Whether you are a merchant or even a general consumer talking about Bitcoin, there is one constant in the equation : you need an internet connection of some sorts. For people in the Western world, this may seem a non-issue. After all, the only times we are without internet is when there is no WiFi and no mobile internet available, which is pretty rare.
For developing countries, where Bitcoin could become a major player, this is a real issue that needs to be solved as soon as possible. Internet is non-existent in several parts of the world, whether it is internet at home or mobile internet. So what can these people do if they want to get involved with Bitcoin?
One argument would be to use off blockchain transactions, which is an interesting proposal. Unfortunately it’s not practical, as you will still need an internet connection at some point in order to finalize the transaction. Very important for point-of-sale retailers, to say the least.
Luckily for us, there are companies such as CoinBlesk who attempt to tackle this issue by thinking outside the box. Even though their solution isn’t perfect, there is definitely potential for getting to an all-round solution.
The point-of-sale service offered by CoinBlesk only requires one party to be connected to the internet instead of both parties. Bitcoin sales can be completed through a protocol we all know, called NFC (Near Field Communication).
In order to achieve Bitcoin sales through NFC, CoinBlesk has developed an Android application. Even though it is still rather rough around the edges, it’s definitely usable by anyone in the world. Simply hold the backside of your phone to another phone (or any NFC-enabled device) , and the CoinBlesk app will do the rest. Once done, users can transfer the money to a different Bitcoin wallet and exchange it to fiat currency if they wish they do so.
The CoinBlesk application is currently available on devices running Android 4.4 or higher, which means less than 25% of all Android users worldwide can use it. We do expect older Android versions to become compatible in the near future though. It is also worth noting that users who rooted their Android device in order to run an AOSP rom might experience issues with some of the application’s functionalities.
One of the supported top up methods for the application is through CoinBlesk’s very own Bitcoin ATMs. Traditional means such as just sending over Bitcoin from wallet A to wallet B, or scanning a QR code are available as well.
CoinBlesk’s has the right ideas, but the execution isn’t up to par just yet. Once they can get the application compatible for older versions of Android, a big part of the puzzle will be solved. Whether or not we will truly see people benefiting from their system, remains to be seen however.
Website : https://bitcoin.csg.uzh.ch/