Pundi X has released a prototype of the XPhone, a blockchain-powered mobile phone. With the development of the XPhone, the fledgling Indonesian startup is bringing crypto and blockchain one step closer to mainstream adoption.
The Pundi X XPhone Has Landed
Pundi X CEO and co-founder Zac Cheah introduced the XPhone in a video posted on Youtube on October 8th.
While the introduction was a cautious and low-key affair, if the fintech startup’s record is anything to go by, the XPhone promises to disrupt the mobile phone industry in perhaps a more substantial way than Apple’s iPhone did when it launched over a decade ago in 2007.
The phone does not require the services of a traditional carrier and runs on the company’s own Function X blockchain.
Pundi X Wants to Bring Crypto Mainstream
At the Dubai International Blockchain Summit in January this year, Cheah introduced the Pundi X point-of-sale (POS) device–called the XPOS–along with the Pundi X card and mobile phone app. Earlier this year the company inked a deal with Korean exchange Coinnest to print 300,000 multi-currency POS cards.
The CEO pointed out two glaring problems with the traditional banking sector. Indonesia is home to over two hundred banks, yet a mere seven percent of Indonesians are banked. He also asserted that VISA was deliberately routing crypto card transactions through its own infrastructure, arguing all crypto cards on the market still relied on the VISA network. Per Cheah:
“What we want to do is actually to really decouple from the traditional banking system altogether, because there is no point to use a crypto card that has to go through a traditional payment channel.”
The XPOS deploys a sidechain to hasten transaction speeds, with confirmations occurring on the main chain later. It also locks in a fiat-crypto exchange rate for 120 seconds, helping ease volatility concerns many merchants have.
Making Crypto Easy to Buy and Easy to Spend
The XPhone is an extension of the company’s commitment to moving technology off of legacy systems and onto decentralized blockchains. The company will use the $35 million USD it raised through its ICO to fund the development of 100,000 XPOS devices within three years. The devices accommodate a range of cryptocurrencies, with Qtum being among the latest to be integrated.
Despite crypto’s legal hurdles there, the startup sees India as a promising market, and wants to deploy thousands of its POS devices throughout the country. The first 5,000 XPOS devices began shipping last month:
“The first batch of 5,000 XPOS devices has begun shipping globally across Asia, Europe and South America, including markets like Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, Switzerland, Singapore and UK.”
The Race for the POS Market
The POS market is, in many ways, the Holy Grail of cryptocurrency teams. Pundi X faces significant competition from Jack Dorsey’s Square, Boston-based Circle, TokenPay, and a host of other startups. Yet Pundi X, having proven its ability to convert ICO promises into working products, may well be the first to cross the line.
And if the XPhone becomes just a headline act to attract users to the Pundi X ecosystem, it will probably have already done its job.