When thinking about cryptocurrency use cases, the first thought most people have certainly surrounds speculation, as no cryptocurrency is widely accepted in retail stores. The truth is, however, there are dozens of crypto use cases, and they’re growing right under our noses.
While cryptos like Bitcoin and Dash have managed to penetrate into commerce to a certain degree, with one being accepted by mainstream companies like Microsoft and the other being very popular in South America, it’s still very hard to live off of cryptos.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot more one can do with cryptocurrencies than just speculate on their price, even though discussion is mostly centered on that. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can, as most of you likely know, be used to avoid censorship, with controversial social media platform Gab even promoting it as “free speech money” to its over 800,000 users earlier this year.
Philanthropy and Savings
Looking at the biggest altcoin by market capitalization, Ethereum, there are other use cases. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were initially used for speculation by some, but they can now be used as real collectibles people want to have. Some charities have started issuing out ERC-721 tokens to those who donate, making int clear through the blockchain they’re philanthropists.
Moreover, there’s a use case that’s been growing fast on Ethereum, so much so it’s expanding to centralized cryptocurrency exchanges: lending. Some of the most popular decentralized finance (DeFi) let users lend their cryptoassets to gain interest on them, and even Maker recently launched a way for users to earn on their Dai stablecoin – the Dai Savings Rate (DSR).
Total DAI locked in DeFi (currently 30.8M $DAI) has returned to new highs topping pre-“Much Cooler” levels
16.6 MILLION DAI locked in @MakerDAO alone 📈
988,056.92 SAI in the migration contract + 15,632,465 DAI are currently locked in the Dai Savings Rate (DSR) pic.twitter.com/glMliPwPhc
— DeFi Pulse 🍇 (@defipulse) December 12, 2019
As there are various stablecoins on the Ethereum blockchain, including Dai, USDC, and USDT, users can earn interest on their holdings through various platforms while diversifying their holdings to prevent losses from broken pegs.
Other cryptocurrencies, like TRON’s TRX, have been growing when it comes to blockchain-based games and gambling platforms, as the semi-anonymity provided by their blockchains allows users to gamble without being concerned some casino is monitoring them and gathering data.
Growing on Incentives
There are nevertheless other cryptocurrency use cases outside of the top 10 by market cap. Cryptocurrency exchanges have been launching their own tokens and giving them as many use cases as possible to get users to adopt them: these use cases vary, and include trading fee discounts, access to decentralized exchanges, and even a share of collected trading fees in some case.
Popular cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, for example, has recently released the monthly report for the ecosystem of its native cryptocurrency, OKB. In it, the cryptocurrency exchange describes a variety of both internal and external use cases, meaning OKB can be used both within OKEx’s ecosystem and outside of it.
Among the described internal use cases are its use to buy into token sales on the OKEx Jumpstart platform, trading fee discounts, listing benefits, governance, and other advantages. The external use cases include a network of 25 of OKEx’s partners.
— CryptoGlobe (@CryptoGlobeInfo) August 30, 2019
These, the blog post adds, include partners in the network security, financial services, and lifestyle businesses. According to OKEx, OKB holders will not only be able to have trading fee discounts, they’ll also be able to purchase cybersecurity solutions with firms like Slowmist and Certik, and access crypto depositing, mortgage lending, loan management, and more with its 14 financial services partners.
Finally, OKEx’s lifestyle partners accepting OKB include Tripio and Cryptomall, letting token holders book stays in hundreds of thousands of hotels with cryptocurrency, or shop online with it.
More and more platforms have, over time, been adding use cases to the cryptocurrency space. Startups like Purse.io and Lolli let users either have a discount or earn cashback for paying with cryptocurrencies on top e-commerce platforms like Amazon, giving those who aren’t interested in speculating a reason to enter the space.
To sum it all up, the market has been incentivizing startups to give cryptocurrencies new use cases, outside the realm of speculation and without the need for retail stores to start accepting and custodian cryptos directly.
While mass adoption of cryptos allowing people to be their own bank is still the dream of most enthusiasts, alternative routes for it have been forming right under our noses, and it’s time to notice them.
Featured image via Unsplash.