Pundi X was one of the highly anticipated ICOs early in 2018, and despite market conditions deteriorating at the time it was able to hit its hard cap of $35 million within 90 minutes as it promised users to become “the Wal-Mart of blockchain”.
The team at Pundi X are aiming to be the largest decentralized point of sale network, capturing the increasingly large new generation of crypto enthusiasts and traders by offering ease of access through the Point of Sale (POS) devices and simple mobile wallet.
If Pundi X is successful in realizing their vision that “buying cryptocurrency should be as easy as buying bottled water”, we will all benefit.
Pundi X Technology and Use Cases
The driving force behind the creation of Pundi X is the steep learning curve for those just entering the cryptocurrency ecosystem. With very few exceptions (Robinhood and Coinbase come to mind), current cryptocurrency exchanges are confusing and difficult to learn for new users. And that doesn’t even touch on the difficulty and confusion associated with juggling multiple wallets, private keys, passphrases and authenticators.
Honestly, even experienced cryptocurrency users can become somewhat frustrated. Pundi X offers to change all this through three interlocking pieces of technology: The Pundi X platform, mobile wallets, and card payments.
One interesting and unique feature of the Pundi X network is that its devices are integrated into two blockchains – Ethereum and NEM. Nem (XEM) was chosen because it is popular with Asian financial institutions, and because it has the technology to enable nearly instantaneous payments.
Pundi X Team
The Pundi X team are a talented group of technologists and entrepreneurs, which seems to be exactly what this project will need for success. In general the management team is comprised of computer engineers turned serial entrepreneur. The glaring exception to this is CEO and founder Zac Cheah, who was formerly an HTML games developer, but perhaps this is why he surrounded himself with such a strong team.
From Left: Zac Cheah (CEO), Pitt Huang (CTO), Constantin Papadimitriou (President), Danny Lim (CFO)
The President of Pundi X, Constantin Papadimitrou, has a long history of founding successful fintech companies, and scaling them, which makes him an ideal fit for a project that will need rapid growth and adoption. The CTO/COO Pitt Huang created and sold his first business by the age of 25 and went on to create and sell several more business, including one that had over 200 employees.
The management team operates out of Jakarta, which the research team largely operates out of Shenzhen. As of April 2018 the team is comprised of more than 40 employees, with over half filling research and development roles. In addition to the Jakarta and Shenzhen offices, there are also offices in London, Taipei and Singapore.
The Pundi X POS device has begun production in February 2018 following the ICO and will be available for purchase soon. It allows customers to pay for goods with cryptocurrencie stored in their mobile wallet, and can also be used to buy cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, XEM, QTUM, or ACT) to top up the wallet.
During the ICO Pundi has said that they will deliver 100,000-700,000 POS devices to at least 12 different countries over the next three years. In addition to the base model Pundi is also designing a smaller unit and a desktop version that will be capable of accepting major credit cards, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
The POS system also serves merchants as it incorporates inventory, membership and identity management features. Pundi X says the POS system will be far better than Bitcoin ATMs thanks to the increased range of services available and the lower cost.
Pundi X POS System Explained
In addition, the devices are far smaller, enabling them to be installed in many places where a Bitcoin ATM wouldn’t be feasible. The Pundi X token (NPSX) will be used as gas for the network, powering transactions and advertisements, as well as identify customers for qualified discounts.
The initial 500 units were delivered to select locations in late June, and on July 10, 2018 the team announced the first of these, which are located in Hong Kong in four participating FAMA restaurants as part of the RISE 2018 convention. The team also distributed XPASS cards to RISE 2018 participants to demonstrate how easy it is to use cryptocurrencies to make purchases using their technology.
The team has also said they will focus on Indonesia, which is the largest South-East Asian country, with a population of roughly 250 million. Obviously Hong Kong has also become a target for early adoption, and the Pundi X team has also said that they have expanded into China.
It’s very exciting to see the team shipping and beta testing the actual hardware, and while it may seem unreal to be able to purchase goods with cryptocurrency, and to purchase cryptocurrency while waiting for your lunch or dinner to be served, this platform could not only make it a reality, but make it widely accepted over the next three years.
Pundi X Wallet
The mobile wallet will simplify key management for users, storing the public and private keys and using a password system similar to any online system.
This feature alone is expected to massively increase adoption of cryptocurrencies by new users, however there are worries that it could deter existing cryptocurrency users who worry about security and privacy issues. The wallet is being designed to hold several different cryptocurrencies, as well as fiat currencies.
The Pundi X Card Payment System
The company is working on developing a card, which they are naming the XPASS card, which will work together with the mobile app and wallet, enabling payments and deposits by card (a familiar medium for most) that are pulled from the mobile wallet.
In addition, users should be able to see the current market price of each cryptocurrency before paying for goods and services, allowing them to pay with the cryptocurrency that brings the best value at the time.
Pundi X Card Payments
This ability to pay for things easily with cryptocurrencies is what will finally give them real value in a widespread sense. The Pundi X whitepaper states that
most cryptocurrencies can only be used to buy other cryptocurrencies, reducing the relevance of them to almost zero for most people
Indeed one of the primary arguments of non-crypto believers is that cryptocurrencies have no real value. It is hoped that enabling ease of payments will change that opinion.
It does seem as if the Pundi X team has created a technology system that has the potential to make cryptocurrencies widely accepted and used on a global scale. While the use cases are strong in theory, much of the adoption will depend on how quickly the POS devices can be rolled out, how well they actually work, and how successful the next several years of marketing for the technology is.
The NPXS Token
As mentioned earlier, Pundi X held an ICO back in January, raising their $35 million hard cap in just 90 minutes. As we all know, the first quarter of 2018 was a bad one for crypto in general and the NPXS token slowly sank from $0.001 to between $0.0007-0.0008 by April.
That’s where things got interesting after the Bancor Network listed the NPXS token. That took the price to $0.004 or so, but then in May price jumped again, reaching nearly $0.015 before dropping back. Price spiked to the $0.015 level again in June when the shipment of the first 500 XPOS devices was announced.
Since then price has once again slipped lower, and as of July 10 is at $0.0035. Surprisingly price has not yet received a bump from the release and test of the very first XPOS device in Hong Kong, but the market was very depressed on July 10, so a pop higher could still be coming.
Currently, NPXS tokens can be bought on the Binance exchange as well as Gate.io.
The Pundi X team has worked diligently, not only on the product and platform, but also on partnerships to help spread the platform and ensure both short-term growth and long-term stability.
The most significant partnership for Pundi X has been the one with NEM. It is this partnership that will allow Pundi X to confirm transactions instantly. Without this the team would almost certainly be able to gain traction with consumers, who are not going to be willing to use a transactional payment system that takes several minutes at the least to confirm transactions. The fast and inexpensive transactions provided by NEM make it possible for Pundi X to gain mainstream adoption.
Pundi X Partnerships
The Pundi team has also spent time positioning itself within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, establishing partnerships with the Indonesian Blockchain Association, the Singapore Fintech Association, the XPOS Consortium, ACCESS, the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, and the Swiss Finance and Fintech Association. This last led to a further partnership with Swiss company UTRUST, who have committed to deploying 1,000 of the Pundi X POS devices.
Pundi X has been proactive in creating partnerships as a key business development tool. They have also used them to maximize their value proposition, increasing trust, engagement and adoption for both consumers and merchants. This should assist them tremendously in their marketing efforts as they roll out the Pundi X devices and systems throughout Asia and beyond.
Pundi X has taken on an impressive and ambitious task in tackling what could amount to everyday adoption of cryptocurrencies by the masses, if their vision is realized. The technology seems appropriate for what they’re attempting, and the delivery of the first 500 POS devices shows that there is substance behind their efforts.
The entire team has substantial experience in both technology and finance, which has been helpful to the start-up. With partnerships in place, and the hope for larger partnerships to be forged, Pundi X is like a sleeping giant. All that’s left is to see if they can deliver on their promise of 100,000 units in the coming three years, and whether they are able to market those devices appropriately.
With those two pieces in place, you could be seeing a Pundi X device at a retailer near you in the near future.
Images via Pundix.com