There is no denying that DeFi has been making big waves in 2020. Even CZ, the head of the world’s top exchange - Binance, believes that this novel technology is set to cannibalize the business of centralized exchanges. But, there is also no denying the fact that the latest disruption in crypto comes with a host of technological hurdles that could hinder adoption by the masses.
In contrast to the ICO-mania of 2017, DeFi products have only seen modest user adoption rates owing to a host of barriers of entry. Particularly, the exorbitant fees for trading on liquidity pools such as Uniswap, slow transaction speeds on the Ethereum network and a dearth of fiat on/off ramps have kept the average user at bay. This last factor - the lack of legitimate fiat on/off ramps - is perhaps the biggest reason that DeFi is yet to hit peak popularity. Moreover, the entire experience of using a liquidity pool or DEX is not exactly intuitive and leaves much to be desired not only from a UI/UX standpoint, but also in terms of security.
However, this is set to change for the better owing to the efforts of companies like PlasmaPay that are working towards creating a sustainable infrastructure for the digital economy of DeFi and Web 3.0.
What is PlasmaPay?
PlasmaPay is a global cryptocurrency wallet and digital payments dApp (decentralized application) that provides fiat on/off ramp services via mobile and desktop apps to users from over 165 countries. Individuals and businesses can use the upcoming PlasmaPay dashboard to buy, sell or exchange digital assets and also send or receive cross-border payments. Built on their own public blockchain tech called the Plasma DLT (distributed ledger technology), PlasmaPay aims to be the missing link that connects the underbanked and unbanked population with the DeFi ecosystem to provide them financial services without banks. As the global digital assets marketplace is poised to push upwards of $365B in value, many proponents of the space would argue that there is a serious need for more fiat-to-crypto service providers and digital payments processors. It is exactly this particular need that PlasmaPay is trying to address.
While the concept of decentralized finance took to the limelight only in 2020, many companies such as MakerDAO, Compound Finance, including PlasmaPay themselves, have been working in the shadows before the term DeFi was even coined. In fact, PlasmaPay first launched its cryptocurrency wallet, a non-custodial solution to store Bitcoin, Ethereum and thousands of ERC-20 tokens, way back in the first quarter of 2018. They launched PlasmaPay for business in 2019 which was backed by an integration with Visa and Mastercard processing and enabled crypto-fiat accounts for e-commerce businesses. Soon after, the Crypto Checkout service was developed to help users on major exchanges purchase crypto assets directly with their fiat bank cards. The Plasma Chain mainnet, the public blockchain on which the PlasmaPay infrastructure is built, was released towards the end of 2019 and currently has multiple dApps running on-chain and will expand globally in 2021.
PPAY and Plasma Chain
Fast-forward to 2020, the company has come a long way from being just a wallet service. The PlasmaPay team has been working on developing smart contracts for DAO, NFT, NTT tokens and a robust framework for developers on Github. Today, Plasma Chain supports 42 stablecoins enabling any dApp or DeFi developer to implement the solution in their applications. The PPAY token, which is the utility and governance token of the Plasma ecosystem, will be launched later this year to accelerate development on the Plasma Chain and its bridge between Ethereum and Plasma Chain. The token will have an initial circulating supply of 55,750,000 PPAY with the total supply capped at 1 billion tokens. PPAY holders can also participate in staking, governance voting and liquidity mining right from the PlasmaPay dashboard. For those interested to delve further into PPAY tokenomics, the PlasmaPay white-paper outlines the specifics in greater detail.
The Future of PlasmaPay
Looking ahead, the team is on track to release the PlasmaPay Crypto Cards by summer 2021, which will give users access to withdraw funds from ATMs or make purchases at online retailers using multiple digital assets like cryptocurrencies and DeFi tokens. The roadmap also shows that the team plans on launching the Plasma Cross-Chain DEX that is based on their Hyperloop protocol. This will enable users to trade digital assets and DeFi tokens on their DEX at instantaneous transaction speeds without the need for paying any gas fees.
While the success of PlasmaPay’s futuristic products remains to be seen, one thing is for certain. The Plasma eco-system is taking shape with multiple user-centric features that seamlessly introduce complex technologies to the average user. By embedding a host of payment and exchange-related functions within the web app and the dashboard, PlasmaPay is on the path to becoming a one-stop solution for all things crypto in a world dominated by centralized, fiat-based entities.