The following piece is pure work of fiction. The idea behind is to imagine what a future, in which Nimiq is widely successful, would look like ;).
Not financial advice obviously.
I wake up to the sound of my alarm, grab a cup of coffee and begin to browse the news on my tablet. An article catches my eyes: a retrospective on three decades of Paypal, the former giant of payment announced a reorganization few weeks ago and the closure of its historic online service.
Like most journals today, these in-depth articles lie behind a paywall, the site proposes me to log in with a simple digital signature using NimiqID? I do it and pay in a single tap, the price of the article is 50 luna (around 0.003 euros). No registration, no mails, no problems.
I remember that at first companies were resistant to this kind of micropayment, especially as it meant moving from well established and juicy subscription practices. However, when start-ups (which had nothing to lose) began to monetize their web apps and games through micropayments in NIM, they were progressively forced to adapt.
Looking back, the frenzy around NIM began in 2023. At this time many cryptocurrencies had managed to scale. But despite all of these pretending to be the new currency of the internet, none of them were really built to work in symbiosis with its main software gateway: the web browser… except Nimiq of course!
The main issue of these pretendants was that they all required to interact with third party apps and extensions which not only was an obstacle to gain new users but was really too archaic and cumbersome in an age when consumer-faced native software was on its last leg.
Nimiq was the only protocol able to run a node directly in the user’s browser, removing a considerable weight from the shoulders of developers and merchants who would no longer need to deal with SPV nodes or centralized API servers to plug their services to the blockchain.
Team Nimiq had the foresight to see that painless onboarding and easy UX would be the core component for potential adoption and when it materialized, they were proven right.
Of course at first the use was rather anecdotic, little browser games selling you items for the fiat equivalent of less than a cent, shady gambling site on which you could bet for even less (or much more!), but the dynamic was launched!
Micropayments powered by NIM suddenly popped all around the web and in the following years, video websites, news website, music websites, etc…
Someone you would never have paid 5 bucks a month to watch his videos was now able to propose you a fair deal: if you appreciated his free content you could pay him a penny and watch another piece.
An entire galaxy of internet content in this historically awkward area of “too expensive to pay a buck for but too good to not be financially supported” was suddenly ripe for monetization with this “neo-pay-per-view”.
Middlemen like Patreon or Ko-fi were the first hit as their entire business model was disrupted… but few years down the line, mastodons like Netflix and Spotify were pressured to offer a micropayment model too in order to not lose their dominant positions to more daring competitors.
The second victims were ads and data mining, as more and more content producers and service providers were enabled to at least partially fund themselves and earn directly from their audience without having their personal datas milked dry by the like of Google or Facebook.
In fact, by now the ad space has shrunk considerably and services asking for your personal informations are increasingly shunned as unethical.
The internet of 2033 is considerably less plagued by ads, trackers or data leaks… and it is for the best.
That said, early on many people were still not keen on using crypto because of its volatility, especially established merchants and service providers.
But the solution was found once again by Nimiq with its OASIS framework. The ability to set an atomic swap directly between fiat money and crypto, without having to subscribe to a payment processor doped the growth of the model, merchants accepted payment in NIM and received fiat directly on their accounts.
Of course as a result, the DEX which integrated OASIS early soon ascended as leaders while the ones relying on (supposedly) fiat backed stablecoins faded away as they were simply made obsolete.
Still, more and more people these days decide to keep most of their assets in NIM pushed by a feeling of convenience and trust, especially as the confidence in fiat dwindled so hard after the events of the last decade.
I prepare to leave my home when I get a notification my salary arrived today: half of the balance was directly sent into my staking address which I guess I should call “saving account” by now. As I walk down the street I stumble on a banking ad promising me security and the best rates if I deposit my NIM in their custody service.
This remind me that I still have a fiat bank account but to be honest it has barely more money on it than when I was a broke student, knowing in advance the inflation of NIM for the next century is plenty stability enough. Especially after what happened in the late 10s — early 20s, when some banks began to set negative rates on saving accounts.
Yet many skeptics were still considering Nimiq a fad less than a decade ago, that’s when VR really began to make a surge in the middle-class homes.
But the virtual world unexpectedly evolved in a radically different manner compared to the old model of “captive” games.
Currencies like Gems or Points were initially tried by studios and editors, but they were not fitting for an ecosystem where people switched seamlessly between experiences and as such were reluctant to deal with tens if not hundreds of in game currencies.
At the same time the legacy financial system was still too rooted in the concept of physical borders for VR while payment processors like Paypal and equivalent didn’t allow the “open programmable money” aspect of cryptocurrencies. That’s when acceleration really happened for Nimiq,
VR soon became much more than video games, when “virtual experiences” began to gain traction (something which can be best described as an interactive show) there was no real business model put in place. Nimiq was first used more as a way to tip people, but as the process refined and a class of “experience crafter” composed of artists and developers emerged. Attention and capital soon flowed to this new world and NIM became like the Peso in 1670.
Back to the present: my fridge is empty but happily brick and mortar grocery stores remain a thing, I make a stop by the nearest one to refill. As I checkout, the Salamantex terminal asks me in which currency I desire to transact. I click on the hexagon icon, wait a second for the confirmation and head back home.
Many thanks to Rob and Chugwig for proofreading this article and to all the people in the team and the community for infusing their creativity and efforts in the building of Nimiq.
Disclaimer: the author is financially invested in NIM.