Bitcoin Companies Take the Stage at SXSW Interactive
The 2015 South by Southwest Interactive, held March 13-17, offered an exciting glimpse into the future for cryptocurrency users. Products that generated the most buzz focused on security for bitcoin users and the general public. Here are the top five products that caught the attention of the judges, experts and the media.
Fitcoin, an iOS app from Chaotic Moon Studios in Austin, Texas, allows users to receive bitcoin for workouts. Simply pair it with Mio Fuse, Jawbone UP3 or Atlas wearable technology. The app tracks the duration, distance and intensity of a workout in real-time. By calculating the energy spent working out into CPU time on a Bitcoin mining rig, users earn slivers of bitcoin. The company does not specify the source of the payment.
“At Chaotic Moon we are interested in crypto-tech computing and decentralized services, and wanted to explore them through a prototype that leverages the block chain as application, service layer and platform,” said Ben Lamm, CEO of Chaotic Moon Studios in a press release. “It was important for us to make this experience compelling, useful and obvious for users by bundling the block chain with the quantified self: translating sweat into equity.”
The company hopes this app will appeal to the general public, possibly making digital currencies more popular. They also hope to collaborate with sports apparel companies such as Adidas to offer a discount to app users.
“We are excited to see how cryptocurrency can motivate people to make their exercise and fitness routines a long-term habit,” said Jon Werner of Adidas Digital Sports.
It is still in an early alpha release phase but generated much buzz at SXSW 2015.
The public might be familiar with CoinPip, the bitcoin payment option. Last year, CoinPip Pte Ltd. updated their system so transactions could be converted into 70 regional currencies. At SXSW 2015, the company launched an expansion of their SMS wallet. Users in the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia can now transfer money online to workers living in remote areas in Indonesia.
“Bitcoin is moving on. The power is not just in the currency, but in the technology,” says Anson Zeall, co-founder/CEO of CoinPip in a press release.
Along with this latest expansion, the CoinPro is partnering with Melotic, a Bitcoin company based in China to bring a payment service to China.
Looking ahead, the company will also add the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Turkey, Kenya and the Philippines to their service areas.
In a promotional video filmed at SXSW 2015, Eric Larchevêque the CEO of Ledger, tells viewers that his company wanted to bring the best of the Smartcard technology to Bitcoin. The latest innovation is the hardware wallet, which provides protection against hackers and thieves. The device fits in the USB port of any computer. In fact, it resembles a memory stick.
As Bitcoin Magazine noted in February, the Ledger Wallet stores transaction keys inside the wallet so it is never stored in the memory of a computer. He claims that even if the computer is compromised by hackers or viruses, the bitcoin will be safe and users will still have full access to their Bitcoin account.
“If we want to have mass market adoption, we need to have very secure and simple solutions so that people don’t get their bitcoin hacked or stolen by malware,” Larchevêque says.
Ledger Wallet was one of the featured start-ups in the SXSW 2015 Accelerator Pitch-off. The event is designed to allow technology start-ups in the early stage to pitch their products to investors, media and experts. It was a finalist in the Innovative World Technologies Category.
It is available for sale on their website.
AnchorID was selected as an alternate in the Innovative World Technologies category at 2015 SXSW Accelerator pitch competition. This platform helps users create a universal login to access sites across the web. Thus, it eliminates the need to remember their usernames and passwords. Users can choose to use Smartphone authentication or biometric technology, such as fingerprint or voice recognition.
This patent-pending platform is limited to sites and apps that accept it. With the ever-increasing possibility of mobile malware infecting payment systems, AnchorID claims to offer a secure enterprise authentication.
Digify allows users to maintain control over shared content. Through this multi-platform file sharing service, it can notify users if someone is viewing their files or if the files are being forwarded. Users can set their shared content to self-destruct once opened. There are also other options for users, such as view-only and unshared. Through Digify, users can protect their files or calculate how often the file has been viewed by recipients.
“In a world of constant digital messaging and sharing where sensitive information can be read by anyone and is out there forever, people need to secure their files or face a very real risk of losing control of their confidential information,” said Augustine Lim, co-founder and CEO of Digify in a press release.
Chosen as the finalist in SXSW’s Interactive Innovation Awards competition in the privacy and security category. Digify is available through Google Play, Apple App Store or the Digify website.