Partiko: Making Cryptocurrency Easily Accessible
Cryptocurrency. This name still sounds mysterious to many people. Sida Wang holds no such feeling of trepidation when it comes to this burgeoning financial system. In fact, the software engineer is an enthusiastic advocate for its implementation and evolution in the modern world. Wang was so taken with Steemit that he designed the app Partiko to encourage users to have a mobile platform that is intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. After winning the National Olympiad in Informatics in 2009 (a national algorithm competition in China for high school students), Sida has devoted much of the past decade to promoting tech’s ability to change the world for the masses to benevolent ends. Whether as part of Airbnb or by creating apps like Partiko, this software engineer aspires to empower everyday people like you and me to control our own way of navigating commerce.
Cryptocurrencies are essentially digital assets which use cryptography to secure transactions between peers without requiring a central bank or other authority performing that role. Less than a decade in existence, there is an estimated three million people currently using cryptocurrencies. While that may not sound like a lot, this amount has tripled since the previous estimate. All of this indicates that, like social media, cryptocurrency seems an inevitability. Recognizing the massive benefits of this to empower people by giving them the financial power they deserve, Sida designed and created Partiko for Steemit. Steemit is a blockchain-based social media platform which allows anyone to earn rewards by posting relevant content, curating quality content by upvoting. Wang relates, “Mainstream crypto like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as disruptive and well-known as they are, have found their primary use with investment and speculation purposes. The knowledge requirement for average people to use them is pretty high. Steem was attractive to me because it seemed so accessible for more people. It has a built in account system which is much easier to understand than bitcoin’s address. People can earn Steem (There are three main currencies on the Steem blockchain: Steem, Steem Power (or SP), and Steem Backed Dollars (or SBD) by writing articles, that’s good bait for average people to join it. Last but not least, the transactions are free, which is key to mainstream adoption.” Many experts cite a primary difference between Bitcoin and Steem as the fact that with Bitcoin, whoever has the most hashing power acquires the newly generated coin but with Steem, whoever creates the article which gets the most valuable upvotes is rewarded. Additionally, while Bitcoin has a 21 million cap, Steem does not set a cap and its current inflation rate is at 9.5%. A more open frontier that is available to everyone persuaded Sida to use his software design skills to encourage Stemm users by creating Partiko for their use.
The perfect analogy for Partiko would be your cell phone. By making smartphones accessible, easy to use, and pleasant in appearance, users made them ubiquitous. Partiko takes the innovation of cryptocurrency and integrates it with smartphones. Before Partiko, there was no easy way for people to interact with a blockchain on the go. Sida’s understood that by designing and creating an app for Steem users that was quick and easy from their smartphones, he would exponentially increase their inclination to use cryptocurrency. Previous “blockchain apps” were web-based applications which often required a Chrome plugin called “Metamask” which made them difficult and cumbersome to use on a mobile device. Sida built Partiko on top of Steem with 3-second block time, delivering the immediate response the world has come to expect.
Sida has taken the idea of gamification in achieving Partiko’s success. Partiko recently offered “Partiko Points” in a “World Cup Betting Game” to interest even more users during this summer’s competition in Russia. Users can use Partiko Points to make predictions on the game results and earn more points, which can be further used within the app for more advanced functionalities like chatting. Sida Wang envisions the current groups using Partiko as the gateway to its preeminence in the global market. He states, “The next big step for Partiko is to become the biggest blockchain app, in terms of number of users and number of daily active users. This will be a huge milestone for us because not only it proves that blockchain apps can be well designed and mainstream, it also shows the world that cryptocurrency has real use case, and it’s something that can be really easy to understand and help change people’s lives.”
Written by Kelly King