One of the elements of the cryptocurrency space right now that is generally regarded as being key to inhibiting mainstream adoption and, in turn, the reversal of which could provide a dramatic step forward in bitcoin use, is the necessity to exchange for fiat currency when paying for goods and services.
Sure, there are a number of retailers that accept bitcoin for various goods and services, but things like rent, utility bills, taxation, all of these things require fiat (for the most part). This essentially removes the idea of decentralization and can bring with it expensive transaction fees, basically negating the advantages brought about by a cryptocurrency like bitcoin in the first place.
A new application called Welto is trying to change this and – specifically – it’s attempting to allow users to pay utility bills with cryptocurrency.
The idea is simple. You download the application and link a bitcoin wallet to it. You then pay your bitcoin to Welto which, in turn, pays the bill on your behalf.
So why is this news today?
Well, because the company just announced that it has hooked up with Coinbase to offer a seamless transaction service. Instead of storing bitcoin in an app you just connect your Coinbase account to the application and provide the payee info to the company. Once info is provided, Welto will make the payment within 24 to 48 hours with the funds used to underpin the transaction taken directly from your Coinbase wallet.
Similarly, for those who don’t have a Coinbase wallet, the company has created a system that allows for an outside wallet to be hooked up to Welto using a so-called Coinbase-friendly QR code and, using one of these QR codes, the process is essentially the same as outlined above – you instruct Welto to pay particular payee, the company uses its infrastructure to carry out the transaction using the linked wallet.
Of course, this isn’t it 100% fix. The ideal scenario would be for utilities companies to start accepting bitcoin directly. Until that happens, however, and it may be some time before it does, companies like Welto are doing well to bridge the gap.
Image courtesy of Welto.io