Gliph is combining its secure messaging app with its Bitcoin payment capabilities to form an online and mobile app, called Gliph Marketplace, to compete with Craigslist.
The new app allows sellers to list items and communicate directly with buyers, similar to how parties communicate within the Airbnb app. The marketplace is different from Craigslist, where sellers and buyers communicate through other means, such as personal email or text message.
"The challenge with Craigslist...is that when you have an item you have multiple email threads going and it can be challenging to keep track of where the deal is or what's the best deal," said Rob Banagale, CEO of Gliph. "Craigslist is trying to give you an ad listing and we're actually trying to help you close the deal."
With Gliph, once a buyer gets the product, he or she can go into the marketplace app and one-click pay with Bitcoin. Bitcoin payments can be sent by linking either a Blockchain.info or Coinbase wallet; the buyer and seller do not have to use the same wallet app.
Cash is also an option for payment in person. Gliph allows sellers to offer discounts to Bitcoin users and calculates the amount a Bitcoin user will pay automatically.
"The big improvement is that the payment is part of a continuous communication and ad listing and response workflow," said Banagle.
The seller and buyer will continue to be contacts after the transaction is complete so that either party can start another conversation and see previous history. There's also a rating and review system so users are validated through selling and buying reputation.
Gliph plans on allowing purchases through Apple Pay via Stripe sometime this year.
"Investors really like to see the Bitcoin thing. That's why we're focused there right now," Banagale said. But Apple Pay "is going to be much more of a killer payments app. That's going to be way hotter in the U.S. than Bitcoin payments."
Gliph also wants to tap the large group of Bitcoin evangelists that will support businesses and providers that build out Bitcoin capabilities.
Gliph has more in common with a messaging app than a mobile wallet. And mobile messaging apps continue to grow in popularity, with significant marketshare going to WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Google Hangouts.
"Each of the [messaging] apps I use offers something slightly different than the others," said well-known Bitcoin investor, Fred Wilson on his blog, AVC. "And so for certain people, and certain kinds of conversations, one messaging app is preferable to another."
And these messaging platforms are also making moved in the payments arena. Screenshots showing a person-to-person payments mechanism within Facebook Messenger began circulating in October, and SnapChat released a P2P app in partnership with Square Inc. in November.
Banagale gives social media as another example with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram providing different experiences to their shared users.
The Gliph Marketplace app is available on both Android and Apple. When it is updated for iOS 8, sellers will have the ability to reply to buyer offers through push notifications.
Gliph is also working on integrating with Uber and other transportation apps to "fix the annoying logisticals part of P2P buying and selling," said Banagale.