A Better Payment System, Decentralized.
According to Statista, the total transaction value in the digital payments market is projected to reach a staggering US$9tn in 2023. Yet, in this age of blossoming demand for digital payment methods, a formidable contender — blockchain — promised to rival traditional payment systems but has, up to this point, remained largely sidelined in practical day-to-day transactions.
The decentralized allure of blockchain often gets overshadowed by its current lack of practicality in payment use cases. Despite its high-tech appeal, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) does not yet provide a user experience (UX) that is competitive with or superior to that of traditional payment platforms. Web2’s formidable leaders, such as Stripe and Adyen, have spent decades polishing their systems to be consumer-friendly. As a result, the concept of DeFi-powered payments remains an academic novelty, rather than a daily driver.
This then highlights an important question: What missing piece to the puzzle will allow DeFi-powered payments to become mainstream?
Imagine, for a second, that every store only accepted these payment methods: gift cards or wire transfers [on-ramps and bridges]. When you walk into a store looking to buy something, this leaves you with two options:
This is, unfortunately, the reality of DeFi today and highlights why the demand for DeFi-powered payments hasn’t taken off alongside the booming market for digital payment options. Until there is a Visa-like payment UX for DeFi that can abstract both gas and chain interactions, it’s likely that the mainstream will opt to continue using traditional payment platforms and methods over decentralized alternatives.
Each blockchain network operates within its own isolated ecosystem, and users have to jump through multiple hoops to move their crypto assets between them. This fundamental lack of flexibility (or interoperability) is a major barrier to adoption, and it’s something that needs to be addressed if DeFi is to truly become a mainstream compliment to the current financial system. Your average consumer that wishes to leverage the many advantages of DeFi when making payments shouldn’t have to become an expert in blockchain and using cross-chain protocols—an equivalent skill to mastering foreign currency-exchange or cross-border payments.
For DeFi-powered payments to truly thrive and be embraced by the masses, these walls between siloed networks must fall. The promise of blockchain — borderless, decentralized finance — depends on pioneers creating and deploying real-time interoperability solutions.
For the traditional finance space, this is what Visa did by creating an interoperable layer that allowed people to make payments in their local currency — wherever they shopped. Until DeFi-powered payments offer the same flexibility that fintech giants like Visa have perfected, traditional payment rails and systems hold the advantage.
Some basic interoperability solutions exist already. Between bridges, atomic swaps, cross-chain protocols, and app-chains, this concept is not entirely novel at this point. However, these aforementioned solutions do not transfer value from chain to chain quickly enough, or with enough predictability, to be practical for payments.
Traditional financial systems, despite their flaws, offer consistent, near-real-time transactions with the flexibility that people have come to expect from rails like FedNow. In contrast, blockchain technology requires minutes to hours to move value from chain to chain, leading to awkward delays and inconsistent wait times. Payment use cases demand real-time interoperability which DeFi traditionally struggles with.
For DeFi technology to make a genuine claim in everyday transactions, consistent, real-time speeds are non-negotiable. By using a first-principles approach to cross-chain value exchange, Embr’s payments platform brings the flexibility and real-time speeds required to finally make DeFi-powered payments a reality.
John Oliver, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, once referred to cryptocurrencies as “everything you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about computers.” In the technology sector, complexity is often worn as a badge of honor, a symbol of advanced capabilities. Yet, to the average consumer, simplicity dictates the experience. It’s what drives adoption, ensuring technology benefits everyone, not just the tech-savvy.
For Developers: DeFi, though revolutionary, is entwined with intricate, risk-laden processes and protocols. However, for mass adoption to occur, the focus must shift from what’s possible to what’s practical. On-ramps like the one facilitated by Embr’s collaboration with Unlimit Crypto play a pivotal role in opening up access points to DeFi for the masses. They enable developers to abstract gas, wallet, and chain from their payment UXs, allowing for the infusion of practical DeFi technology into mainstream applications and offering users the best of both worlds.
For Consumers: To an everyday consumer, the promise of blockchain lies not in its technical nuances but in its potential to simplify while creating new possibilities. Whether it’s sending money overseas, making a quick payment at a cafe, or managing their digital assets, users demand simplicity. The Embr Payment Platform, with its proprietary DeFi-first payment rail, captures this sentiment. Transforming intricate blockchain transactions into one-step actions, not only makes DeFi accessible but also allows the power of DeFi to shine through as a legitimate upgrade to traditional financial services.
The Embr Payment Platform is a decentralized payment solution that seamlessly integrates elements reminiscent of RTGS, SWIFT, and ACH, to circumvent DeFi’s long-held challenges. Its groundbreaking DeFi-first infrastructure, powered by the proprietary Mattr One Protocol, can revolutionize how crypto-enabled businesses operate while simplifying the consumer experience by orders of magnitude.
Through Embr Labs’ suite of payment solutions, multiple sectors within DeFi, such as on-and-off-ramps, payment gateways, marketplaces, etc., can accept a myriad of DeFi assets, giving customers the freedom to pay in their preferred cryptocurrency while ensuring the merchant receives their desired token or stablecoin. Gone are the days of long, unpredictable waits, cumbersome conversions, or juggling between multiple blockchains.
”Leveraging Unlimit’s access to multiple localized payment methods as well as Embr’s unique technology, we’re now able to distribute an innovative project such as USDGLO around the world in a true borderless fashion. This is only scratching the surface of what’s to come as we look forward to further expanding the reach of amazing projects that truly deserve a GLO-bal audience.”
- Bryan Feng, Head of Unlimit Crypto
Going back to our earlier example, let’s say you go to an NFT marketplace and want to buy an NFT on Ethereum but only have niche Polygon tokens in your wallet. Imagine being able to buy that NFT on Ethereum with those niche tokens, without needing to swap, bridge, wait, swap again, then pay — which would be the current process to go about such a purchase. The Embr Payment Platform aims to allow you to pay for goods and services in DeFi crypto assets with the same ease and convenience as you would with fiat currency — all in real-time. That is the magic of Embr.
DeFi crypto assets hold enormous promise for payment use cases, but until there is infrastructure in place that allows the user experience of decentralized applications to compete with the user experience of traditional financial applications, blockchain may remain sidelined despite the growing demand for digital payments. Together, we can harness the power of decentralized finance to forge a more open and accessible financial system for all.
If you are interested in learning more about the Embr Payment Platform, please visit our website or read the Mattr One Protocol whitepaper. If you wish to be among the first to try our API, sign up for early access. We are excited to be at the forefront of the decentralized payments boom, and we believe that the Embr Payment Platform is the future of scalable DeFi-powered payments.
Governed by a global community, Mattr One represents a paradigm shift for Web3 payments.