Category: Crypto

Why are Digital Payments still Stagnant in Asia’s Emerging Markets?

Photo by Ikhsan Assidiqie on Unsplash

Just a little over a decade ago, almost 4 in 5 Southeast Asians did not have accessible internet. Today, there are over 360 million internet users in Southeast Asia (SEA)— with 90% that are connected to the internet primarily through their mobile phones.

Moreover, the rise of internet usage has spurred the internet economy and tripled in the last 3 years, hitting USD$100 billion for the first time in 2019. Internet economies in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines are currently growing at 20–30% annually while our initial target markets, Indonesia and Vietnam, has led growth in SEA at an excess of 40% annually!

According to Google’s e-Conomy SEA 2019 report, digital payments in SEA are even expected to hit USD$1 trillion by 2025!

BUT…

Digital wallets and payments have been stagnant at a penetration rate of only 6–7% despite seeing huge growth in the internet economy. The adoption of digital payments has not taken off and is not consumer-friendly at all.

As an example, we all might have had the luxury of purchasing movie tickets online which usually takes 5 steps or even lesser to complete a transaction.

However, in emerging markets like Indonesia where digital payments have not taken off, the process to purchase movie tickets online is a long, painful and tedious process. To put this into perspective, here is the process breakdown for making a movie ticket purchase online in Indonesia:

  1. Bob selects his preferred seat, timing and movie on the online platform
  2. Bob is prompted to send a transaction via Internet Banking within 3 to 5 minutes
  3. Bob logs into his Internet Banking account and is prompted to key in his OTP by his bank as a security measure
  4. Bob navigates to the transaction page, keys in the details provided by the online platform to add them as a payee and waits for OTP again
  5. Bob finally makes payment for his movie tickets
  6. Transaction invoice is given to Bob and he has to input it onto the online platform before the stipulated time
  7. Purchase is finally done and the booking ID is sent to Bob’s email for the printing of the tickets onsite
Bob, after making his movie ticket purchase

Hopefully, you get the idea and feel as annoyed as I am listing down the steps… In addition to this tediousness, Bob runs the risk of having his preferred seats taken away if he does not complete his transaction within the stipulated time!

So what is causing these inefficiencies in emerging markets when the majority of us can make such purchases with ease?

High Cost and Transaction Fees

Have you ever wondered why there is a minimum purchase amount before you can make cashless payments with certain businesses?

Well, consumers may make payments digitally at no additional cost but merchants usually have to bear the cost of the transaction and/or processing fees when using conventional payment processing technologies.

Comparison table of Wadz vs major payment leaders

As we move towards a cashless economy, most merchants outside of emerging markets have to keep up with consumer trends and are essentially forced to implement expensive, outdated payment technology into their business processes. Merchants are required to deploy dedicated check-out lanes or hardware to fully utilize them as well.

Low Income, Low Spending Power, Long Settlement Period

Picture yourself owning a fresh vegetables and fruits store in a village of 2000 people in rural Indonesia where the average income is low —several factors might prevent you from adopting conventional digital payments processing technology.

  1. Low income also means low spending power, which does not make sense for you to adopt conventional digital payments processing technology when there are fees involved for every transaction.
  2. You have a low-profit margin to fit the income range of the villagers as well as to get rid of your perishables before expiry.
  3. After making a digital transaction, there is a long settlement period before the money is yours. With a low-profit margin, chances are you barely make ends meet and cannot afford to wait too long for the sake of your livelihood. And lastly…

Around 50% of Indonesians & Vietnamese are Currently Unbanked

In small rural villages, a large majority simply do not even have a bank account to start utilizing digital payments — merchants just do not see the need to implement cashless solutions.

Many of these folks remain unbanked because of the following:

  1. lack of trust towards the banks
  2. documentation requirements
  3. cost of maintenance
  4. distance barriers
  5. limited earnings.

So, how do we solve these issues at hand and start increasing digital payment penetration in emerging markets?

I will be releasing a blog series on how Wadz will solve these issues at hand soon, so if you are interested pleasestay up to date by joining our telegram channel here: https://t.me/wadzcommunity

If you can’t wait any longer and wish to learn more, please check out our whitepaper here or for a summary check out our overview page here


About Wadz (https://wadz.com)

Wadz is a blockchain-based, inclusive application that is set to redefine the payment processing industry and incentivize data ownership for both consumers and businesses. Wadz strives for the minimization of malicious activities, and maximization of positive contributions through its unique Proof-of-Contribution (PoC) governance protocol.

Find out more about Wadz’s latest developments!

Telegram
Telegram Announcement
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook
Instagram

Learn More

Wadz x TomoChain: Enabling Blockchain Usability and Adoption

Wadz has formed a strategic partnership with TomoChain – a highly innovative protocol that solves scalability issues on the Ethereum Blockchain

We are extremely excited to announce our partnership with TomoChain to kick-start our initial strategic phase in Southeast Asia as well as to enable online and point of sale (POS) payment solutions.

TomoChain is an innovative solution to scalability problem with the Ethereum blockchain, and other blockchain platforms. TomoChain features a 150-Masternodes architecture with Proof of Stake Voting (POSV) consensus for near-zero fee, and instant transaction confirmation. Security, stability and chain finality are guaranteed via novel techniques such as double validation, staking via smart-contracts and uniform randomization processes.

We are proud to be working with the experienced leadership team at Wadz to drive greater awareness and adoption of blockchain as an underlying solution for payments. Wadz’s focus towards digital payments through scalable blockchain infrastructure and across SEA aligns well with TomoChain’s DeFi and regional expansion plans. This partnership, additionally, exemplifies our desire to enable success in projects building on the TomoChain public blockchain through priority technical support, relevant business connections, and market access. As such, we will be working closely with Wadz to help them execute on their 2020 growth strategy across SEA and beyond.

— Kyn Chaturvedi, TomoChain CBDO

Our partnership with TomoChain will solve merchant pain points as well as to provide an intuitive and viable option for the unbanked in emerging markets. As part our migration to TomoChain, the Wadz token will be issued using the TomoZ: Zero Friction protocol.

TomoZ allows gas fees to be paid by the token itself so Wadz users will not need to hold native TOMO or even know that they are using blockchain, enabling expansion to a broader user-base — which is aligned with Wadz’s vision in bringing digital payments to the masses.

We are very excited and looking forward to growing our ecosystem with TomoChain for our initial expansion to emerging markets. With the rapid development of the Blockchain space, we strongly believe that the TomoChain protocol is best suited to develop and expand the Wadz payments infrastructure across geographies. Wadz has taken on an ambitious project of making blockchain-based payments a reality. We are positive our partnership with TomoChain will enable us to deliver cutting-edge and next-generation payment services for all.

— Anish Jain, Wadz CEO

We are extremely confident in TomoChain’s well-built infrastructure and expertise in navigating the SEA markets! Together, we aim to show the world the potential of Blockchain technology, and to form a cohesive, positive ecosystem together.

If you wish to know more about TomoChain, head on to their webpage!

Keep up to date with all our latest updates and news via our telegram channel!


About TomoChain (https://tomochain.com)

TomoChain is built on a performance layer that achieves high transaction speeds without compromising decentralization. TomoChain uses an innovative consensus method called PoSV (Proof of Stake Voting) which gives an ncentive to all TomoChain token-holders to play an active part in staking across a network of 150 high-quality masternodes, and to monitor their performance and governance actively. Its staking-governance dapp, TomoMaster, is recognized as one of the leading staking platforms in the industry.

Follow TomoChain on the following:

TomoChain Announcement Channel
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Reddit
Github

About Wadz (https://wadz.com)

Wadz is a blockchain-based, inclusive application that is set to redefine the payment processing industry and incentivize data ownership for both consumers and businesses. Wadz strives for the minimization of malicious activities, and maximization of positive contributions through its unique Proof-of-Contribution (PoC) governance protocol.

Find out more about Wadz’s latest developments!

Telegram
Telegram Announcement
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook
Instagram

Learn More

WADZ WANTS TO REACH ASIA’S UNBANKED WITH BLOCKCHAIN

Blockchain technology’s most common application are cryptocurrencies, which have largely remained as an alternative investment instrument for the tech- and financially-savvy. The technology remains somewhat nascent, but some people have already written it off, with many citing the major cryptocurrencies’ volatility and their trading platforms’ high withdrawal charges as reasons.

NEW CHALLENGER

Singapore-based firm Wadz is intending to change this by leveraging on blockchain technology and existing cryptocurrencies to create a global payment platform for merchants. According to Wadz, blockchain technology enables fast and secure payment transactions, which are performed millions of times daily between consumers and businesses. The company wants to build on this by creating an infrastructure that provides additional benefits. For one, Wadz’s platform promises easy plug-and-play integration into major online shopping carts for quick and easy adoption. Wadz’s near-zero payment fees is another key advantage, especially for cross-border transactions. Finally, the platform also accepts existing cryptocurrencies. They can thus be spent meaningfully instead of remaining a niche investment vehicle.

Wadz phone app payment platform startup
WADZ’S ROADMAP

Wadz’s smartphone app is already in beta testing. The firm has shared that the platform will be offered in Indonesia and Vietnam first, as the two countries have an estimated 200 million people who are underserved by banks and other traditional financial institutions.

According to Wadz, around 50,000 merchants in Indonesia and another 5,000 in Vietnam have expressed interest. The on-boarding process for them will begin in the first quarter of 2020. Other developments such as supply chain management are in the pipeline for the fledging company.

POTENTIAL GAMECHANGER

Our interest lies in its core product though. After all, should Wadz’s platform be successful and see widespread adoption, the company would potentially open a new chapter in blockchain technology and demonstrate its viability as a solution for the unbanked. That would, in turn, drastically alter the financial market and its existing players.

Source: https://www.augustman.com/sg/gear/tech/singapore-startup-wadz-blockchain-payment-platform/

Learn More

21 Nov, 7pm. IN-DeFi: The DeFi Wave Organized by Wadz & Tokocrypto

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-defi-the-defi-wave-tickets-81280322633

What is DeFi? Find out more about the upcoming development in the DeFi space!

About this Event

DeFi, also known as Decentralized Finance, has been the hot topic of the blockchain industry in recent months. So, what exactly is DeFi? DeFi is basically financial tools built on the blockchain – primarily on ethereum right now – pieced together by using smart contracts, protocols and decentralized applications (dApps). Decentralized finance, based on blockchain technology, has been viewed as a highly potential technology which shows large promises in improving the traditional finance space. Decentralized finance would be able to transform traditional payment, loan and remittance industry into one with much higher efficiency and lower cost.

Wadz and Tokocrypto will be hosting a DeFi community meetup. Digital Payment, P2P Loaning and Remittance are among the biggest industry in Indonesia. Let’s join this event to learn more about how decentralized finance can be applied in Indonesia. This event is open to anyone who is interested in knowing more about DeFi and wish to find out more about the upcoming developments in the DeFi space from key opinion leaders!

Location

BLOCK71 Jakarta
Ariobimo Sentral, South Jakarta, RT.9/RW.4
Setia Budi, Jakarta 12950
Indonesia

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-defi-the-defi-wave-tickets-81280322633

Learn More

Singapore-based Startup, Wadz, Takes on Traditional Payment Firms with the Beta Launch of its Application

Revolutionary payment application, Wadz, is set to take on traditional payment firms, with its anticipated beta launch on November 25, 2019.

Targeting emerging countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam as a start, Wadz offers an inclusive alternative payment technology that will be of benefit to both consumers and merchants.

Wadz stands out by a number of key features. These include the utilization of blockchain technology to speed up transactions; its easy integration to major shopping cart plug-ins; and near-zero processing fees. Finally, a key benefit to the users of Wadz is that users will now be able to spend their cryptocurrencies as a form of payment at merchants of the Wadz payment network.

One demographic on which Wadz is focusing is the “unbanked”. An estimated 200 million people, in the aforementioned countries, have limited access to banking institutions loans, and e-commerce. The lack of access to these banking services ultimately translates to the inability of these “unbanked” to access critical services such as healthcare. By enabling new payment modalities for these services, Wadz hopes to help these people improve their way of life.

Following the beta launch of its application, Wadz will lead an in-depth discussion on the impact of blockchain technology across industries at PSB Academy City Campus, Singapore on November 27, 2019, at 7:00 pm.

This major blockchain event is expected to gather over 300 participants as they get to know this innovative payment technology while discussing alongside the impact of blockchain on the industries of finance and logistics.

Featured among the distinguished roster of speakers is Anndy Lian, author of the book “Blockchain Revolution 2030” and blockchain advisor for Asian Productivity Organization (APO). His knowledge of Blockchain technology and his work has drawn attention from various international media such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Reuters, Yahoo, Nasdaq, FOX News, The Straits Times, Business Times, ABC News, Singapore Business Review, Asia Business Weekly, CBS News, CNET, ZDNET and many more. Anndy believes that this will revolutionize and redefine traditional businesses.

Wadz CEO, Anish Jain, will also speak in the same forum and views this event as an excellent jumping-off point for Wadz as it goes full steam ahead. “Wadz is off to a promising start after attracting over 50,000 merchants in Indonesia and 5,000 in Vietnam, which are expected to onboard to our platform in the first quarter of 2020,” he says. “Adopting the innovations Wadz offers will help merchants grow their businesses so we are confident that these numbers will further increase as we move along.”

Moderating the forum is Wadz’s Regional VP of Partnerships and passionate blockchain entrepreneur, Aaron Tan.

This forum is open to all. Interested parties can register for free at https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/blockchain-industrial-impact-wadz-beta-launch-tickets-81420696495.


For media inquiries, please contact:

David Carollo
Regional VP of Marketing
+65 9775 5756
david.carollo@wadz.com

Liew Jia Jun
Marketing & Communications Manager
+65 9734 6661
jiajun.liew@wadz.com


About Wadz

Wadz is an inclusive payments infrastructure that leverages on blockchain technology to incentivize data ownership for consumers and businesses and to redefine payments processor technology. Through the Wadz platform, consumers can securely monetize their personal data as businesses aim to source market information through safe, reliable, and transparent channels.

Learn More

Driving Financial Inclusion Using Blockchain and AI with Wadz

Asia Blockchain Review recently spoke to Anish Jain, CEO of Wadz, a company founded by the collaboration between experts from the payment and tech industry who have come together to deliver a smart payments engine with the objective to drive efficiencies, reduce costs, and increase adoption, while ensuring secure and hassle free payments. Anish talked about leveraging blockchain to process payments, the benefits of using artificial intelligence to help merchants and brands design targeted marketing, and the evolution of the payment ecosystem.

Asia Blockchain Review: How is Wadz promoting more financial inclusion in Asia? What about in Southeast Asia?

Anish Jain: The inherent issue in Southeast Asia has been financial access for all. This is due to several factors including the prevalence of cash, high transaction/merchant fees, barriers to entry into the financial system, geographic limitations, etc.

This leads to telcos and smartphone manufacturers trying to drive internet usage and financial inclusion. However, they have had their limitations, as they are mostly restricted to geographies or a set client base.

Learning from these experiences, Wadz is championing a hybrid ecosystem to process payments and analyze data using the reach of telcos and smartphones and leveraging blockchain and AI. Anyone with access to a smartphone can easily start making or accepting payments locally or cross-border in a matter of minutes. 

Indonesia and Vietnam are ranked 6th and 13th worldwide, respectively, for smartphone penetration, with over 80 million users combined. However, only 50% of their citizens have direct access to financial services.

ABR: Can you tell us about some of the key milestones that Wadz has achieved? 

AJ: Wadz was conceptualized in late 2018, and we began building the prototype in March 2019. Currently, we are testing the beta and expect to have our first version out in Indonesia for people to start using by end-Q3 to early-Q4. 

We have already been able to establish various merchant partnerships in Indonesia, Hong Kong, and India and are getting a lot of positive PR & feedback from the events we have participated in. Recently, we organized the inaugural “Real Life Application of Blockchain and AI” event in June 2019 in Singapore, which was met with huge success.

We are also on track to launch our IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) around September 2019. So keep an eye out for us!

ABR: What are some of the effective inventory management strategies that you can pass on to merchants?

AJ: This is a highly confidential tool in development, and I am unable to share any specifics at this point in time. However, it is something that has not been seen before and will change inventory management dynamics.

ABR: How do smart payments engines drive efficiencies and reduce cost? 

AJ: The traditional payment system is essentially a tri-party system with an organization such as Visa or Mastercard at the helm, also known as the ‘Switch’. Then, there is an ‘Acquirer’ which manages the merchants and the ‘Issuer’ which acquires customers. 

Then, there are several other intermediaries that are basically payment processing companies which connect all of the above with one another. As you can imagine, this makes the existing ecosystem not only complex, but also expensive. 

We at Wadz are utilizing blockchain to connect the consumer directly to the merchant, with Wadz moderating each transaction. This leads to smart data, zero fraud, faster settlements, and a flat fee of 1%. 

ABR: How does Wadz use artificial intelligence to help merchants and brands design targeted marketing?

AJ: Wadz is able to connect the consumer directly with the merchants and moderate every transaction. This allows the Wadz AI functionality to analyze data on a real-time basis. 

The Wadz AI function is then able to design various scenarios for merchants and brands to directly target the desired consumer segments based on seasonalities, shelf positioning, geographic location, etc.

ABR: Can you tell us about some of Wadz’s successes in driving the real-life application of blockchain and AI? 

AJ: Wadz had recently organized an event in Singapore called, “Real Life Application of Blockchain and AI.” This was the first-ever such event, and the idea behind it was to educate the general public on various use cases for these new emerging technologies.

The event was a success and very well received by the audience. We plan to continue such events, not only in Singapore but also in the rest of Southeast Asia. These events will also coincide with our product launches in various markets.

ABR: How does Wadz ensure a secure payment platform? What are the challenges to achieving this goal? 

AJ: The system is designed keeping in mind all potential threats. All necessary firewalls and security measures are being deployed to prevent security breaches. We are also deploying internal and external security experts to hack test the system on an ongoing basis. 

Using the Wadz payment gateway, users are guaranteed enhanced security against cyber threats, leaks, and misuse of confidential data by third-parties, since our system is designed to not enable merchants to capture the customer’s payment details. This saves the customer from confidential data leaks. 

ABR: With your extensive experience, how has the payment ecosystem evolved throughout the years?

AJ: Payments have come a long way from commodity-based payments to precious metals, paper cash, credit, and plastic. 

Now is the time for digital payments, and Wadz is at the forefront of this revolution.


Follow Asia Blockchain Review on:

Learn More

The first Artificial Intelligence X Blockchain 2019 Event

The first AI x Blockchain 2019 event will be held at Singapore’s National Library in the Informatics Academy HQ on June 13th, 2019 from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Singapore has emerged as a hub for tech-based startups looking to expand across Southeast Asia. Initiatives such as AI SG and SG Tech serve as the bedrock for growth and sustainability of the local tech ecosystem.

Aaron Tan, Head of Partnerships at Wadz, said, “AI x Blockchain will be a great showcase of how new-generation blockchain companies incorporate Artificial Intelligence into blockchain and cryptocurrency-based applications, all with the aim of disrupting existing industries and empowering individuals and companies to better work alongside emerging technologies.”

“My hope is that members of the public will be able to better learn more about these emerging technologies and how it is here to improve jobs and help workers, not replace them,” Tan said.

AI x Blockchain 2019 is designed to promote the real-life applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. Attendees can look forward to engaging sessions led by industry pioneers and innovators. They will also have a chance to interact with the representatives of various companies participating in the event.

Tony Tran, Head of Community of Liquidity Network, said, “This event is an excellent chance for students of Informatics Academy as well as the audience to know more about AI and Blockchain.”

To find out more and have a chance to grab free tickets for the AI x Blockchain 2019 event, please visit the following link on Eventbrite 

The event is organized by Wadz Pte Ltd, a collaboration of payments, blockchain, and AI experts seeking to revolutionize the payments ecosystem.


About Asia Blockchain Review

Asia Blockchain Review is the largest initiative for media and community building in Asia for blockchain technology. It aims to connect all blockchain enthusiasts on a regional scale and facilitate the technological foundation of blockchain through a range of group discussions, technical workshops, conferences, and consulting programs.

Our goal is to cultivate and encourage a collaborative community for our members to gather, share their experiences and endeavors in the blockchain space, and brainstorm the potential uses of blockchain technology.

Follow Asia Blockchain Review on:

Learn More

Wadz, RelationWork headlines discussion on blockchain payment and its impact on businesses

Emerging technology payment solutions company, Wadz Pte Ltd, successfully headlined a panel discussion alongside several noteworthy companies such as web portal services provider, RelationWork, and non-profit blockchain academia, the Institute of Blockchain.

While the panel discussion primarily revolved around blockchain payments and their impact on businesses, it also went into current real-world applications of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency as well as macroeconomic-based insights that participants can use as leverage to transform their respective businesses.

Among the distinguished panel of speakers are c-suite executives from myriad industries. One of them was Growth Marketing Studio CEO Thibaut Briere who has been in the B2B marketing for more than 13 years. Thibaut spoke about the importance of educating prospective customers about what blockchain is before introducing a blockchain-powered product. “Since there are many complexities about blockchain, education should come first,” Thibaut explained. “If they understand the value of your product, then it is easier for you to market it.”

The next speaker, Institute of Blockchain president Alvin Chua, is a leading fintech leader in Singapore, having received multiple awards in the field and is the curator of the first cryptocurrency course in the country. His talk focused on profitability and usability noting that apps driven by blockchain raised millions of US dollars in 2018 alone. “Cryptokitties, which are basically digitized beanie babies, amassed USD 15 million last year,” Alvin said. “Its highest transaction was an unbelievable USD 170,000 for a digital cat sold over a blockchain network — that is the future.”

Wadz Chief Operating Officer, Ghislain Bonamy, tackled the final topic of the night — infrastructure. He spent years developing analytical technologies and co-founded an Ethereum-mining company. He elaborated on the company’s blockchain-driven payment platform which has been gaining significant traction in Asia, especially after it announced its IEO crowd sales in November 2019. He also expounded on how Wadz’s infrastructure provides solutions to some gaps in the current financial system. “Our platform allows real-time data exchange and financial access for all at low transaction fees while utilizing a simple user interface,” Ghislain said. “Our platform is also supplemented with AI technology for targeted marketing, market trend predictions, cash flow management, and inventory management.”

This is just a first in a long line of blockchain forums that Wadz has in the pipeline. Its next major event will be at PSB Academy City Campus on October 25, 2019. The said discussion will focus on the impact of blockchain technology on finance, logistics, and global travel.

Learn More

Asia’s #1 DJ Duo, Rave Republic, First in Asia to Accept Cryptocurrencies on Wadz Platform

Starting immediately, Singapore-based DJ Duo, Rave Republic, will accept cryptocurrency as a payment option. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been all the rage in the past year, causing quite a sensation. The push for cryptocurrency acceptance has been driven by dissatisfaction with the current financial systems and a push for decentralization.

A number of professions and ways of life heavily rely on being able to make cross border transfers. Be it to receive payments from overseas or to send money back home to loved ones. Unfortunately, despite being in an era where communication occurs at the speed of light, the lack of trust has made it hard for people to quickly send money across borders. The decentralized ledger and blockchain technology powering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now make it possible to quickly send large amounts of founds around the world in minutes and at a minimal cost.

Unfortunately, this fairly recent technology has still limited adoption. While a number of the profession, such as travelling artists, could benefit from this technological advancement, the complexity of this technology has drastically slowed down people from embracing this technology. We had the opportunity of having an exclusive interview on this topic with an international DJ group, Rave Republic.
Rave Republic is a homegrown duo act from Singapore under the Warner Music label that is ranked in the Top 100 DJs in the World (DJ Mag, 2018). The high-energy performances from the DJ duo seamlessly blend all genres of music and leave the crowd jumping and fist-pumping through the entire set. Whether headlining festivals around the world, playing the main stage at Ultra Music Festival or rocking top-ranked clubs, this spirited team always create lasting memories.

The Rave Republic duo grew to international level in recent years, through collaborations with the likes of Dash Berlin/Jeffrey Sutorius, Justin Prime and Luciana. With this international success, the duo came to face similar difficulties as many of their peers.

Artistes can lose more than 10% of their income to banks

The decision from Rave Republic to start accepting cryptocurrency-based payments comes in direct response to the huge amount fees that performing artists have had to deal with and the lack of protection offered when it comes to payments.

“The current system forces performers to payexorbitantbanks commission just for the opportunity to perform overseas.”

Rave Republic has provided an example as to how their income is highly affected by the current system. The DJ duo explained that Clubs/promoters typically pay a 50% deposit to the performer’s bookings agency in order to confirm the performance. Many agencies are located internationally. As a result, a bank fee of $30-50 for an international wire transfer as well as often unfavorable exchange rates is charged. Again, shortly before the performance occurs the balance is transferred, and again is subjected to similar charges. Finally, once the performance is completed, the bookings agency finally pays the fee owed to the performer, which is again subject to a $30-50 charge. In total, $90-150 is often lost to the banks just to receive a payment coming from abroad.

In the case of some of their low and mid-tier regional peers, who typically charge $1,000-$2,000 for an overseas show, the bank fees charged to allow these artists to work can represent over 10% of their revenue stream. This is a major expense in their business, that affects many other professions working across borders.

“At this stage of our career, we don’t face these issues anymore in most cases, but the bank fees still take a chunk of our income out that we could put to better use”

Payment Delays and Non-Payment Issues Plague the Industry

If having to give away a large amount of your income to the banks was not enough, due to the complex infrastructure, the procedure to wire money is unnecessarily complicated and can often result in delayed payments. Depending on the number of intermediaries, tracking discrepancies between received and the expected amount is often a task requiring more effort than it is worth, with each intercessor pointing the finger to the other to explain the missing amounts.

“When we didn’t have a big bookings agency behind us, non-payment was a real issue. Most mid-tier touring DJs will accept cash on the spot, instead of asking for a deposit and then balance payment, to avoid the heavy bank fees on comparatively lower fees to the big acts. There are many horror stories where DJs are owed money and the club refuses to pay them before the show.”

On top of the bank delays, there have also been instances where the promoter has not paid the final amount at the required date, which often throws plans into disarray. This issue is compounded by the additional risk some artists are willing to take to avoid paying outrageous bank fees, at the risk not to be paid at all.

The Opacity of the Multitiered Payment System Contributes to Non-Payment

When the duo was asked if they had personally faced negative experiences in their artistic career which they believed could have been solved with the advent of blockchain and smart contracts, the duo promptly indicated that part of the opacity from the current payment system made it such that it was often easy for people to point the finger to the intermediaries and either delay payment or in some instances avoid payment altogether.

“Absolutely. We have heard cases of fake bank receipts being sent, and have personally received multiple unbelievable excuses for why payments were delayed or simply not made.”

By accepting payment in cryptocurrency, Rave Republic hope to almost entirely remove charges, while being able to receive their fees almost instantly. This product which eventually will act as an escrow between the merchant and the customer in this case represented by the performance venue and the performer will help alleviate the non-payment risk which is mitigated by an electronic intermediary, the smart contract.

“It’s a simple procedure which will keep getting easier astheadoption of cryptocurrencies grows”

So far the main limitation to switch entirely to a Blockchain solution is that many people in the industry still heavily rely on fiat payment and traditional banking. There are a number of elements slowing down adoption. One of the issues is the high volatility of the currencies which may dissuade some people from entering this space because while the prospect of having their, profit increase is appealing many do not want to take the risk that their funds may depreciate heavily and impair their ability to do business. Another issue goes to the liquidity of cryptocurrencies for which usage is very scattered. These are two issues that Wadz intends to tackle by allowing people to receive their payment in fiat, as well as increasing adoption by working with merchants and communities to leverage digital currencies.

“We push to adopt these [Blockchain-based payment technologies], but unfortunately, others still insist on doing business the traditional way. Volatility is another reason why there is a risk to using these methods, but thanks to players like Wadz, this will soon not be a concern”

Until the adoption becomes the industry standard, Rave Republic will continue accepting regular payment options but will offer a discount for payments in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Wadz and possibly other alternative coins. Rave Republic and many other international performers are coming to the reality that Blockchain will solve many of their issues.

Learn More