Our progress on ethPay — Fiat currency rates and product catalogs on IPFS

It’s time for a development update on our platform Ethereum Android and our mobile dApp ethPay.

The new release went public a few days ago and mainly includes two new features, support of fiat currency translation, and you can now attach product catalogs to your ethPay store.

Fiat currency translation

The Ether price has exploded in the last months from around 20 USD in March to around 300 USD by the time this article is written. The exchange rate is also very volatile. This trend is certainly beneficial for people who invested early in Ether or are trading with it. However, merchants that want to accept Ether as currency for payments have a problem because they are under constant pressure to hedge those fluctuations to not make a deficit.

What we did to tackle this issue was to feed the app with live data of the current Ether exchange rate. By default, the fiat currency of the user is set automatically by region, however, he can change it anytime in the settings.

When creating a new transaction, the user can specify the amount in his fiat currency which is then translated to the current Ether value and vice versa.

This is especially useful if you consider that merchants normally want to offer their products at fixed prices. A merchant defines the price of an offer in their fiat currency and every time this product gets purchased the customer pays the fixed price translated to Ether at the current exchange rate.

Of course, this does not replace the fact that the merchant still gets paid in Ether and has to hedge against the currency’s fluctuations but we think it is a step in the right direction.

Attach product catalogs to ethPay stores

Now this might seem to be a minor addition in terms of UI, however, it was a lot more that happened under the hood.

Basically, we have added the possibility for merchants to add a predefined product catalog to their ethPay stores. This has the effect that you only need to create and maintain one data set.

EthPay supports the standard for structured data, which is also used by Google to create context rich search results for e-commerce websites (see image below).

Example of a context rich search result

If you want to try it out, have a look at our product-catalog-template. Below you can see a short tutorial that shows how you can publish the catalog to the ethPay store. The ethPay-Merchant app for now only uploads the catalog to IPFS, although, we plan to extend it in the future with more functionality.

The catalog feature is just an intermediate step. We have implemented the logic, the UI for it is coming soon.

There is still a lot more to come, so stay tuned :)