Cryptocurrency adoption has accelerated in emerging markets around the world. Countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines have emerged as the most active cryptocurrency users in the world. In early September, the Central American nation of El Salvador officially made the transition to taking Bitcoin as legal tender—the first-ever country in the world to do so.
All throughout the world, cryptocurrency has risen in popularity thanks to its ability to circumvent traditional financial middlemen. Remittances, for example, are cheaper when done in cryptocurrency as blockchain-based transactions come with none of the fees typically instituted by traditional remittance services. The ability of cryptocurrency to remove transaction fees and facilitate real-time cross-border payments has seen it repeatedly touted as a great tool for financial inclusion.
Cryptocurrency is slowly making its way to the mainstream in many emerging markets and that’s why information technology services firm IOV Labs is proud to announce its various initiatives to support the use of cryptocurrencies.
First, IOV Labs created a sidechain known as RSK notable for how it has revamped the way users swap bitcoin for RBTC, its network’s tokenized version of the cryptocurrency. The RSK platform has made it so that bitcoin transactions on its blockchain no longer have to be approved by a multi-signature wallet address (as is typical of many blockchains). Instead, RSK’s new Powpeg system makes it so that when users transact, a proof of transaction is automatically generated and vetted by a special hardware security module. Once these modules receive the proof, they distribute the RBTC to the corresponding user.
Powpeg’s efficient and secure system is the first Bitcoin peg to provide security assurances based on Bitcoin’s proof-of-work, making it the most secure and permissionless peg available today. With Powpeg, bitcoin transactions between parties are made easier than ever.
Additionally, smart contracts on the RSK platform enabled the launch of its non-custodial, non-KYC lending and borrowing DeFi platform called Tropykus. Though largely focused on South America for now, Tropykus serves as an alternative to the traditional financial system by giving people an opportunity to earn bitcoin yield/lending cryptocurrency to earn off the interest.
At Tropykus, they ensure their service is accessible by doing away with minimum deposit requirements and guaranteeing a 4% insured annual return in RBTC. As such, Tropykus values itself as a valuable tool enabling financial inclusion in a region whose currencies are constantly ravaged by inflation rates as high as 5,500 percent.
In countries like the Philippines, growing inflation has driven cryptocurrency adoption even as far back as 2018. According to community-driven Bitcoin statistics site Coindance, Filipinos were exchanging fiat for crypto when the nation was facing a 6.4% inflation rate. Cryptocurrency’s growing popularity has even spurred the nation’s central bank to approve dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges, a move signifying growing acceptance of cryptocurrency even among the nation’s top officials.
So far, Tropykus has already been making its impact felt on the Latin American cryptocurrency scene. Tropykus representatives were recently invited to Blockchain Summit Latam where they had the opportunity to discuss their vision of enabling bitcoin owners from all over the world to earn simply from their ownership of the cryptocurrency. Tropykus was also present at Bitcoin Conference 2021 held in Miami. In the future, Tropykus’ Latin American expansion will serve as a blueprint for its entry in the Asian market.
IOV Labs currently has a number of initiatives meant to reach the Asian market, such as localizing their websites and social media copy to a target country’s native language. For example, the RSK platform has Facebook pages set in Filipino, Vietnamese, and Bahasa Indonesia in order to make blockchain and blockchain-related events accessible to locals. In order to establish an even more personal approach in the Asian market, the RSK platform also has active Telegram groups for Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Overall, IOV Labs’ work with its sidechain and Tropykus shows that there’s still room in the market for accessible cryptocurrency solutions, especially in emerging markets throughout the entire world. As people feel the financial effects of the new normal, they can at least rest a little easier knowing platforms like RSK Labs are firmly on their side.