In 1999, Professor Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics stated:
“I think the internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of the government. The one thing that’s missing but that will soon be developed, is a reliable e-cash”
Nine years later, Bitcoin was born. Since then, despite having surpassed the market capitalization of some of the largest US Companies, there have been some pretty major value swings, ongoing security concerns, alleged price manipulation, and outright theft of currency in some exchanges. This altogether has translated into a lack of trust from both the Institutions and the public, and thus, calling currency’s utility into question.
Without a mature regulatory environment yet, consumers are a major driving force in adopting cryptocurrency as form of payment. However, there are currently three main hurdles that stand in the way of exponential consumer adoption:
Complexity, efficiency and safety.
Wuabit is poised to become the “go to” platform, from which any user can engage in a wide array of crypto currency financial services without even being aware of the existence of these three issues… And best of all; transactions will be carried out as if one was talking to his/her best friend. Literally.
A basic transaction like sending bitcoin to a digital wallet, may still remain an “obscure” concept even for people that already heard about blockchain and have some familiarity with the technology. At a minimum, it requires creating a digital wallet, funding it and having some basic understanding around public/private keys, blockchain ledger… And more importantly; to ensure that mistakes won’t be made so that the funds can actually make it to the other end. Compare for example this order in plain english:
Send 0.01973 ETH to 0xfE9e8709d3215310075d67E3ed32A380CCf451C8
with the same transaction to a named contact or internet domain-like destination:
Send 0.01973 ETH to pizzagogo.com
Or even better:
Pay 3€ pizzagogo
This is where Wuabit comes in, by massively facilitating this and other types of transactions for consumers wanting to leverage the superior capabilities unlocked by blockchain. It will be integrated in WhatsApp, and the user’s requests will be submitted in plain English/Spanish (and more languages as time goes by) to a chatbot that will interpret, and then execute the transactions in the back end. The chatbot will simply act as another WhatsApp contact and will be able to understand increasingly complex commands, all thanks to a powerful machine learning NLU engine (Natural Language Understanding).
Basic services will include and not be limited to displaying balances, sending or receiving funds easily, showing user crypto addresses (in fancy qrcodes), adding contacts, paying bills/invoices and refilling prepaid phone card balances to name a few. Even external accounts like email or twitter will be valid recipients as well. More advanced services like trading other currency pairs within different exchanges will also be supported.
In addition, integration with third party services will be at the core of Wuabit, and it will aim to streamline many other micro tasks, whether those involve transferring value through crypto assets or not. Example of these are the purchase or deployment of smart contracts, and the issuing of micro loans.
Thriving within a perfect marriage: WhatsApp and Crypto
As with other ventures, ensuring the highest possible degree of safety for the users should be at the cornerstone of the value proposition. One of the great advantages that Wuabit brings to us, is the fact that WhatsApp is already a trustworthy and efficient form of communication on its own; at least according to over one billion active daily users worldwide. Of course that is our primary goal IM, but being a multichannel service, Telegram, FB Messenger and more will be available. The blockchain network on the other hand, has enabled a whole other level of security and efficiencies that this article won’t discuss.
Helping to change the landscape
The world economy is moving towards an improved financial system, where transactions will become inherently nimble.
To that end, the adoption of blockchain technology at a greater scale will have a major impact on the current payments ecosystem: Costs of doing business being greatly reduced, elimination of checks, no dependency on Country, no dependency on time frame, increased security, drastically reduced lag times, and possibly among the most important for underdeveloped economies, the complete elimination of barriers to entry for consumers easing them the path towards financial inclusion and becoming part of the day-to-day economic activities.
For instance, WhatsApp is currently the most widely used messaging app in Africa and of course, the ubiquitous SMS, available in feature phones all over the old continent. This context provides Wuabit with all necessary elements to help improve the life of individuals with no access to a bank account or no prospects of ever gaining access to global finance services and economy.
All in all, it is undoubtable that tough and exciting challenges lie ahead of Wuabit’s team, but it is with the determination of harnessing the power of existing technology and making it seamlessly actionable, that those challenges will be overcome.