than you and I can remain solvent.” We have been utterly dumbfounded that the price of XEM does not seem to reflect its inherent potential value to the smart economy ecosystem. While we cannot change the market’s mind that NEM is a fundamentally powerful platform, we can demonstrate that by example. Should, or any other of the great teams building with NEM, be able to get a big win with their projects, then that exposure will undoubtedly transfer onto the perception of XEM held by the cryptoasset market, as well. We all win if one NEM team hits it out of the park and is swinging for the fences for all of us.

Growing Retail Brand US-based C-Level Interest in NEM
The team is operating under the assumption that, if we offer the lowest cost for a product that is as highly price-sensitive, as gift cards are, particularly on the secondary market, that could lead to critical mass of the gift card market share. As a matter of course in this paradigm, while the use of BRIF grows, corporate executives will surely take notice and this exposure will likely lead to NEM being considered more intently by major brands, as they roll out their own blockchain tech initiatives. Adoption of NEM blockchain by Fortune 1000 companies would almost certainly exert upward pressure on the price of XEM.

Documenting NEM Integration
Along our journey of building on the blockchain, will inevitably find itself needing to plug-in the mainstream SaaS products, such as our Customer Support software, our CRM and marketing automation software, and so on. The SaaS products we use will be essential to our business operations. In order to manage everything effectively, we will no doubt need to integrate SaaS with aspects of the NEM blockchain and our smart contracts to create a closed-loop and avoid redundancy etc… We may, in fact, be the first such project to do this in a number of cases. All of this we will document and share, and this documentation will be crucial in making NEM an easier choice for other blockchain entrepreneurs, who follow.

Supporting NEM Blockchain Builders has and will continue to seek out ways to add value to the startup community with a focus on helping other blockchain entrepreneurs. The free flow of knowhow is what makes being part of the early stage tech sector so fulfilling. Inspired by many highly successful folks in this space, we try to conduct ourselves in accordance with the “give before you get” philosophy. As such, we go out of our way to help folks, where we can and are committed to doing so particularly within the NEM community of builders and thinkers.

Supporting NEM Blockchain Entrepreneurship
In addition to helping NEM entrepreneurs with elbow grease and sharing our experiences, we fully intend to help with our wallets. As NEM-built businesses continue to emerge, we are committed to “shopping locally” so to speak. Furthermore, in instances where enough of the right signals are in place, we will gladly support NEM projects with our personal investment capital and make introductions to private placement decision makers. And, of course, allow open access to the community via cross-promotions (for lack of a better term).

Stay Up to Date

Go Back to Proposal | NCF | 2 of 3

Go Back to Proposal | NCF | 1 of 3

Works Cited

  1. CEB (now Gartner), 2015 Gift Card Sales To Reach New Peak Of $130 Billion, 2015-12-08
  2. American Economic Association, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Jennifer Pate Offenberg, Markets: Gift Cards, 2007-04-01
  3. Conference: Cryptospace Moscow, WIlliam Mougayar, Business on Blockchain, 2017-12-27
  4. PBS, NewsHour, Making Sen$e, Paul Solman and Joel Waldfogel, The economics of wasteful spending: The deadweight loss of Christmas, 2013-12-23
  5. The American Economic Review, Vol. 83, No. 5, Joel Waldfogel, The Deadweight Loss of Christmas, December 1993
  6. Harry & David, Merry Mix-Up® Gift Box
  7. American Economic Association, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Jennifer Pate Offenberg, Markets: Gift Cards, 2007-04-01
  8. Fidelity Investments (FMR LLC.), Research, Markets & Sectors, Transportation Infrastructure
  9. Andreessen Horowitz, Anu Hariharan, All about Network Effects, 2016-03-07
  10. Medium, Sarah Tavel, How to build an enduring, multi-billion dollar business, 2016-02-15
  11. Greylock Partners, Jerry Chen, The New Moats, Why Systems of Intelligence™ are the Next Defensible Business Model, 2017-04-24
  12. Both Sides of the Table, Mark Suster, Why You Should Give Before You Get, 2013-06-12

Join the Community Bounty Program | Earn free BRIF Mosaics

The links to post 3 of 3 do not work, the links to post 2 0f 3 do not work, the to post 1 of 3 just take you to the top of the current page.

Why not just post the proposal in one page like others have done in the past?
It might be easier to read.

Also is this actually up for voting?



Hey Dan,

The links to post 3 of 3 do not work, the links to post 2 of 3 do not work, the to post 1 of 3 just take you to the top of the current page

Thank you so much for pointing out the broken links. What happened there is I originally posted each section (incorrectly) as a separate topic. One of the mods tidied it up for me by consolidating them into 3 posts in one thread. That’s a better way to organize the discussion, but it broke the links as a result. I’ve fixed them now; cheers again for letting me know.

Why not just post the proposal in one page like others have done in the past?
It might be easier to read.

Actually, there is a character limit to forum posts which our proposal exceeded. @gimer suggested that I not use html, which cut it down a bit, then @Saul suggested that I split it up as a work around for the character count limitations. Thanks again @gimer & @Saul for all of your help.

Also is this actually up for voting?

Not yet, but I’m really happy that you asked. We are a very thorough bunch over here and we’re determined to get our proposal right the first time and set ourselves up for success.

I was just about to DM you in fact, because we’re looking for feedback from a few of the more active members of the community and you are high on my list.

I’d love to incorporate your feedback prior to going live and have DM’d you a copy of our proposal as an early preview.

Thank you again for reaching out,


To team

I did not expect much from the idea that it would be similar to a similar project.

But after I finished reading the proposal, I had to know I was mistaken

I was able to see the philosophy and business of the team in the proposal and the affection for the community of nem

I misunderstood that this was a common issue of new gift cards. This project seems to be an amazing niche business that returns its profits to its customers by excluding brokerage fees.

I apologize for the misunderstanding that it is a common gift card project.

What I noticed was the profitability of the business, because it shows how long it could last. The lack of profitability is because I think the company is going to be ruined. The revenue model in the proposal shows the solution to that.

I understand that the translator is not smooth…


I admire your passion for a solid business model, an experienced team, and a nem.


Wow Park! I am blown away by your enthusiasm for what we are building.

It’s tough for us because yes, at the surface it seems like small market, an unimportant problem, an unexciting business, and that 0% commission is a doomed business model.

A closer look reveals that, according to our analysis, is disrupting an enormous market ($160 billion a year un the US), solving a huge problem ($24 - $32 billion a year in economic waste annually in US alone), a thrilling opportunity (expanding the usability of crypto in general to make purchases of almost anything consumer related, disrupting competitors that overcharge their users, and has the potential to become the defacto crypto currency for retailers in a little-big-horn style play), and a very easily sustained business as well through premium services and advertising.

Like I said, it takes a time and energy to take a deeper look at to even consider whether or not we are an interesting business. As you might imagine, it’s not easy getting anyone to pay attention for long enough to read our analysis for and then form an opinion of their own on it. That is why I truly mean it when I say thank you for your words of encouragement!

Cheers Park!


Hi Charlie,

Thanks for sharing this project summary! Love the concept and idea you have and bringing it to NEM is terrific for the community.

I think it’s incredible with the amount of growth there is in this field and the general waste we see especially in the western world is shocking. truly has the ability to change this!

I wish you all the best and will definitely be voting YES when you launch your proposal




TY Daniel!


First of all, I have read the document you sent me “ Proposal | NEM Community Fund DAO | v.1.2” and it is definitely a very solid project that you have.

I like the idea and your business model makes sense. Moreover, I like your roadmap it looks logical as well as ambitious. Good job on this as well!

However, do you have a rationalisation for the budget that you are asking? I am asking because for me it looks like a little bit modest and I am honestly concerned that it will be not enough to reach all the milestones. Maybe you have your own source of funding as a redundancy?

In any case, I am glad about your project because I sincerely feel that NEM lack good use cases to push forward.

I wish you all the best with a launch of Project proposal!

Best regards,
Andrius B.


Andrius, thank you very much for your kind words and for taking the time to review our NCF proposal!

The ambitiousness of our milestones has been a concern of ours as well. We feel like it will be tight, but doable. That said, this is exactly the sort of feedback we were looking to get from people like you and we are certainly going to reevaluate our milestone/budget assumptions. My guess is that we’ll take your advice pair it down a bit. Cheers!

In any case, I am glad about your project because I sincerely feel that NEM lack good use cases to push forward.
I wish you all the best with a launch of Project proposal!

Thank you again; this sort of encouragement is invigorating and helps us sustain our momentum.

All the best,


Hi Charlie,

If the community approved your proposal for a vote, and if community voted to support your project>

Would you be willing to donate 3% of the company equity back to the NEM community fund, with 2% of the 3% explicitly dedicated to charities chosen quarterly by the Nem community?

3% of profit/ dividends go to NEM fund and with 2% dedicated to charity. The 3% could be non-voting phantom shares entitled to value and dividend equivalent to 3%. THe remaining 1% would go to refilling the NEM fund via NEM buybacks.



I love that idea! IWe’d be thrilled to give back to NEM and the best charitable causes as decided by the community. This sort of thing is what makes NEM such a fantastic Community and you can count us in.


When will vote start?


Very soon. We’re just holding out for a bit of good news from the NEM organization, then it’s all systems go. Fingers crossed it’ll be before the end of the week


Great project, to which I contribute with great pleasure! A motivating team.


@OwlCrypto @xemnewbie @rigel @OwlCrypto @park @Daniel-Mobi @AndriusB

Just wanted to ping you all to LYK that we have made it official and our proposal is now live!

Thank you for your patience while we made sure all the other factors were aligned.


Hi, I would like to congratulate the Brifs team for all the milestones you achieved so far. Your proposal looks pretty solid and well researched, and it should find its niche quite well after launch.

I only have one concern however, which doesn’t really relate to the crypto sphere, but rather anything outside of it. This doesn’t address the potential of this project, but rather the uneducated people on the outside.
I imagine most people who have unwanted gift cards don’t know much (if anything) about crypto or blockchains, let alone all the convoluted processes of getting coins, trading them, using them, etc. How would Joe who doesn’t know anything about crypto but has a $5 amazon gift card figure out how to use your platform. Is that $5 gift card even worth bothering for at that at that point?

Again, I think that for the people who are literate with blockchains, this is a good project with a new idea. But for the rest, vast majority, this won’t help much. Things will probably change in the future when mass adoption sets in and if you already have your project out by then, that will give you the advantage. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though.

How and Crypto Can Achieve Mass Adoption


Thank you so much for expressing your support and for bringing up the “Joe gap” that crypto, and therefore, needs to overcome.

The team and I have thought about this quite a lot, and for us, crypto’s mass adoption has 2 points of friction in a broad sense: Behavior Change and UI/UX.

These ideas are deep and nuanced and as such merit their own discussion. Here’s a link where I do a deep dive on Behavior Change and UI/UX called How and Crypto Can Achieve Mass Adoption.