Using Blockchain for payments is the biggest no-brainer use case out there. The central issue that can be resolved is the removal of intermediaries required to fulfill a transaction. For everyone involved the more parties involved in a transaction, the higher the costs and time delays. Also, its not as if big banks are not aware of this. You might have heard of Santander getting in on it. Even Goldman Sachs filed a patent on a virtual currency.
Of course, the banks got in way too early and would not see a viable product for years which causes them to abandon projects before they can materialize. The Ethereum and Bitcoin communities love having vanity names like Goldman Sachs associated with their projects, however, the major Blockchain players of the future are in smaller companies that are in aggressive growth stages.
One company that is poised to pivot into payments is Chicago-based startup, Raise. The Raise business model has been to let people sell unused gift cards for less than their cash value, and Raise would take 15% of each sale. In June, they acquired mobile payments company, Slide.
Raise appears to be telegraphing a move to the Blockchain in some capacity. In August, Raise laid off 15% of its staff. According to the Chicago Tribune article, the founder wants to move beyond the gift card marketplace into a sophisticated mobile wallet. The question that remains is if they will use Ethereum or a Private Blockchain.
Off the top of my head I can think of three reasons Raise why would use Ethereum as a Blockchain solution:
Using Blockchain, Raise can have zero-knowledge proof of transactions. This will allow them to process payments and transactions at a fraction of the cost.
With the number of transactions Ethereum is able to handle, Raise will no longer need to store transaction logs to validate transactions. Plus, this solution avoids duplicate transactions.
With Digital Ledgers, Raise can cut costs and reduce errors upon settlement. Instead of having high liquidity costs, they could settle transactions immediately and not take on extra operational costs.
Either way, if you’re on the operations team Raise, it probably wouldn’t kill you to dust off your resume and maybe drag a comb through your hair.