Companies everywhere are trying to harness the ever-growing market of e-Currency, an idea of how transactions should be done. This concept is being able to never have to carry an actual wallet around anymore is appealing to both consumers and merchants alike.
The first example of this being done is by a company called Square, something you’ve probably never heard of but used multiple times now. The guys that produce this funny little device –
The way this works (for those who have never used it) it’s a portable credit card machine that plugs into any smartphone or tablet. The founder Jack Dorsey (co-founder of twitter) came up with a simple solution to a problem people experience everyday, not accepting plastic. What’s so great about this and devices like it, is that they open up opportunities for small businesses, individuals, and large companies alike. The fee charged is much less than traditional credit card companies and Square has also entered into a partnership with Starbucks for some of the most advanced purchase data analytics ever seen. Imagine walking in to buy a drink, having your information come up for what you typically get, and then having instant payment by merely swiping your phone by their machine. In the near future that’s what their strategic partnership hopes to be able to do.
The next example of mobile commerce is with LevelUp, a venture funded mobile-commerce app.
The guys at LevelUp had the simple but innovative idea of making your phone your new wallet. Businesses get the white box device that is a small QR reader, then when you are ready to purchase something, you hold your phone up and it displays a customized QR code for that purchase. Arguably, the best part is the analytics built into the software. The creators knew that people interact with brands on the web for primarily one reason, coupons. So merchants can take specific purchase data from a customer and push offers their way real time. Great for people who love coupons like me :D.
The final and truly revolutionary type of e-Currency i’m discussing is BitCoin.
BitCoin is truly revolutionary for a majority of reasons, but perhaps the most intriguing being that it is a virtual currency with no actual hard currency backing like gold or silver; it is 100% computer generated money. Now to be straight, just because it’s virtual money, does not mean it isn’t a very real thing, or that it isn’t secure. Bitcoin instead of being backed by banks or governments, is backed by computer code, hardware, and a vast network of systems all managing and computing its value. Bitcoins are as real as any other form of money, because like any other form of currency, the agreed upon worth and value are what makes it usable for trade, not the fact that a dead president or king or queen’s face is on it.
So who all is agreeing on its worth than? Internet users like me and you, and lots and lots of nerds, according to the stats. As the agreed upon value continues to skyrocket it is catching the eye of many big players.
The appeal of having a free-market, mathematically driven currency is enough for many to adopt this new form of currency. In Canada ATM’s have already started opening, world-wide the online gambling industry is looking to adopt this new unregulated currency, and migrant workers are looking to get paid using it. All these articles point to one thing, the rise and mass adoption of BitCoin. Even PayPal, the worlds largest e-Commerce giant has stated that it may ‘one day adopt and integrate BitCoin‘ to its service. Bitcoin got your attention yet?
If you want to learn more about BitCoin click this picture to see an animated infographic of what Bitcoin is up to.