Pundi X has a potentially great solution to one of the biggest problems that cryptocurrencies face. They are working to deploy a Point-of-Sale (POS) system that would let consumers use cryptos to pay for everyday goods and services. Until now, cryptos have been difficult to use for everyday things, like going to the convenience shop, or eating out.
While Pundi X was founded in Indonesia, it looks like Hong Kong will be the first place where their POS terminals will be sent out into the real world. The goals that Pundi X has set are much greater than simply making cryptocurrencies usable at a consumer level. They want to allow people that aren’t able to participate in the normal banking system to enter the crypto world.
Pundi X wants cryptocurrencies to reach new markets
Stephen DeMeulenaere, who is the in-house ‘Blockchain Evangelist’ at Pundi X, has this to say to Crypto Disrupt about their company’s mission, “We believe using cryptocurrency should be very easy, as easy as buying bottled water at a convenience store. Presently, acquiring cryptographically-secured digital currency is very difficult, and keeping it safe is quite a challenge. Pundi X has developed XPASS cards and XPOS merchant device to make it easy for many millions of people to acquire their first cryptocurrency, regardless of their technical ability.”
The company didn’t start off as a crypto focused venture. Pundi X was originally a mobile-app developer, which recognized the ability that cryptocurrencies offered to the “unbanked” population. Many people in the developing world don’t have the option to participate in the normal economy, due to their low level of earnings.
In countries like India, many people simply have to rely on cash as their only means of economic interaction. Banks charge a relatively large amount of money to their customers for simple services, and this is where Pundi X thinks cryptocurrencies and their POS system could make a big difference.
Mr. DeMeulenaere expanded on this point in a written interview with Crypto Disrupt, “The payment ecosystem is undergoing a lot of change, but until now these changes have mostly been limited to futuristic-sounding stories in the media, and a small number of people with well-developed technical skills are clued into what’s happening and how to use it to their advantage. We aim to take the payments industry from this to the next level, to the large majority of people who are waiting for these technologies to be easy enough for them to use, and convenient enough for them to access.”
Political hurdles exist
One of the biggest reasons why Pundi X is deploying their POS system in Hong Kong is that in their native Indonesia, crypto payments are basically illegal. Many poorer nations have taken a hard stance on cryptocurrencies, which is limiting the implementation of systems that could make people’s lives better.
When people are forced into a cash economy, it is very difficult for them to safely store their earnings, or access the financial services that banks have normally provided. Now that cryptos can fulfill the role of banks, but at a much lower cost, the potential to help some of the poorest people on the planet is very real.
Over the next few months, Pundi X is planning on installing 5,500 virtual currency POS systems globally, with a further 95,000 installed in the next three years. The upcoming debut of their platform in Hong Kong will be a test of their ideas, and if it goes well, Pundi X could be the next big thing in joining the crypto world to the everyday consumer economy.
Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has traveled extensively, lived in Uruguay for many years, and currently resides in the Far East. His writing can be found all over the web, with special emphasis placed on realistic development, and the next generation of human technology.