The adoption rate of cryptocurrencies has been encouraging. A number of businesses have built platforms to allow payments in digital currencies for their products and services. The popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies among people, especially millennials, has been the driving force behind the wider acceptance for cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is the most well-known and popular cryptocurrency in circulation. It has been around since 2009 and built a strong following. Partnerships with major brands began in 2014 when Overstock, a major home-goods retailer, started accepting Bitcoin for payment at a number of stores.
Microsoft, DISH Network and Paypal also joined the Bitcoin platform later. Microsoft started accepting Bitcoin payments for content on Windows and Xbox stores. DISH announced that it would take Bitcoin payments for a subscription. Paypal also started accepting Bitcoin deposits in accounts.
When it comes to building brand partnerships and business alliances, Ethereum takes the cake among digital currencies. The Ethereum Alliance is a network of major businesses that includes more than 200 organizations from a diverse range of industries. The project is testing the Ethereum Blockchain with collaborating brands to find ways in which it can be implemented for businesses.
Some of the major brands that are part of the Ethereum Alliance include Intel, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, Credit Suisse, UBS, BP and Reuters among others.
The smart contracts technology is the one thing that set Ethereum apart from other cryptocurrencies. Smart contracts are an additional layer of customizable protocols which make the platform faster and facilitate the negotiation and automation of contracts. These contracts could be especially useful in lending and legal businesses.
Ripple is a somewhat newer cryptocurrency platform with an exceptionally fast transaction speed for worldwide information transfer. The currency generated a lot of interest in the money transfer businesses with many major brands announcing their partnerships with Ripple during the last year.
Among the more recognized brands, American Express and Banco Santander have confirmed that they are looking to use Ripple Blockchain for their international money transfer payments. A pilot project has already tested American Express users who sent payments over AmEx’s international payment network to U.K. Santander’s account holders.
Moneygram International has also announced a partnership with Ripple where the platform will be used to send money from one country to another that would take a matter of seconds. The transaction fees charged by the Ripple platform would be just a fraction of a penny, which would help Moneygram compete better with its main rival, Western Union.
Stellar is a newcomer to the crypto markets and a relatively unknown brand. The currency exploded on the scene in a major way when it announced partnerships with IBM and KlickEx, a currency exchange service operating in Polynesia.
IBM trade from overseas clients in the South Pacific and Oceania runs in billions of dollars each year. Stellar is firmly established as the cryptocurrency of choice in the region. Its blockchain is designed to proof check payments to IBM in seconds and improve the efficiency in the payment system.
Stellar developers also announced that they are working in collaboration with Deloitte to develop custom-built mobile applications and a digital banking platform for businesses.