Unlike other popular Chinese tech brands, OnePlus has kept its focus solely on smartphones ever since the inception. However, the recent video from the company suggests something completely new.
OnePlus… jumps onto the cryptocurrency hype-train!
Yay or Fake?
OnePlus is notorious for its April Fool’s info-pranks, so the video may well turn out to be a joke. But even if it is, ‘blockchain plus OnePlus’ is not an impossible equation. Moreover, it could be the very mobile payments revolution the world is waiting for.
Blockchain Plus OnePlus
How real is this project? Is there even a place for it? Without getting too deep into speculations, here are three pieces of the puzzle we need to consider in order to answer these questions:
1) China is the World Champion of Digital Payments
Mobile payments are already sweeping away the market in China. From 2013 to 2016 Chinese mobile payments market has grown by 4900% (yep, in 49 times).
This should make China a great place to start a mobile fintech startup, right? Well, there is one problem that stays in a way of any new company trying to take over China’s mobile payments.
92% of this market is controlled by a single company – Alibaba Group Holdings. The same e-commerce giant that owns WeChat Pay, Ant Financial, and Tencent Holdings.
If the trend continues, China will become the first ‘cash-free’ country with most of the payments processed digitally. Effectively processed by the hands of a single corporation.
2) OnePlus Cryptocurrency Has No Chances in China
Another huge obstacle is the country’s politics regarding cryptocurrencies. Despite the initial success of Bitcoin and other cryptos, it becomes harder and harder to trade them in China.
By the time of this article’s publication, country’s government is set to stop crypto-trading completely by banning all domestic and even foreign platforms.
In such a situation, it’s hard to imagine OnePlus launching a crypto-project in their homeland anytime soon. For now, young OnePlus cryptocurrency has no chances of survival there.
On the other hand, emerging Asia markets are more than eager to adopt innovative mobile payments. According to 2017 World Payments Report by BPN Paribas and Capgemini, countries like India, Indonesia, and Pakistan are predicted to grow 30% by 2020.
No wonder then why in Sep 2017 OnePlus has made India its second headquarters.
3) Another April Fool’s Joke?
Setting aside the fact that today is not April’s first, the details OnePlus has shared about their crypto-project suggest that it’s not (just) a joke.
On Youtube the video is titled “Change is coming.” which indicates a new niche OnePlus teases to enter soon. The video description follows:
“A better, more innovative solution. We’re no stranger to this challenge – and now we’ve upped the ante. Stay tuned for more on March 30th.”
The phrase “up the ante” again refers to the financial side of the new project. As Carl Pei, the co-founder, puts it in the video – “we wanna reimagine… currency”.
There’s also a hint found in the OnePlus’ Twitter post:
“Coin toss” may indicate that the financial side is not the only scope of the project. Blockchain has many more applications aside cryptocurrencies – smart contracts, security, record keeping etc.
OnePlus says “it’s a better way” which suggests that their blockchain project likely aims to eliminate randomness and disorder, and not just replace old payment systems.
With all this being said, tomorrow we will know for sure what OnePlus means by the new ‘cryptocurrency project’. And even if this teaser turns out to be another joke – the idea of a mobile company launching a mobile-oriented blockchain project is not all that crazy. Especially with the access to Chinese talent.
Ethereum has already proven that blockchain can be both functional and extremely profitable technology for the mobile world. Is there a place for the new blockchain innovations? Of course!
The only question I have – is OnePlus ready to fight for their “next big thing”, both financially and politically?
What we definitely like about OnePlus here at Boost Solutions is this idea of never settling. Since 2015, we’ve developed 130+ projects with Clients from all over the world and have no intention of stopping.
Have an idea about your own innovative mobile project?
Contact us today to learn how we can help you create it.