It’s hard to argue with cryptocurrency’s proliferation in the past 18 months. Even though the last two months have seen crypto markets depreciate by more than 50%, they are still posting massive gains from their price a year ago. According to CoinMarketCap, the crypto cap is more than eight times higher than it was at this time last year.
It’s incredible, right?
This run bull run created a comprehensive crypto fan base that adamantly supports their adoption and believes in their ability to make meaningful contributions to the digital economy. In just the first three months of 2018, ICOs raised more than $5 billion, which is a 20% than they accrued in all of 2017, a record year at the time. At times, this unbridled enthusiasm can be confused with actual usability, something that is far more elusive in crypto markets.
The most ardent critics point out that, although it bears the name “currency,” cryptocurrencies are rarely usable as such. In many ways, digital currencies are more akin to commodities, investment assets that have value but aren’t typically used to facilitate transactions.
They have a point. There are very few companies that accept the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, at checkout, and it’s even less likely that one of the many alternative coins that join the market this year are usable for purchasing goods in the real world.
Better with Blockchain
However, the blockchain’s technology is powerful, and it’s fast enough that adequate solutions should be readily available and impeccably useful. Indeed, those solutions are emerging, and it could solve crypto’s nagging liquidity problem.
Zeex, a blockchain-based platform lets digital currency holders purchase gift cards to a large selection of significant retailers. Using the Ethereum blockchain’s capable infrastructure, Zeex provides rapid transaction speeds that more closely mimic the use of credit or debit cards at online platforms. Regarding retail liquidity, this of the most profound expression of usable digital currency that we’ve seen since Bitcoin first launched in 2009.
Of course, Bitcoin’s original intention was not to serve as a speculative asset. Instead, it intended to facilitate P2P payments for the digital economy; therefore, Zeex and other companies like it are bringing cryptocurrency into maturity by finally letting cryptocurrency holders go shopping.
With Zeex, cryptocurrency users can jump from crypto to product without fiat money or fees. In doing so, they are bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and the products that people want to buy with them.
Zeex partners with more than 500 mainstream retailers so that users can turn their digital currency into a wide variety of goods. Their partners include Amazon, American Eagle, Starbucks, Footlocker, Gap, Ticketmaster, Xbox, PlayStation, and many more. By converting digital currency to corporate currency in the form of gift cards, users can access their products without losing money through conversion rates all while taking advantage of savings opportunities presented by using a company’s own currency to make purchases.
Although Zeex offers the most expansive array of partners and accepts the most diverse selection of cryptocurrencies, they are not the only players providing this solution. Crypto owners, especially Bitcoin holders, have many options in this regard. The most notable, eGifter and GiftToken offer a marketplace for Bitcoin holders to translate their digital currency into gift cards. However, these platforms a more complex exchange system that costs users some value.
Usability Equates with Value
Together these platforms are empowering their users to make real purchases using virtual gift cards. As digital currencies accelerate in popularity and value, it’s essential that they also become more usable. When that’s the case, who needs fiat money? A secure, speedy and digital alternative, seems more appealing in every way.
2017 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year that cryptocurrencies made their mainstream debut. As fun as that was, 2018 is the year that they become truly usable, and that starts with the ability to actually use digital currency to buy stuff. Although it’s not a revolutionary concept, crypto’s inability complete this simple task has been a black eye on the industry for too long. As a result, these platforms certainly feel like a novel solution for cryptocurrency usability.
This is a sponsored post.