Written by Kees de Vos, CEO of Momentum Protocol 

I can imagine a future, not so distant, when we’ll go through our past belongings and laugh at an old wallet that we explain to our children or grandchildren as ‘this thing we used to hold our cash in’. I can imagine them looking surprised and saying ‘cash? What is that?’

It’s becoming more and more common for individuals to not carry cash around with them, as blockchain technology eliminates the need for physical wallets for good. eWallets make instant money transfers from smartphones and make payment dependency on cash flow obsolete. You only need to carry your phone with an eWallet app and you’ll always be ready to pay. For companies, incorporating this feature is a competitive advantage that provides that extra value for its users. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages you might haven’t thought of yet:

Cryptocurrency works worldwide

“Where’s the closest ATM?” is a question we all have asked at some point in our lives. But, one of the most annoying problems when traveling to a foreign country is trying to figure how to get the local currency. Worldwide adoption of cryptocurrencies will forever eliminate those dilemmas not only when traveling abroad, but also when running out of cash during an average day in our lives. For businesses, incorporating cryptocurrencies can save them a lot of time and stress when doing business outside of their own country. “There are a lot of benefits to an international currency, and it’s especially helpful if your business exports services and goods or purchases materials from other countries. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies help you avoid the expensive foreign transaction fees or exchange rates”. At the government level, worldwide adoption of cryptocurrencies is even more disrupting. Governments will no longer have the same power to control the country’s currency: “The idea of printing more money has been raised time and time again in response to financial turmoil, but that option disappears once currency has to be mined.”

Enhance loyalty programs

According to Bloomberg, “with more than 1,600 digital tokens already in existence, coin issuers and companies are embracing the tried-and-tested loyalty programs to differentiate themselves.” If you’re not a frequent traveler, meaning you’re not traveling somewhere twice a week or more, you’re probably losing airline miles that you’ve earned on those random trips you’ve made in the past. Imagine earning crypto tokens for your eWallet instead of points or miles. By implementing blockchain-based features and functions, such as token-based incentives and rewards, customers not only gain tokens but also excitement when participating in a loyalty program that can actually reward them. Customers can use their tokens in any store that is accepting cryptocurrencies and can also save money by availing the discounts, offers, reward points, and cashback provided by the mobile wallet service provider. This also benefits companies aiming to promote brand loyalty and attract new customers. According to CoinDesk, Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce giant, has moved US$ 9 billion worth of existing Super Points into the blockchain to boost Rakuten Coin. Their goal “to mobilize the interest around cryptocurrencies in a bid to attract new customers to its loyalty program, which has awarded more than $9 billion worth of points since it first debuted in 2003.”

Logical decentralization

One of the driving forces behind blockchain utilization is the appeal of removing a single entity that manages or has power over crypto transactions. Unlike physical currencies, virtual coins aren’t owned by any government or specific organization. No one has ownership over it and no single individual can control it. “For e-commerce business owners, the fear of assets and bank accounts being frozen due to political unrest is a clear and present danger in some countries. However, that is not possible with cryptocurrencies and its decentralized nature. The currency is stored in different locations around the world that can be retrieved at their time of need.” Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum creator, categorized decentralization into 3 types: Architectural decentralization, political decentralization and logical decentralization. Logical decentralization plays an important role when analyzing how institutions and banks manage databases: “As Buterin explains, Blockchains are politically decentralized (no one controls them) and architecturally decentralized (no infrastructural central point of failure) but they are logically centralized (there is one commonly agreed state and the system behaves like a single computer).” As a result, logical decentralization eliminates the possibility of system failure and can tolerate any accidental faults in the system. “Lastly, a local system cannot act independently which also maximize the efficiency of the decentralized system as a whole.”

There are many obvious benefits for companies to fully embrace blockchain technology. Benefits are not only for customers; eWallets allow companies to embrace new business opportunities, from creating new loyalty programs to reducing costs that are a result of foreign transaction fees. Not to mention, increased security and faster transactions at any given time. Payment methods have always been attuned with technology evolution but obstacles imposed by central authorities such as governments and banks made utterly impossible a completely cashless society. Global adoption of cryptocurrencies can completely transform the economy market as we know it and create a society where cash will be just a piece of wasted paper from our past and physical wallets a treasure for our personal antiques collection.

 

Kees de Vos is the CEO of Momentum Protocol. He has more than 15 years’ global leadership experience, specialising in mobile, eCommerce & multichannel retail technology. He has worked with leading retailers and brands like WalMart, Argos, and Tesco, to help define and implement their digital commerce strategy. At both hybris and MetaPack, he developed leading industry products that focus on driving great user experiences. Most recently Kees has been working with some of the most promising tech startups in Europe to help them unlock growth and realise their significant potential

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