Hi all. As you can see from where this blog post is hosted, I run an ecommerce store selling wargaming miniatures. Most of my customers are in the demographic of males, ages 30+. At least 50 % of my sales are international. Some of my customers are very risk averse, and want to have a conversation with me for a few days over email before they are comfortable to make a purchase. Which I enjoy! Now for the last 6 months, I have been considering the idea of adding crypto currencies as a way to receive payment for goods on my store. But not a single customer has asked for this. Mass adoption of crypto currencies is still far away.
So why do I want to add it if no customer is asking for it? Well because from my perspective, I can see all the fee’s the customer is paying that doesn’t make its way to me. That I have to factor into my prices. There are so many middle men involved in international transfers! And for what its worth, Paypal has done a really good job at empowering global shopping. They have created a framework of trust for people to buy and sell internationally. And they receive thousands of dollars from me every year for this in transaction fee’s. OH and they receive thousands of dollars in currency conversion fee’s from my customers in the process as well. OH and they receive both of these fee’s again when I buy stock from my providers… See the problem? They have built a brilliant business for themselves and we need to cut them out.
Crypto Currencies AUTOMATE the trust required, just like Paypal, but they do it very cheaply, and in some cases with zero fees altogether. Block chain technologies number 1 use case, is the automation of trust. The code hard locks value inside it. No one can receive this value, except the owner, until the owner sends it to someone else. It has NEVER been hacked.
“But didn’t we hear on the news that Bitcoin had been hacked in 2013? and 2016? and other times?”
Unfortunately journalists haven’t represented Bitcoin or blockchain technology well over the years. Bitcoin and blockchain have never been hacked. So what is it that has been hacked?
- Exchanges, which act like banks converting standard currencies into Crypto currencies are vulnerable to being hacked just like your normal bank for standard currencies. In 2014, the biggest crypto exchange of the time was hacked and lost over 850,000 Bitcoins. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mt._Gox
- Applications/smart contracts built on top of block chain have also been attacked by hackers. In 2013, the DAO, a smart contract built on the Ethereum Blockchain was hacked, with 1 third of the funds in the smart contract syphoned off. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_DAO_(organization) This smart contract held the proceeds from the biggest ever blockchain related fundraising drive (ICO) at that point in history. It led to a permanent change to the entire Ethereum network. Unfortunately, while block chain is un-hackable, applications or ‘Smart Contracts’ built on top of block chain still are.
And to be honest, until these 2 problems are solved, I do not believe I can expect my customers to want to switch from Paypal, to crypto currencies. Now, the first of these problems is being rapidly explored by entrepreneurs looking to create fully decentralised exchanges, operating on the block chain. But even these, may require an application/Smart Contract that could be hacked.
Quantstamp is the first smart contract security editing protocol. It exists to ensure the security of smart contracts/ applications on the Ethereum network. Their team includes reputable software testing experts. Quantstamp will be offering its services to all developers writing smart contracts, in an affordable manner using a unique combination of resources, both human and automated to find and report vulnerabilities, requiring developers to fix these issues to be awarded the Quantstamp stamp of approval. It is their vision that all Ethereum applications/smart contracts will benefit from this, and thus the entire blockchain industry.
This matters. Just like we have stamps of credibility from the Heart Foundation, Fair Trade, Made in USA, etc etc etc, Quantstamps stamp of approval will add another layer of protection, and therefore inject trust into the ecosystems rapidly being built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. This will prevent new reporting of hacks of ‘Bitcoin’ or ‘Blockchain’. Taking responsibility for the problem and fixing it, rather than waiting for journalists to report fairly. I believe this will lead to faster uptake of blockchain technology and crypto currencies. I believe Quantstamp is exactly the kind of product that will lead to reality in the future, where all of my customers, will be asking for me to add crypto currencies as a means of payment. Helping me cut out Paypal and the banks, saving me and my customers money. So for this reason, I am excited about Quantstamp!
Evan Morgan – Rival Sky Games