When crypto first came about, around a decade ago, it was hailed as a new way of doing finance. One that got around many of the drawbacks associated with centralized banking and fiat money, and could revolutionize the way we paid for things.
Ten years on, and crypto has grown up a lot. Now there are more than a thousand coins and platforms with all sorts of different roles. Big-name currencies like Bitcoin and Ripple still dominate the market being used for payment in multiple areas.
Still, we’re some way off the Utopia that was promised. While crypto makes daily headlines and is a ripe field for investment and speculation, it’s yet to hit the mainstream when it comes to its practical use as a currency.
That’s a shame, because crypto offers some significant benefits when it comes to real world application. These include potentially faster transactions, more decentralization, anonymity, transparency, and lower fees compared to other payment methods.
So why are high street businesses and vendors so slow to adopt it? Some big names keep abreast of the times, but we still seem to be a long way off walking into our local cafe and buying a latte with crypto.
Some blockchain startups, like T.OS, want to change that. They’re aiming to make crypto payments more enticing for sellers by removing the barriers and drawbacks that currently make it unappealing for them.
Let’s find out exactly what kind of barriers is stopping merchants from allowing their customers pay with cryptocurrency.
Why Accepting Cryptocurrency as Payment is Tough
Part of the reason why so few high street physical businesses are crypto-friendly is due to a lack of education and understanding. Not everyone is aware of the tech’s benefits preferring to stick with what they know. This is something that will change with time as crypto becomes more well-known and trusted.
The issue of transaction times can’t be left behind as well. Major blockchains tend to struggle during busy times, resulting in wait periods of several minutes before a transaction can be authorized. Of course, businesses might be wary of adopting a payment system that could leave customers hanging around for large amounts of time before they can leave. This kind of waiting isn’t so bad when ordering something online, but for a quick, on-the-go transaction like buying a sandwich it quickly becomes frustrating for everyone.
There’s also the issue of volatility. Cryptocurrency is known for being unpredictable and highly volatile, with severe and rapid changes in price happening frequently. If you’re a trader who has accepted the risks, that’s just part of the fun, while for a business owner, accepting a payment in crypto that could be worth the whole business in just a few hours, which isn’t fun at all. For many high street vendors, it just isn’t worth it.
These issues will need to be tackled if crypto is to become widely accepted among high street businesses and merchants in general.
So, what can be done to overcome these barriers and make it easy and rewarding for sellers to adopt cryptocurrency?
Making it Easier for Sellers
What the team at T.OS wants to do is to address the above issues so that high street sellers could become crypto-friendly without having to worry about crippling waiting time and volatility.
They’ve done this by creating a new kind of cryptocurrency. In fact, they have two coins, and the first one is T.OS, an ordinary cryptocurrency that can be traded on normal exchanges and fluctuates in price in a similar way to the others.
But at special exchanges users can exchange T.OS for TOSP, which works in a different way. Instead of having a price subject to fluctuation, it has a fixed price which is pegged to a local fiat currency.
For example, 1 TOSP in France might be worth 1 Euro, whereas in Japan it would be worth 1 Yen at the same time. So there’s no volatility to worry about — sellers know their payment is going to be worth the same amount when they come to exchange it (which can be done at any T.OS exchange). TOSP is also structured in a way that avoids high waiting times. Right now, T.OS is working in Singapore, where the first and (so far) only exchange is located.
Aiming to make things easier for high street sellers everywhere, this kind of system could change the way crypto is used in the physical world in the future.