FinTech Startups Seek to Make Cryptocurrency More AccessibleDate Written: June 7 2018 Written By: Samantha Joule Fow
Cryptocurrencies may be approaching the mainstream in the investment world, but this groundbreaking new technology is nowhere near ready for Main Street USA. Sure, millions of people around the world keep cryptocurrencies in their portfolio for investment purposes or use specialized tokens for online activities, but we are still a long way off from crypto coins becoming the standard for digital transactions. Whether virtual currencies will bring the financial services revolution they promise or not remains up in the air, private enterprises are racing to address the needs of the growing fintech consumer base.
Cryptocurrency Must Simplify
In general, people find cryptocurrencies complex and confusing. Virtual currencies exist in a world full of technological jargon where everyday words we think we understand – like wallets, keys, and mining – take on entirely new meanings. And digital coin transactions are nowhere near as easy as sending money through any of the competing services currently provided by the likes of PayPal, Venmo, Google, or Apple.
The power of blockchain technology is undeniable. Just last year, most people didn’t even know what cryptocurrency was. Now, you can’t get your friends to stop talking about the performance of their Coinbase portfolio. But what does the next phase of the cryptocurrency revolution look like? And will it even come?
Cryptocurrency is such a groundbreaking and useful invention that digital coin investors and service providers are outpacing government regulation. Governments and financial institutions are considering shifting to blockchain-based finance systems entirely, making it more likely than not that virtual currencies will become the next evolution in our digital lives.
Regardless, however, many of us still struggle to understand what it is and how to use it. As a result, in order for cryptocurrency to become the new standard for online payments, it needs to become much simpler.
Entrepreneurs Are Developing Solutions
Despite its shortcomings, capitalism brings at least one substantial benefit to developing markets; when there is a need, entrepreneurs will step in to fill it. In fact, they will often fight each other tooth and nail to be the first ones to provide market solutions – and that’s exactly what’s happening in cryptocurrency right now.
Tech entrepreneurs are working hard on finding ways to make cryptocurrency simpler and more accessible to the average person. Ethereum has been leading the charge, opening up cryptocurrency applications to everything from data storage and media sharing to professional services and legally-binding transactions. However, there are a number of new startups that share Ethereum’s mission of bringing the blockchain to every internet-connected household in the world.
Companies like TenX and Halo Platform, for example, are developing services that make cryptocurrencies spendable in the real world. They intend to accomplish this by developing debit or credit cards that instantly convert crypto coins from virtual currency into fiat. So, when you swipe your card at the grocery store or gas station, you can charge your purchase to the coins held in your digital wallet.
While the prospect of using cryptocurrencies to make real world purchases is enticing, it requires a great deal of technological infrastructure. Specifically, developers must create blockchains that can verify transactions quickly enough to make it feasible to transfer fiat-to-crypto in the time it takes to approve a card transaction. Halo Platform is well on its way, having developed a proprietary masternode system that is designed to process transactions at near- instant speeds.
“Our number one goal is to make cryptocurrency accessible,” says Halo Platform CEO Scott Morrison. “We’re building the infrastructure necessary to make that possible on the back-end, and now it’s mostly a question of where the consumer fintech market carries us from there”