Gulden has released an update for its desktop and mobile platform, allowing funds to be sent seamlessly to Gulden wallets, Bitcoin wallets and even to European bank accounts.

The Dutch-based cryptocurrency, which maintains a focus entirely on user experience and efficiency of financial transactions, released its 1.6.0 update last week. This included several usability fixes, including wallet syncing between the mobile app and desktop wallet, similar to what many Bitcoin platforms offer.

Rijk Plasman, Gulden’s founder, says that these usability improvements were intended to compete with the banking experience:

“Accounts that you can synchronize between desktop and mobile, we call this Link. Similar to your bank account, you can also use this on your mobile and desktop. Because our users are used to this, we had to provide the same option but in a decentralized way using the Blockchain.”

Of particular significance is both wallets’ ability to transfer funds to non-Gulden destinations. Through a strategic partnership with the online exchange and payment processor Nocks, Gulden payments can be seamlessly exchanged into Bitcoin or euros in-app.

The wallet is designed to give the experience of sending Gulden directly to the end destination, with the currency exchange taking place remaining hidden from the user.

This means that a user can buy Gulden and spend it anywhere Gulden or Bitcoin are accepted, as well as send funds to bank accounts, all within a single app, with a streamlined non-technical experience.

Gulden conference held in Groningen where local taxis accept it for payments

In late November, Gulden organized the G2 conference in Groningen to highlight the currency’s new update as well as go over its recent growth spurt. Event attendees were serviced by Taxi Noord, a 35-taxi fleet, and finished at Het Heerenhuis, an upscale restaurant, both of which accept Gulden payments through the Nocks point-of-sale system.

Gulden experienced a significant rise in value and transaction volume in the fall of 2016, rising from a market cap of about $400,000 at the beginning of the year to a high of over $25 mln in mid-October. Plasman believes the jump in popularity is partly due to an influx of new users from outside the cryptocurrency world:

“Yeah we went from 4000 users to 40,000 in a month, so that's pretty good. And most of them are new to crypto.”

Gulden seeking to compete with Dash as “most usable crypto”

Rather than seeking to improve on Bitcoin’s privacy features as currencies like Monero and Zcash have done, Gulden maintains a sole focus on ease of use as a medium of exchange in regular business.

According to Plasman, updates to Gulden in 2017 will further improve on the basic premise of usability by adding faster transaction confirmations and a less technical interface:

“First Prime, secure 1 confirmation transaction and a much smoother Blockchain. After that a project that will move the addresses to the background, because those are pretty scary for most people. We will replace those with something much more user-friendly. But can't say much more about that. And after that Prime 2, a system that will make 0 confirmation transactions possible.”

Dash, another cryptocurrency seeking to become a more practical digital currency than Bitcoin, has an instant, zero-confirmation transaction feature similar to what is planned for Gulden.

Dash also plans to replace the long cryptographic addresses with usernames in a major update, titled Evolution, which is also slated for release in late 2017.

It remains to be seen which currency will win out as the dominant digital cash of the future.