Crypto credit cards, gateway apps, and direct crypto payments are innovative options available for users to pay with cryptocurrency everywhere they go. Let’s dive into how these solutions work and take a look at the potential for future large-scale crypto adoption.
Bitcoin emerged as an alternative medium of exchange and, along with other cryptocurrencies, has been disrupting finance for quite some time. But one major drawback remains unresolved: when it comes to everyday payments, cryptocurrencies may not be the most practical option on the market.
With the rise in the popularity of crypto over the past decade, innovative solutions to this issue started to appear. Today, there are three prevalent ways to use crypto for everyday payments.
Direct crypto payments
The first option for paying with crypto is the original way — direct peer-to-peer transactions over the blockchain carried out between the sender and receiver without an intermediary.
Depending on the cryptocurrency, this method requires lengthy transaction confirmation times and potentially involves high fees. For example, Bitcoin transaction fees can cost up to 50 USD and might take up to 60 minutes to confirm. Regardless, some online stores still opt for this method of payment.
However, there are new projects aimed at solving such hurdles. One of the most recent is Electric Cash, designed to eliminate such lengthy transaction wait times and significantly reduce fees, making direct crypto payments a far more attractive option.
Crypto payment gateway apps
Today, transactions in digital currencies are most commonly carried out through cryptocurrency payment service providers. They act as intermediaries, offer the infrastructure to instantly convert cryptocurrencies into fiat currency at a fixed exchange rate, and charge a fee for these services. Thanks to them, payments are scalable, secure, and fast, helping cryptocurrencies achieve greater adoption.
However, this solution relies on centralized third-party providers. So, they must be trustworthy, as they have control over the assets.
This option takes the previous concept one step further by offering dedicated cards integrated with fiat gateway providers such as VISA and MasterCard.
Shoppers can use their crypto to pay anywhere VISA or Mastercard are accepted. They can do this the same way they would with a traditional credit card. The crypto card app automatically converts digital currency into fiat to make the payment.
Such payment solutions are paving crypto’s way towards mainstream use. But it takes more than just innovative ideas. Global regulators, established companies, and even central banks have recently begun pushing for crypto payment options that could accelerate global adoption.
Here are some of the key developments that support and contribute to the expansion of global crypto payment adoption.
Supportive regulatory policies
A recent announcement from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) stated that federally chartered banks and thrifts might participate in independent node verification networks and use stablecoins for payment activities. As the banks control the monetary and financial systems, allowing them to settle payments using crypto opens up a wider possibility for use in daily life.
Adoption by global companies
Popular online payment platform PayPal has integrated crypto in its payment network, opening up the gates for 29 million registered merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrencies.
Car giant Tesla has also started to accept payments in Bitcoin.
The world’s leading payment processing network, VISA, recently announced plans to support payment settlements in cryptocurrency. The idea is to integrate crypto wallets into the VISA payment network, allowing for direct payments (without converting to fiat) at 70 million merchants worldwide.
Such mega-companies supporting crypto payments can have a positive impact on the market and encourage others to follow suit.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are a direct representation of a nation’s fiat currency in the form of a digital currency. They are issued directly by the central bank of a country and are controlled by the government. National governments and banking institutions in China, US, Sweden and others are already developing their CBDCs.
As these CBDCs will be backed and operated by the government, there will be no legal or regulatory problems for their use. Their integration into everyday life can prove easy, helping to get the general public familiar with the concept of crypto.
Cryptocurrencies are on the verge of mainstream acceptance as a standard payment method. Within the next few years, we could see a shift in how society chooses to pay for goods and services. Among the newest innovative projects, Electric Cash aims to make this transition an obvious one by providing a unique cash-like cryptocurrency experience through easy and cost-effective solutions.
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