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The crypto world is moving fast, and thanks to the increased mainstream attention and respect that the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum have drawn to the industry it seems now like cryptosphere innovation is reaching a tipping point.
Think back to 12 months ago, and many of the developments in the past year might have seemed impossible. That raises the question as to what surprises the next few months hold.
Consider an ambitious scenario: in October 2018 it could be commonplace to see people of all walks of life paying in stores with crypto-powered debit cards, or using the same cards daily for online purchases as easy as they would a regular debit or credit card.
This would bring use of cryptocurrency to complete mainstream acceptance. Of course, the company that manages to crack this would put themselves at the crossroads of a massive amount of business value.
There are significant challenges to creating a solution that is good enough to allow this level of seamless real-world transaction, however. But as was seen with other challenges in the crypto ecosystem, where there is value there will be teams working hard to address them.
One such project is Bonpay, which has already released a significant part of its vision for seamless crypto-backed payments.
The problems with cryptocurrency payments
Not only are there several existing hassles with dealing with cryptocurrencies, these will be multiple as crypto usage tries to match the convenience of standard fiat transactions. Consider how easy it is to order things with paypal, get cash from ATMs, or pay one-touch with a card in-store. At the moment, no cryptocurrency solution comes close to matching this level of convenience.
Add to this the higher transaction fees involved, waiting times for transfers, and the sometimes wild fluctuations in the exchange rates from fiat to crypto and you can see why it is not really a challenger for day-to-day usage.
The global mobile payment industry is projected to be worth over $3 billion by 2022. This is a huge market for any company that can effectively address it.
One-platform crypto banking
The Bonpay team have already launched their platform that allows customers to store their crypto savings in a wallet that then allows seamless instant transfer to fiat payment methods when needed – meaning that your Bitcoin account can also function doubly as a fiat checking account for purchases and transfers.
This can involve an electronic wallet on a device such as a smartphone, or additionally with a physical card that Bonpay give users free of charge.
The team offer users a low- or no-fee transfer rate, which will be augmented by the Decentralized Liquidity Network (DLN) after release.
Bonpay outlined how the account might work in the use-case of a business owner paying employees: “With Bonpay business account you make multiple simultaneous transactions in various cryptocurrencies to all your beneficiaries inside Bonpay system worldwide without transfer fees. All payments are credited to employee’s account the moment they are sent.”
They described how the DLN will add value: “DLN will be based on interaction of several smart-contracts that enable liquidity providers, rich individuals as well as Bitcoin exchanges, safely cooperate rather than compete and provide their customers increased liquidity. Participants don’t need to trust each other as everything is cryptographically protected. Bonpay will be one of the equal participants of Decentralised Liquidity Network and the first who invests in it.”
These measures are certain to increase adoption and usage among users. As the Bonpay team put it, “With the implementation of DLN Bonpay users will be able to manage their payments and transfers, and convert more cryptocurrencies to each other and fiat as easy and fast as to send a message.”
A complete solution?
Bonpay allows users to get closer to fiat-level convenience with cryptocurrency than ever before. It will be interesting to see how they address the challenges of making their solution mainstream over the next few months.
The team seem experienced enough to tackle it with “experts in banking and financial spheres, experienced developers, designers, marketers and cryptography experts” among the staff. They have structured their token allocation as 51% for investors, 34% for future use, and the remaining 15% for the team and initial investors. The token sale begins on October 24th.