Before a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash in particular, reach the level of mainstream adoption, it first needs to get the merchants on board. The road to achieve this is pretty much straightforward: all the Bitcoin Cash community needs to do is to focus on creating the tools for merchants to accept and use the cryptocurrency easily.
In South Africa, cryptocurrency’s push for mainstream adoption is getting a boost from a Bitcoin wallet called Centbee, which is helping South African expats send money to their family back home.
“It’s surprising, but Africans really love cryptocurrency for a whole lot of reasons,” Lorien Gamaroff, co-CEO of Centbee, told CoinGeek. “You know, we do have a lot of people who don’t really have access to traditional banking services. We have people who work in other countries and live in South Africa and consistently trying to move money across border, and that’s really expensive.”
Gamaroff, an expert in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, co-founded Centbee with Angus Brown, who has 20 years of experience in payments and banking. Together, the two are building not just a wallet, but an entire ecosystem that uses Bitcoin Cash.
“Centbee is trying to make it easy for people to use Bitcoin Cash,” Gamaroff said. “Right now, if you want to use Bitcoin Cash, it’s quite complex, you know. It has a lot of concepts that are quite alien to people, specifically the addresses and the confirmation times and so on. What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to make the experience very much like using it in existing social media app like WhatsApp or Twitter because we think that people are used to using those apps, and if the Bitcoin experience is exactly the same is that then the adoption will grow a lot more.”
Bitcoin is always meant to be cash
With its promise of delivering a game-changing ecosystem replacement, Centbee has attracted high-profile investors from the blockchain field. Blockchain research and development firm nChain Group has already taken an equity stake in the South African company through its investment entity nChain Reaction Ltd.
According to Gamaroff, mainstream adoption won’t happen until people see ways to use their cryptocurrency—not as a kind of gold or investment vehicle, but as cash.
“What I like about Bitcoin Cash is that it’s reminding us that this was always meant to be cash, but cash needs to be able to be spent, and so we are focusing heavily on creating tools for merchants to accept Bitcoin Cash easily and simply, and I think that is going to be a real drive,” he said.
Bitcoin Cash has taken yet another step closer towards merchant adoption, thanks to the successful May 15 network upgrade. The upgrade not only saw Bitcoin Cash’s block size increase to 32MB, but also restored certain OP_Codes for advanced functionalities. Restoring the OP_Codes would unleash the smart contract and tokenization capability on the security backbone that is Bitcoin.
Three days after the network upgrade, CoinGeek will hold its inaugural CoinGeek conference. The conference, happening at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong on May 18, and will be the perfect opportunity to discuss the advances generated by the network upgrade with experts in the area. Gamaroff, along with nChain CEO Jimmy Nguyen, Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright and other thought leaders, will be on hand to provide their expertise on a wide range of topics related to eCommerce, advancements in the BCH technology and the future of the crypto space.