March 28, 2018 - New Orleans, LA, US
For too long, cryptocurrency has been the realm of speculative investment. The original promise of Bitcoin, decentralized currency, has yet to be realized as a means of commerce. Issues abound: transaction fees, environmental impact, security, volatility, and simply not enough awareness and adoption by consumers and merchants.
New cryptocurrencies have sprung up to address Bitcoin’s shortfalls as a payment method. The occasional anecdote appears in forums about a merchant accepting cryptocurrency. A funny sign on a storefront — word of a merchant successfully offering a crypto discount — excites the crypto community. But it is still little more than an echo chamber.
To drive mass adoption of crypto-commerce, tools are needed to both earn and spend cryptocurrency with ease. The value needs to stay in the system, so to speak. A closed loop.
The giants of commerce, the Googles and Amazons of the world, the QuickBooks and Paychex and Paypals, could solve this conundrum in a moment’s notice by introducing cryptocurrency payment options. But it is still early days, and the giants are still at rest.
And so it is with humble pride that I announce Gilded, a cryptocurrency marketplace where goods and services can be exchanged for the currency of the future. Over the coming months, Gilded will roll out a steady barrage of tools and services to begin fostering the era of cryptocurrency commerce.
The first of Gilded’s tools is launching today.
One of the greatest advantages of cryptocurrency is the ease with which an international workforce can collaborate and transfer value.
It will be possible, in that age, perhaps only 50 years from now, for a man to conduct his business from Tahiti or Bali just as well as he could from London.
- Arthur C. Clarke, 1964
As the global economy shifts from the large corporations of the 20th century to the ad hoc teams of independent freelancers that proliferate today, tools are needed to help those teams work together.
Payments are particularly cumbersome, with credit card processing fees eating into the pockets of freelancers and bank wires particularly time-consuming and fee-ridden for clients.
A Better Way
We believe there is a better way, which is why the Gilded team has painstakingly constructed a strikingly simple cryptocurrency invoicing app for freelancers. With Gilded Invoices you can send an invoice in traditional (fiat) currency and accept payment in one or more cryptocurrencies.
A Gilded invoice. The Pay Now button allows the client to pay in cryptocurrency.
The invoice itself is very standard. It’s intentionally designed this way to make it as easy as possible to onboard clients, even if they’ve never paid with cryptocurrency before.
Standard so far, but once the client clicks the Pay Now button things gets interesting.
While the invoice total is still denominated in traditional currency ($800), in this example there are options to pay in Bitcoin and Ethereum. The price is shown in each cryptocurrency based on the current CryptoCompare conversion rate at the time the Pay Now button is clicked.
Gilded currently supports invoicing with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Nano. More coins may be supported in the future, but the goal is to keep the focus on coins best suited for commerce.
Of course, accepting all four coins isn’t required. As a freelancer, the first step in using the app is to add the existing wallets where the freelancer would like to get paid. Only wallets added by the freelancer will appear as payment options on the invoice.
On this screen we’ve also added a “Learn how to pay with cryptocurrency” button. This button links to a really handy How to Buy Crypto in 10 Minutes guide we’ve created to walk someone who has zero experience with cryptocurrency through the process of downloading the Coinbase app, purchasing Ethereum, and using it to pay the invoice. Education is one of the primary goals of the Gilded platform as we work to build adoption of crypto-commerce, and this beginner guide to buying crypto is a first step in that direction.
Now, let’s say the client opts to pay with Bitcoin. The final step is a simple screen with a QR code and the public address of the freelancer’s Bitcoin wallet:
The client can click the “Mark as Paid” button to indicate when payment has been sent. Automatic confirmation of payment via the blockchain is not yet supported for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but this feature will be included in a future release. For the Nano fans out there, we’ve integrated with Brainblocks to support instant Nano payments with blockchain confirmation.
Once a payment has been made, the details of the invoice payment are recorded in Gilded. In the future we’ll offer downloadable reports to make tax reporting a breeze.
Security is incredibly important with crypto payments due to the inability to reverse transactions. That’s why Gilded chose Firebase, Google’s robust application platform, to power our application. Firebase comes right out of the box with Google-quality integrated security features.
It’s important to note that at no time do payments pass through Gilded’s wallets or servers. The blockchain address and QR code that appear on the Pay Now screen directly reference the freelancer’s wallets. The sole exception is Nano, in which case the Brainblocks widget briefly proxies payment. At no point does Gilded have access to a freelancer’s funds, significantly reducing the security risk of accepting cryptocurrency payments.
Ready to give Gilded Invoices a try? Visit https://gilded.market/ to create your first invoice today.
What’s next for Gilded?
Today’s release is only the first step for our crypto invoicing app. Here’s a taste of what else we have in store:
- Automatic blockchain payment confirmation
- Email notifications
- Internationalization and localization
- Crowdsourced language translation
- More currency options
- Painless tax reporting
In the near future we will also launch Gilded’s next product: a cryptocurrency shopping search engine. Gilded Shopping will be the very first place where shoppers can search for products available for purchase in multiple cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin.
Our web crawler has already indexed over 500 online merchants that accept cryptocurrency, and we will re-crawl periodically to ensure product listings stay fresh and up to date. A wide selection of products, combined with filters for currency, brand, price, color, and more, will make Gilded Shopping the best way to shop online with crypto.
E-commerce merchants who accept cryptocurrency will be included in the Gilded Shopping index at no charge. Gilded Shopping is 100% free for both shoppers and merchants. To apply as a merchant, please complete our site registration form.
With solutions for both earning and spending cryptocurrency, Gilded aims to close the loop and create an ecosystem of crypto-commerce.
It is our hope that we can work closely with coin founders, crypto payment providers, e-commerce plugin developers, tax and accounting software makers, and entrepreneurs to expand our impact.
For crypto enthusiasts, the best way you can help drive adoption is to begin accepting payment in crypto and spending it by purchasing products and services from merchants that support crypto. Together, we can help make crypto mainstream.
Keep up to date with Gilded’s latest developments: