When you think of what blockchain can do for payments today, you can’t help but notice the flaws inherent in current payment models, from data breaches to fraud and error-prone transactions, to incredibly high fees, especially for cross-border transactions. Blockchain, aided by its decentralized and immutable features, can help dramatically improve how things are done in the payments industry.
Request is a blockchain-powered platform that aims to help businesses globally tap into the potential of blockchain. The Request team believes payment processes should be seamless and more intuitive for users and has created an infrastructure to help businesses offer this to customers.
So, what’s Request all about? This article is a deep-dive into the Request ecosystem, as well as a close look at its native token, REQ.
Breaking Down Request
Request is an Ethereum-based effort at making payments easier to manage than ever. On the Request network, anyone can request payment and get paid via just a few clicks and in a secure way, without the need for intermediaries. All the sections are stored in a decentralized ledger, where every party can click to view at any time. Request wants to become the backbone of the world’s trade, and to achieve that it makes use of a ledger that is:
- Universal – designed to support transactions around the globe regardless of currency, legislation or language
- Smart – because it integrates a computerized trade code that can handle a myriad of payment terms
How Does the Request Network Work?
The process of requesting and receiving payments over the Request network is pretty simple.
- Bob creates a request invoice and relays it to Alice via the blockchain.
- Alice’s wallet detects the Request and makes the payment in one click.
- Bob gets his payment.
This is the basic formula of payments on the request platform. Request payments can also be made for online purchases, B2B invoices, and payments across IoT devices.
Request offers the following benefits over the current payment systems:
- Security, since you don’t need to share banking information.
- Simplicity, since Request and payments are made in single clicks.
- Savings, since transactions are not dependent on third party processors (e.g., PayPal)
The Request Network Ecosystem
The Request Network is supported by 3-tiered architecture comprising the Core Layer, the Extensions Layer, and the Applications layer. Let’s examine more closely what role each plays in the ecosystem.
#1. The Core Layer
The Core is the bottom layer of the Request network. It handles consensus and state transitions. It comprises basic smart contracts that facilitate the creation of requests for payments and records when payments have been made. The layer is immutable, meaning no one can change records once they’re updated. It’s also completely transparent (anyone can log in and view any information that is relevant to them), it’s intelligent (which allows it to detect when an invoice has been completed per the conditions set in the invoice).
#2. The Extensions Layer
This is the second layer, and it handles more complex transactions than the ones in the Core Layer. One such transaction is one coming from an organization – and it might include complex calculations including taxes, escrows, advance payments, and so on. All of these conditions exist in the form of ‘extensions’ that the user can tailor or make into a request.
This layer will also, in the future, support “continuous bills.” For example, a tenant can choose this module to make automatic payments via their bank account to their landlord. The Request network will always deduct the exact amount every month, and the tenants only have to worry about making sure there is enough money in the account. Request will handle any taxes and any charges related to the transaction. Individuals using this layer will be charged a fee, which will be partially burned and partially paid to the extension developers (outside developers, apart from the Request team who have contributed to the network).
#3. Applications Layer
This is the topmost layer, and it takes place off-chain. Companies can plug into this layer and create various requests, including accounting, auditing, payment systems, debt collection, e.t.c. When a payment system plugs into Request, it will access the invoice of the user and be able to respond instantly.
This layer is also equipped with the Reputation Application, a system that protects against phishing attempts and other malicious activity. All companies/entities in the network have a reputation system. If, for example, they attempt phishing or ignore submitted invoices, they will be penalized through their reputation taking a hit. The Reputation System also has other purposes, such as being used to reward cooperative and honest members. Members with the highest reputation ranking can receive perks such as reduced fees and access to customized extensions.
Use Cases of the Request Network
As a decentralized payments network, Request could help businesses in ways traditional payment models cannot. Let’s get a closer look.
Request facilitates automated payment functions, which are also transparent, and with almost zero downtime. Its reputation feature also incentivizes honest behavior amongst transacting parties, reducing instances of fraud.
#2. Online Payments
Online shopping has become a necessity of modern life. However, online shopping is mostly done by e-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay, which require users to submit KYC information. The downside of this is that information could fall into the hands of malicious parties.
Request keeps user info cryptographically secured – not even companies get access to it. Additionally, there’s a very minimal fee for transactions. Smart contracts also automate everything, saving time and money. Also, they remove the need for time-consuming and error-prone paper trails as everything is digitized.
Request will improve accounting processes in so many ways. No more manual confirmation of records, invoice fraud, and irregularities as information is input in an immutable and transparent system. The Request whitepaper calls these possibilities “smart audits.”
Uses of the Request Token (REQ)
REQ is the native token of the Request network. It has various uses in that ecosystem, including the following.
- As an incentive for various parties to participate and help build the Request ecosystem
- As a voting mechanism for members of the Request community to make their voice heard on the future direction of the project
- As an incentive for good behavior, and to promote the health and technical independence of the network, as stakers in the coin would be wary of engaging in activities that would devalue the token
Tokenomics of REQ
Let’s look at REQ’s market position as of July 21, 2020. To begin with, the coin is trading at $0.041768 and ranking at #157 with a market cap of $32, 762, 973. The token has a 24-hour volume of $868, 218, a circulating supply of 784, 401, 135, a total supply of 999, 966, 002, and a maximum supply of 999, 983, 984. REQ has an all-time high of $1.18 (Jan 06, 2018) and an all-time low of $0.004651 (Mar 13, 2020).
Where to Buy and Store REQ
The REQ token is available on several exchanges, including Binance, IDEX, Huobi, KuCoin, BitVavo, Gate.io, Bitfinex, Bancor, Kyber Network, Radar Relay, Fatbtc, WazirX, Mercatox, and Uniswap.
Being an Ethereum-based token, REQ can be stored in any Ethereum-compatible wallet. Popular options include MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Guarda, Trust, Parity, Ledger Nano, and Trezor.
Request is attempting to make the everyday function of making payments cheaper, quicker, and more intuitive. More than a payment platform, Request also allows developers to create payment solutions on its platform and charge for them. If Request can remain consistent with their goal, then they have a real chance at dethroning legacy payment systems.