Despite existing for a little over a decade, Bitcoin recently surpassed $1 trillion in market cap making it the 14th largest currency in the world. The concept and execution of the first peer-to-peer encrypted currency is nothing shy of genius and it contributed to a significant shift in modern finance.
Despite this, Vitalik Buterin, an early ambassador of Bitcoin believed that its applications as merely a currency was somewhat limiting and co-founded Ethereum – the swiss-army knife of blockchains enabling the addition of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) to be built upon it. After a meteoric rise in Ethereum’s price, Vitalik became the first cryptocurrency billionaire in May 2021.
In 2017 we experienced the ICO boom. Now, in 2021, we are witnessing NFT’s and DeFi lead the bull run. Given Ethereum’s versatility, it has long held a close affinity with DeFi. In fact, the media outlet and analytics service provider, DeFi Prime, lists 205 DeFi projects built upon Ethereum in comparison to just 26 for Bitcoin which showcases the scale of Ethereum’s dominance in this area.
The Success of MetaMask
MetaMask is considered one of the most popular and trusted DeFi wallets in the crypto industry. The company recently revealed they have attained more than 5 million monthly active users which is a monumental achievement in these early stages of crypto.
For those unfamiliar, the wallet comes in the form of a browser extension so users can easily send and receive ERC-20 tokens (Ethereum-based tokens) from their web browser. The UX is flawless and its seamless ability to interact with d’apps makes it a top pick for many developers.
The problem with MetaMask is that it focuses entirely on Ethereum and yet Bitcoin still dominates 42.5% of the entire cryptocurrency market cap, and this is historically lower than usual. The fact MetaMask is not equipped to handle the world’s largest cryptocurrency has opened up opportunities for new players to fill the void.
The New Challenger – Plutus
One prominent player is Plutus who has been developing a whole suite of DeFi related products for the last 5 years, nearly as long as Ethereum’s lifespan.
Currently, the start-up offers a Current Account and neo-banking features to manage fiat in a similar way to Revolut, except the app includes a Decentralised Exchange (DEX) to buy/sell crypto which acts as a rare bridge between the two money types. The vast majority of DEXs are crypto-crypto, so a crypto-fiat DEX available on mobile is a fairly advanced development.
Their Visa Debit Card then lets you spend both fiats or converted crypto at 70+ million merchants whilst earning 3% crypto rewards on all payments.
However, their most recently announced development is their own DeFi wallet that follows a very similar format to MetaMask except with the added benefit of Bitcoin. This is a significant milestone for the industry – users can create, or import, both their Ethereum wallets and their Bitcoin wallets under one user-friendly browser extension that can then interact with compatible DeFi products such as the rest of the Plutus DeFi suite.
The Plutus Wallet is currently undergoing testing for release on 18th May, however, with a newly announced $5 million backing from a prominent crypto fund, Alphabit, the company is poised to majorly disrupt the wallet sector.
Plutus currently has 35,000 accounts created, which is a drop in the ocean compared to competitor products such as Coinbase on the cards front or MetaMask on the wallet side, however, given the advanced feature-set, this only highlights the upside potential for the Plutus product set and their accompanying token, PLU.