Since Plutus uses the Ethereum blockchain, what is your response to concerns that ETH has a lower hashrate than bitcoin and may not be as secure?
There is still plenty of time to catch up with Bitcoin concerning hash rates. Even at the current hash rate, smart contracts are considered read-only and can't be modified. And while Ethereum is relatively secure at the moment, exploits may happen. But they could happen within any system. With important software still being developed, quite a few parties build/rely on Ethereum, and there is definitely continuous development of Ethereum itself. For the purposes of the Plutus app, the current system is completely adequate.
Why has merchant adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies been so slow?
It appears that mass adoption is a slow process, and not necessarily a straight line.
Accepting digital currencies still takes a lot of effort, involves friction and regulation, and is often cost intensive. The main problem is that it is not possible for merchants to accurately predict how many Bitcoin purchases they will get in the early stages of adoption. Many get discouraged when they get none or remove Bitcoin as a payment option for a combination of reasons including training expenses, fees, or technical difficulties.
Wouldn’t it be great if merchants accepted Bitcoin directly?
Of course, we welcome any merchants who wish to accept bitcoin directly, most merchants are extremely hard to persuade or not interested yet. Even extended Bitcoin campaigns are not getting significant results. And when merchants accept Bitcoin, they usually sell them immediately or use a service to do so. In fact, traditional payment processors might actually co-exist with Bitcoin indefinitely.
This is why Plutus was designed as a practical solution to a real problem. Buying groceries, clothes, gas and other daily goods is now far easier to do with bitcoin. We hope that this new ability can significantly increase the presence of bitcoin in our day to day lives.
Merchants don't care about bitcoin, how is your technology going to change that?
Baby steps! We have a good example of NFC payment being stuck at a standstill before booming to new heights because of London transport. Same can happen with Bitcoin if the technology makes it more common for everyday use. Merchants will follow the trend as they have done in the past. But even if they don't, you can still pay with Bitcoin through our Plutus Debit Card, which is why we built Plutus to help the community spend their Bitcoin at any merchant they want instead of having to wait for widespread merchant adoption.
They may notice that there is an entire profit industry built on their reluctance to accept it, and that they are greatly reducing their margins. Merchants usually only respond to market pressure and cold hard stats. The main point is that users shouldn't have to wait for merchants to wake up and engage them.
Wouldn't it be more efficient to use the native token of your back-end?
Yes, it would be simpler to use an Ethereum asset, but we wanted to provide an app that is practical to the broader ecosystem. And because there is a fee for Bitcoin deposits, this enables us to offer a no-fee experience for transactions with Plutons.
When I send BTC to my Plutus account, who has the private keys to that account?
Plutus doesn't generate any wallets for users, the exchange occurs directly between users and traders. You can choose whichever wallet address you like, even (offline) cold storage.