Starting today, HandCash users who update their apps can make payments in a new currency unit call the “Duro.” But the Duro is not a new token, it’s actually a unit of account that refers to 500 satoshis on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) network. HandCash says this will make pricing and payments for small items easier. So what’s it all about?
One of the things that makes BSV so useful is its ability to handle tiny payments (micro- or even nano-payments) at negligible cost again—just as Bitcoin originally promised. This is creating new and promising new economies in social media networks, games, and the digital goods market.
There’s one problem with this, though: price things in BSV, and you get prices like “0.00039548 BSV,” which is not only unfamiliar to new users, but can be confusing. Even pricing in “sats” (short for satoshis) isn’t ideal, since it still results in higher-appearing numbers.
In an attempt to solve these problems, HandCash has come up with the Duro (symbol Đ). US$1.21 is 0.00050273 BSV, or 50,273 sats/satoshis—in Duros, it would appear as 100Đ. That’s a much cleaner and more easily-digestable figure.
Speaking to CoinGeek, HandCash founder and CEO Alex Agut called the Duro “just raw BSV with a layer of usability on top.” Since it isn’t a token, it only requires small interface tweaks from users and merchants to buy and sell items in duro.
In a way, it’s also part of an effort to rebrand Bitcoin, and perhaps move general consumer usage away from the costly distractions over the name “Bitcoin,” and endless arguments over who should use the name and who shouldn’t. For now it’s an experiment, but it could catch on if others find it useful and adopt the system.
HandCash is one of the most popular wallets used in the Bitcoin BSV ecosystem. From its beginnings it has searched for ways to make using Bitcoin in daily life easier, introducing $handles instead of addresses, tap-to-pay NFC payments and NFC backups, output bills, HandCash Connect, and keyless wallets.
Here’s a short video explaining what Duro is, and how it could be used. Below that is an interview with Alex Agut to explain things in more detail.
Interview: Alex Agut, founder and CEO of Handcash
When can HandCash users start to use Duros for transactions?
Starting March 31, 2021, after updating their apps, they’ll find a “Duro mode” toggle in settings, turning Duro into the main currency for the app, and yes, you can now type amounts in Duros! We’re making this optional as we try to validate our hypothesis about how it works, so if users want to help us test how the Duro feels in different contexts they can do it, but if they want to keep using the app as is, we’re not messing with that. We think good ideas should not be imposed.
The Duro is more a branded denomination of BSV Satoshis, and not a token. Will other platforms adopt the name and adjust their software to handle Duros too?
Exactly. For us it is essential to have support from developers for this to have any value. We’re adding an endpoint to our Connect SDK so they can know if the user has activated Duro mode, so the UI can change accordingly. It’s a small change though, shouldn’t take developers more than 10 minutes to adapt to this—especially since this is not a token protocol, it’s just raw BSV with a layer of usability on top.
1 Duro is 500 BSV Satoshis. This means its value fluctuates in a way that’s pegged to the BSV unit itself… right?
Yes it does, but that’s what gives it a universal and real world value too. We realized in the context of nanopayments fluctuations are not an issue, only for traders. When you have 200 transactions of a few cents per day, nobody notices. And if we price things in Duros (in Bitcoin after all) and the main currency are duros, there’s no fluctuation either. There are things we assumed they are problems when in reality they are not as long as the context fits the situation. After years of being the most pro-fiat company in Bitcoin, we realized the best way to use this technology is to be pro-Bitcoin. The problem is current units of accounts suck: BSV works great for very high amounts, and satoshis are better suited for machine to machine payments. And neither of both sounds like a currency, while Duros actually sounds like a currency. Think (pound, libra, dollar, euro, yen, duro…)—we want Duro to become the native currency of the internet. Remember: Bitcoin it’s a P2P Electronic Cash SYSTEM, SYSTEM. Not a currency. It’s not an appealing currency by itself. Duro is the first attempt to actually turn this into an appealing currency with its own brand, separated from any crypto related stuff.
“Duro” also refers to an old Spanish currency unit. Is that where the name comes from?
Yes sir, it has a lot of meaning for us. For one, it reflects the Spanish origins of HandCash. Duros were an unofficial unit of account that referred to the 5 pesetas coin. As all prices were multiples of 5 or 10, units of pesetas were very rarely used so people just divided the price by 5 for convenience. 20 duros was 100 pesetas. It was an unofficial unit of account that made pricing more convenient and simple, and that’s what we are trying to do here. The reason why we chose 500 satoshi for 1 Duro instead of a direct order of magnitude is so we add another layer of friction of people trying to figure out conversion rates with BSV—we want Duro to become its own thing by creating a real economy where everything (below 1 USD mainly) is priced in Duros.
Do you think we’ll see others in this industry join a trend/shift away from using the words “Bitcoin” and “BSV” as we move forward?
I don’t know, but I hope so. Everybody knows that part of what’s dragging us down is the constant public battles for the Bitcoin brand and the reputation of being a fork of a fork and all that bullshit. Duro is an attempt to start from scratch with a brand we can control since day one, detached from crypto, from speculation, from cult fights… it’s time for this technology to shine for its merits, and we think Duro can help. We are inviting the rest of the ecosystem to use Duros as main unit of account by following a few simple rules stated on our website: duro.money—as it is not a token, all companies are instantly compatible with Duros, they just have to adapt the unit of account by dividing satoshi amounts by 500 and rounding the result so we don’t show decimals.
See also: HandCash CEO Alex Agut’s talk at CoinGeek Live, Making Bitcoin Easy to Use for Everyone
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