Day one of the 2019 Consensus conference saw the launch of a new Cryptocurrency payment solution SPEDN. Bitcoin maximalists, and owners of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were proudly allowing pictures of themselves to be taken Spedning at Consensus. We ask the question “Is SPEDN a step backwards for Crypto”?
Flexa and Gemini join forces
Gemini tweeted out a statement from Tyler Winklevoss stating that it was finally possible to buy a cup of coffee with crypto (something that has been possible for a while now, but more on that later…)
— Gemini (@Gemini) May 13, 2019
Whilst it is wonderful to see more and more adoption of cryptocurrencies in mainstream life, we can’t help thinking that this partnership is a little late to the party.
Is SPEDN a step backwards for Crypto?
Having looked at the project we have to say that instead of taking crypto forwards, Spedn is actually a huge step backwards for crypto adoption.
- The name. Wow, if you want to be taken seriously in the modern world, why choose such a childish misspelling of the word Spend?
- The whole purpose of cryptocurrencies is to offer something new. Offering a payment solution whereby vendors still need to wait an (undefined) period of time to receive their revenue is ridiculous. With profit margins being so low in modern retail, fast access to revenue in order to pay personnel and suppliers is a must. Long wait times are (or at least should be) a thing of the past. Money – be it fiat or crypto – needs to move with lightening speed.
- Launching a product with such bravado but only having it available to Apple customers (who already have Apple Pay) is ridiculous. According to Statcounter only 22.94% of global mobile users favour ios. Why go big and claim to be making a difference whilst alienating 77% of possible customers? Perhaps this app has been rushed through on IOS in order to have something to show at Consensus, this perhaps being more important than actual adoption?
- Maximum spending via Spedn is a paltry $100 per month so won’t even appeal to the army of money launderers holding Bitcoin.
The points above somewhat put paid to the claim to be moving the ecosystem closer to the full promise and power of crypto, rather making crypto effectively a giftcard system with fees at every end of the journey.
Add to that that this is by no means the first payment solution of its kind, and many cups of coffee have been consumed through the power of crypto already. The XRPayments app is a perfect example of this, with users able to purchase their drinks in a number of bars in The Netherlands and even a number of shops. The Dash apps have been around for a while as well, with users able to spend their crypto in a wide range of locations.
The most important factor for XRPayments and Dash (to name but two, apologies to all the others we haven’t mentioned) is that the retailer receives their payment – fully settled – in real-time meaning that revenue and income are instantly accessible and convertible to any local currency at low costs. This is the true power of cryptocurrency and is really taking the global payments ecosystem two steps forwards as opposed to the backward steps of Gemini and Flexa.
Crypto Twitter has reacted decidedly underwhelmingly about the news as well with one user pointedly noting:
So by gemini taking your bitcoins and them paying the merchants in fiat (minus transaction fee), while the merchants are completely oblivious to the fact Bitcoin was involved; this equates to crypto adoption? Or does it make Gemini just another Visa?
— galgitron (no price predictions) (@galgitron) May 13, 2019