2019 is tipped to be the year that more and more tech companies will begin to incorporate digital currency into their services. So far, we’ve seen that crypto assets have continued to surge while Bitcoin, predictably, was the first to increase. Almost 22 million bitcoin wallets have now been set up globally, with an estimated 2.9 to 5.8 million active bitcoin users, according to a Cambridge University study. With this in mind, it is no wonder that more tech organisations are starting to jump on the bandwagon of digital currency and incorporate them into their services. But what’s important is that it actually serves a function customers can benefit from, rather than just being for the sake of it.
Facebook is speculated to be one of the major players in the tech field that is taking advantage of the latest hype around cryptocurrency. Recently, having banned cryptocurrency ads from its platforms, the social network is said to be developing its own stablecoin that will give users a way to transfer money via its encrypted mobile messaging service, WhatsApp. For reference, stablecoins are tied to the US dollar and designed to be more stable and resistant to volatility than bitcoins. It doesn’t come as a particular surprise that the social network is developing a cryptocurrency, especially when you consider the amount of user data it could generate. As it stands, reports suggest that it is still being finalised and as it stands, Facebook is still finalising the project’s strategy when it comes to the assets it would need to hold, in order to effectively protect its stablecoin’s value.
With millennials being revealed as the generation that is overwhelmingly fuelling the cryptocurrency trend, tech companies have latched on to this and are now leveraging it to lure the generation to use their services. There was widespread news coverage of Facebook being fined and the organisation is currently facing the consequences of data misuse. The findings gathered by Pew Research Centre showed that users of all ages were unhappy with how Facebook handled their personal data, with over half of all users in the US adjusting their privacy settings, or even deactivating their profiles entirely amidst the public backlash. Millennials are the generation that grew up with tech, and adapt the easiest to technological developments, so it makes perfect sense that the company wants to engage in cryptocurrency to encourage the return of the users that were lost.
However, there are other tech companies that have already incorporated digital currency into their services and are reaping the rewards that come from it. A good example are apps like Sweatcoin that are already using digital currency to encourage their users to exercise so that they can be rewarded. For every 1,000 steps made, Sweatcoin generates 0.95 Sweatcoins which can be used to purchase products on the in-app marketplace, in local shops, or in a transfer between other users. With over 2.28 million active users, the founder is now looking into turning these coins into an actual cryptocurrency – but a date for when we can expect that is yet to be announced.
At flaim, the rewarding social network, we have always recognised the benefits of digital currency and how it can encourage a whole mixture of consumers to download and start using apps – something we hope to incorporate into flaim. Consumers, particularly younger people, are fed up of being exploited for their data. They’re fed up of being seen used by giant social networks who only want to sell their data to advertisers. At the most fundamental levels, consumers are tired of third parties profiting from their creativity. With flaim we have ensured that sharing is rewarding and we’re committed to our users being the owners of their own content, sharing only what they choose to, and being rewarded when they do.
With more and more users wanting to be rewarded for using apps – and rightly so – whether that means physical cash or digital currency, it would be missing a trick to not create plans or an infrastructure that supports and directly listens to their demands. Digital currency is certainly continuing to gain traction globally, and with developments in cryptocurrency already being announced, 2019 will surely be the year where organisations, big and small, decide to incorporate digital currency into their current services and start reaping the benefits. And if they don’t, they might find that they’re being left behind.
This is a contributed article by Raj Unny, Cryptocurrency Expert at EQUIIS Technologies