Even today, a common viewpoint is that cryptocurrency and crime go hand in hand. This hangover from the 2014 Silk Road incident is still seared into the minds of the general public by the countless news articles linking crypto to crime. It’s something that crypto is still trying to shake off and the numerous sensationalized news articles created by the mainstream media are certainly not helping.
Yes, it’s true that some criminals do use crypto. However, what the writers of these articles fail to mention is that the vast majority of criminal activities are funded using regular currencies like the USD. Indeed, those already in crypto will know that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a terrible way to make criminal transactions. Having dirty transactions stored immutably in a public ledger doesn’t seem like a great idea, does it? Particularly when you realize that the vast majority of crypto-to-fiat on and off-ramps require users to send in copies of their passport. Cold, hard, physical cash seems a much easier way for the criminally minded to obscure their shady transactions.
Sadly, this anti-crypto sentiment is likely to stick around a while longer within the mainstream media. The truth is that many of these types of articles generate a lot of clicks and that’s what ultimately generates ad revenue for these news portals.
The downside of all this negative press coverage is that many regular Joe’s are put off from learning about the innovation and technological disruption that’s happening in the blockchain space. That’s a huge hurdle for the wider adoption of cryptocurrency. What seems to be needed to turn the tide is a steady stream of news counterweights, showcasing how crypto and blockchain technology is being used for good. However, this requires progressive thinking ethical companies to embrace crypto and for the general public to consider that:
“New technology is not good or evil in and of itself. It’s all about how people choose to use it.”
- David Wong
Who Are Kindhumans?
Kindhumans is a new online store focused on bringing together the best eco-innovative sustainability-focused products under one roof. It consists of brands with integrity aimed at people who care about the environment and making the world a kinder place. In a nutshell, the Kindhumans shop aims to be the Amazon of eco-friendly products.
The initiative was co-founded by Suzi and Justin Wilkenfeld and a team of former GoPro, Live Nation/Feld Entertainment, and Reef alumni. Justin Wilkenfeld explains that:
“We want to help streamline the efforts for conscious consumers to more easily identify, find and purchase quality products that are good for people and good for the planet.”
There is even more to Kindhumans than meets the eye. It’s more than just an e-commerce store. The movement also seeks to educate and inspire people about the benefits of ethically sourced products, up-cycling, fair trade and more. Why not stop by the Kindhumans Instagram, Facebook or even sign up to their newsletter?
The project has also committed to dedicating 1% of all sales to support environmental and social causes.
Kindhumans: A Progressive Ethical Company Embracing Crypto
Right now, the world is facing its biggest threat since human existence. For years, scientists have predicted that climate change would have a dramatic impact on humanity’s future. That future has now arrived. Turn on the news channels and you’ll be greeted by reports on melting ice caps, record temperatures, rising numbers of natural disasters, the destruction of coral reefs and extinction events.
It’s the first time that normal people can actually see the impact of climate change for themselves and it’s happening faster than anyone predicted. The general consensus amongst the world’s scientific community is that with the current rates of warming, humanity and the world’s biodiversity faces a grim future.
In addition to environmental disasters, social tragedies like crime, war, and greed seem to be everywhere. Kindhumans want to take a stand against all this by promoting the ideals of being good to yourself, being good to fellow humans and being good to the planet.
The Kindhumans team believes that this all starts with the types of products we bring into our lives. This is why the Kindhumans shop focuses on bringing together eco-friendly and sustainable products, which are created by companies with integrity. The Kindhumans team spends a lot of time and resources to only select and list products in the Kindhumans shop that are:
- Made by brands with integrity and embrace transparency.
- Dedicated to environmental sustainability.
- Support communities
- Free from harmful materials
- Have a focus on giving back to the world
This thoughtful vetting process also considers where products come from, which methods are used to make them and even how the product can be disposed of. This means that Kindhumans stands behind every item listed in their store and has been endorsed by the Kindhumans team.
Kindhumans commitment to creating a better way for us to consume products extends beyond e-commerce. The team have also been progressive when it comes to committing to leveraging blockchain technology to increase the transparency of their charity. They have also empowered ethically conscious consumers to pay using cryptocurrencies that share the values of Kindhumans.
This means that crypto holders who have Bitcoin, Ethereum or NIM can now buy ethically sourced products using crypto. It also brings the crypto community the opportunity to show the mainstream that we are not a community of money launderers, criminals and terrorists, instead showing how crypto can be a force for good in the world.
The Nimiq & Kindhumans Collaboration
When it comes to Kindhumans choosing a specific blockchain to record a hash of their annual transparency report, they could have chosen any of a long list of different blockchains. The same is true when it came to the integration of a crypto payment solution to enable the Kindhumans shop to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum and NIM. However, they chose the little-known cryptocurrency project, Nimiq, to partner with for both.
So, why choose Nimiq? Put very simply, Kindhumans likes to partner with tech projects that share their values and ideas. Nimiq is one of the few crypto projects that had reimagined what a cryptocurrency project could be by building a charitable focus into it’s DNA at inception. Indeed, 2% of the entire NIM supply has been dedicated to supporting causes with high social and environmental impact and is what the Nimiq Team likes to call ‘responsible blockchain development’. These shared values make up the cornerstone for the collaboration between Kindhumans and Nimiq.
Kindhumans has shown its progressiveness by teaming up with Nimiq to improve transparency and open up it’s doors to crypto users that want to use BTC, ETH, and NIM as a payment method. It also seems that Kindhumans has seen the future potential of the Nimiq Checkout solution that powers crypto payments in the Kindhumans store right now.
Nimiq OASIS: The Tech Bridging The Crypto & Banking Worlds
The Kindhumans store is currently powered by a crypto-only version of Nimiq Checkout. However, the Nimiq project has two core research efforts. The first is Nimiq OASIS which stands for the Open Asset Swap Interaction Scheme. This is a blueprint for a crypto-to-fiat bridge, which makes fiat currencies like the Euro behave as if it were a token on the blockchain. This could provide a unique way of connecting the traditional banking world to the crypto universe.
The Nimiq Team have already announced that they intend to integrate this tech into Nimiq Checkout and offer crypto-to-fiat conversions to integrated merchants. This means that integrators like Kindhumans would be able to benefit from:
- Generating new sales by accepting crypto. The solution is also non-custodial and supports multiple different cryptos. This means that a merchant with no technical knowledge can accept crypto and get Euros without ever touching it.
- Merchants like Kindhumans get crypto payments settled in Euros directly to their SEPA instant bank accounts. This practically eliminates the volatility risks associated with accepting crypto as a payment method.
Indeed, Nimiq Checkout is geared to providing a solution to two of the main problems holding back merchant adoption of cryptocurrency: The volatility of cryptocurrencies and making it much easier for merchants to accept crypto.
It seems that the progressive thinkers over at Kindhumans have seen the potential benefits of accepting crypto and the future benefits that OASIS brings to Nimiq Checkout. With this in mind, we can see why the Kindhumans team decided to choose Nimiq’s current payment solution over others.
What’s Behind Nimiq OASIS?
The crypto market is full of big promises and you’d be right in thinking that Nimiq OASIS is not ready yet. However, there seems to be substance behind this research, with Nimiq announcing this year that it had formed a strategic partnership with WEG bank to focus on collaborating on Nimiq OASIS. The project also acquired a 9.9% share in the bank, joining other stakeholders like TokenPay and Litecoin.
The key thing to know here is that Nimiq OASIS is able to leverage the SEPA instant banking network via WEG bank. This extends the potential reach of Nimiq OASIS (and by extension Nimiq Checkout) to 2,000+ European banks in 20 countries.
WEG Bank recently announced the launch of its crypto-focused banking unit, TEN31 Bank. If the new website is anything to go by, then it seems that Nimiq will play a vital role in the future of the bank and the services it offers to crypto-focused businesses.
On top of all this, TEN31 also announced in October that Salamantex, a top crypto point of sale terminal provider, had become a 9.9% shareholder in WEG Bank. This means that 40% of WEG Bank and TEN31 are now owned by crypto companies.
Although nothing official has been announced, it probably wouldn’t be surprising to hear that the plan was to integrate Nimiq OASIS into Salamantex’s point of sales terminals and extend the reach of Nimiq’s technology to bricks and mortar stores too.
Solving Scaling Problems With Albatross
Nimiq’s second core research effort is the Albatross proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. This aims to provide a solution to the scalability problem plaguing so many blockchain projects. It’s being developed in collaboration with Trinkler software. A technical paper has already been published and the initial findings are that Albatross will achieve a performance close to the theoretical maximum of a single-chain protocol.
The reason why this is so important is that Nimiq, along with other cryptos like Bitcoin, can only process 7 transactions per second. This means that if these cryptos are adopted at scale by merchants and embraced by consumers, that transaction speeds could be very slow indeed.
The good news is that testing is already underway and the Nimiq team have announced that they intend to implement the new consensus algorithm into the second version of Nimiq in mid-2020. If the speed of Albatross lives up to its expected 1,000+ transactions per second, this would result in Nimiq being capable of processing five times more transactions per second than PayPal.
If Nimiq’s OASIS powered crypto payment solution really takes off, Albatross has an exceptionally important role to play to ensure that those crypto-to-fiat conversions continue to remain fast.
Want To Learn More About Nimiq?
Our friends at CoinBureau have done an excellent deep dive into the Nimiq project. We recommend you watch their detailed video review.
Anyone who has taken the plunge into crypto will know that feeling of telling their friends or family that they have a position in cryptocurrency, only to be told that it’s the currency of criminals. Yes, this is frustrating and we know that this is far from the truth. However, with all the news articles being pumped out telling them about crypto being used for money laundering, terrorist activities, ransom and more, can you really blame them for thinking this?
We think the key to changing this perception is to provide tangible examples of ways in which crypto is being used for good. That’s where the success of businesses like Kindhumans, which have taken the plunge to accept crypto, can really show the mainstream that the crypto community is full of good and kind people.
Together we really can change the perception that crypto space is full of criminals and used for shady things. If you think that’s something worth fighting for and is important for the mass adoption of cryptocurrency, then support merchant adopters like Kindhumans and let’s show the mainstream the true ideals and values of the crypto community.
Disclaimer: The author holds some NIM in their portfolio and is compensated in a long-term independent consulting capacity by Nimiq. This article must not be construed as investment advice. Always do your own research.