“Blockchain” is easily one of the hottest buzzwords of 2018, everyone is talking about it and how it is about to completely revolutionize the way we pay online. Digital payment systems have been around for a while now and they have been steadily evolving how we transact, at the moment, blockchain and crypto currencies only make up a small part of the digital payment industry.
There are various companies that have been working as intermediaries for digital payments, Stripe is one such example, a start-up that has been around for 8 years now and caters to clients such as Uber and Google. Just recently, Stripe reported that its value has reached 20B USD in the last few years. Another money transfer company called TranferWise has been making progress as well, it experienced an increase of 800,000 in the number of transactions it has handled in the last year, and according to the company, they have begun reducing their transaction charges as well.
Both of these companies are thriving at the moment thanks to digital payments and they are not relying on blockchain technology in any way at all. While blockchain is known for being faster, cheaper, and safer as well, industry experts say that the technology is not mature enough to be implemented on the same scale as what companies such as TransferWise and Stripe are operating. Introducing blockchain to their tried and tested systems will only complicate things and make their working more efficient.
A lot of people have mixed feelings about blockchain technology at the moment, for instance, TransferWise thinks it’s a waste of time, while Strip believes that there is definitely potential in this technology. Stripe even began supporting bitcoin payments but it had to drop this idea since no one was using this payment channel.
JPMorgan, a prolific name in the finance industry has recently further expanded its blockchain network which now covers more than seventy five institutions on a worldwide level. The company is integrating blockchain technology but without making changes to its Interbank Information Network, this will make sure that their system’s foundations remain untouched. JP’s primary use of blockchain technology will be to maintain immutable records, allowing the company to minimise fraud, forgery, and incorrect entries.
While there are some who wish to integrate blockchain technology with traditional banking systems in order to make them more effective, some people want to completely replace the traditional banking system and introduce a new one based entirely on blockchain technology. Ripple is one of the leading companies in the drive for replacing traditional banking, they are being backed by notable investors, including Google Ventures and has been making an effort to develop and expand its network of money transfer companies. According to Ripple, its tests for cross border payments produced results with significantly lower charges. While cryptocurrency is definitely being developed, we will not get to see it in mainstream use for the time being, until the technology further matures.