Request Network Explained
Typically touted as PayPal 2.0, Request Network is a decentralized payment system that allows anyone to request payments from an individual or organisation. A recipient of a request can then approve payment in a cheap and secure way. Request Network is an ERC20 Token that uses the Ethereum blockchain as a decentralized and immutable ledger to store all payment information.
Using Request Network’s very own example:
“In the case where Bob was on Amazon and Alice was making a purchase, Amazon creates a Request on the blockchain, Alice’s phone analyses the blockchain and detects the request, sends a notification, and she agrees to pay.”
In an example where PayPal could just have easily been the payment system used by Alice and Bob, the Request Network system proves to be a cheaper, faster and more secure alternative. However, the potential of Request Network far exceeds the simple use case as a Business to Consumer (B2C) payment system, it can also prove to be the backbone of the ensuing IoT revolution that is currently occurring. Once again, using Request Network’s very own example:
“Consider a second scenario, in which an autonomous car connects to a smart garage contract to buy a new wheel. They negotiate by algorithm, and agree upon a payment with deposit and escrow (money blocked until delivery). To interact financially, the machines and IoT require a payment framework. These examples are not feasible today, as there is no standard format and no interconnection between them”
The true potential of Request Network immediately becomes clear in the above example. The potential use of Request as THE payment system of choice in-order to facilitate an IoT economy serves to benefit all users of the system.
Request Network as a Platform
Request Network is more than just a payment system that facilitates payments between individuals, it is also a platform that developers can use to build innovative solutions in areas such as finance and accounting.
For most individuals or large businesses, requesting one single payment is not enough. In most cases, the money that is requested may need to be taxed or subject to complex accounting rules. Hence, Request Network offers a platform that a developer can use in-order to build financial applications that serve a specific function. Using an example from Request Network’s whitepaper:
“For example, someone could choose this module to break down their rent into 30×24 payments to the landlord, leaving this person with a fluid bank account without large end-of-month expenses.”
“Taxes would be rerouted in real time to government agencies. With each payment, 20% of VAT would go to taxes and 80% to the recipient company.”
The simplicity that could be offered to businesses and individuals through use of applications built on top of Request Network is immense. It gives back an autonomy that has been lost due to a fractured payment system currently employed in modern times.
The Request Network Token (REQ)
A common misconception of Request Network is that a token is required in-order to make and request payments, this is false. Request is in fact agnostic, meaning, it successfully facilitates for payments made in any currency whether it be in fiat or a cryptocurrency.
The actual Request Network token is only required by developers who intend to build financial applications on top of the Request Network platform. For requests made on applications built on top of the platform, an estimated fee between 0.05% and 0.5% of REQ is required in-order to fuel the transaction. The fee is partially burned, which has the added incentive of reducing the total circulating supply of REQ tokens, therefore, causing an upward pressure in its price.
How to Buy REQ
REQ is currently listed on the following exchanges:
- Radar Relay
A common way of buying REQ includes: Send Ether from Coinbase to Binance, on Binance purchase the REQ/ETH trading pair. Afterwards, the REQ is then typically stored on MyEtherWallet.
The Future of Request Network
The Request Network team is currently being back by Y Combinator, one of the best start-up accelerators in the world who have supported the likes of: Coinbase, Reddit, Dropbox and Airbnb. This goes someway in lending some legitimacy to the project, something that other cryptocurrencies have struggled to achieve.
Having recently launched Request Colossus, a minimal viable product (MVP), the Request team appears to be on track to release the first iteration of Request working with Ethereum on the main net in Q1 2018.
With the hopes of securing more partnerships, the potential for this project is immense. It is incredibly difficult to not see the REQ token appreciating significantly in value from now until the end of 2018.