EU intends to provide every citizen with a digital wallet
Although no firm date has been set so far, the EU has scheduled the release of a detailed plan on 2 June 2021.
The widespread provision of digital wallets is being pitched as a necessity in a post-COVID world that has rapidly accelerated towards online services. The wallet itself would integrate biometric security and function as an easy method of payment for bills, municipal services, etc.
Early reports have made it clear that the wallet is not intended to be compulsory, although adopters will gain a secure and flexible payment tool, as well as a deposit for official documents.
Unlocking the digital economy
These new plans are reportedly part of a review of the EU’s extant electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) regulation framework. So far, this system has not achieved widespread adoption across the union (19 out of 27), and those that have lack interoperability with the others.
Nonetheless, the hope among officials is that the pandemic period has sufficiently increased peoples’ engagement with digital payments tech that the new rollout will be more successful. Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner of digital policy, stated, “The new digital ID will give every European the keys to their digital twin.”
The ‘digital twin’ concept is not new, however its implications could be revolutionary for business. Digital twins are essentially data-based approximations of people, places, or things that can function as a predictive model for how that entity will behave in the future.
HSBC makes payments global
Although the EU’s project concerns only the 27 nations within the union, HSBC recently announced a Global Wallet that promises to make international business banking much more seamless.
Citing the specific challenges of currency fluctuations between the two points of exchange, which can often leave merchants short-changed, the bank counteracts this by fixing exchange rates prior to payment and then accelerating the transaction like a POS store purchase. As such, money can be transferred cross-border in only minutes.
“HSBC Global Wallet makes it just as easy for our customers to deal with a supplier or a client on the other side of the world as it is to deal with one on the other side of town,” said Diane S Reyes, HSBC’s Global Head of Liquidity and Cash Management.
Clearly, digital wallets are becoming a fast, easy, and cost-effective method for payment on both the national and international market. At a time when money is becoming digitalised at a rapid rate, the eventual rollout of an equivalent plan to the EU’s is not out of the question.
NFT Marketplace Rarible Raises US$14.2m
Alongside the funding announcement, Rarible has shared that they’ve officially partnered with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs to bring their NFT marketplace to Dapper’s Flow blockchain. Dapper Labs has begun building out a wider coalition of NFT platforms on its proprietary blockchain which is more energy-efficient and less costly than transactions on the Ethereum network.
“To mark this next phase, we are also proud to enter an official partnership with Flow. Dapper Labs has an impressive track record of bringing NFTs mainstream by creating native experiences for non-crypto audiences. As a blockchain, Flow enables easier access and lowers the entry barrier for traditional consumers and brands, which makes it a perfect partner on our journey to the wider adoption.
“In the coming couple of months, we will be bringing Rarible on Flow as a primary and secondary marketplace, also welcoming the robust ecosystem of projects built on Flow blockchain,” Rarible said.
According to the company, last June, 6 months post-launch, total trading volume on Rarible hit the $28,000 mark. By June 2021 it grew by a mind-blowing 3000x, reaching $150 million in total sales.
“Just as we have always been at the forefront of the NFT movement, Rarible is determined to pioneer the next wave,” the co-founder of Rarible’s marketplace and CEO Alexei Falin said. “With this company milestone, we are thankful for the support of Venrock, 01 Advisors, and Coinfund and look forward to going beyond the current enclosed crypto environment and taking NFTs into mainstream consciousness.”
In a blog post the company says they hope to use this funding to explore more user-friendly developments like accepting credit card payments. “We need a world where an indie creator can effortlessly create an NFT and sell it for $5 to his community of supporters, as well as where a pop icon can use NFTs to establish close contact with her multi-million audience in a sustainable way.”
Rarible has a lot underway in the upcoming few months, including the launch of Rarible NFT protocol, L2 solution for scalability and sustainability, credit card payments, adoption of Flow blockchain, multiple partnerships and drops, and more. Many projects are already working on integrations with Rarible protocol, such as the partnership with one-click NFT creator S!NG that allows users to mint and put their NFTs on sale with no costs involved.