Cryptocurrency Goes Mainstream with Launch of Wuabit on WhatsApp
A new cryptocurrency wallet is set to launch on the popular mobile messaging app, WhatsApp. The wallet is called Wuabit, and it’s due to enter public beta testing in April 2019.
The release of a cryptocurrency wallet on such a popular platform as WhatsApp could well help one of the biggest digital currencies in the world to go mainstream.
To start with, Wuabit will only support Bitcoin (BTC) although other cryptocurrencies are expected to follow once the wallet has ended beta testing. According to its developers, it will be made available through a chat interface in WhatsApp that operates as a “software agent” that’s powered by AI. Any WhatsApp user who wants to send Bitcoin needs to do is type a simple command such as “send 0.1 BTC to Steve”, and Wuabit will carry out the transaction accordingly.
Users can also type into the chat window quick commands such as “balance” to see the current balance of their wallet. For security reasons, all requests to send money require the user to respond to a confirmation message prior to the transaction being completed.
The makers of Wuabit also hope to bring their crypto-wallet to other chat platforms such as Viber, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram in the near future and also provide support for other digital coins like Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
The founder and CTO of Wuabit is Manuel Polo who, according to his Twitter profile, is a “Bitcoin evangelist” and software developer who’s also worked on an open source app called Tarealo, which allows users to pay for microtasks using cryptocurrencies.
The company behind the new cryptocurrency wallet hopes that the new service will allow greater numbers of people to make crypto payments without the need for complicated software or apps. The concept fits with what many experts believe has so far hampered wider public adoption of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – a lack of understanding.
At the same time, the announcement that the latest Samsung smartphone will have a crypto-wallet combined with rumours that Facebook seems set to launch its own digital coin could also help cryptocurrencies gain more mainstream acceptance.
According to Ross Sandler, an internet analyst at Barclays, Facebook could enjoy at least $3 billion and as much as $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021 by introducing its own digital coin. Rumours of a “Facebook Coin” date back to 2010 when the social media giant was collaborating on a project with The Menlo Park with the purpose of creating “Facebook credits”. According to the company’s careers page of its website, it’s continuing to hire employees to work within its Blockchain team and is currently looking for finance analysts, product managers, data and software engineers, and Blockchain-related brand marketing managers.
Samsung’s flagship phone, the S10, was officially released on 8th March 2019, before which, it was speculated that its cryptocurrency wallet would support Bitcoin as well as ERC20 tokens and Ethereum, although it has since become apparent that Bitcoin is not supported by the wallet just yet.
By Laura Kilby