The popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, but at the same time, digital currencies are also associated with new trends, such as the metaverse and NFTs. What exactly can we expect from that? Are they permanent or short hype to stay away from? We asked Axel van den Bogaard from Blox, a well-known Dutch cryptocurrency app.
New crypto trends
In the past year, the cryptocurrency market has skyrocketed thanks to well-known individuals like Elon Musk openly embracing investment in digital currency, as well as financial players and companies accepting cryptocurrency as a means of payment or converting some of their capital into cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin. .
Last year, during our cryptocurrency theme week at Androidworld, we explained exactly what cryptocurrencies are and what apps you can get started with. Blox, one of the best-known crypto players in the Netherlands, explained to us how his crypto app works and how you can invest safely and responsibly. But today, such an introduction to crypto is no longer a requirement for many people. We talked to Blox, but about the latest trends: from NFTs to the metaverse. On the other hand, crypto is still associated with means of payment, but it is suitable for that.
Crypto as a means of payment
“No, it is a mistake to think that any cryptocurrency could simply serve as a virtual currency that can replace money. Many cryptocurrencies are volatile, and that also applies to well-known currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. You would rather not pay with something.” that fluctuates in value”, that explains Axel van den Bogaard out, content marketer for Blox and BTC Direct.
“But the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies is very suitable for payments. On the one hand, because the transactions take place immediately and without high costs, but also because of the decentralized aspect of the blockchain. With its cryptocurrencies, it does not depend on the banking system for nothing. , because you simply download a free app and you can get started right away. Access to that system is limited in many countries around the world, and then crypto can offer a solution.”
AW: We are already seeing the rise of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment around the world and it seems that Meta is playing a pioneering role there. In the United States, the company is testing a system that allows you to pay with cryptocurrencies on WhatsApp.
“That’s right, Meta uses a so-called ‘stablecoin’ and that’s really the key that makes cryptocurrencies interesting for payments. A stablecoin follows a currency like the euro or the dollar, so its value stays longer. then buy with money that stablecoin to enjoy the benefits of most benefits of crypto payments.”
AW: But things are not going well for Meta. The company wants to introduce its own cryptocurrency, but it was postponed. There are also doubts among financial regulators and the company has already changed the name of the services several times before they were properly launched.
“Indeed it is like that and for the moment it is also a limited test in the United States and Guatemala. And there is another consideration, because Novi (this is the name of the Meta digital wallet, ed.) does not work decentralized either, which is atypical. it is for crypto. That means Meta has more control and that can have downsides. The service may be down and Meta may more easily collect data about users.”
“I think it will come, because Meta is a big tech player that will drive this forward. In the long run, I also think that the payment system, once it is fully available, can have a positive effect on the cryptocurrency market.” as a whole. And especially when people also see that it works and that a major name, one where they have multiple social media accounts, is embracing crypto.”
AW: Are you considering building your own Dutch app to pay with stablecoins, or maybe it could become a feature for Blox?
“We will certainly keep an eye on it so that we can respond as soon as there is even more demand. But at the moment there are no concrete plans. I don’t think it can become a Blox feature. An important part of Blox security is that you cannot send crypto to another wallet, you can only convert them to euros and then transfer that money to your own verified bank account.
Virtual houses and NFT art
AW: Crypto payments will also be important in the metaverse. In other words, virtual worlds that you can visit with a virtual reality headset. You will be able to sit in a virtual bar with your friends and then pay with cryptocurrencies. Companies also advertise products that target the metaverse† Will this concept appeal to a wide audience?
“The metaverse is sometimes depicted rather quickly as a catchy word and a time trend. The main steps for the metaverse have already been taken with the enormous popularity of social networks. There are already people who go on vacation to post nice photos on Instagram afterwards. Our lives are already highly digitized and experiencing it virtually is no longer a big step. †
Opt for the most consolidated projects and invest only what you are willing to lose. Don’t sell your house and then buy a virtual house in the metaverse.
“It’s also not like the metaverse can only be considered a success if your grandma and aunt also put on a headset every day. I see it serving as a niche to begin with, but it could also become some kind of luxury product. Now we see the rich of the earth buying land and virtual houses and well-known rappers putting cryptocurrencies and NFTs in the window.”
AW: People are already spending millions on virtual objects and property. Of course, that seems very unwise, or is there any way such an investment could turn out well?
“It’s a very big risk and only a very small group of those investors will get the benefits. Not all services that sell digital houses and land will survive and if that service is shut down, their investment will also decrease. It was like in 2017, when many cryptocurrencies. Some of them have grown a lot, but a lot of them have just bled dry.”
“Other than that, I think it’s an interesting market that’s developing, but do your research before you go in. Go with the more established projects and only invest what you’re willing to lose. Don’t sell your house and then buy a virtual one.” house in the metaverse.
AW: We also see more and more images appear, digital works of art where exchange and property rights are connected to the blockchain. NFTs have grown considerably in recent months, although information on Google Trends shows that interest in NFTs has waned again.
“The underlying technology with which you exchange digital objects and can register your ownership rights is very valuable. That will certainly be a gatekeeper, but it is doubtful if it will be used primarily for digital art in the long term. We see that all the cryptocurrencies with which can use, NFT purchases have increased in value.”
Crypto and the Blox app
AW: Since last year talked to his colleague Toon Schraven something has also changed in Blox. More cryptocurrencies have been added to the app, but how do you make that selection?
“There are many factors that play a role. On the one hand, we look at the questions from our community, because coins that are in high demand appear before us. But there are also practical issues that play a role. enough trading volume so that it can also be buy and sell We also avoid cryptocurrencies that are only available on one exchange and always look at the concept and team behind a particular cryptocurrency.
“We are not going to offer coins that we know in advance that there will be problems. But the offer will continue to grow. Last year we had an offer of 30 and now 55 cryptocurrencies.”
AW: Crypto is also very popular with young people, but at the same time, sometimes they are too young to assess the risks. Who should point this out to young people?
“I see a role there for apps like Blox, but also for parents and schools. Blox sponsors the Belgian soccer team Club Brugge, for example, and then you know you reach young people as well. We regularly point out risks in our app according to reports, but parents can also play an important role, just as young people are taught how to manage money.With high inflation, it is appropriate for everyone to invest in one way or another, but it is up to parents to keep an eye on their children. schools could also play a role.
A.W.† I also spoke with Toon Schraven last year about new features Blox might want to implement, like a feature to set limit orders or automatic monthly purchases. But for now, these features are not available in the app yet.
“That’s right, we do all the development ourselves and some new features take longer to get right than others. Those things are still on the wish list, but it’s always a priority that a new feature works well and that the stability of the app be unencumbered”.
“We are currently focusing on price notifications. You can use these to enter a price for a certain crypto currency and when it is reached, you will receive a notification. These are helpful reminders to buy or sell, but they are less coercive than a limit order. reaches a certain price, you can consider at the time what your play will be.
AW: And how important is your support and the fact that your users’ questions are answered in a timely manner?
“We want the app to be accessible, but that also means we need to be able to guide our users. We don’t give investment advice, but people should be able to easily come to it if they have certain technical questions.”
AW: Do you really interact with users a lot?
“Yes, I would like a broadcaster to contact us through our website with feedback and ideas for the app. You can also make suggestions about the offer on Blox, because as mentioned, we take that into account as well.” .
AW: Thank you very much for this conversation.
What do you think of Axel van den Bogaard’s findings on NFTs and cryptocurrencies as a means of payment? Are you a Blox user and what features would you like to see in the app? Share your thoughts in the comments at the end of this article.
This weekly theme is sponsored by BLOX† BLOX has no influence on the content of articles published by Androidworld editors.
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