Unifox is an established company that has been making cryptocurrency ATMs since 2016. They are in the process of launching their blockchain based token (FOX) with its subsidiary, Unicash, acting as a fiat backed stable coin. The Unifox network stands alone as a 5 part system with an online exchange, a network of crypto ATMs, a branded point of sale systems, a P2P decentralized exchange and prepaid debit cards. While all of these ideas already exist, Unifox is one of the only blockchain projects attempting to do them all.
The Bitcoin boom is far from over. Incubators and investors have been trained to throw money at any group of founders that include “Blockchain Technology” in their pitch deck; yet, mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment option is still years away.
Why is that?
Some of the main issues are :
- Volatility of crypto prices making it undesirable as a functional currency.
- Challenges in converting fiat to cryptocurrency and crypto back to fiat.
- Lack of acceptance in major retailers limiting where cryptocurrency holders can spend their tokens.
- Unifox attempts to solve these problems by acting as a “one-stop shop” for everything crypto. From their whitepaper, the Unifox vision is
to make the blockchain technology (and cryptocurrencies) available for daily use to adopt the blockchain technology into the world economy
Rather than piggybacking off of existing ATM infrastructure, Unifox has chosen to build their whole system from the ground up.
The Hard Facts
Currently, there are over 3000 crypto ATMs worldwide. Compared to the number of fiat ATM’s (400,000 in Europe alone) this number is miniscule! Even though some countries are adopting existing ATM infrastructure to increase the availability of crypto purchase/sale sites. (Korea recently upgraded 7,000 ATM’s to allow for the purchase/sale of Bitcoin), the world still needs more convenient access points to shift between fiat and crypto. The United States is “leading the race” with over 1500 crypto ATMs in existence. In order for Crypto to become a widely used currency users will need to have equal or better accessibility to the existing fiat market.
Currently, most crypto ATMs charge exorbitant fees (8% on average with some being above 10%). Compare this to most ATMs (free for in network users or low fees for others) the expense of using a crypto ATM is enough to keep most people away. Even though they offer a convenient way for users to convert fiat to crypto while maintaining their anonymity, high fee’s while need to change before mainstream adoption can be achieved.
Cryptocurrency offers a valuable alternative to traditionally financial products serving the remittance market. With worldwide remittance transaction peaking at $466 billion in 2017, the market has been targeted by many blockchain projects. Existing platforms such as Western Union and Moneygram charge excessive fees, peaking at over 15%. When you can transfer an infinite amount of money using Bitcoin for a few cents, the decision to shift from fiat to crypto becomes very simple. Unifox hopes to leverage this by creating a worldwide network of ATMs that users can use to hold, exchange and spend their stablecoin (UniCash).
Unifox is attempting to become the holy grail of crypto payment options by creating a comprehensive platform for buying, selling, holding and spending cryptocurrency. With lofty goals come complex problems.
How to convince users to shift away from existing Bitcoin and fiat ATMs?
Is it not worthwhile to use existing infrastructure rather than trying to build a new one from the ground up? While the SWIFT system certainly has its limitations, the UNIFox project may find issues in trying to “dominate” the market while other projects are focusing on more specialized aspects of the same project.
Hopefully, the UNIfox project will be able to achieve their goals.
Increasing efficiencies between fiat to crypto conversions is necessary for increased adoption.
Will they become a leader in the crypto space?
Only time will tell.