A technological shift is underway in emerging markets. In most of these countries, people are leapfrogging laptops and PCs, going straight to smartphones.
For the first time, smartphones are available for less than $30 USD, meaning they are finally inexpensive enough to compete with flip and feature phones. Experts predict that over the next 5 years, more than 3 billion people in these markets will be upgrading their older phones to smartphones.
Through an exclusive partnership with UpChannel, Spire has access to more than 1.2 million devices in 105 countries today, with plans to be installed on 26 million devices in 2018.
Today, smartphone users have a much higher support cost than older phone users and UpChannel specializes in helping reduce these costs. They spent the past 2 years helping telecom carriers prepare for the transition to smartphones and will be providing a pre-installed app with a Spire-powered Digital Currency Wallet and curated dApp (decentralized app) Marketplace.
This puts Spire in a position to be a trusted technology partner, helping emerging markets quickly make the shift to blockchain. With this strategy, Spire can rapidly distribute cryptocurrency wallets around the globe and bring equal access to markets and services.
Spire’s Head of Technology, Charlie Hulcher, explains, “Spire is wholeheartedly embracing the opportunity to have a meaningful and helpful impact on people’s lives. It's something we take very seriously." He continues, "But every day, we get more and more excited by the opportunities we see with cryptocurrency and blockchain – they're numerous and just keep going.”
Hulcher goes on to detail how a majority of people in developing countries choose not to use their centralized federal banking system. The reasons for this range from corruption to the government’s economic policies. This means that nearly all of their transactions are done with cash, including their savings, which makes theft and fraud more likely.
Instead, by using a digital currency wallet powered by the Spire token, they’ll have a secure way to store, track, save, and spend their money. It could also allow employers to pay their employees using cryptocurrency, or even enable people to transfer fiat funds to cryptocurrency, locking it in a set price.
The way dApps could change the way people in developing countries navigate their daily life include providing a verifiable form of identity, access to emergency services, secure communications with family and friends, monetizing activities which can create an ancillary source of income, and more.
All of these are luxuries that people in emerging markets have never experienced, while those of us in 1st world countries take them for granted. Ultimately, Spire aims to better the lives of billions of people, starting with emerging markets, where the positive impact can be felt on Day 1.