When mass adoption? That’s the question on the minds of so many crypto fans. The short answer is that nobody knows ‘if’ or ‘when’ cryptocurrencies will be adopted by huge swathes of the general population.
What we do know is that although the 2017 bull market raised significant awareness about cryptocurrencies, the general adoption rates are still phenomenally low. The key question is why? The truth is that crypto still has a bit of a reputation problem.
We are sure many of you have experienced this yourself after telling family and friends that you have made that first Bitcoin purchase.
How many of you had an off-the-cuff comment about Bitcoin being the currency of criminals? We bet almost everyone reading this has had that experience at some point.
Yes, these attitudes to crypto can be annoying but they tell us something very important when it comes to growing the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Namely, that crypto needs to break that association with criminality, which is still a hangover from the Silk Road incident way back in 2014.
Sadly, severing that link is no easy feat with news articles from the mainstream seemingly taking every opportunity to sensationalize cryptos links to crime.
Yes, it’s true that shady people use crypto for illicit purposes. However, what these article writers seem to be unaware of is that regular currencies like the USD are most used forms of money in the criminal underworld.
Also, how many ‘smart’ criminals really want to have their dodgy transactions stored immutably on a public blockchain for all to see?
Indeed, crypto seems an increasingly bad option for criminals when you consider that crypto-to-fiat on and off ramps require users to send in copies of their passport to execute trades or withdrawals. A bag full of $100 bills seems a much better way to obscure shady transactions, doesn’t it?
We cannot blame the general public for thinking that crypto is full of digital highwaymen up to no good. It’s a narrative they are constantly fed by the mainstream media and these are the types of people we need to embrace crypto for mass adoption to occur.
Now that’s a massive hurdle for crypto to overcome. However, one way of tackling it and changing opinion is a steady stream of articles highlighting the innovation and good things that are happening in the blockchain space.
Yes, there are many technical articles about the amazing innovations happening in the space. But does the average Joe really understand this? We think not.
Maybe the easiest way to plant the idea that ‘crypto is not so bad’ is to show people the progressive ethical companies embracing cryptocurrency as a method of payment and being able to tell people about the phenomenal amounts of crypto that was used to support these ethical businesses.
If the crypto community can pull together and make this happen, then maybe more people will change their tune when it comes to crypto and that could very well kick start the next wave of adoption.
Kindhumans is a new online store and education movement dedicated to making it easy for thoughtful consumers to buy the top eco-innovative, sustainability-focused products.
The store only lists brands that share the values of caring about the environment and making the world a kinder place. In short, Kindhumans aspires to be the home of eco-friendly products.
Co-founder Justin Wilkenfeld explains the vision of Kindhumans:
We want to help streamline the efforts for conscious consumers to more easily identify, find and purchase quality products that are good for people and good for the planet.
Another key component of the initiative is education and inspiring people from around the world to see the value in ethically and responsibly sourced products. This includes raising awareness about product supply chains, the materials used and of course ensuring that consumers end up with great products. If that sounds interesting to you, then why not join the movement on Instagram or Facebook?
In the spirit of kindness, giving and making a difference, Kindhumans has also pledged to donate 1% of all Kindhumans store sales to support social and environmental causes
We’d like to think that the vast majority of people are good and care about the environment and our fellow humans. However, we do live increasingly busy lives and it’s hard to know the story behind behind the products we buy.
We are sure all of you own a smartphone and have not given the supply chain of that product much thought. The truth is that phone you have in your pocket has a story and a very complex supply chain.
It will include a material called coltan, of which 60% of the world’s supply comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with much of it mined by child labourers controlled by local strongmen or sourced from conflict zones.
Amnesty International have published reports in the past raising the concerns about Apple’s and Samsungs over-reliance on child labour in the DRC.
Now most of us are probably not okay with buying a product built with child slave labour and would rather support a company that has an ethically responsible supply chain. That’s why Kindhumans spend a lot of time reviewing products before they are listed in the Kindhumans store to ensure that they are:
The Kindhumans vetting process considers everything from where the products come from, the different elements of the supply chain, the methods used to create the product and even how the product is disposed of at the end of its life.
This means that every item in the Kindhumans store has its seal of approval and ethically conscious consumers can shop there knowing that the Kindhumans team have thoroughly assessed eco-friendliness and sourcing of each product listed in the store.
All this makes it easier for consumers who care to ensure they are buying truly eco-friendly and ethical products.
Promoting transparency has been a core part of the Kindhumans identity from its inception and this is one area where the worlds of charity and blockchain tech can meet.
Kindhumans have been exceptionally progressive and have chosen Nimiq (NIM) from a huge list of possible blockchains to record a hash of their annual transparency report on.
Kindhumans have also chosen to embrace cryptocurrency payments and accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and NIM in their store via an integration with Nimiq Checkout.
The important thing to know is that Kindhumans could have chosen from a long list of crypto payment solutions to enable the store to accept cryptocurrency.
So, with the huge choice of solutions out there, why choose Nimiq to partner with? One of the key things for Kindhumans is that they like to partner with tech projects that share their ideals and values.
Nimiq is one of the few crypto projects that has had a strong focus on charity and supporting causes of high social and ecological impact upon its inception.
Indeed, 2% of the entire token supply was dedicated to the Nimiq Charity, which has the sole function of supporting eco-friendly causes and human development initiatives. This alignment in values is one of the core things powering forward the collaboration between Nimiq and Kindhumans.
However, values and ethos are not everything. Collaborations need to make business sense too and it seems that the Kindhumans team have understood the vast potential of future Nimiq Checkout updates to solve some of the key problems holding back crypto merchant adoption.
Right now, the Kindhumans store is powered by a crypto-only version of the Nimiq Checkout. From a merchant point of view, there is nothing really remarkable about this.
It simply allows crypto users like you and me to send BTC, ETH or NIM to merchants like Kindhumans in an integrated checkout process. Yes, you could argue that the interface is nicer and simpler than most of the other solutions out there, but the remarkable features of Nimiq Checkout are yet to come.
Kindhumans seem to be sold on the enhanced value propositions that will be opened up to merchants in future versions of Nimiq Checkout. The first ongoing research effort is Nimiq OASIS, which stands for the Open Asset Swap Interaction Scheme.
This is a blueprint for a crypto-to-fiat bridge, which makes fiat currencies like the Euro behave as if it were a token on the blockchain. In short, Nimiq OASIS aims to provide a new way of connecting the crypto world with the traditional banking network.
What we are seeing is a collection of standards being created [that] will inevitably converge over the next three to five years to create a situation where you can move information and value between all these different systems ー not just Bitcoin to Litecoin to Ethereum to Cardano ー but also your regular bank account
Team Nimiq have already announced that they plan to integrate Nimiq OASIS into Nimiq Checkout and offer integrated merchants the ability to accept payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum and NIM in a completely non-custodial way.
This will all be settled in Euros directly to their SEPA instant bank accounts. This means that Nimiq Checkout integrators like Kindhumans can benefit from:
In short, Nimiq OASIS aims to solve two of the main problems holding back merchant adoption: The volatility of crypto and making it much simpler for merchants to accept this new form of payment.
With Nimiq OASIS set to be rolled out in 2020, it much easier to see why Kindhumans opted for Nimiq Checkout integration today and pass on the numerous other crypto merchant solutions out there.
Anyone who has been in crypto for a while will know that crypto projects tend to over-hype ‘technological innovations’ on the horizon and end up failing to deliver.
However, with Nimiq OASIS, there appears to be some serious substance behind the research effort. Nimiq announced in early 2019 that it had formed a strategic partnership with German owned WEG Bank.
This was given further weight by Nimiq acquiring a 9.9% stake in the bank and joining other stakeholders like Litecoin and TokenPay.
The key thing to know here is that the WEG Bank and Nimiq relationship is focused on Nimiq OASIS. Via WEG Bank, Nimiq OASIS would be able to leverage the SEPA instant banking network and this would extend the reach of OASIS to over 2,000+ banks in 20 different countries.
WEG Bank also recently announced the launch of its crypto-focused banking unit called TEN31. Nimiq is heavily featured on the new site and this seems to indicate the vital role Nimiq will play in the future of TEN31 bank and the delivery of banking solutions to crypto-focussed businesses.
In October 2019, TEN31 Bank announced that Salamantex, a prominent crypto point of sale terminal provider, had also become a 9.9% stake stakeholder in the bank. The result is that TEN31 and WEG Bank are now 40% owned by crypto-focused businesses.
No official statement has yet been released. However, it would not be surprising to hear in the near future that Salamantex was planning to integrate Nimiq OASIS technology into its sales terminals and extend the reach of Nimiq OASIS to real world stores too.
So, when will Nimiq OASIS be ready?
The Nimiq team have already stated that the first test transactions should be complete by the end of 2019 and that the technology should be rolled out in 2020. These timeframes are also supported by information on the TEN31 website.
Scaling is a massive problem faced by almost every crypto payment system and Nimiq is no different. However, Nimiq’s second major research effort is the Albatross proof-of-stake consensus algorithm which focuses on solving that very problem.
This is being pursued in collaboration with Trinkler Software and a technical paper has already been published. What’s astonishing is that the initial findings are that Albatross will achieve a performance close to the theoretical maximum of a single-chain protocol.
The reason why this is important for Nimiq OASIS is that the process will use the Nimiq blockchain. This means that if Nimiq Checkout is adopted at scale, that the Nimiq blockchain will need to be capable of processing an ever increasing number of transactions, potentially causing a bottleneck.
Currently, the Nimiq blockchain is capable of processing 7 transactions per second (the same as Bitcoin).
However, with the testing of Albatross already in progress and its integration into Nimiq 2.0 scheduled for Q2 2020, it is expected that the Albatross improvements would see the Nimiq blockchain being capable of 1,000+ transactions per second. To place that into context, that’s an average five times more than PayPal has to manage.
The key thing to know here is that if Nimiq’s OASIS powered multi-crypto merchant solution really takes off, then Albatross is set to play a key role in ensuring that those crypto-to-fiat conversions remain quick for merchants.
We consider Nimiq to be a hidden gem that’s flying under the radar of the crypto community. If you want to learn more, why not watch our deep dive video into the project?
Like it or not, crypto still has a massive reputation problem amoungst a mainstream audience. Yes, that the link between crypto and criminality is likely to fade over time.
However, before crypto can truly be mass adopted, it needs to achieve mainstream acceptance. We believe that the key to changing that viewpoint is being able to show the doubters tangible examples where blockchain tech has been embraced and adopted to support good causes.
That’s where progressive ethical companies like Kindhumans can add tremendous value and help power forward crypto adoption.
It is also why you should consider supporting businesses like Kindhumans and show the mainstream the true spirit of the crypto community. If we can pull together and create that positive news-flow, then it will surely bring us one step closer to the mass adoption that so many in the crypto community wants.
The future and speed of wider adoption could very well be in your hands. Will you sit idly by or will you do your bit to help break the link between crypto and criminality?
That’s on you to decide.
Featured Image via KindHumans
The post Kindhumans Ethical Store Accepts Crypto: Why This Matters appeared first on Coin Bureau.