Tech Talk

WOCEE turns spotlight on BSV: Stephanie Tower, Alex Agust talks maximizing digital tech

Day 3 at the World of Consumer Electronics Expo (WOCEE) Wired Tech Talk Conference saw CoinGeek’s Stephanie Tower chairing the session on Digital Technology Maximization. Speaking specifically on blockchain and use cases for BSV in the real world, she was joined by Alex Agut, the co-founder and CEO of HandCash, who gave some practical real-world examples of how BSV blockchain and HandCash are integrating within apps to help develop some new innovative business models.

A product designer and marketer by trade, Agut is also an ambassador for Bitcoin Association in Spain. Dedicated to BSV enterprise blockchain as the true vision of Bitcoin, in keeping with the original whitepaper view, Agut believes it is the value of nano payments that makes BSV—and HandCash—so uniquely positioned in the payments space.

Agut defines nano payments as an instant cross app, cross-border payments from as little as a tenth of a cent. This is revolutionary, he argues, because it hasn’t been viable before for cost, regulation, and technology reasons to process such small amounts. The likes of Visa and PayPal, giants in the payment space, simply can’t offer this level of granularity. HandCash isn’t aiming to challenge micropayments—above $1 but less than $20. Instead, they are challenging nano payments, which Agut argues presents a host of new business models.

Agut says Bitcoin has historically been a nightmare to use. Integrating payments has been difficult for operators, using BTC has been difficult for users, and the whole system just didn’t work effectively enough at the outset to meet its potential. Agut and his business partner revisited digital currency in 2017 and saw it was still in the same state—and thought they could do better. And so HandCash was born, an app built to be more user-friendly for people accessing digital currency payments.

Agut says even this mission was much harder than they thought would be the case. Unreliable networks, different speeds of transaction with correspondingly different costs, weird number/letter address strings—the whole ecosystem looks very complicated, and, Agut said, offputting for anyone other than geeks.

In search of making the process that bit easier, Agut set about building HandCash in that image. The app makes it much more user-friendly to use digital currency, while also connecting to apps and games for using digital currencies in practical settings instead of just hodling. The HandCash wallet is built to be easily supported by a range of different Bitcoin wallet apps. There is also a second leg to their offering, HandCash Connect SDK, which allows for payments to be integrated into any app without any previous knowledge required, making it effortless to add nano payments into your app.

He goes on to discuss use cases of apps that are making use of BSV and HandCash for payments. Like Haste and its ILP Arcade, a monetizable gaming leaderboard where the high scores share a slice of a per game nano transactions. With thousands of simultaneous players, these amounts add up and add an extra dimension to the gaming experience. Due to the incremental nature of the nano payments, this simply isn’t possible through Visa, PayPal, or other digital currencies beyond BSV.

TDXP is also an innovative, cool trading platform that allows investors to take positions from just a cent. For those learning how to trade, they have no stake in the game. With HandCash and TDXP, they can, without the need to deposit large amounts into a trading account. Then there’s Relica, an Instagram-style app powered by nano payments, where creators are paid tiny amounts for each like or comment on their content.

Agut argues businesses benefit from using services like HandCash with BSV by not having to store user funds, from low fee transactions allowing high-frequency payments (which therefore creates new business models), and the ability to avoid regulations incumbent on money transmitters and other financial businesses.

Watch: CoinGeek Zurich panel, Small Payments, Big Power: Micro & Nano-Payments with BSV

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