We support payment for Blokada Plus with cryptocurrencies by using the open Stellar network.
To just get started, you may skip the details.
Why Stellar, what is it?
You might not have heard about Stellar, that’s probably because the project was only launched in 2015 and have not become mainstream news in the way Bitcoin has.
We chose Stellar because it’s easy to integrate with, supports multiple types of assets and are very fast without noticeable fees.
An asset can represent anything such as US Dollar, Bitcoin, Pizzas or the native currency called Stellar Lumens.
The network allows you to hold the ownership of an asset digitally in your Stellar wallet. You may send or receive the ownership of assets with other users wallets through the distributed network, thus removing the middleman.
A purchase through PayPal
Traditionally when paying online, it requires a middleman. In this example it’s PayPal.
The simplified flow of money would be: your bank -> PayPal -> merchant bank.
PayPal decides who’s allowed to send and receive money, how much of it and to whom as well as how much of the sales they will keep for themselves. They are also the owners of your account, they may decide to lock you out or cancel transactions or anything else that they find plausible.
It’s not possible to use your PayPal money on a website which doesn’t know about PayPal. If you can’t access PayPal, you can’t use your money.
You would have to pay fees for:
- Having a credit card or equivalent issued.
- You bank account.
- Possibly an exchange or transaction fee.
And on the merchant side:
- A percentage of all sales to PayPal.
- Possibly currency exchange fees back to the company bank account.
- To have a bank account.
- The loss of sales because of PayPal having technical issues.
- Loss of sales because of refused or locked transactions.
Even though there are fees on the merchant side that you don’t directly pay, it affects the price or availability of the service in the first place.
A purchase through Stellar
You would pay fees for:
- making a transaction: USD $0,000001
While the cryptocurrency world is still young, there’s no denying that the initial translation between our money in the bank into cryptocurrency are still plagued by the traditional banking fees.
You might still need to pay for:
- a bank account
- currency exchange fees
You can reduce the amount of fees you have to pay by:
- using an exchange with a local banking system such as SEPA in Europe
- avoid purchasing crypto with a credit card
- exchange with a friend or someone from a local community
- transfer a larger amount once to keep an amount of crypto for many smaller purchases
Having assets on Stellar, there are no middleman that decides if you can open an account or not and neither you nor the merchant have to pay fees to an additional party. You don’t need access to the asset issuer (equivalent of “PayPal”). This single point of failure is gone.
You may also have an asset that the merchant doesn’t know about or vice versa and still make a purchase. It can be compared with having a “PayPal” asset while the merchant only knows about “Facebook” assets, it will be automatically converted through the distributed network.
If you’re interested, you can dig deeper into Stellar on their website:
How does it work when I pay for Blokada Plus?
Blokada uses a protocol called sep-0007. When you make a purchase, this protocol can automate entering the details such as what amount, in which asset and paid to which wallet along with a short message. The only think you have to do is to tap the button.
In the case of purchasing Blokada Plus, it would configure the asset to be anchor USD, with the amount of USD matching selected payment plan, set your Blokada account ID in the memo and specify which wallet to pay to. All configured with the touch of a button before finally opening your wallet for confirmation.
The Stellar network will automatically find the cheapest way for you to convert whatever you have in your wallet to become USD in the Blokada wallet.
Because of all this information, it would be cumbersome and error prone to have our users enter this manually in their wallet. That’s why we only support this method of payment, there are no manual information that you enter yourself.
How do I get started?
Because of Stellar being a young project and Blokada using bleeding edge protocols, we recommend using Keybase which have the most stable support for this. The chosen wallet needs to support sep-0007.
But Keybase was acquired by Zoom and Zoom is bad
Many of you might recognize Keybase as the one being acquired by Zoom, you might be avoiding everything that is related to Zoom because of all the bad rep when so many security issues have been found. I’d like to point out that Keybase doesn’t require you to enter any personal information or even an e-mail to register an account and you’re not forced to use any of the features other than your Stellar wallet.
Your Keybase account is basically a digital key on your device, similar to how cryptocurrency wallets work. If you do put all your money in your Stellar wallet using Keybase, make sure to register more than one device. Loosing the device means loosing your Keybase access which means loosing your Stellar wallet.
There are more wallets mentioned on the Stellar website. Let us know if you try one, we will of course refund the payment if there are any issues.
Once you have a sep-0007 compatible wallet installed, you can either pay through the app (for Android) or by browsing app.blokada.org. Note that you currently need to activate Blokada Plus on the same device that your wallet is installed on.
Can I pay with Bitcoin or Ethereum?
Take great care when choosing an asset issuer. While you have the ownership and can use Stellar for transfering that ownership instantly within the network, issuers are the ones who hold the native asset (like Bitcoins or USD). If the issuer would go bankrupt or be a scam, your BTC or USD ownership in the Stellar network will become worthless.
Only the native Stellar Lumens (XLM) are independent from any asset issuers.