Editorial

Putting power in people with crypto applications & payments

August 21, 2019

For most people, crypto is likely perceived as an object of speculation in the first place. But dig a little deeper, and most of us understand that the value of any cryptocurrency is not simply a matter of supply and demand - and even if it were, such demand depends in part on the utility a specific token, coin, or the specific blockchain offers its users and society. 

Beyond being guided by technical analysis, investors or traders look at the potential of cryptocurrencies and take the markets they are set to disrupt into account. 

What we’re seeing now, is that crypto is becoming increasingly practical, with entrepreneurs finding new use cases to optimise daily activities. Here we’d like to discuss some use cases that show how crypto is making its way into everyday life, both online and offline. 


Blogging Platforms

While paid-for blogging platforms are nothing new, it’s interesting to see how crypto entrepreneurs have been working to create alternative revenue models around content creation. 


Cent 

Cent is a blogging platform, which recently launched a new feature that enables users to transfer crypto to one another via chat. It doesn’t require users to download a wallet, but instead offers a custodial wallet built into user accounts. Their main goal is to enable people to be rewarded, and earn money, on the basis of their creative output online.  


Civil

Some will be familiar with Civil, a news platform which seeks to free journalism from its ads-driven revenue model, and instead put power back in the people by enabling users to reward high quality news content. While Civil had some trouble starting up in 2018, it seems they’ve adapted some of their strategies and are making a new attempt this year. Their native token, CVL, can be used to tip newsrooms or writers, but for now the platform also allows people to donate using their credit card without requiring them to hold CVL to gain access to the content.  


Coil

Another blogging platform worth mentioning is Coil, which seeks to help content creators earn crypto - XRP to be precise. Readers simply pay a flat fee of $5 per month, and Coil automatically pays content creators in Ripple based on usage. 

What all these examples have in common is that they’re tackling the flawed assumption that ‘everything on the Internet is for free’ - knowing full well that a lot of money is being made from ads - and that they design incentives for the creation of high-quality (as opposed to sensational) content. 


Crypto in everyday life 

But it’s not just online that we’re seeing more and more use cases for crypto. In daily life there are similar developments - and not just in emerging economies. 

In Australia, for example, people are now able to pay their utility bills using Bitcoin. Another site, provides a comprehensive overview of travel-related services that can be paid for with Bitcoin. We wrote about this at length in one of our previous articles

But what’s perhaps most exciting - and what aligns well with what prompted us to set up Bitspark in the first place - is to see crypto empower the unbanked. 

In The Philippines, for example, we’re working together with Okra Solar, a startup that provides off-grid solar solutions to remote communities that have little to no access to banking services. They are now able to pay their electricity bills with stable.PHP - a stablecoin pegged to the Philippine peso.    


Putting power in people

What we have to remember in assessing the value and utility of cryptocurrency is that it was initially created to empower people. We can’t underestimate how attractive the idea is - especially for financially excluded communities or those living under oppressive regimes - to truly own their own funds, without having to rely on banks or other centralised institutions. 

Over the coming years, as we see crypto really becoming rooted in people’s everyday lives, and disrupting established systems, we should simultaneously see a shift in power which will see communities taking charge of their own affairs. 

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