Nimiq: A Hidden Gem Designed for the Masses
Bitcoin was the first major digital currency to solve the issue of double spending. However its lack of scalability has led to a plethora of cryptocurrency aiming to become the digital currency for everyday use. Still, there remains a single problem.
The inherent volatility of the crypto market means that merchants and businesses are at risk of losing the value of the crypto they received as a payment. While they can immediately exchange the crypto they received to stablecoins, they still need to go through exchanges. This requires some level of technical knowledge on their part to transfer from their wallet to exchanges and back again to their wallet or cashing out to their bank accounts.
Even worse, merchants and businesses need to raise against time. A minute of delay could mean a few dollars of losses especially when the market is not doing well similar to what we experienced after the last bull cycle which was followed by more than three years of bearish trend. Additionally, transfers incur gas fees and exchanges charge additional fees. All of these deductions could consume not only the small profit that they are supposed to earn but also their capital.
Easy-to-use and frictionless payments and swaps are the key for user adoption, especially as they directly influence the perceived safety and trustworthiness of a system and convenience on the part of users. In other words, a payment system that is easy-to-use, intuitive and frictionless makes users feel much more confident about trusting this system with their money.
This is what Nimiq is all about.
What is Nimiq?
Nimiq is a payment protocol native to the web and designed to make cryptocurrencies easy to use for everyone without compromising decentralization and security. Its native coin, NIM, both serves as a store and transfer of value within the Nimiq ecosystem.
As a browser-first blockchain, anyone with an up-to-date browser can join the payment network directly, pay and accept payments without having to install software or rely on unnecessary intermediaries.
Nimiq was launched on April 14, 2018. Since then, it has been a home to a growing ecosystem of applications which are not just fully functional but are utilized by thousands of users daily.
Features and Utilities
Designed for Mass Adoption
Everyone can use Nimiq even those who are non-tech or crypto savvy. Since Nimiq is a browser-first blockchain, there is no need for users to download any software or install plug-ins in order to use it. All that must be done is to open a browser and Nimiq’s website.
Aside from storing and securing NIM, users can also swap their NIM to Bitcoin and soon Ethereum within Nimiq’s web wallet. It does not require users to sign-up or any of their information nor any other complicated processes. All it takes are just a few clicks to perform a swap.
True to the Spirit of Decentralization
Nimiq’s web wallet is fully non-custodial which means that users have the full control of their private keys and funds. Also, the process of swapping between coins are done in a non-custodial manner.
The Nimiq Team has dedicated significant efforts in researching, implementing and combining cutting-edge technologies to ensure that security will not be sacrificed. The project’s source code is available on Github in which users can perform their review and developers can interact to build their applications.
Intuitive and Simple
Browsers serve as the window in order for users to access the internet. As such, users are very familiar on how to use a browser. By tapping on this strength, Nimiq makes blockchain and crypto less intimidating and more friendly even to those who have no experience about crypto.
Since all devices have browsers, from smartphones, tablets, laptops to desktop computers, users can access their wallets and perform transactions anytime. Using Nimiq is as simple as browsing our favorite websites.
Performance and Scalability
Currently, Nimiq is able to process a hundred transactions per second for less than a cent. With its transition to Nimiq 2.0, it is expected that Nimiq will be able to process at least 1000 transactions per second and finality within a second. Furthermore, this will also bring the cost of each transaction to negligible levels.
Nimiq OASIS as the Future of Seamless Payments
Nimiq’s Open Asset Swap Interaction Scheme (OASIS) is the blueprint that describes how to make off-chain assets such as currencies, stock certificates, web domains and many more behave as if they were tokens on a blockchain.
OASIS is an almost universal concept of swapping any crypto in an affordable and non-custodial manner. Besides exchanging crypto for fiat, it can also leverage and apply the advantages of blockchain technology to fiat to fiat swaps.
For the fiat instantiation, the escrow is a fully-licensed bank which is a trusted node in the fiat currency network. Its role is to provide a permissionless API to enable any decentralized application to interact with OASIS. Moreover, the escrow is bound by the Hashed Time-Lock Contracts it provides through the API.
All of these happens on the background at a near instant speed. Users interact through user-friendly applications and gateways that enable them to perform swaps with just a few clicks. Thus, users do not need to know the entire process of how OASIS works and they do not need to directly interact with the OASIS API.
Presently, TEN31, a German bank is utilizing OASIS into their regulated banking infrastructure. However, OASIS is not just for banks. Merchants can also use OASIS to accept crypto from their customers, like NIM or BTC, while receiving fiat directly to their bank account. OASIS can also enable ordinary users and remittance providers to send funds in crypto while their receivers can get fiat.
The more OASIS is used, the more NIM is used. Every time someone transacts through OASIS a one percent fee applies for the use of the OASIS API. The collected fees are then used to buy NIM off the market, which then are held by the Nimiq Foundation to increase scarcity and for the future improvements of the project as well as charitable works.
Nimiq 2.0 and Why it Matters?
Nimiq 2.0 will switch Nimiq from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake blockchain. Currently at Testnet, Albatross, its new and super fast proof-of-stake consensus algorithm will launch later this year. Aside from moving away from the environmentally burden caused by the electricity consumption of proof-of-work, Albatross will also bring a whole lot of improvement when it comes to Nimiq’s performance and scalability.
Albatross achieves sub-second transaction confirmation and peak performances of over 1000 transactions per second without requiring slashing, or compromising censorship resistance. This could also be theoretically increased to a few more thousands in the future. With the minimum stake of 1000 NIM only and based on its current price, this offers everyone a chance to participate.
Users can easily delegate their NIM to node operators within the web wallet application. In addition, users can also setup their own node and stake directly without a third party without having to worry about losing their funds because Albatross does not rely on slashing. This will make staking easily accessible for non-technical people while staying decentralized and censorship resistant.
Aside from performance, Nimiq 2.0 will further bring down transaction costs to negligible levels and will reduce the emission rate from currently at least 3000 NIM to only 525 NIM per minute. With their NIM, users will soon be able to propose and to vote for proposals and improvements that will greatly determine the future of Nimiq.
Nimiq is solving the very issue that has prevented cryptos from being adopted as everyday payments. It democratizes crypto and makes it more inclusive. Its simplicity and ease of use makes it accessible and usable to both tech-savvy and typical internet users. True to the spirit of decentralization, users, merchants and businesses need not directly rely with any intermediaries to swap crypto payments into fiat instantly and real-time.
By doing so, Nimiq is removing all the roadblocks to the adoption of crypto as everyday payments. Its greatest strength lies not on hype or marketing but on its tech and the real-world solutions it offer. With the upcoming transition to Nimiq 2.0, the future is really bright for Nimiq.