A little discussion on why debit cards are so important to broad market adoption.
As we revealed yesterday, we have partnered with MasterCard to issue debit cards in the US and EU. This is the NUMBER ONE FEATURE REQUEST from our Metal Users. And it’s going to be even more critical as we roll out Metal Pay 3. So let’s dive in.
The first and most important thing is actually buying your first crypto. As we now know, this is a HUGE HURDLE for most people on the street. Ask any of your non-crypto friends. They have literally NO IDEA. You can’t buy it at your bank. You can’t buy it at Schwab. You can’t buy it on AMEX. You can’t buy it at your ATM.
So.. how does the average guy get it? In the US: CoinBase. But still a small percentage of Americans have heard of or use CoinBase.
The next question is WHAT CRYPTO? Even if I get on CoinBase, what Crypto do I buy? Bitcoin? Ethereum? LINK? What’s the difference? Am I buying at a good price?
Many crypto projects have implemented what I would call “backdoor on-ramps” like Simplex. Fees around 5–10%. Minutes to qualify. Very high rejection rates. No off ramp once you are in. I would venture to say these will never scale.
What you really want is to transition from cash dollars in your bank account (or cash euros) to digital dollars or digital euros. Let me repeat that:
The correct on-ramp and off-ramp is Stable Coins
So now assume that you can buy StableCoins with your Debit Card. Assume that you can do so quickly, with a very fast KYC. And assume you can do that with a beautiful UX. Metal has solved all these issues, and has solved them in a completely compliant way.
So now that you have solved the Debit → StableCoin problem. What do you do with your StableCoins? How do you actually use your crypto?
Well the first thing you can do is send it to somebody else. If this is Bitcoin or Ethereum that will cost you a lot of money and potentially take a long time. Ethereum right now is so clogged up that any transaction will cost you $10+ and will take a minimum of 3 minutes (and sometimes much longer). Transactions can outright fail. So the actual blockchain is CRITICAL.
We’ve built the Proton blockchain to solve this problem. Unlike ETH, there is no fee for sending routine amounts of Proton. Transmission fees is instantaneous. And a stable-coin is a stable-coin. What do you prefer: a Proton StableCoin in 3 seconds with 0 transaction cost or an ETH StableCoin that takes 5 minutes and $20 to send? Add to the fact that the Proton Stable coin can be converted immediately to cash in your debit card and the choice is obvious.
Now other than sending coins what else can you do? Well the next big thing is paying businesses over the Internet. In the ethereum world this is called “dApps” and the paying part involves installing a “chrome plugin” called MetaMask, moving coins there (high fees yet again) and then using a horrific user interface to authorize transactions.
On top of it, these apps generally use ETH to transact value which is a huge problem, as it is HIGHLY VOLATILE. Businesses don’t want to price their services in ETH. Nobody wants to list a good (digital or non-digital) in ETH and re-adjust the price every time ETH moves.
It’s busted. It doesn’t work well with mobile. And nobody is using it (well less than 10,000 people daily). So we need something else.
Proton has created a QR based “push to wallet” tech that simplifies this whole thing. So in THE SAME WALLET that is connected to your debit card you get a request to “Pay Nike for sneakers, $103.67”. You click authorize. Stablecoins leave your wallet.
Now when the business or individual gets these stable coins, they need to do something with them. Again, the debit card is critical. With one click, move the stable coins to cash: USD or EURO. Cash is immediately available to be used on your debit card.