Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has battled to catch up to the conventional financial system’s digital ease of use.
New digital international transfer systems, online banking and mobile apps have pushed international banking services into the 21st century—with bitcoin’s clunky wallets and technical exchanges leaving all but the most advanced internet users confused.
Recently, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has been granted a U.S. patent for an invention that makes sending bitcoin as easy as email, literally. Now, this is something that could help bitcoin and crypto achieve wider adoption.
The patent, granted earlier this month after being filed back in March 2015, details a system for users to make cryptocurrency payments with email addresses linked to corresponding wallet addresses.
The proposed email system will not charge users fees. According to the patent, mining fees will be paid for by the exchange itself. Instant exchange allows for merchants and customers to lock in a local currency price. A tip button rewards content creators for their efforts. A bitcoin exchange allows for users to set prices that they are willing to sell or buy bitcoin and execute such trades.
However, the process takes 48-hours for the transaction to clear once the receiver has confirmed the payment and there doesn’t appear to be support for other major cryptocurrencies.
Earlier this year, Armstrong said he believes Coinbase will be less about trading and more about adoption in as little as five years time. He said he wants to use bitcoin to create an inclusive financial system.
The bitcoin price has been stuck in a downward trend for the past few months and previously dipped under $7,000 per bitcoin in November, though looks set to close the year double where it began.
Bitcoin’s lack of mainstream and sluggish adoption has been a common criticism of the technology in recent years.
Earlier this month, American entrepreneur and investor, Mark Cuban warned bitcoin is “too difficult to use, too easy to hack, way too easy to lose, too hard to understand, [and] too hard to assess a value,” adding bitcoin can never become a reliable currency.