The Coinprism platform allows individual users and companies to create and issue colored coins, which can then be used as loyalty points or tokens to denote a range of physical and digital goods and services. Colored coins are bitcoins marked with certain properties to reflect digital or physical assets, and can also be used at various events for voting, tipping and more.
Flavien Charlon, founder of Coinprism, explained the potential applications of the wallet, saying:
"We have already seen a lot of creative uses for bitcoin 2.0 platforms through user-issued assets, but I believe mobile will enable the next tier of applications. In particular there are some very interesting ways for merchants to leverage colored coins – they could reward customers paying in bitcoin by giving them back loyalty points or cashback points represented by colored coins."
Charlon argued this approach is better for the merchant than offering a discount, as it would help ensure the customer returns to spend those points.
Colored coins go mobile
The Coinprism mobile wallet will first launch for Android. As there are no immediate plans for an iOS version, Apple users will have to use web access via HTML5.
Prior to the launch of a standalone mobile wallet, Android users have also had to rely on the HTML5 version of Coinprism.com. Coinprism said the app will be open-sourced shortly after the launch.
Coinprism provided CoinDesk with early access to the app and some sample coins. The app installed and ran smoothly on two Android 4.4.x devices. It is available for free on the Google Play store and compatible with all Android 4.x devices.
The Android app features a hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet compliant with BIP32 and BIP39 standards. Since the wallet is a standalone application, it does not require any signup or account creation. The key is automatically generated by the phone and the app can be used upon download.
Notably, the app cannot be used to issue colored coins. Coinprism said, however, that the process of issuing colored coins via its service should take no more than 10 minutes.
Colored coins vs crytpo 2.0
Coinprism maintains colored coins are the most suitable crypto 2.0 platforms for mobile payments because of how they handle transactions.
Unlike Counterparty and Mastercoin, colored coin transactions do not require an interaction with another protocol. This, he argues, makes colored coins more practical for physical transactions than other asset transfer platforms. Counterparty and Mastercoin, for example, are built on top of the bitcoin protocol but use alternate protocols and tokens, not actual bitcoins, to represent assets.
Still, Charlon said many end users often don’t realize the benefits of colored coins compared to their alternatives.
“They will become more obvious as features such as frictionless mobile payments, micropayment channels and anonymous coin mixing get released,” Charlon asserted.
Images via Coinprism