Many people in China have grown to rely on so-called super apps like WeChat to perform various chores, such as booking a doctor’s appointment, hailing a taxi, and applying for a loan, all on one platform. However, in the United States, similar one-stop shops have not taken off. The moment may have finally arrived for super applications, and the greatest prospects come from the finance realm, particularly bitcoin platforms.
Cryptocurrency is rapidly gaining traction in the face of sky-high stock prices, record-low interest rates, and the threat of inflation on the horizon, and they may gain further credibility if the US government decides to completely regulate them, a topic Congress is presently considering.
If crypto issuers can work with regulators to find a middle ground between protecting consumers and creating new financial and investment opportunities, dedicated crypto platforms like Coinbase, or even Paypal, Venmo, and Stripe, which recently added the ability to use crypto for payments, could evolve into the US versions of super apps. If users believe cryptocurrency is safe and trustworthy, as well as simple to use, it might become the foundation for super applications.
Integrating these cryptocurrency and payment apps with other apps and services would make a variety of jobs easier. Integrating cryptocurrency payments into other chores would also help to democratise the world of finance and money, allowing marginalised populations and people with no credit records who struggle to acquire credit cards or obtain loans better access to financial services. Instead of evolving into super applications, the United States will miss out on the opportunity to establish a new and innovative mobile- and digital-first financial ecosystem if crypto remains an uncontrolled grey zone and its platforms remain isolated from the rest of the economy and daily life.