Blockchain technology is always grabbing the headlines, especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies. But bringing the crypto and fiat currency worlds together still remains a fairly technical exploit, out of reach for regular consumers.
Today, Wawllet has announced its plans to develop what it claims will be the first multi-asset wallet. The idea is simple, yet potentially powerful — create a global network that connects banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and other regulated financial institutions so that users have a one-stop shop for all their asset-management needs.
Payments — in particular mobile payment systems — are already far-reaching and prevalent, with the likes of PayPal, Venmo, Android Pay, Apple Pay, and many more. What Wawllet is not trying to do is displace any of these vendors.
“Wawllet is going to be an open network to on-board financial services providers like PayPal and Coinbase, not to compete with them,” Mihail Lala, founder and creator at Wawllet, told VentureBeat. “Of course, financial service providers like the above mentioned might be indirect competitors to some specific products offered by Wawllet at a certain moment, but they won’t be able to directly compete with Wawllet, as it is relying on a chain of suppliers, not on its chain of services.”
That’s an important distinction. Wawllet isn’t another payment solution, but a platform that brings them all together. That, according to the company, is the secret to mainstream adoption, which it hopes will follow its ICO in January.
“Once you are the first to offer a wide panel of financial services within the same app, mass adoption is just a natural flow,” Lala said. “However, one of the main targets of the 29th January ICO is marketing the product and attracting the first adopters, not raising funds.”
Of course, any time you mention cryptocurrency exchanges right now, some people wince. Many offerings are simply problematic at the moment, with painful setup and verification processes that sometimes block withdrawals, especially outside of the U.S. How will Wawllet change this, and what is involved in setting up an account?
“The inefficiency of the current exchanges or trading platforms is coming from the business model, not from the KYC protocols or AML regulations,” Lala said. “By approaching a Universal Financial Passport concept, recognized by all the members of the network, Wawllet will offer an efficient on-boarding protocol for its customers. And the business model based on an open network of service providers will offer users the option to easily chose between different providers in order to have a fast, secure and less expensive service. On the other hand, compliance is the key attribute of the project, in order to offer such a business model based on a chain of service providers.”
So how does it work?
Wawllet has two major components: A multi-asset wallet, and the Wawllet network. The wallet is available on both mobile and desktop devices, and has different “pockets” for different currents, whether they are crypto, fiat, or even commodities such as gold. Another pocket facilitates online card payments. This allows the user to pay seamlessly using any of available balances.
The multi-asset wallet is powerful and flexible enough to allow users to manage all their assets from a mobile or desktop application. The wallet would have different “pockets” for the different currencies: fiat, crypto, and commodities, as well as one to facilitate card payments online. The multi-asset wallet would function as a Personal Financial Passport that is recognized, respected, and valued by all the entities connected to the Wawllett network.
That commodities pocket is particularly intriguing. Right now, the plan is to allow gold to be stored in the wallet. All gold commodities will be physically backed up by third-party regulated vault partners.
The Wawllet network supports a global ecosystem of banks, exchanges, and other financial institutions. That acts as a bridge between traditional banking and payment solutions and blockchain technology. It also serves as a connection between traditional and crypto markets.
What’s next for Wawllet?
“Next for Wawllet is the ICO on 29th of January,” Lala said. “During 2018, we will be announcing partners that join our network and finalize the regulatory aspects required for us to work in the respective markets that are on our roadmap. We are planning to formally launch our service at the beginning of 2019.”