BTCC, the Chinese bitcoin startup, has launched its mobile bitcoin payment app Mobi for iOS and Android, in a move that could pave the way for greater consumer adoption of the decentralized currency.
The app allows consumers to use their phones as portable bitcoin wallets, storing, receiving and sending bitcoin between themselves and other users. With support for numerous local global currencies out of the box, as well as Visa debit integration, the app is being targeted at a worldwide audience.
Mobi was first unveiled at the Money2020 event in Las Vegas during the latter part of 2016, meeting with the approval of gathered analysts and industry players. Now, with the mobile payment app coming to market, it remains to be seen whether there will be sufficient uptake for the model to prove viable.
The app works by allowing users to receive and send money by phone number, eliminating the need for many of the complexities currently associated with transferring bitcoin.
According to the app’s creators, there is no need for user data like passwords, email addresses and user names, nor any authentication requirements — the bitcoin wallet is tied to the phone number, and essentially owned by whoever holds the rights to that phone number.
The app also allows payments to Twitter users, but unlike similar services that have offered comparable functionality, the Mobi infrastructure is designed to handle more substantially sized payments.
Bobby Lee, the CEO of startup developer BTCC, said the app would finally take bitcoin to the mass market, allowing consumers to interact with the currency without any of the current challenges facing bitcoin users.
“Mobi will take bitcoin mainstream, with mobile-number accounts, Twitter payments, 100-plus currencies, and a Visa debit card. Mobi is the killer app for bitcoin.”
Bitcoin has been the world’s best performing currency for the last two years, vastly outstripping major international currencies in terms of the growth in its value. While the currency is enjoying a growing profile, it remains far from mainstream consumer adoption.
Apps like Mobi are hoping to make it feasible for non-technical consumers to get involved in holding, buying and selling via bitcoin, significantly reducing the complexity to streamline the transactional process.
As the app goes live, bitcoin analysts and investors alike will be sure to keep a close eye on developments, and on whether Mobi in particular can change the landscape for consumers using bitcoin.