BitHalo, “the world’s first released working smart-contract software” announces the release of version 2.1 to compete head-to-head with the likes of Paypal and Western Union.
The self-proclaimed “mother of smart contracts” launched its decentralized escrow client in July 2014 for blackcoin only. In August 2014 it added Bitcoin, making it “the world’s first multi-coin client.”
One of the more fascinating and promising uses of blockchain technology is the ability to create Smart Contracts. These contracts are peer to peer agreements that eliminate the need for a trusted 3rd party, and are performed, executed, negotiated and enforced by computer technology.
David Zimbeck, the founder and lead developer of BitHalo, says of smart contracts:
“BitHalo allows parties to create actual binding agreements peer to peer without the hassle or risk of involving a 3rd party. It solves enforcement for most, if not all, types of contracts VIA both parties sharing an equal risk. This software removes profitability from theft or fraud and allows anyone anywhere to trust a stranger.”
The real world applications of this technology become staggering when you consider that some Smart Contracts can be programmed to arise in the future, based on a trigger, such as the passing of a relative. Such a contract would then come into existence and act as a will or trust.
There are Smart Contracts that can even be programmed to commit suicide if certain conditions arise.
Every scenario, where two parties are contracting with each other and must rely on (and pay) a trusted 3rd party to negotiate the deal, is a potential application for BitHalo.
PayPal and Western Union: You’ve Been Warned
For ease of use, BitHalo’s 2.1 version has a feature that safely allows peer to peer payments, via email, using either Bitcoin or blackcoin. For this ‘pay-to-email’ transaction, the two parties first agree on a password. Then the sender initiates an offer, sent via email to the other party. The receiver will open the email that contains download instructions and other useful info from BitHalo. Once downloaded, the received opens the BitHalo client (automatically set up to correspond to the email address) and enters the agreed upon password when prompted. After the receiver enters the correct password, the payment is immediately received. No wait, no high fees, no 3rd party; only swiftness and ease.
Because the receiver does not need to have a Bitcoin wallet, there is potential for speedier Bitcoin adoption among those who don’t yet own a wallet. David Zimbeck uses it to send cryptocurrency to friends and family who don’t own a Bitcoin or blackcoin wallet:
“I see great potential to expand on some of the tipping movement that’s helping very much to accelerate widespread adoption. There’s a ton of utility in this feature, and I’m looking forward to using it more myself. Today already I tested it on my sister, my friend in North Dakota and a friend in NYC. None had bitcoin before this, now they’re compelled to join the movement and with the ease of a few clicks of a button.”
BitHalo’s Potential Beyond Currency
BitHalo’s website touts that Barter Bridges make possible safe trade of anything for anything:
“This can allow for bartering on the platform. You can trade seemingly anything for anything, with full confidence that the transaction will go through. Trade sheep for cows or corn for wheat; either way you can be assured that the transaction will be safe from ill-doing.”
Additional applications include micro-trading in cryptocurrencies and escrow free real estate deals.
Only the imagination limits the scope of trade, barter and agreements that can be created and negotiated with smart contracts in BitHalo’s version 2.1.
Images from BitHalo and Shutterstock.