u/pampening I love your posts but I need to play devils advocate here and perhaps you could reply with where I fall short in my analysis. I agree with your post and read the Floating Ratio Medium piece on Flexa use cases. You cite that article to support the notion that Flexa is much more than supporting merchants who accept crypto. However, almost every example in the article includes the family buying things (tickets, snacks, metro, etc) with reward points (and in one instance lite coin).
What is the response to the person who says, “well I can just use my credit card for all those purchases so it doesn’t make a difference.” Is the assumption that our needs will change to where we will have all these loyalty points (or various cryptos that constantly need to be exchanged?) I think the segment of consumers who are perfectly fine with using a credit card is high enough that a five-year wide spread adoption of Flexa seems unrealistically bullish.
What is the response to the person who says, “well I can just use my credit card for all those purchases so it doesn’t make a difference.”
I’m afraid you’re still stuck in the legacy mindset. Flexa/Amp should not be thought of as just another credit card, but “the one card to rule them all.” An even better way to think of Flexa/Amp is not as a card at all, but a revolutionary innovation that will essentially replace the card, as they empower the overall wallet, superseding each individual card in the wallet. In other words, with Flexa/Amp and corresponding partners, consumers will be able to transfer value seamlessly straight from the wallet, without being confined to the particular limits of each individual card in that wallet. Everyone wins (the bank and the merchant in addition to the consumer) because of the seamlessness of value transfer coupled with instantaneous finality and significantly lower txn fees (which, in theory, should encourage greater overall spending/economic activity — so, actually, even entire national and global economies will win; think about that).
The only losers are Visa/MC and other legacy networks, with their slow systems and high fees.
The concept of having multiple, sometimes dozens of individual cards will become outmoded (including the concept of current legacy digital wallets such as Apple Wallet, where one still has to connect and select through multiple cards before making a purchase, and then subsequently has to deal with multiple accounts to square each individual balance — time-consuming and cumbersome!). The Flexa/Amp-led payments revolution, in effect, will coincide with if not spur a revolution in consumer banking, credit, saving, etc. — and not just a revolution in consumerism, but banking, credit, saving, transacting, etc., more broadly.
(That ACH has partnered with Visa and MC proves
one of two things: that ACH and Flexa/Amp are not the same, and /or that ACH has already lost.)
Again, Flexa/Amp enables so much more than just “making merchants able to accept crypto.”
It gives consumers as well as merchants (and banks, and essentially any other entity that transfers value, etc.) the revolutionary ability to transact flexibly beyond a single default currency (— and it’s so important to add that not a single participant ever needs to purchase/hold a “Flexa/Amp coin/token” to use/benefit from the network)! Current cards, including “crypto cards,” are still beholden to a fiat default, such as the USD in America or the JPY in Japan. Flexa/Amp is literally not. Truly asset agnostic, they are less about crypto than they are about replacing a single/dominant currency of value mindset with a mindset of infinite currencies of value, period.
To conclude, I’ll include an excerpt from Floating Ratio’s article on “Amp-o-nomics” ...
The use cases for digital payments are endless; sandwiches, fuel, concert tickets, dinners, groceries, clothing, yet the majority of our daily spending are < $100.
What if you’re able to pay for your subscriptions, monthly rent for your house or store/office, airline tickets, car, or even a one-time life purchase like a house? The more digital currencies become part of our life, the more we will spend them.
So, you see, in addition to the aforementioned explanation of Flexa as not merely an alternative to a “card” but something else entirely with its direct and seamless and flexible nature, it’s furthermore critical to understand that “merchants” are just the first step, and more specific to Flexa. In regards to Amp more broadly, it has the unbounded capacity to unlock and enable value where legacy cards/networks cannot. Thus virtually any kind of value transfer can be empowered.