Blockchain startup Zulu Republic announced the launch of Lite.im – Litecoin transactions via Telegram bot app. On Friday, August 9, this news swept across all media promising a new era of cryptographic transactions. Everyone was crossposting the tweet of Litecoin founder Charlie Lee.
So let's take a look at what is innovative, why everyone is so happy and how unusual this product is.
Zulu Republic is a Switzerland located startup that develops dApps and their own ecosystem built on Ethereum blockchain. Founded in the middle of 2017, they decided not to conduct an ICO and have Airdrops instead. The fact is that they were successful and lucky enough to get private funding without going public.
According to Zulu announcement, their new product Lite.im will allow users to make Litecoin transactions via LTC API system. Zulu won’t control private key data, which will be managed by RSA encryption and user’s password.
Firstly, Lite.im is available through Telegram chatbot, that can act upon users’ commands: check current LTC balance, reveal a Litecoin address for receiving funds, and send LTC to email or wallet. Sending via email address is currently available only for registered recipients, and SMS function will be enabled in the next version. Lite.im code is available on Github.
Zulu team expects that the new service will be so user-friendly that even people without any crypto knowledge and crypto wallet will handle it easily. The team hopes that the service will help promote cryptocurrency in those countries where the government actively oppose to let the technology spread (to name just a few, India, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Brazil, Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Turkey, and Algeria).
If we talk numbers, there are 200 million Telegram users monthly (with 100 million app downloads in Google Play), and at least 4.5 billion mobile phone users across the globe. This means that the potential audience of the service after the activation of the SMS function will be huge.
Other ways to send crypto via sms
The idea of sending crypto via SMS with a phone not connected to the Internet is not new, there are several solutions on the market already:
- Blockchain wallet is a well-known wallet with desktop and mobile versions. The option of sending bitcoins via SMS has been offered for several years already. You will need to use desktop or mobile web version, input recipient mobile phone number and the number of bitcoins.
- Coinapult has also been offering SMS sending option for a while already. You will have to add and verify your mobile phone number to your account and then you’ll be able to send bitcoins via SMS to any other phone. If the receiver’s number is not in Coinapult system, a new account will be automatically created and bitcoins will remain in the Coinapult system.
- CoinText works with Bitcoin Cash, and the wallet can be set up by texting CoinText access number, then your Bitcoin Cash can be sent via SMS to any other number.
- Samourai Wallet’s PonyDirect also has the option to send money with SMS. The feature was introduced in January 2018. One uses the app to send a transaction via SMS to any internet-connected Android device. The app will divide your message into several parts that will be connected and put in together in the app on the receiver’s device.
Telegram bots for crypto transactions:
- Change bot allows you to buy or sell several types of cryptocurrency via Telegram bot: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, DOGE. Exchange fees are 0.8% of the transaction amount charged from both sides after the deal is completed.
- Octopocket is a Spanish startup located in Valencia, Spain, that allows you to send and receive cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum), buy it with various fiat currencies (euro, dollar, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Mexican peso, yuan and Swiss franc). It is also possible to withdraw money in more than 10.000 Spanish ATM without a bank account or ATM card. Octopocket is still in Beta version now.
- Telegram kraken bot lets you trade your crypto on Kraken exchange via Telegram, it’s an open source Python project available on Github.
Despite the fact that the idea of sending cryptocurrency via SMS or Telegram is not new, all existing services mostly provided the possibility of major cryptocurrencies transactions (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and several others). Lite.im intends to work with Litecoin only.
Obviously, the project has very good media support (Charlie Lee’s tweet helped a lot), which will provide the team with a primary inflow of users. Given the potential for growth (up to 4 billion users), the project has every chance of taking off quickly.
We expect that such services will appear for multi-currency and soon any crypto or token can be safely and quickly sent using only mobile communication (SMS) or instant messenger.