The Dutch cryptocurrency has had a good year overall, growing from a market cap of about $400,000 at the beginning of the year, and rising to the $1 mln mark in early September. Since then, the currency has taken off, growing over tenfold in the month and a half since then to $10.5 mln at time of writing, almost $7 mln of that over the last week alone.
According to Rijk Plasman, this growth has come mainly from users new to the cryptocurrency scene rather than hardened coin speculators seeking the next new plaything:
“Our support inbox has been going crazy with questions, that’s a very good sign because it means we are getting in people new to crypto. And it shows that we are on the right track with making our apps as user friendly as possible. The team can’t wait to release the 1.6.0 version of our apps, we are currently testing it and it looks like an October release is possible. It is very easy to use, but packed with a lot of new and innovative features.”
Gulden’s focus on everyday use
The quiet rise over the last year of Gulden came without fanfare because of the currency’s relatively low media profile and focus on usability for everyday transactions. An early focus on adoption among merchants, mainly in the Netherlands, gave the currency a head start. A strategic partnership with the Nocks app, a payment system and exchange which allows users to instantly trade Gulden for euros or Bitcoin. The system’s zero-confirmation on the Gulden end means that a user can pay at a business that accepts Bitcoin or euros with Gulden as quickly as if they had not had to exchange at all.
Over the next several months, Gulden plans to unveil a feature called Prime which allows for one-confirmation and zero-confirmation transactions to enable instant yet secure payments for point-of-sale transactions. Alongside planned is a bank exchange integration into the Gulden wallet itself.
The challenge to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream
As the cryptocurrency field continues to develop, so does the effort to bring digital currency to the mainstream. Bitcoin, the frontrunner and giant of the field with 80% of all cryptocurrency’s total market cap, despite its impressive rise as the pioneer of Blockchain technology, has nonetheless so far failed to gain wide adoption in the mainstream.
This is partially due to its continuing experimental phase and learning curve for non-technical users, as well as relative slower speeds for transaction confirmations and an increasing transaction cost that may make micropayments untenable.
Several other cryptocurrencies, including Gulden and Dash, seek to improve on Bitcoin’s existing technology to provide an easy, streamlined user experience.