Time and time again, we hear the same complaints from from people who want to take advantage of the Ethereum platform:
“I don’t understand how it works,” or “I heard people who lost millions of dollars from hackers, or because their computer crashed.”
These are just a few common examples of massive barriers to entry that Ethereum experiences when attempting to expand to the mainstream. Here at Proxy, we’ve been in the Ethereum game long enough to see plenty of potential investors and change-makers shy away from such an incredibly powerful platform, simply because it isn’t consumable by the main stream audience yet. Some of the main barriers to entry we’ve observed are:
Security of wallets/cryptocurrency assets. This is the most common type of barrier, as new users don’t understand how to set up local (“cold”) wallets on their devices (or what they do) and don’t understand the concept of syncing blocks after connecting.
Fear of volatility and inability to sell your assets from a cold wallet, if you’re not with that device. For potential users who understand the concept of a cold wallet, they worry that they will be unable to access or sell their Ether in case of an emergency or price drop.
Exchanges/pricing. For users who take one glance at GDAX, the endless numbers and tickers can scare away even veteran Ether hodlers
So how does Proxy plan to combat these issues? It’s simple really — there’s no need for the Blockchain to be this complex.
By simplifying UI to contain familiar designs and attributes, as well as allowing on-the-fly transactions on behalf of users, we can save users the hassle of having to learn things like Ethereum Wallet or Parity. The question we often hear next is, “How does that make you different than Coinbase? If you hold the wallets, aren’t you still subject to breaches and therefore not as secure as a cold wallet?” The answer is the user, as they hold the key. Quite literally, in our case. Your physical, NFC-enabled Proxy Card contains a unique military grade encrypted (256-bit) version of your wallet’s private key, alongside other proprietary technology. What does that mean?
No one can access your money without having your physical Proxy Card, pin/fingerprint, and Proxy sign-on.
And that includes the Proxy team. We are unable to process transactions until you tap your Proxy Card to authorize all transactions, and confirmation is just a fingerprint away after that. This process ensures that users understand what is happening with their money, and have multiple layers of security to protect them from hackers and mistakes.
There is still a fundamental issue that is blocking Ethereum from entering mainstream usage, though.
There is nowhere to spend Ethereum, without converting back to FIAT (local currency).
Very few online stores have begun accepting Ethereum, and it’s certainly not easy for them to do so. Solutions such as the Monaco Card and Token Card are certainly one answer to this problem — but they’re a duct-tape solution that just prolongs the life of systems that are growing more and more outdated by the day. These systems work by converting Ether on-the-fly to FIAT, making the purchase on your behalf, and then keeping your Ether to cover the costs of the purchase.
Not only does this create a tax nightmare for U.S. citizens (which is why these cards are currently unavailable to U.S. citizens), but it ends up with a system that isn’t designed to handle the currency of the future: Blockchain.
That’s why we’re implementing easy vendor services. We are bringing a plug-and-play API to store owners, making it easy for them to make verified sales where both the consumer and business are protected. Not only will we be supporting existing stores, but we are releasing a way for ANYONE to open a web store on ProxyCard.io and accept Ethereum for their listed products. Bundling anonymous accounts with shipping information allows users to shop with confidence — confidence that their Blockchain transactions are truly anonymous and guaranteed.
How long will all this take?
Our roadmap currently contains 3 major stages.
Stage One — Alpha and development.
This stage is currently underway, and is predicted to be completed by mid-September. This means an Alpha release when iOS 11 is released! (Have you signed up for the Alpha yet? There is a limited number of spots, and limited edition custom cards are first-come, first-served!) Proxy Cards will be distributed to influential bloggers for review, as well as our Alpha reservation list. Users will be able to create and import wallets, send and receive money to friends (as well as anyone on the Proxy system, or with an Ethereum address), and keep log of their transactions while enabling 3-factor authentication and security.
Stage Two — Beta and deployment.
This stage is scheduled for mid-September to end of Q4, 2017. Beta will be available to all users who wish to use Proxy, with cards being mailed out after our ICO on October 1st (pending development). This version will include vendor services and a web-store portal for each store.
Stage Three — A platform emerges.
Stage three includes building out our platform for all vendors, allowing anyone to leverage Ethereum payments, with setup occurring in just a matter of minutes. We will partner with major service providers and local business owners in communities across the United States to bring Ethereum to the mainstream. This stage will take until Q4 of 2018.
What’s next? Only time will tell — but I’ll let you in on a secret. The Proxy team has big plans to revolutionize the way we interact with money on a daily basis, and we plan on being the definitive force that pushes Ethereum to accessibility for anyone. After all, that’s what we do here at Proxy. We make Ethereum for Everyone.
How it Works
Authorizing Blockchain transactions with Proxy is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1 . Initiate transaction.
Through our app, you can send/receive money, make purchases at authorized vendors, and decide where your money goes.
2 . Tap Proxy Card.
After making sure your NFC-enabled phone is ready, tap your Proxy Card to your phone! You'll feel a solid vibration and hear a pleasing ding to let you know that you've authorized a payment.
3 . All done!
That's it! Your money is always secure, and only you can access it. Your physical Proxy Card is the only way to make transactions from your account.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.