by Jamie Holmes
The teams behind Mycelium and Plutus presented their plans and upcoming product launches at a recent Bitcoin Meetup in the tech district of London, Shoreditch. At the event, Mycelium provided a taster of their new wallet, which will integrate more cryptocurrencies as Jaxx’s blockchain wallet has done.
While Mycelium’s new wallet provides a seamless interface between storing bitcoin and transferring fiat currency, Plutus plans to release an app that will allow bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies, to be spent at any contactless terminal.
Mycelium’s New Wallet
Mycelium’s Jerome Rousselot delivered an outline of what the new Mycelium wallet features including a new user interface, conveniently integrating your contacts making the wallet easier to use. The wallet will also store a variety of digital assets, including Mycelium tokens and allow colored coin networks. Moreover, an SPV mode will be introduced enabling the app to talk directly to the bitcoin network and reduces the dependency on Mycelium servers.
With wallet providers now looking to branch out to the wider cryptocurrency community, Rousselot announced Mycelium are already starting to work with DASH, Waves and some business blockchain projects as well. Another strategic partnership has been forged with the critical mass network, which aims to allow users to share as much data online as they see fit and receive micropayments for participation.
As cryptocurrencies garner more attention from the mainstream media and the general public become more informed and interested in this technology, Mycelium has overhauled their wallet to make it easier to use and making fiat transfers easier than IBAN payments; with the integration of ‘cash out’ transfers to bank accounts via SEPA, or via ACH in the US, cryptocurrencies can more fiercely compete with traditional banks.
Filip Martinka from Plutus outlined their upcoming cryptocurrency app, ‘Tap and Pay’. Bitcoin adoption has been slower than expected. But with Plutus’ new offering, bitcoin users do not have to wait for merchants to accept the cryptocurrency. ‘Tap and Pay’ also solves the problem of mutliple fees applied to bitcoin debit cards, with Plutus promising a quicker and cheaper service.
‘Tap and Pay’, due to be released in December 2016, will allow payment with bitcoin at any contactless payment point. Through this app, users are able to spend bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies without the retailer accepting them, or even being aware that a cryptocurrency transaction has occured.
Last year, there were 32 million point of sales terminals and the benefits in the form of eliminating receipts, queues and improved convenience means that this number will only grow higher. Moreover, the markedly lower incidence of fraud means that in many countries, such as Canada and in the EU, point-of-sales terminals must be contactless enabled as a standard acceptance method.
By capitalizating on this growing infrastructure, Plutus’ app will enable bitcoin, ether and others to be used for a variety of purchases and services, encouraging greater adoption.
The unique proposition posed by Plutus is the peer-to-peer exchange, PlutusDEX which boasts zero fees for traders. When users pay with bitcoin using ‘Tap and Pay’, they are in effect selling bitcoin to traders participating on the decentralized exchange.
The fiat funds are escrowed by the trader participating on the exchange and are released to the ‘Tap and Pay’ user to pay for the goods or services they want. This way, the retailer receives the currency of their choice, and the consumer can spend their cryptocurrency. The advantage of this is that there are no points of attack.
While there are no fees for trading on PlutusDEX, consumers will face fees ranging from 1 to 4 percent. However, users will be reimbursed with cashback in the form of ‘Plutons’; the blockchain’s answer to loyalty points. While cryptocurrencies are prone to huge fluctuations, Plutons are designed for small, everyday purchases; buying groceries, coffee, and can be used anywhere else that accepts contactless payments.
The more you purchase using Plutus’ app, the more Plutons you receive, which are instantly redeemable. With an available supply of around 800,000, the remaining 12.2 million Plutons are to be locked automatically and very slowly emitted by a decentralized rebate system over hundreds to thousands of years, ensuring the velocity of the ecosystem.
Plutus’ ‘Tap and Pay’ will only be available for Android devices. Martinkas stressed that they will not release the app until they are fully satisfied with the security features so there is a possibility of a delayed launch. One aspect that Matinkas touched on was fingerprint security, which will implemented in the app.
However, Plutus has encountered difficulty getting the NFC application on Apple devices due to the competition it poses to Apple Pay. It remains uncertain as to whether there will be an iOS version of ‘Tap and Pay’.
With retailers and businesses unwittingly participating in the cryptocurrency revolution, ‘Tap and Pay’ represents real progress as it bequests crypto-enthusiasts with greater choice; they can use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to make everyday purchases at any contactless terminals.