Cryptocurrencies have finally arrived on WhatsApp. According to a recent announcement by Zulu Republic, an ecosystem of blockchain tools and platforms for organizations, businesses, as well as individuals — the first two coins to be sent and received via the popular messaging app are Bitcoin and Litecoin.
The announcement came yesterday, May 19th, when the platform stated that its crypto messaging platform, Lite.Im, brought a new way of sending and receiving popular coins.
we are happy to announce that from today you can send and receive #bitcoin & #litecoin on #WhatsApp via @liteim_official ! try it yourself here: https://t.co/JaldSafGBK @FranklynCrypto @SatoshiLite @CharlieShrem @CCNMarkets @GLRalf
— Zulu Republic (@ztxrepublic) May 19, 2019
The method of getting access to Bitcoin and Litecoin is rather simple, and all that interested users need to do is add Lite.Im WhatsApp bot. After that, they will be receiving instructions on what to do and how to start sending and receiving coins. Additionally, there are multiple other options for those who add the messaging bot, such as earning digital coins through a referral program.
Further, users can tweak the options, and set up a password, choose a language, and also set a default coin. Of course, there is much work left to be done, as the only two default languages right now are Spanish and English. However, the choice of default coin is slightly larger, as users can also send and receive ZTX and ETH, in addition to BTC and LTC.
The next step for crypto: SMS-based transactions are coming
One of the big goals for the evolution of crypto — one that will help it go mainstream — is simplifying the transactions. While many familiar with how cryptocurrencies work might argue that making transactions is already quite easy, less tech-savvy individuals might not agree. In fact, many find the process intimidating and unfamiliar, which is what prevents them from ‘going crypto,’ even if they are interested in digital coins.
Introducing message-based transactions was one of the major goals, and rumors of companies such as Facebook and Telegram trying to make it a reality have been around for quite some time, now. However, thanks to Lite.Im, this type of transactions has now arrived, and the messaging bot already offers similar services for Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and even regular SMS.
The company believes that this might lead to mass adoption, as WhatsApp alone has over 1.5 billion users. While its users can already be found in all corners of the world, there are some areas that are only starting to join this type of network, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia. By introducing a method of sending money this way, messaging apps will allow unbanked and underbanked to gain access to payment channels as well.
Further, the adoption of cryptocurrencies is advancing rapidly, particularly when it comes to Bitcoin. Numerous businesses have announced plans to enter the crypto space, whether through trading desks, becoming mediums of exchange, or other — Bitcoin is getting more and more coverage.
Its price reflects this, particularly with its behavior in April and May, when it more than doubled its size, going from $3,300 to the current $8,000. Additionally, the largest coin is maturing, and many believe it to be on its way of fulfilling promises given over 10 years ago when it first went live.
Can Lite.Im endanger Facebook Coin?
As mentioned, Facebook has been one of the most talked-about companies when it comes to introducing digital currencies via WhatsApp. While the company has been very secretive about its so-called ‘Facebook Coin,’ and its interest and work with crypto, in general, Lite.Im’s move might be seen as introducing competition to Facebook.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency remains shrouded in mystery and speculation. The only thing that is known is that “it will be like Bitcoin”, although the details of what that might mean are unknown. With a lot of skepticism regarding this statement — as the coin is likely to be a stablecoin — the ability to send actual BTC via WhatsApp comes as a welcome development.