Commonly known as “PayPal 2.0” due to its streamlined, minimal-fee approach to monetary transactions, Request Network’s main goals for 2018 center around making their payment system usable for websites and businesses.
Notable achievements of the year so far have included a “Pay with Request” function for websites and a WordPress plug-in, as well as a few high-profile partnerships.
They’ve kept up the momentum over the month of June, with new plug-ins, dapps, and job openings available. Let’s take a closer look at their updates and developments in June!
Request Network Available for Shopify
The beginning of June saw the launch of Reqify, a Shopify payment plug-in built on the Request Network protocol. In terms of making cryptocurrency a globally accepted payment method, this is huge. Reqify enables Shopify e-vendors to accept cryptocurrency payments with no setup or monthly fees.
Capabilities of the Reqify plugin include letting customers pay with Metamask or Ledger Nano S wallets and real-time exchange rates for multiple currencies. Currently, Reqify only accepts ETH, but in the future it will support Bitcoin and ERC-20 token payments as well.
This development is on the tail of the release of a Request Network payment plug-in for WooCommerce, so perhaps soon we’ll be seeing other e-commerce sites with Request plugins for crypto payments.
If you want to set up a Reqify plugin on your Shopify platform, go to the following link for the setup wizard: https://install.reqify.io/
Donaid Looking for Beta Testers
Speaking of projects built on the Request protocol, a particularly interesting one has just made it to the beta stage, and is looking for people to test it out. Donaid is essentially a toolbox that equips websites to accept and manage cryptocurrency donations.
Many artists, musicians, podcasters, and others who make a career from creating internet content have website plug-ins that allow their fans to tip them in small donations to support their creative work. This is the perfect situation where using the blockchain would cut down on transaction fees, resulting in more of your donation going to the person it was intended to benefit.
Donaid has nearly run through Phase One of its beta testing, which began at the beginning of June and involved a maximum of 50 users. Some time around the first week of July, it will be entering Phase Two, the public testing stage, in which 100% of users who sign up (until capacity is met) will get an opportunity to test and provide feedback.
Request Network June AMA
Request Network has been very receptive and eager to interact with its community, and on June 8, their team answered the questions to an AMA on Reddit. To sum up, the Request team divided their answers into the following 4 categories:
- Marketing and communication
The team clarified various usages of the Request token, such as auditing, governance, and staking. They also provided an update on fiat integration, one of their key long-term goals.
Implementation of the WooCommerce plug-in is on the horizon, and will be released once integration testing is completed. Meanwhile, cross-currency conversion is still planned for Q4 2018, via the Kyber Network DEX.
The team is also working on developing a crowdfunding app, similar to Kickstarter minus the fees, that will solve the security and clarity problems of traditional ICOs. They are also considering integrating the Request protocol onto the Zilliqa blockchain, and any other blockchain that has the scalability to support Request.
There are also developments in process that may lead to new directions with regards to oracles, consensus for Request tokens, and sending transactions to an email address instead of an ETH address.
Marketing and Communication
The team is currently working on addressing the low liquidity of the REQ token, and getting it listed on major exchanges (names yet to be disclosed).
While they don’t have any campaign specifically targeting Asia over other markets, their publicity team is hard at working coming up with new ways to communicate their vision to a larger audience, which may include more in-depth content, public appearances and talks, and videos.
They’ve also added new protocol steps to their roadmap, which include scaling solution, data encryption and sustainability, an advanced payment conditions extension, and Request Explorer, an online dashboard.
On a more philosophical level, they addressed a question about the goals of the Request Network Foundation, and how they want to operate.
Essentially, as they scale they are beginning to divide their marketing into protocol and apps categories. The Request Network Foundation deals solely with the protocol, pushing for adoption and facilitating businesses building financial tools on top of the Network through providing technology, finance, education, and other resources.
Meanwhile, they’re focusing strongly on getting their name out there, building their community, and growing the ecosystem.
The team responded to questions about the 2018 consensus, which was a terrific opportunity for networking and interacting with US blockchain teams, and the 30 million Request Hub funding.
The latter resulted in a few projects signing up with Request and 40 more currently pending. Many of these projects should soon be ready to launch, which the team anticipate will drive adoption up.
They also stated that they intend to eventually monetize the auditing and accounting apps, for all users except those who signed up in the first 6 months.
One question was asked about mistakes they’ve made along the way and what they learned. The team replied that they would be more intuitive about making announcements about partnerships; rather than announce them when the roadmap dictates, in the future they will wait until a natural and beneficial point.
However, they assured the Reddit community that morale is high—they have seen incredible growth this past year, with and are currently assessing 30 out of 600 job applications for 5 vacancies.
They reiterated that they are still accepting project applications for their fund initiative, but the quality of projects being selected has steadily increased, so the competition is steep.
Request is currently negotiating partnerships with various non-crypto companies, and in communication with certain governmental organizations on how they can improve their infrastructure with blockchain.
They are currently teamed up with PwC France, with regards to redefining smart auditing and accounting, despite an unfortunate end to their partnership with Wikimedia France. They are also still keeping up their relationships with YCombinator, who continue to help with networking, advice, and introductions within the blockchain community.
Updates on Protocol, ERC-20 Tokens, Crowdfunding App
The following ERC-20 tokens can now be used for payment requests over app.request.network:
They are also working to add BTC to the list.
In other exciting news, Request have opened their crowdfunding app up to beta testing. This app provides a streamlined way to set up a crowdfunding campaign, accept donations in cryptocurrencies, and receive payments to an ETH address.
They have also been working on updates to the Request protocol, including a scaling solution that involves their own Tendermint-based blockchain, which will make their protocol cheaper. They are also working on data encryption features, allowing for different levels of privacy and transparency in transactions.
Lastly, the protocol has been extended to allow users to plug in extensions, such as late payment fees, escrow, taxes, and continuous payments. To enable these additional functionalities, they have built a clearer smart contract architecture.
Join the Request Network Team
One final development, in light of the huge growth Request has seen in the last year, is that they are on the lookout for new members for their team.
If you think your unique talent is a match for Request’s vision, send them your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check for specific jobs openings on their careers page.
Here’s to a successful second half to 2018 for Request Network!