Crypto Apps: Ecosystem Around Bitcoin

Blockchain gave us Bitcoin and lots of other different cryptocurrencies. When people talk about Bitcoin it is normally in the context of the currency. It is mainly seen as a financial asset. Yet Bitcoin is only a very small part of the possibilities blockchain opens up to us. Alongside it so many different cryptocurrencies are developed on a daily basis. Some of the great new options that allows us to create are smart contracts, untraceable payments, safer banking and encryption and many more. We probably cannot even begin to grasp the potentiality that is about to manifest. All thanks to cryptography and blockchain. In this article however I would like to look at crypto apps.

 

Wallets

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Firstly, probably the most used and most known crypto apps – wallets. There are so many different wallets now it might make your head spin. The ones that came first were simple Bitcoin wallets. You could store your BTC in your app, receive coins and send them. At first if you lost your phone it was normally game over, just as you’d part from your cash if losing an actual irl wallet. Now you can also backup your virtual wallets and store all sorts of different cryptocurrencies and in some cases even fiat currencies in various multi-currency wallets. I’ll have a look at some more recent ones.

 

Blockchain App – one of the first, very easy to use and fully functional wallet. I still use it myself today. You can easily send and receive your coins with scanning a QR code or just entering the address. With their wallet you will always have control and no one can block or seize your coins. Take that, government! It’s also very safe and has very few bugs. I would give this a thumbs up.

 

Holy Transaction – this is a multi currency wallet. You can store Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Peercoin, Dash, Ethereum, Gridcoin, Blackcoin and Omni Layer and soon probably many more cryptocurrencies all together in one place. Which is rather convenient if you do have many different coins. Alongside the wallet they also have an exchange in case you need to swap your cryptos to fiat very quickly. This convenience cost you a bit more than on bigger exchanges like HitBTC of course.

 

Cryptonator – another multi currency wallet. Cryptonator supports 11 different currencies. Also like Holy Transaction this one too has an exchange. I prefer this one though – a bit simpler to use and the design is also easier more the eye and more modern. The list of currencies is higher than most other similar multi currency wallets.

 

Privacy

 

There’s another side to cryptocurrencies and -technologies. The key is in the name. Encryption. The technology available now brings new ways of keeping your business private. Most people don’t realize how easily their personal info becomes available to third parties via the internet. Here are a few apps that can help you stay safe and protect your privacy.

 

Signal –   a unified private voice and text communication platform for iPhone, Android, and the browser. Signal lets you make free worldwide encrypted phone calls. No more News of the World phone hacks perhaps? The infamous Edward Snowden apparently also recommends and uses this daily. So if you want your private calls to remain private this might be something to look into.

 

Cryptocat – think snapchat, but private. What this app does is encrypts all of your messages before they leave your computer. Even the Cryptocat’s own network can’t read the messages or chats you’ve sent. You can also send files and photos totally encrypted with this thing. Probably not the tool for government grade secrets however if you don’t want facebook to start serving you ads for weddings after you’ve just told your mum about your engagement on messenger then this might be something to look into.

 

 

Payments

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As Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies become more popular the amount of Bitcoin payment processors and apps is growing exponentially. There are some pretty cool options about. Whether you want to accept payments as a business, use your phone to purchase something with your coins whilst out and about or whether you want to trade stuff with other Bitcoiners. I will have a look at a few of them

 

Plutus – Will allow users to pay with Bitcoin via NFC. But this app is not your standard Bitcoin payment app. It has teamed up with Etherium and uses smart contracts to complete transactions. This is really great. Basically like Apple Pay but with Bitcoins. I hope that it integrates well with NFP payment systems already in place. I would totally use it, regrettably not available where I live right now but I’m sure it’ll get here as well.

 

Bitpay – Bitcoin payment app for retail. Bitpay is currently the most popular Bitcoin payment for merchants. Yes there are some  smaller that may be slightly more cost effective however with Bitpay you know what you’re getting and they will cater to your business’ needs accordingly. Regarding the app – really easy to use. You just link it to your account and generate an invoice for the customer when needed, they can then scan the QR code from your phone. It offers so many different options  including multi-employee checkout, optional on-screen tipping, simple tip reporting, and matching of order IDs entered from another point-of-sale system.

 

Gliph – this one is a pretty cool Bitcoin marketplace. You can put up items for sale or buy them from your phone or desktop. Think ebay but with cryptocurrencies. It handles the payments but also wants to start a conversation between cryptocoiners. Great idea. On top of being able to buy and sell stuff you can securely chat with friends and other Bitcoin enthusiast.

 

Smart contracts

 

What I am most looking forward to are smart contract apps. Fully functional ones. This of course is a very complex area and many are working on it. Can’t wait to see what comes out if this. Imagine building contracts and signing them simply on your phone. No need to visit notaries anymore for simple transactions. This in my opinion is one of the most awesome developments that is coming to be thanks to blockchain. This will make transactions faster, simpler and more cost effective. Because you just don’t need all the bureaucracy and human input that still goes into putting together, confirming and signing contracts. It can also prevent disagreements in simple agreements and transactions for example if you were to give a loan to your neighbour. That transaction is normally too small to visit a notary and put together a contract (depends on the amounts, of course). On the other hand a verbal contract can bring up disagreements and misunderstandings.

 

Games

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There is also a large amount of Bitcoin based games out there. Some of them let you earn Bitcoin, some even help you get fit! Gamifying everything is a big and a very popular thing. They can give great results as well. For example fitness apps tend to give a better outcome when there are some sort of rewards that come with it, even if just purely in the form of virtual points.

 

Bitplay – gives you a little list of simple skill-based games that you can earn Bitcoin with. For example Bitcoin Flapper (yes, this is a bit of a ripoff from Flappy Bird, but fun nonetheless). Pretty cool for the user in the sense that these games are still every bit addictive but the end of it you actually get some Bitcoin too and don’t have to be annoyed with yourself for wasting all this time on a game.

 

Fitcoin – not exactly a game but sort of. Fitcoin is a fitness app that rewards you with Bitcoins when you work out. I think it’s a great little incentivisor because, let’s be honest, getting in shape is not the easiest thing in the world.

 

Cryptogames – a platform for little luck based games. Essentially a Bitcoin casino.


Bitcoin and blockchain bring us so many different opportunities and these listed are only a few of them. I’ve spent a week testing and hooked on different apps (hopefully I can budge the Flappy Cash addiction I’ve developed, but hey, it might get me a huge pile of coins). I can’t wait what other new and awesome apps and widgets will come to be. Let us know in the comments what are your favourite crypto apps in the comments!