China’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume OKCoin has launched a new wallet to encourage the cryptocurrency industry to rethink its attempts to reach mainstream consumers.
The Superwallet is an OKLink desktop wallet currently in beta, which promises to combine the best of fiat mobile wallets and traditional bitcoin wallets. It will allow users to spend BTC, CNY or US dollars at merchants that accept bitcoin, converting fiat currency to bitcoin only at the moment of payment.
The conversion itself will be free, and the user will pay a bid/ask spread on the purchase just as if they were initiating a purchase in bitcoin.
Users of the wallet who still want to transact in bitcoin will still be able to.
The launch of the Superwallet will mark one of the first attempts to encourage the use of the bitcoin protocol as a payments rail without requiring users to deal with the currency directly, the head of OKCoin’s international division Jack Liu told Coinbase.
“The Superwallet is not branded as a bitcoin currency product,” Liu said. “It will highlight the powerful open protocol which will allow users to spend their chosen currency using the bitcoin protocol in the same way the native tokens of the protocol can be spent.”
However, the wallet is still in beta, and will only be as strong as the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem, Liu added, but is optimistic that other bitcoin companies will be encouraged to adopt a similar approach in the future.
Mastercard is working with Stripe to expedite the payment process for American sellers on the latter's marketplaces using the instant payouts feature from Stripe.
Lloyds has launched biometric finger print authentication for mobile banking.
Barclaycard has partnered with Case Station, a company that makes personalised phone cases, to embed contactless technology in the latter's smartphone cases.
Digital challenger bank, N26, which has been live for one and a half years and has more than 200,000 customers, rolled out a new feature that allows its customers to transfer money using Siri. All they have to do is talk to it.