San Francisco-based blockchain startup Celer Network is teaming up with crypto payments provider Wyre to help minimize the friction users typically experience when interacting with dapps, it announced today.
Celer, which in March raked in $4 million in funding through an IEO on the Binance Launchpad, is a “layer-2 scaling platform” built to enable off-chain payment transactions, smart contracts, and scalable “gateways” to the decentralized web. Its integration with Wyre, scheduled for Q3 of this year, will enable Celer users to purchase crypto directly within the company’s mobile app CelerX, and use those tokens to instantly send money and play games.
“Users will be able to immediately use purchased ERC-20 tokens to play fun games and send payments without purchasing additional ETH and waiting for very slow on-chain transactions,” Mo Dong, CEO of Celer, said in an interview with Decrypt.
The idea, said Dong, is to make the “onboarding flow” as straightforward as possible, especially for users new to crypto. “We want to make sure people do not even know [that] they are using blockchain,” he said. By combining Celer with Wyre’s fiat-to-crypto onramp, users can simply think of it like converting money from a VISA card into “points,” Dong said, and then use those points directly within the app.
And by bypassing the need to buy ETH or Ethereum-based tokens externally, you also avoid all that laggy “layer-1 blockchain slowness,” said Dong. That will create a user experience that “rivals that of centralized applications.”
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The merits of off-chain solutions aside, there is something to be said for the speediness with which average tech users are accustomed to getting on their everyday, mobile apps—especially games. And Dong is convinced that mimicking that experience is the key to growing the crypto pie.
“[The] blockchain user space is tiny, but general gaming/app user space is huge,” he said. “If we can match the blockchain experience with the ‘day-to-day’ experience of ‘normal’ apps, we get to eat the much, much bigger cake here.”
Wyre, which recently partnered with Button to similarly enable direct crypto purchases within Telegram, is—as you’d expect—likewise enthusiastic about the prospects of its newfound partnership.
“Lining all the pieces up, it’s hard to argue that gaming will not be one of the next channels to attract large audiences into cryptocurrencies,” said Wyre CEO Michael Dunworth in an earlier statement.
CelerX has some 18,000 monthly users across 89 countries on its testnet and plans to launch its mainnet on July 8. Dong said Celer is also actively working with multiple game studios in both the U.S. and Asia markets to boost its gaming library.