SparkleCOIN Is Using the Blockchain to Make Cryptocurrencies Accessible for Everyone 0 121

Cryptocurrencies, along with the broader implications of blockchain technology, are poised to disrupt core pillars of our modern economy. By scaling adoption of these digital assets, we can sustain levels of accessibility, liquidity, and security that society has never before seen in a fiscal system.

SparkleCOIN, a hot blockchain startup, is on a mission to accelerate this shift by developing a platform to support and foster the rise of cryptocurrencies into mainstream business and consumer markets. At a high level, they do this through the creation of the SparkleCOIN ecosphere, a collection of companies that leverage the blockchain to solve for three of the biggest problems in crypto today: accessibility, consumer demand, and convenience.

Accessibility

One systemic problem plaguing the “crypto-economy” is the inaccessible nature of most popular exchanges. Without access to consumer insights, most new coin offerings never reach “true levels of liquidity” because they do not have sufficient market exposure. And even those lucky enough to time and negotiate the exchange correctly, are often unable to transact with fiat currency. These are both limiting factors that will delay, and in the worst case, prevent adoption of a decentralized monetary network.

Thus, the SparkleCOIN team has created the VCoin Exchange, a component of the Ecosphere, which resolves many of these issues by providing an “instantaneous trading platform for SparkleCOIN to be traded with US Dollars, as well as Bitcoin and Ether.” This lowers the barrier to entry for new blockchain projects and makes it easier for different parties to participate in this growing matrix.

Consumer Demand

Another big technical obstacle, stagnating growth, is that the mass market consumer cannot easily and conveniently acquire and spend cryptocurrencies. They are bounded by the supply of potential outlets to transact their capital, and therefore, are less incentivized to acquire the coins in the first place.

VCoinMall, another piece of the SparkleCOIN ecosphere of companies, enables customers to shop (and spend cryptocurrency) with a number of the biggest and most trusted online brands and websites. Massive players, like Walmart, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Staples, are all bought into the network, effectively making it so any consumer can spend their currency wherever and whenever they like, without facing extremely high fees, security risk, and long delays. This “peer-to-peer e-tailer” is the first universal marketplace for customers to find retailers who accept cryptocurrency.

Convenience

The final, and perhaps most critical element of SparkleCOIN’s ecosystem, is the VCoin Exchange’s payment gateway which has the potential to become the Paypal/Stripe of the blockchain generation.

Currently, there are no convenient and inexpensive services which empower startups with the ability to accept cryptocurrency transactions. The modern, yet still friction-ful answer is to build out a cumbersome engineering organization that can, after thousands of lines of code, provide a work-around solution. This is inefficient, non-standardized practice is not seamless enough to scale and support a global economy. And, as startups are all about moving quickly, has prevented many companies from offering a cryptocurrency payment service to their customers.

With the VCoin Exchange integration, partner retailers can, in just a few taps, open their stores to begin accepting payments via cryptocurrencies. It hinges on their payment gateway, which automatically integrates with most, if not all, of the existing ecommerce platforms and networks. Rather than provide a bulky solution, SparkleCOIN focused on pillars of convenience and simplicity, which prioritize ease of integration to ensure all retailers will be able to quickly integrate. Over time, as major players begin to endorse this system, the VCoin Exchange plug-in will become the standard means of accepting payments due to network effects.

In today’s world, the benefits of technology are far outpacing the ability for society to keep up. There are tangible, solvable answers to many of the world’s biggest problems, yet we are lagging behind due to our inability to focus on what is really important.

SparkleCOIN, with the support of their growing community, is effectively bridging the gap between the benefits of frontier blockchain technologies, mainstream businesses (who run on legacy systems) and the general consumer public by “enabling secure B2B and B2C transactions.” This is an important step towards a fairer future.

Though SparkleCOIN’s efforts to introduce a blockchain monetary ecosystem may be just one, of the many necessary steps needed for society to begin embracing the benefits of blockchain (as well as other popular cryptocurrencies), it is important to recognize the inevitable effects of the first mover advantage. If executed efficiently, and at scale, SparkleCOIN could be able to secure key partnerships in the industry, thereby building a moat around their technology and solution for years to come.

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post on December 4, 2017.

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Starting her career on Wall Street at just 19 years old, Danielle went on to be one of the youngest equity traders in the industry. After a successful career in Financial Planning, she went on to found her media company What Vibes Your Tribe, which connects the worlds of digital marketing and public relations. Her experience in brand strategy along with successfully developing the thought leadership of C -level executives has played an integral part in her client's achieving prestigious awards such as Inc 500, Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startup, Entrepreneur 360 among other top level recognition.

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Kenya Looks to Blockchain for Affordable Housing Project 1 142

The “Silicon Savannah” is moving deeper in direction of tech. The Kenyan government has announced a plan to manage the property allocation and funding of 500,000 affordable housing units with blockchain technology.

The units, which the government aims to build by 2022, will be set aside for households with an annual income below 100,000 Kenyan Shillings, about $990 USD. The World Bank estimates Kenya’s gross national income per capita at $1,290, according to Business Daily.

Blockchain will help ensure that the affordable housing is in fact going to those who fall below the average income bracket. Land title fraud has caused problems for Kenyans, as land grabbers target homes and even schools for illegal sales and development. Blockchain’s ability to store verifiable proof of title could help safeguard against fraudsters.

“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government funded housing projects,” said Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga, speaking with the World Bank on Monday.

Hinga said the plan will be financed by the National Housing Fund, which will raise over $59.5 million per month to get the project underway. But Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia said it will take $31.7 billion to build a million homes, each of which will cost between $3,000 and $30,000. Macharia called for support from private sector financing.

Under the financing plan, working Kenyans will contribute 1.5 percent of their salary, which will be matched by their employers. “On affordable housing one should not spend more than 30% of their disposable income for housing,” Hinga tweeted yesterday. “Anything above 30% is not affordable.”

A Trustless Relationship Between People and Government

The initiative represents a considerable push to solve housing and title problems for the nation’s lower income families. But how will the government decide to whom the housing units will go? With so much talk about financing underway, people are already calling on the government to outline a plan for how they’ll distribute the affordable housing units.

The government will need to deliver the housing projects in a time when, Hinga acknowledges, the public is skeptical. Earlier this year $78 million went missing in a corruption scandal involving the National Youth Services. Where there is little trust between the people and their government, Kenya hopes to establish transparency through the blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Kenya’s Move Toward Tech

In March, Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology appointed a blockchain taskforce to explore the ways the nation could use blockchain technology in the public and private sectors. They called it the Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence taskforce, and by September its chairman, Bitange Ndemo, was calling on the government to tokenize the economy.

Ndemo also proposed government implementation of blockchain to certify the authenticity of retail goods, so consumers can be sure of where their food is coming from, for example.

Governor of Kenya’s central bank Patrick Njoroge has also voiced support for the use of blockchain technology to strengthen service delivery, although he’s opposed the use of tokens and digital currencies.

But the affordable housing initiative could be the Kenyan government’s first real world implementation of the blockchain.

There’s an Inflatable ‘Bitcoin Rat’ Staring Down the Fed 1 126

Someone has put a giant inflatable rat outside the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

It’s covered in Bitcoin code, printed in rainbow colors, and is apparently a piece of installation art aimed at subverting the federal institution that controls the US dollar. Or is it pale, puffed-up pariah a commentary on Bitcoin bros themselves? Or does it have something to do with Warren Buffett, who earlier this year called Bitcoin “rat poison squared”? According to CoinDesk, who first reported on the inflatable rat, the meaning is intentionally ambiguous.

The artist behind the puzzling prank is Nelson Saiers. He describes his own work as “mystifying” and “singularly original”, notwithstanding the long history of rats being inflated as protests or used as economic and political icons in art and entertainment around the world.

“It’s art, so I hope they’re entertained by it,” he said, apparently implying that art is entertainment. “It’s informative, I hope people will learn [and] I’m hoping it’ll at least help people understand bitcoin better and be kind of faithful to what Satoshi would have wanted,” he added, citing the mysterious pseudonym of Bitcoin’s founder with a touch of reverence.

A $50 Million Artist

Saiers, a phD in theoretical mathematics, was a hedge fund manager who did that thing where you give up all the money to chase your dream of being an artist.

His financial experience includes a stint as managing director at Deutsche Bank’s prop trading desk, before becoming CIO of Saiers Capital, the hedge fund that bears his name. His creative career gives credence to the theory that working as an artist is more and more a privilege of the very wealthy.

CNBC estimated Saiers’s wealth to be around $50 million at the time of he departed from the financial industry to pick up his paintbrushes.

The Rat Joins a Tradition of Sculpture-as-Commentary in FiDi

The Bitcoin rat, which stands on Maiden Lane, isn’t the first pop up sculpture to grace Manhattan’s financial district. Last year, Kristen Visbal’s 50 inch bronze ‘Fearless Girl’ statue made waves by staring down the famous ‘Charging Bull’, to the outrage of ‘Charging Bull’ sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The 3.5 ton ‘Charging Bull’ itself was left on Wall Street in the middle of the night when Di Modica originally created it, obstructing traffic and drawing the curiosity of passers by.

When Saiers placed the Bitcoin rat, he initially set it up on private property and was promptly ushered off by security guards, who he says were good natured about the situation. He expects the sculpture to be more temporary than the aforementioned Wall Street bronzes, and will probably only be around for a few days.

A Critique of the 2008 Bailouts

The placement of the rat on Maiden Lane seems to be no accident, but rather a reference to the Maiden Lane Transactions, more commonly known as that time when the Fed bailed out the big banks after they all caused the 2008 market crash. The Bitcoin crowd’s antipathy towards the Fed and the big banks is palpable in Sairs’s rat sculpture, and while a more specific meaning eludes, perhaps the success of the piece depends upon its ability to start conversations about the state of finance.

We’ll leave it to the viewers to decide who’s the rat—the Federal Reserve, or Bitcoin itself—and what that means for the future of currencies.

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