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Talking Mobile Payments, Bitcoins and Apple Pay with Glidera's David Ripley

by Ron Finberg
  • DC Magnates connected with Gliera CEO, David Ripley, for his take on the payments industry and to learn more about Apple Pay.
Talking Mobile Payments, Bitcoins and Apple Pay with Glidera's David Ripley
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While Satoshi Nakamoto may have created bitcoins as the monetary system for the internet, it can be argued that it’s really in mobile where the digital currency shines. This is partially due to mobile internet and smartphones of 2009, when Nakamoto introduced bitcoins to the world being nothing like they are today. This has resulted in rapid change of consumer interests towards a mobile first mentality thanks to customized apps.

Despite the widespread use of mobile-based Payments for fiat currencies, the introduction of Apple Pay has raised expectations of increased user adoption. Unlike previous offerings, Apple Pay launches with a large base of retail stores accepting the product as payment as well as with fingerprint identity to increase security. To learn more about the likelihood of Apple Pay driving the future of mobile payments, as well as, if and how it will affect bitcoin payments, DC Magnates connected with Gildera CEO, David Ripley, whose firm produces secure bitcoin wallets, for his take on the payments industry. The original interview was published on DC Magnates and can be read here.

1. How important do you believe is mobile (smartphone) for both traditional and bitcoin related payments?

For the traditional payments industry, mobile has yet to become important or prove that it will be important in the future. The legacy (non-digital currency) mobile payments companies still ride on top of the old payment rails (credit cards, debit cards, banks). They have not been able to provide a substantially different value proposition than these underlying systems. However, they do allow consumers the ability to leave their wallet full of credit cards at home. Some also have a marginally better security model, but only partly address the security challenge, meaning cards will not be going away completely anytime soon.

On the other hand, mobile very much plays a role with Bitcoin usage in bricks and mortar retail commerce. Users access Bitcoin wallets via mobile devices, undeniably tying the two together. Bitcoin wallets on mobile devices must continue to mature for Bitcoin to grow in the bricks and mortar world. 2. Following an initial creation of mobile-based bitcoin wallets like those from Blockchain .info and Mycellium, coming to market are integrated versions which are connected to user bank accounts such as from Coinbase and Circle. Will the emergence of the latter remove the need for standalone mobile bitcoin wallets?

Integrated solutions that provide the ability to convert back and forth between USD and BTC are in fact compelling for a significant segment of the user population. This is true today and likely will continue to be true going forward.

At the same time, many ‘bitcoin only’ wallets offer substantially superior benefits relative to the existing integrated solutions. For instance, all of the existing integrated solutions are custodial services, meaning they take ownership of their users’ bitcoin. In these instances, users do not have control over their bitcoin, they’re exposed to greater security risks, and they must rely on costly 3rd party audits just to ‘know’ that their funds exist.

On the other hand, there are many ‘bitcoin only’ wallets that do not take custody of customer funds and provide enhanced security. Further, many other ‘bitcoin only’ wallets offer interesting features and integrations (e.g. social media, map applications, etc.) that may appeal to specific segments of the population.

3. With the launch of Apple Pay, do you foresee them or another similar company launching a multi-sourced wallet which could offer payments with traditional credit/debit cards as well as bitcoins?

Yes, it’s certainly possible that one of these existing companies may choose to integrate Bitcoin into their closed system and thus connect their service to the openness of Bitcoin

4. Among initial reaction to Apple Pay are its security features which are expected to reduce fraud and decrease processing fees charged by credit card companies for transactions using the product. What is your impression of the security levels being introduced by Apple?

Apple does offer an incrementally better security solution versus the traditional credit card form factor. However, in the end, Apple Pay does still ride on top of the legacy payment system. They can provide better security in some areas, but they cannot overcome all of the security challenges of the legacy system while they still sit on top of the credit card network.

apple

5. Do you believe that Apple Pay and other payment products that are expected to decrease processing costs and increase security will ultimately decrease interest for bitcoin related products in developed countries like the US and Western Europe, due to lack of a value-add of cryptocurrencies?

This is highly unlikely. Apple Pay offers some marginal security improvements versus the legacy system; it’s also questionable whether users and merchants will actually see any cost benefits in the long run.

On the other hand, as a payment system, Bitcoin offers many substantial benefits beyond just security and cost. It’s also faster, global, entirely open and does not require a third party. The value of all of these benefits continues to grow and any new payment products built on the legacy system will not change that.

Further, Bitcoin and decentralized blockchain technologies offer many benefits that extend beyond just payments, such as escrow, title records, smart contracts, etc.

6. Turning to your own firm, what do you believe is Glidera’s value to the bitcoin eco-system and how are you differentiating your wallet from the multitudes of products launched over the past year.

We’re excited for the upcoming launch of our entirely non-custodial Bitcoin platform. On top of this platform, Glidera will offer a Bitcoin wallet that leverages a multi-signature architecture enabling users to maintain complete control of their bitcoin. This architecture also leads to an enhanced and distributed security model that ensures users’ funds are safe even in the unlikely event that Glidera’s service is hacked or even if it disappears entirely. Glidera will offer greater transparency by allowing users to verify their balances directly on the blockchain. Lastly, on top of this platform, we’ll allow users to easily buy and sell bitcoin directly through the Glidera service, thus providing a path for new users to join the Bitcoin ecosystem.

david

While Satoshi Nakamoto may have created bitcoins as the monetary system for the internet, it can be argued that it’s really in mobile where the digital currency shines. This is partially due to mobile internet and smartphones of 2009, when Nakamoto introduced bitcoins to the world being nothing like they are today. This has resulted in rapid change of consumer interests towards a mobile first mentality thanks to customized apps.

Despite the widespread use of mobile-based Payments for fiat currencies, the introduction of Apple Pay has raised expectations of increased user adoption. Unlike previous offerings, Apple Pay launches with a large base of retail stores accepting the product as payment as well as with fingerprint identity to increase security. To learn more about the likelihood of Apple Pay driving the future of mobile payments, as well as, if and how it will affect bitcoin payments, DC Magnates connected with Gildera CEO, David Ripley, whose firm produces secure bitcoin wallets, for his take on the payments industry. The original interview was published on DC Magnates and can be read here.

1. How important do you believe is mobile (smartphone) for both traditional and bitcoin related payments?

For the traditional payments industry, mobile has yet to become important or prove that it will be important in the future. The legacy (non-digital currency) mobile payments companies still ride on top of the old payment rails (credit cards, debit cards, banks). They have not been able to provide a substantially different value proposition than these underlying systems. However, they do allow consumers the ability to leave their wallet full of credit cards at home. Some also have a marginally better security model, but only partly address the security challenge, meaning cards will not be going away completely anytime soon.

On the other hand, mobile very much plays a role with Bitcoin usage in bricks and mortar retail commerce. Users access Bitcoin wallets via mobile devices, undeniably tying the two together. Bitcoin wallets on mobile devices must continue to mature for Bitcoin to grow in the bricks and mortar world. 2. Following an initial creation of mobile-based bitcoin wallets like those from Blockchain .info and Mycellium, coming to market are integrated versions which are connected to user bank accounts such as from Coinbase and Circle. Will the emergence of the latter remove the need for standalone mobile bitcoin wallets?

Integrated solutions that provide the ability to convert back and forth between USD and BTC are in fact compelling for a significant segment of the user population. This is true today and likely will continue to be true going forward.

At the same time, many ‘bitcoin only’ wallets offer substantially superior benefits relative to the existing integrated solutions. For instance, all of the existing integrated solutions are custodial services, meaning they take ownership of their users’ bitcoin. In these instances, users do not have control over their bitcoin, they’re exposed to greater security risks, and they must rely on costly 3rd party audits just to ‘know’ that their funds exist.

On the other hand, there are many ‘bitcoin only’ wallets that do not take custody of customer funds and provide enhanced security. Further, many other ‘bitcoin only’ wallets offer interesting features and integrations (e.g. social media, map applications, etc.) that may appeal to specific segments of the population.

3. With the launch of Apple Pay, do you foresee them or another similar company launching a multi-sourced wallet which could offer payments with traditional credit/debit cards as well as bitcoins?

Yes, it’s certainly possible that one of these existing companies may choose to integrate Bitcoin into their closed system and thus connect their service to the openness of Bitcoin

4. Among initial reaction to Apple Pay are its security features which are expected to reduce fraud and decrease processing fees charged by credit card companies for transactions using the product. What is your impression of the security levels being introduced by Apple?

Apple does offer an incrementally better security solution versus the traditional credit card form factor. However, in the end, Apple Pay does still ride on top of the legacy payment system. They can provide better security in some areas, but they cannot overcome all of the security challenges of the legacy system while they still sit on top of the credit card network.

apple

5. Do you believe that Apple Pay and other payment products that are expected to decrease processing costs and increase security will ultimately decrease interest for bitcoin related products in developed countries like the US and Western Europe, due to lack of a value-add of cryptocurrencies?

This is highly unlikely. Apple Pay offers some marginal security improvements versus the legacy system; it’s also questionable whether users and merchants will actually see any cost benefits in the long run.

On the other hand, as a payment system, Bitcoin offers many substantial benefits beyond just security and cost. It’s also faster, global, entirely open and does not require a third party. The value of all of these benefits continues to grow and any new payment products built on the legacy system will not change that.

Further, Bitcoin and decentralized blockchain technologies offer many benefits that extend beyond just payments, such as escrow, title records, smart contracts, etc.

6. Turning to your own firm, what do you believe is Glidera’s value to the bitcoin eco-system and how are you differentiating your wallet from the multitudes of products launched over the past year.

We’re excited for the upcoming launch of our entirely non-custodial Bitcoin platform. On top of this platform, Glidera will offer a Bitcoin wallet that leverages a multi-signature architecture enabling users to maintain complete control of their bitcoin. This architecture also leads to an enhanced and distributed security model that ensures users’ funds are safe even in the unlikely event that Glidera’s service is hacked or even if it disappears entirely. Glidera will offer greater transparency by allowing users to verify their balances directly on the blockchain. Lastly, on top of this platform, we’ll allow users to easily buy and sell bitcoin directly through the Glidera service, thus providing a path for new users to join the Bitcoin ecosystem.

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