Influential entrepreneur Richard Branson talks about STK (Stack) on his blog. Cryptocurrencies are new to a lot of people. Allowing payment transactions in day-to-day life using cryptocurrency has been a significant problem in the past. There are a few issues that need to be solved in order to make the process of spending and receiving cryptocurrency easier for the average user and retailer. For example, in order to accept cryptocurrencies, merchants typically need to implement new technology or infrastructure to their existing point-of-sale systems. And even if they’ve done that, the current transaction fees to process most retail transactions is prohibitively expensive for day-to-day usage (like a cup of coffee, or your weekly groceries).
Some companies such as TenX and Monaco (among many others) have tried to create products to deal with the challenges around cryptocurrency payments at point of sale. One of the problems facing STK’s primary competitors is that they are trying to develop their own POS software that merchants would have to implement in order to use the service. Asking merchants to add new software or hardware to their existing POS solutions is a huge barrier to entry and results in an unreliable network of participating retailers. Some companies (such as TenX) have relied on a third-party card issuance partnership (like Wavecrest, for example) to gain access to a global payment network, but in many cases these partnerships are subject to high risk due to the lack of control around regulatory compliance. In the case of TenX, Wavecrest lost their Visa partnership, affecting thousands of users and rendering existing accounts virtually useless.
So, what is the solution?
STK is the first to partner with a separate digital wallet app which maintains a direct relationship with its global payment network, so that STK doesn’t need one. The first implementation of STK will be within STACK, a digital wallet app, built for mobile and designed to provide universal access to your money any time, and place and in any currency. STACK leverages existing global payment rails to eliminate the need for additional merchant technology or infrastructure. The STACK app provides the ability to pay with local fiat currency at more than 37 million merchants around the world. The STK platform will leverage the STACK platform to enable the same functionality with cryptocurrency. STK will be launching first in Canada and then to the US.
How does it work?
A customer uses the STACK app or card to make a purchase. If cryptocurrency is selected as the preferred method of payment, a state channel is opened up off the blockchain to allow the transaction to happen in real time as opposed to performing transactions directly on the blockchain which would take an unreliable amount of time to be validated. At the time of the transaction, the cryptocurrency (such as ETH) is converted to the user’s local currency in real time and paid to the merchant through the STACK global payment network. The state channel is closed after the purchase is complete and the transaction settled on chain.
The roadmap, courtesy of the whitepaper, is presented below.
STK has a current circulation token supply of 275,000,000 and market cap of approximately.
$70,000,000. If you compare this with TenX (who lost their Visa partnership and not even operating their payments is the US), they had a market cap of $480,000,000. It is highly likely that STK will far surpass TenX based on their partnership with STACK, which is scheduled to launch publically later this year. In May of 2018 STK is planning on beta testing the STACK crypto wallet in the USA. STK will have a first to market-mover advantage and huge step to bringing crypto the masses. Even if STK only reaches the TenX market cap would be 6x ROI.
The STK team includes a number of former employees from financial institutions including Mastercard, with decades of combined experience in financial services, technology and marketing.
Disclaimer: Analyst is currently invested in STK.
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