Although it is possible to spend crypto in the real world, it isn’t always easy. A new platform wants to make using Bitcoin as simple as bank cards.
Be honest: shopping with cryptocurrency isn’t always the easiest experience. Even if price volatility is on your side, spending funds can be nightmarish. Crypto is gaining in popularity but many merchants still don’t accept it – meaning you are stuck with those age-old, boring options of paying by card or cash.
A “technology enabler” startup known as Cyclebit is aiming to simplify things by enabling stores to serve as “cryptocurrency gateways” – enticing crypto enthusiasts to come and spend their coins with them and inject some new funds into the economy.
The idea has already started to gain traction – and Cyclebit is already working with businesses in Europe and South Korea. According to the print version of the Spanish business newspaper Expansión from 16 Oct 2018, the crypto payment technology is being rolled out in Nostrum – a network of 130 coffee shops throughout Spain – which has just started accepting and selling Bitcoin.
Using a working ecosystem
Unlike some of the other startups in this space, Cyclebit says it already has access to a working ecosystem provided by Ibox – an omnichannel payment platform that has an annual turnover of $1 billion.
Ultimately, Cyclebit hopes to make every point-of-sale device capable of accepting crypto payments, and its team has amassed experience in building large payment networks.
Merchants would be given a “ready-to-install, free customizable app for iOS and Android which is able to accept payments from crypto wallets as well as old-fashioned banks. Cyclebit believes this will unlock new revenue streams for them, and increase loyalty. Integration protocols for online and mobile stores would soon follow, with each tool providing an easy way for merchants to control and analyze the crypto transactions they have completed.
Why the solution is needed
In its white paper, the team behind Cyclebit argue that its infrastructure could ultimately help to reduce the volatility seen in cryptocurrencies. This is because easy ways to pay using crypto would help it make the transition from an enthusiasts’ hobby, to a mass financial asset – with mass ownership preventing massive fluctuations.
The company also believes that the crypto phenomenon, at least in its current form, is far too complicated for the mass majority of consumers. Cyclebit says most shoppers find the idea of crypto payments as “prohibitively complex as obtaining crypto in the first place” – and passionately argues that this must change. Cyclebit says:
“Our experience says, that at the heart of any successful solution is always simplicity and usability. This is how our approach is meant to change cryptocurrency – make it simple, convenient and accessible for both merchants and mass customers.”
Work is continuing to develop Cyclebit’s core product: a complete ecosystem for crypto ownership and payments that supports an array of cryptocurrencies and popular altcoins.
The startup explained: “Many companies are working to provide a much easier way to buy and spend cryptocurrencies. What unites them all is the intent to simplify the user experience and bury every complicated detail in the backend, removing the skill gap for users. The idea is to make the purchasing and payment experience close to already existing well known procedures for credit cards or contactless payments.”
Cyclebit hopes that using crypto for cappuccinos will become an exciting starting point. Over time, it plans for its technology to extend beyond exchanging Litecoin for lattes and Bitcoin for brownies.
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