Being a successful graduate of Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU), Maria has acquired competencies in economic and social studies. Given Maria’s previous research working experience, and desire to explore what's really shaping the future, the main research focus is placed on FinTech and Blockchain Technology.
The widespread adoption of cryptocurrency still faces numerous well-documented problems: transaction speeds, price volatility and “pump & dumps” are some of the major issues that many developers are aiming to solve.
But even if all of these issues were instantly fixed, would it be likely that the masses would start paying for everyday goods and services with cryptocurrency? As things stand, the problem of inaccessibility to layman users presents a significant challenge with bringing cryptocurrency to the masses.
The Cryptocurrency Learning Curve
The cryptocurrency community is growing fast, ever more since the spike in value in 2017. However, entering the world of crypto still involves a steep learning curve. Before each novice investor starts looking into which coins to buy, or on which exchange, they will rightfully want to understand what they are about to purchase.
For the average person, gaining a basic understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency requires a significant amount of study. In addition to this, unless someone is interested in the speculative possibilities of crypto investments, there is currently no reason for them to spend their hard-earned cash on these tokens.
Fiat is still the easiest way to spend money. After all, handing over a credit card for payment doesn’t require any in-depth understanding of how inflation, interest rates and Keynesian economics work. For this reason, most in the crypto community are either die-hard enthusiasts, optimistic speculators, or both.
If cryptocurrency is to gain mass adoption, this barrier to entry needs to be removed so that the average user would be able to purchase cryptocurrency, and exchange it for goods and services, without needing to understand what is going on “under the hood”. Additionally, they would need to do so without fear that their coins will be subjected to the wild fluctuations in price that are regularly seen in cryptocurrency quotes.
Lowering the Bar for Cryptocurrency Adoption
There are a number of blockchain-based startups that are creating platforms to purchase goods and services with cryptocurrency. One of these startups is ShareRing, which aims to become the “Amazon of the sharing economy” – offering global access to a wide range of sharing services to any user with a credit card.
ShareRing will achieve this by employing a dual-coin mechanism through its own ShareLedger blockchain that will operate with two distinct tokens. The first – ShareToken (SHR) – will be the utility token of ShareRing. SHR will drive the consensus algorithm and act as a tradable coin on cryptocurrency exchanges.
The second currency, SharePay (SHRP) will be pegged to fiat and can be purchased directly from the ShareRing app using a credit card. A user can then use their SHRP to buy sharing services within the ShareRing application. ShareRing foresees a wide range of partners for the platform, sharing not just apartments and cars, but time, labor, as well as peer-to-peer lending and group tours.
This dual-coin system means that a layman user can enter the ShareRing ecosystem without having any knowledge or understanding of cryptocurrency, or blockchain technology. Quite simply, buying SHRP means buying credit to be spent on services within the ShareRing network. The value of this credit will only fluctuate at the same level as the fiat currency with which it was purchased. Hence, the user need not have any concerns about fluctuations in the price of SHR, or even be aware that SHR exists.
The fact that both the buyer and the seller of sharing services are transacting in SHRP means that the users can avoid hefty foreign exchange fees if they are in countries with different fiat currencies.
More Features of ShareRing
The ShareLedger blockchain will also feature customizable smart contracts that will govern the use and payment of the sharing services available on the network. In addition to keeping records of individual transactions, it can be used as a database of the assets available for sharing. This offers an additional selling point, one of increased trust between the parties who are transacting on the ShareRing blockchain.
ShareRing will develop a smartphone app to act as the user interface for conveniently accessing these services. The app will feature geolocation functionality, meaning that a user can log in and see which services are available around them, wherever they are in the world. With a ShareRing account, users can immediately buy SharePay credit and access sharing services as quickly and as easily as making an order on Amazon.
ShareRing is currently undergoing a presale until May 6th, 2018, and targeting a hard launch in November 2018.