With the number of cryptocurrencies passing 1,000, and the craze continuing, things are getting pretty wild out there to say the least. And these crypto asssets can vary from the tokens issued by some no-name startup all the way up to Ether and the venerable Bitcoin. The trouble is, converting those coins into other currencies which you might actually use, or perhaps into the more fiat-friendly Bitcoin and Ether, has been hard. Users have to use exchanges to convert their cryptocurrencies via exchanges where prices can fluctuate wildly. Since cryptocurrency is the main “application” for blockchain technologies right now, that would mean wallets where they are held effectively becoming a new type of ‘browser’.
This is the thinking behind the launch today of Bancor’s wallet. Bancor was already an open-source protocol for automated token conversions, and had raised approximately $153 million in ICO last year. Its new wallet will offer built-in conversion between 75 cryptocurrencies, with more being added each day. This means users will not need to send their cryptocurrencies to exchanges if they wish to acquire other forms of crypto-assets and can instead convert cryptocurrencies directly inside the Bancor Wallet. The wallet is not a native smartphone app, but is optimised for mobile use.
Problems at the major crypto exchanges have been mounting, putting many off joining the crypto world. So it’s likely that many Crypto holders will be tempted by the relative stability of in-wallet conversion, even if they can’t play the arbitrage game so easily.
Instead of converting the currencies by matching buyers and sellers as an exchange does, Bancor’s in-wallet conversions are made against smart contracts. In theory, this gives users transparent and efficient pricing without the spreads and fees associated with exchanges. Users are always in control of their keys and Bancor neither holds nor has access to users funds.
In addition, the Bancor Wallet allows users to purchase tokens with any major credit or debit card and instantly convert them to any token in the Bancor Network, including heavily-traded coins like Ether and EOS.
Galia Benartzi, co-founder of Bancor said in statement: “In the new Internet of value, where anyone can create a currency, digital wallets are becoming the browsers which allow users to navigate the emerging world of decentralized apps. To be useful, users need seamless and secure interfaces to blockchain-based products as well as on-demand conversion between the tokens that power them.
“Money is changing, and digital wallets must be as dynamic as the currencies they hold. Imagine if your coffee shop loyalty points were accepted at any cash register in the world, or your airline miles could buy cellular minutes with the click of a button… Bancor’s new wallet aims to deliver on that promise by offering continuous access to crypto tokens and instant convertibility between virtual assets, unlocking enormous purchasing power for consumers,” she added.
The Bancor Wallet will only likely to get uptake if it can continue to add integration with tokens and maintain a live status and instant conversions. If it can do that then it may well attract users away from many buggy and controversial exchanges.