The crypto alternative to PayPal is here, but is it ready for the long road to mass crypto adoption?
Request Network is a decentralized platform that allows anyone to request peer-to-peer payments. Its goal is to replace payment systems such as PayPal and make the most advanced payment terms available to everyone.
It also allows users to approve payment requests, which is not the case with the current payment system; the merchant charges you without the card holder’s permission.
On the road
Request Network raised $33.6 mln in three days, between Oct. 13-16, 2017. The token entered the market on Oct. 20 at $0.05 and saw a staggering 100 percent gain up to $1.07 in Jan 2018 but only came crashing down to $0.07 at the time of writing. It has a market cap of $55 mln and a CoinMarketCap rank of 152.
Request Network has released its beta invoice payment app and its online payment app, the latter allowing users to send and receive online payments in crypto for only a 0.1 percent transaction cost to the customer.
The website states that it is free but upon closer inspection, it lists the above small fee. Under development and pending a soonish release there will be an app for accounting and auditing and support for more currencies.
Further, Request Network is developing support for Bitcoin and ERC20 tokens in applications, a crowdfunding app, a payments dashboard app and more financial applications. While the roadmap is chock-full of many goals, there are no expected dates for implementation.
Christophe Lassuyt, Co-founder and CFO, has much experience in the past as a CFO at other fintech and crypto companies. He is a firm believer that Blockchain will become more transparent over the next few years and what we are seeing now, is only the tip of the iceberg of what is to come.
Etienne Tatur, Co-Founder and CTO, previously worked for Moneytis, along with Lassuyt, where the goal there was to establish the cheapest way to send money cross-border without incurring so many fees that traditional fiat does. Previous to that he has worked for several other companies working in finance.
Vincent Rolland, Lead Engineer, has been working for the past 10 years as a developer. He also worked at Moneytis as lead developer.
The crypto alternative to PayPal? Not so fast
There are many people who see Request Network as an alternative to Paypal and other related online payments services. But in reality, PayPal works well and it's very well received by the public. Despite high transaction fees, people continue to use it because it provides a great service, without it payments would be very difficult.
Therefore, it will take a lot of time and effort to make people want a crypto version of PayPal. Further to competition to PayPal, before having a crypto alternative to PayPal, there needs to be legitimation of cryptocurrencies in general and the general public must realize that crypto can be an actual and useful alternative to fiat.
While hopes are high for success and there is a full roadmap but without target, completion dates Request Network faces many high hurdles to jump. While it would have been great to gain more insight on the challenges the company faces, Request Network was unavailable for comment. Emails were sent out and the company was given a week to respond to questions but there was no response.