Spend Bitcoin at Over 32 Million Contactless PoS Terminals Worldwide — By Proxy

Danial Daychopan
4 min readDec 19, 2015

Plutus is a mobile app that lets you pay using Bitcoin at NFC-enabled PoS terminals worldwide. Under the hood, it’s powered by a true peer-to-peer exchange which fuels the payment system.

In the Bitcoin community, a merchant starting to accept the digital currency is still a notable celebration that echoes throughout the community. But sadly this is still a surprisingly difficult accomplishment.

Cash and good old bank cards work just fine for merchants, using Bitcoin adds unnecessary complications unless your local coffee shop or the computer store starts accepting it for ideological or speculative reasons.

Aside from market volatility, the transaction speed and fees for Bitcoin are also very difficult for merchants to adjust to. If these issues are not addressed, merchant adoption will continue to decrease and in just a few years, Bitcoin will become a speculative asset with limited to no use-case.

“I’ve never seen a problem that was solved by only complaining about it.” — Steve Keating

Instead of waiting for the technology to improve and merchants to catch up, we have developed a prototype for the Plutus app, it enables a way to pay with Bitcoin even if the merchant doesn’t accept it.

You simply send crypto to the address displayed on the app, it’s then converted to fiat via our custom built peer to peer exchange (PlutusDEX) and within minutes, you are ready to spend it in store with your debit card or your NFC enabled mobile phone.

Plutus will be the first crypto startups to utilise the recently released Ethereum blockchain to create a self custody on/off ramp for crypto/fiat and use its ERC20 technology to award our customers with loyalty rewards on the blockchain (Pluton Reward Token) for spending with the Plutus app and card, similarly to in-store reward points or air miles collected with an American Express Card.

How Plutus works — in 5 steps

1. You send wBTC to an address displayed on the Plutus app.

2. The coins are forwarded automatically to verified traders on our proprietary built p2p exchange (PlutusDEX) for an offer in GBP, EUR, etc.

3. The DEX running on the Ethereum blockchain recognises that the buyer has received your wrapped BTC (or other ERC20 tokens), and the equivalent fiat deposit in escrow from the buyer is automatically released to your Plutus debit card balance.

4. You can now tap and pay with your Plutus card linked to your Plutus app at any NFC-enabled PoS terminal in the world

5. The merchants will always receive payment in their preferred currency through the global debit card network, and the customer gets to spend their digital assets even if the merchant doesn’t directly accept it.

In the end, the intent of the app is to be practical. Plutus was never intended to be ‘disruptive’ towards the status-quo (especially since it plugs into existing banking infrastructure). It’s simply a stepping stone towards mass adoption and a practical day to day use-case that many crypto proponents have been asking for since 2010.

Simply having a quantifiable advantage over your competition, such as being faster or cheaper often isn’t enough. Intuition tells us that these benefits should be adequate to convince people to switch platforms, but switching to a slightly better option is almost never worth the risk and cost of changing the current system.

(Fortunately, something I learned the hard way at my previous start-up.)

Why? Because of a fascinating concept called the Prospect Theory.

Prospect Theory was first developed by Nobel Prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman and brought to my attention by William Mougayar, states that people tend to be more risk-seeking in the domain of losses and risk-averse in the domain of gains. In simpler terms, when choosing a service, people seek safety and security and are hesitant to switch to a newer one once they have made their decision, unless there is a risk of loss, such as lower service, a reduction in monetary benefits or a threat to security.

We addressed these concern by going far beyond the status quo and introducing a concept for a payments app built around decentralisation and the efficiency of exchange between crypto and fiat, while also offering self-custody of digital currency.

All transactions are sent to traders in accordance with the peer-to-peer philosophy of Bitcoin. Not your keys, not your coins!

The Plutus app will let you pay with crypto at any NFC PoS terminal in the world, but the real innovation is the decentralised exchange that powers it. The PlutusDEX connects users and traders directly within its peer-to-peer exchange and tracks crypto swaps for fiat on the Ethereum network, eliminating various types of risk by not holding any of customer’s coins or by relying on our 3rd party centralised exchanges for off-ramps.

Plutus will be the first such advanced and most rewarding payments application on the market, built around a decentralised technology, many will recognise its potential and try to emulate its best features such as its custom built DEX or the rewards.

The number of people around the world earning bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through work, mining, trading, etc. is rapidly growing, and they are well aware of how difficult it is to spend them, especially at local brick-and-mortar merchants. Often, this is impossible. To overcome this challenge, Plutus was developed. With Plutus, you can spend your crypto without waiting for merchant adoption and earn additional crypto rewards in the process. It’s an optimal use case and a killer app especially for those whose income is denominated in digital currencies.