It's great to see, then, that one of the youngest companies in the cryptocurrency space, UTRUST, is on track to release their cryptocurrency payment platform (complete with an app), by the end of 2018.
UTRUST are now a team of over 20 people, based in Braga, Portugal, but headquartered in Switzerland. With experience in Software Engineering, UX and Design, as well as cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, venture capital and banking, it's a company with a diverse skillset and one well suited to the demands of running a cryptocurrency company.
Having only just completed their ICO funding round at the back end of 2017 (raising over $20 million, by the way), UTRUST has hit all their major roadmap milestones, including the creation of a fully functioning online shop MVP on May 10th.
FYI – you can buy UTRUST t-shirts via this shop, with all funds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (a nice touch).
Going from raising the money to the creation of an MVP store in less than 6 months is an impressive feat and shows just how hard UTRUST are working to realise their ambitions of solving a major cryptocurrency pain point, which is: how do holders spend their cryptocurrencies securely, and how do merchants easily accept them without worrying about the volatility in the price of cryptocurrencies?
Well, with a payment platform that offers “industry-leading buyer protection, instant transactions and crypto-to-cash settlements”, of course.
You see, if buyers feel confident that they'll get what their crypto is paying for (in the same way you and I feel confident when we spend our Pounds or Dollars), then they're far more likely to spend it. There are a lot of horror stories where people have lost their crypto when purchasing using other payment platforms, and when dealing with less than reputable merchants who aren't held to account, so there is a need for the UTRUST platform.
Likewise, if the merchant is protected against the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, and its fluctuating prices - knowing that if they sell a t-shirt for £15, they'll get £15 guaranteed - they're far more likely to accept cryptocurrencies.
It's also fair to say that success for UTRUST would likely mean more success for, and greater adoption of, cryptocurrencies in general.
But what exactly do UTRUST mean when they talk about buyer protection?
According to UTRUST, once you've paid for something using their platform your money is only released to the merchant once you have received what you paid for. Should the merchant fail to deliver or if your expectations are not met, you will be able to request a refund.
In addition, should any issues arise after you have made your payment, UTRUST will allow you to open a dispute with the merchant. And, should a refund request be unsuccessful, the UTRUST mediators will get involved to help out.
That all sounds very positive to us. Especially knowing that UTRUST themselves will intervene to solve major issues between buyers and merchants.
How will merchants be protected against cryptocurrency volatility?
UTRUST will use an instant 'crypto-to-cash' system that will immediately exchange the cryptocurrency the buyer has used, into Dollars, Euros or Pounds for the merchant.
By making the platform easy to integrate and essentially guaranteeing that the merchant will always get what they asked for, UTRUST has created a hassle-free way for people to start accepting cryptocurrencies as payments. Cryptocurrencies will only succeed if they're as easy to use as “real world” currencies, and this is a big step towards that.
Throw in 1% payment fees (making accepting crypto the most cost-efficient way to take payment) and the elimination of chargebacks and the UTRUST platform is looking like a very solid option for merchants who want to take advantage of the rise of cryptocurrencies.
But why would merchants want to do that? Well, you could argue that by accepting cryptocurrency payments on your website, you're proving that your business is forward thinking and progressive, and one that believes in the benefits and potential of cryptocurrencies. It's a bold statement and one that's guaranteed to make some noise and generate exposure.
In fact, we've seen over the last year or so that simply adding the word 'blockchain' to your business can increase its value considerably, not that we're condoning that sort of action. But it does show that people tend to respond positively to businesses adopting new technologies.
What about the UTRUST (UTK) token?
Like most companies in the crypto world, UTRUST has 'tokenised' their business. While tokens were sold to raise funds in their ICO, have a value, and can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, the UTK token also serves an actual purpose within the UTRUST platform.
Purchases made with UTK tokens will come with zero fees attached to them. Nice.
It's simple but provides a solid use case for the token that complements the product (something that's often lacking in other projects).
What's next for UTRUST?
The rest of 2018 is dedicated to the creation of the UTRUST app and integration with major eCommerce platforms, as the company pushes towards a Q1 2019 target of having over 1000 online merchant on board.
How did you find our in-depth look at UTRUST? What do you think of the company? Is there anything we missed? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the box below and, if you'd like to find out more about them, click the button below.