Cryptocurrency, or digital currency like Bitcoins and Ethereum, are a recent development on the global marketplace.
By combining cryptology, software, and powerful computers, most of the developers of digital currency aim to eliminate centralized authority over the currency market and increase privacy for users. For most creators, the goal is a safer, more secure currency for peer-to-peer purchases using blockchain technology and algorithmic cryptography.
That is the goal for most, but there are alternatives out there like WaBi coin (or WaBi Token as it is also known).
Unlike other digital currencies, WaBi is offered by the Chinese anti-counterfeit service company Walimai as an incentive for using their products and services. It works like a loyalty token for Walimai customers. Use the service and you earn WaBi coins.
It’s an interesting business model and may explain why WaBi has struggled to expand its market.
What Is Digital Currency?
Let’s take a closer look at digital currency like WaBi, and how it works.
The goal of digital currency like Bitcoins and Litecoins is to remove institutions such as banks from transactions and enable peer-to-peer transactions over a completely secure network.
Cryptocurrency is a powerful tool for a rapidly growing global economy. It eliminates the fees that are imposed for many purchases and removes to the uncertain pricing of standard currency. Exchange rates are dictated by the market, rather than banks and governments.
Blockchain technology provides a secure foundation for cryptocurrency.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain creates a digital ledger that tracks who owns digital currency and how much is owned by each user. Within the blockchain is a record of each transaction. Every computer and data center, also known as a node, connected to the blockchain keeps a copy of the ledger.
This network provides decentralized control of the currency. Everyone with access to the network can review the records. Changes can only be made to the blockchain using the complex mathematical equations, the proof-of-work algorithm, that provide the security for the blockchain.
A new security check using the proof-of-work algorithm is run each time a new transaction is initiated. This adds a block to the blockchain. By reviewing past blocks, you can track transactions and review the digital currency. The blockchain doesn’t store the currency, only the transactions.
What Is a Wallet in Cryptocurrency?
In cryptocurrency like WaBi coins, a wallet is a program that stores your digital currency. It lets you initiate a transaction on the blockchain and to exchange coins.
A wallet is protected using a special cryptographic technique – digital keys.
There is a public key which is kept with the blockchain. Each user also has a private key separate from the public key. When you initiate a transaction, you will use your private key. The public key connected to the blockchain must be used to decode the transaction.
Every node, or connected computer, in the network will then cross-check the message using the public key. The digital signature of your private key helps the nodes verify the authenticity of the message. Any change to the message will change the digital signature. Wallets protect your digital currency and provide access to the blockchain that is the basis of the cryptocurrency.
A History of WaBi coin
Many cryptocurrencies began with a goal to create a global, decentralized currency that enables secure peer-to-peer purchases.
WaBi took a different path in its development, making it a unique cryptocurrency. WaBi was created as a solution to the growing problem of fake products in China.
Fake products have flooded the market in China. Everything from knock-off alcohol, consumer goods, cosmetics, batteries, cars, cameras, electronics, and more can be purchased in China. There are even examples of fake food, with more than 53,000 infants in China reportedly sickened from fake milk created from Melamine, a cyanide product.
It’s a growing problem. Recent estimates say companies are losing $20 billion in profit each year from counterfeit products. On top of that, consumers are livid when they purchase a battery that lasts less than a day or buy a lamp that starts a fire.
WaBi Coins and the Fight Against Counterfeiting
Walimai, the parent company of the WaBi coin, is fighting against counterfeit products in China.
The Walimai company uses RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips, called Walimai labels, attached to originally sourced products to track them through the supply chain. Consumers with the Walimai app can scan the Walimai label of a product in a store to determine if the product is real or not.
By linking a physical object, a product, to a digital counterpart that tracks the supply chain, Walimai is helping protect consumers. The goal is simple – buy a product with the Walimai label and you can be sure that what you are buying is real, and not a counterfeit.
Walimai offered the WaBi coin to work with the Walimai label and the anti-counterfeit initiative. The initial coin offering (ICO) of WaBi coins occurred in 2017. Forty-six million WaBi coins were sold during a customized and competitive bidding process.
As of the time of this writing, WaBi coins are worth $0.28, with a circulating supply of more than 52.4 million and a market cap of $14.8 million. Over time, the value of WaBi coins has seen a drop from the initial offering and excitement in the new coin, but the value has begun increasing recently.
A Closer Look at WaBi coin
Walimai developed the WaBi coin to work in conjunction with the security protocols and anti-counterfeiting steps they took with their Walimai app.
How WaBi Coin Works
Today, the WaBi coin works as an incentive and tool for consumers using the Walimai app. When you scan a Walimai label using the app, you have the option to pay for the product using a Walimai coin.
Working through the Walimai app and with WaBi coins also provides other benefits. Discounts, bonus buyer’s points, and better delivery options are all rewards for using the app. Using WaBi coins for bulk purchases provides additional discounts.
Connecting the Walimai label to the security found in the blockchain is another benefit. If a label is tampered with or removed, the geographic and product data which is stored in the blockchain won’t match. The app will alert the user of the tampering. Removing the label and then placing it on a different package will also flag the product as a potential counterfeit.
Through the blockchain, Walimai has made it economically difficult for counterfeiters to fool the Walimai label.
How to Buy and Invest in WaBi Coin
The first step to purchasing WaBi coins is to make sure you have a wallet to store and keep your coins. Some of the wallets which currently work with WaBi include:
- MyEther Wallet
- Ledger Wallet
- Ethereum Mist DApp
You currently cannot purchase WaBi directly using standard cash, credit, or banking information. You’ll need to purchase another digital currency from an Exchange like Coinbase, which is fully regulated by the US Government. Other exchanges include:
It’s a good idea to purchase a digital currency that is easy to exchange, like Litecoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin. From the Exchange, you should be able to convert your purchased currency into WaBi coins. Keep in mind, the exchange rate for the currency will fluctuate depending on market conditions. Make sure to do your research before making a purchase.
Mining WaBi Coins
Walmai takes a slightly different approach to mining WaBi coins.
You are mining WaBi coins every time you scan a product with the Walmai label. This helps certify the product’s originality, and as part of the Walmai loyalty program, you earn WaBi coins.
The app is free on the Apple and Google marketplace. You’ll need to have a wallet and be signed up with Walmai to earn the coins.
This may change in the future, as Walmai continues to leverage the WaBi coins, but as of now, this is the only way to mine WaBi coins.
WaBi Coin in the Future
Walmai recently released a roadmap of their plans for anti-counterfeiting, the Walmai labels and WaBi coins.
The focus of the roadmap was on the Walmai app and labels, with the program rolling out to other countries.
There was only one mention of WaBi and the digital currency. As of now, the focus of the company is anti-counterfeiting, and not supporting the digital currency. This leads to some questions on how much support the currency will have in the worldwide rollout, especially as other countries and markets may not be as excited about cryptocurrency.
The coin has also not had an impact on the market like other currencies. After hitting a price of more than $3 USD after the ICO, it has fallen and held steady at $0.25 USD and shows no signs of increasing.
WaBi is a fascinating concept that shows promise, but it may not be ready for widespread adoption.