Blockchain fintech firm Sylo scores big

Sylo, which has 30% Indian user base, upgrades its Smart Wallet and private messenger

Published: Dec 15, 2020 11:26:22 AM IST

Blockchain fintech firm Sylo scores big
New Zealand-based software company Sylo got media attention this year when it provided Sylo Smart Wallet for users to be able to buy products from 2,000 Coca-Cola’s Smart Vending Machines and pay with Bitcoin. “About 30% of our users are from India, which is the primary strategic market for Sylo” - Dorian Johannink.

We live in a very fascinating time. Our speed of adopting various solutions, then improving them and making universal, is unparalleled in the history of mankind. Even the global pandemic cannot stop the technology boost, and many tech niches are accelerating.

Look at the blockchain, for example. The industry, which for years has been attracting tech geeks and relatively few speculators, is on the verge of mainstream adoption with just about any global company implementing a blockchain solution. Payment processors, communication networks, social media giants are all rushing to get into the game.

You swap your phone and you buy a product with an app - Apple Pay, Google Pay, or WeChat - depending on where you are in this world. Rupees, yuans or dollars get taken out of your linked account. Then you chat with your parents, significant other and friends - through the same app that you just used to buy things. 

But what if you are doing all that through an app on your phone that is linked to a digital currency, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum? And what if you chat using the same app, knowing that it has zero ability to collect your personal data? All of a sudden you have a whole lot more options.

This is what some dApps (Decentralized Apps) offer to consumers around the world.  While many are only starting to develop and tweak this blockchain-built technology, some have already advanced to the next level and are ready for the bigger challenge. Last summer, a New Zealand software company Sylo provided its Smart Wallet for users to be able to buy products from 2,000 Coca-Cola’s Smart Vending Machines and pay with Bitcoin. Sylo Co-founder and Business Director Dorian Johannink says his company has 350,000 users in 80 countries. About 30% of them are from India, which is the primary strategic market for Sylo. Johannink says that other markets where he sees most growth are Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, USA, UAE, Malaysia, UK and Australia.

“Under the hood” of the Sylo Smart Wallet runs Sylo Protocol, which is a decentralised communications protocol that enables peer-to-peer messaging, calling and value transfer.

The wallet is available on iOS and Android; to use the Sylo app you would need just a phone number and an email address, which is a great news for people who don’t have a bank account.

Just last week Sylo launched a new backend architecture Oya, which took the company about a year to develop. “With our latest release we have launched Sylo Nodes - a node network that our community of users around the world can run, to provide resources to the network and enable a truly global decentralised communications network, plus earn an income from it, a world first, as far as we’re aware!” says Johannink.

He adds that Sylo has launched “a decentralised infrastructure to provide communications services akin to WhatsApp, WeChat, or LINE, except no data gathering, no privacy breaching, and direct user-to-user connections. It’s the culmination of half a decade of work.”

Sylo is a private messenger first and wallet second, according to Johannink. Besides boosting the speed of the Sylo app, Oya’s functionality includes the ability to set up micro networks by users. A group of friends can create a communication network through one user’s Sylo Node, which does not even need the “big network” to support it and works autonomously.

“We don’t just incorporate a wallet, but also deeply integrate the wallet experience with the messenger features, letting users send value the same as sending a message,” says Johannink.

The team at Sylo believes that the market is ready to switch to dApps for messenger services and wallet use, since cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are getting wider adoption around the world. Recent reports support the argument and show that over 54 million people already have crypto wallets. In the coming months, Sylo plans to launch other functions, such as staking and yield opportunities, as well as Sylo Social DeFi. 

Sylo: Pay while you chat, social payments made simple!

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