A Gateway to Decentralized Payments: Request Network Review
The blockchain industry is evidently growing at a rapid rate thanks to increased global security and transparency. One sector that has been immensely transformed by blockchain technology is global payments through seamless peer-to-peer transactions. However, the current blockchain-based payment platforms are costly and quite inefficient due to slow transactions and scalability issues.
Billed as “PayPal 2.0,” Request Network is a revolutionary cryptocurrency payment system that allows anyone to request P2P payments via a Request Invoice for which the receipt can pay securely. Additionally, the platform makes business-to-business or business-to-client invoicing easier and much cheaper. Request Network supports both crypto and fiat currency and gives users the option of choosing their preferred currency.
Request Network makes global payments instant with little or no transaction. The platform seeks to support all types of payments (Government, Invoices, B2B, IoT, etc.) and the related ecosystem, including invoices, accounting, and audit services. Here is a comprehensive review of this innovative crypto payment platform.
Request Network Unraveled
Request Network is an Ethereum-based decentralized payment platform that allows users to request, send and receive money (both fiat and crypto) quickly and easily via blockchain. The platform seeks to offer an alternative to the current third-party solutions giving consumers a more secure payment solution that is affordable and compatible with all global currencies.
In addition to supporting peer-to-peer payment transactions, Request Network also enables potential users to make online payments on websites via a click of a button. It allows users to send and receive payments via the use of invoices. In essence, Request Network users can accept peer-to-peer payments and online payments while still creating and paying invoices in crypto or any currency. Users can also receive their payments directly in their related accounts with more privacy.
The central premise behind Request Network is to create the world’s foremost decentralized network for payment requests. The network offers a decentralized general ledger that allows users to conduct transactions at maximum transparency and minimum costs. Request Network’s benefits are summed up into three simple S’: Security, Simplicity, and Savings.
History and Team behind Request Network
Request Network went live on the Ethereum Mainnet on March 30, 2018, in Berlin, Germany, with YCombinator as its early backers. YCombinator has funded several successful projects, notably Coinbase and Airbnb. Funding acceptance by YCombinator gives credibility to the team and project, considering that it has a very low acceptance of just 1-2% of all projects.
Request Network’s token sale began on October 13, 2017, where 500 million REQ tokens were distributed, representing 50% of the total supply. All tokens were distributed within three days, hitting the target of 100 000 ETH. A total of 11,467 people participated in the token sale.
The Request Network team is transparent and very active on social media platforms providing bi-weekly progress.
Request Network Ecosystem
Request Network is based on the Ethereum blockchain and has an ERC20 token. The Request Network Ecosystem features a three-tiered architecture, i.e., the Core layer, the Extension layer, and an Applications layer.
The Core Layer
The Core Layer is the foundation of the Request Network. This layer is developed on top of the Ethereum Network, and it’s able to detect any ERC-20 based invoices. It also integrates other types of invoices via the use of oracles.
The Core Layer primarily functions to manage basic payments. Simple invoicing is accomplished via smart contracts and tracked to payment. The Core Layer is entirely immutable, meaning that no one can alter the information in the layer. Besides, it’s completely open, allowing users to look into relevant information. Additionally, in the core layer, currencies are automatically converted via the use of oracles.
The Extensions Layer
The extension layer is the second layer and functions to handle more complex payments other than a basic invoice. For instance, an enterprise requests an invoice that requires multiple calculations such as advance payments, tax calculations, or escrow payments. This is achieved by adding extensions to standard invoices from the Core Layer to include advanced payment terms.
The Extension layer can also process more unconventional payment terms such as rent, where tenants can set up automatic payments via a bank account to their respective landlords. It can also be directed to divert 15% of any payment for tax purposes, or it could be used to make daily salary payments.
In simple terms, the Extension layer eliminates the need to make regular lump sum payments, giving users more flexibility and processing unconventional payments, ensuring users remain tax compliant.
A small fee (REQ) is charged when using the Extension layer. A portion of the fee is burned while the remainder is directed towards the Extension layer development.
The Applications Layer
Request Network’s third layer exists outside the blockchain technology. In this layer, external applications (third-party) applications leverage Request Network as a gateway for taxes, invoices, and more. These payments are conducted instantly with little to no transaction cost. The Application layer also supports application development giving developers access to a traditional API and an interface for developers.
Request Network Invoicing
Request Network invoicing allows users to pay and get paid in cryptos by sending compliant invoices as a freelancer or business. Users can accept payments in different currencies, including ETH, DAI, USDC, and Bitcoin. The invoicing platform supports several features, including:
Request Invoicing platform generates outstanding professional invoices that stand out from the crowd. These invoices are generated in line with industry standards meaning that they are compatible with 3rd party products & services.
Multiple Currency and Cross-Currency Support
Request Invoicing Platform is designed to be compliant with cryptocurrency. Coins can easily be integrated into the platform if requested. Besides, the invoiced amount is denominated in regular fiat currency like GBP, EUR, and USD, etc., as specified by the payer or payee. The platform also supports cross-currency compatibility. The invoice’s payment is fulfilled in cryptocurrency such as ETH, BTC, DAI & USDC despite the invoiced amount being denominated in fiat currency.
Built-in Notification System and Escrow
The platform features a built-in notification system that automatically sends reminders to clients at a predefined time. This ensures that users get paid on time.
While it’s yet to be launched, the Escrow feature will prevent fraud by guaranteeing users that the client has put money on hold to pay for the work or product after it’s delivered or done.
Payer Reputation System
Request Invoicing will implement a Payer Reputation system which will keep track of a payer’s reputation score to enable payees to adjust the payment terms accordingly.
Benefits of Request Invoicing Platform
- Straightforward Payment Process
Request Invoicing platform eliminates the inefficiencies and errors in manually creating spreadsheets and invoices requesting for payments. You can easily create an invoice in less than 8 seconds and pay a client with a single click on the platform.
- No Lost of Funds and Third Party Involvements
Request Invoicing allows for the safe payment of funds since payees are paid directly to their crypto address. Being a P2P invoice payment platform, there is no involvement of third parties who control the payments.
- Low Transaction Cost
Request Invoicing charges low transaction fees even for international payments. Besides, getting paid in cryptos allows businesses to save big and enjoy the benefits of cryptocurrencies, i.e., security, decentralization, and fast payments.
The REQ Token
REQ is the ticker symbol for the Request Network Token- an ERC20 token. The REQ is used to pay fees on the Request Network and for creating advanced invoices using extensions. Initially, the project set the transaction fees between 0.05% and 0.5%, with a promised decrease following its growth. However, the release of Version 2 of the project saw transaction fees charged based on the data request’s size rather than the amount itself. The transaction fees start at $0.10 up to 10kB of data and increase by $0.03 per additional 10kB. However, these fees may be subject to adjustment in the feature.
REQ fees are burned at a rate determined by its prevailing supply and the exchange rate with other platforms. Request Network may use a proof of stake mechanism allowing REQ holders to staking rewards for securing and supporting the network’s operations.
In addition to paying transaction fees on the Request Network platform, REQ tokens act as intermediaries for cross-currency exchanges and establish governance in the community.
Where to Buy and Store REQ
Being an ERC20 token, REQ can be stored in any wallet with ERC20 support. The most popular online storage wallets are MyEtherWallet, MyCrypto, or MetaMask. Alternatively, you can use a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S or Ledger Nano X for increased security. However, ensure you don’t lose your private keys or passphrase.
Request Network Use Cases
Request Network seeks to transform the entire online payment industry through auditing, job automation and invoicing. Some of the use cases on the network include:
Millions of invoices are sent between companies every year either in email format or paper format. Since the invoices are manually prepared, there are tons of errors made, mostly in invoices involving taxes or advanced payment forms. Additionally, invoices may sometimes take years to be processed, causing thousands of companies to go bankrupt.
Request Networks provides invoicing automation, enabling companies to share invoices directly from the ledger. This enhances invoicing transparency eliminating substantial losses due to duplication and payment delays.
Efficient Commercial Tools
Request Network allows enterprises to access tools such as escrow easily. For instance, a tenant can choose to secure a house deposit instead of crediting the landlord’s account. Similarly, enterprises can choose to secure payments of products or services in escrow until the supplier delivers the products. This helps in building trustworthiness among different players and reducing payment risk.
Request Invoicing Customer Use Case- A Case of Maker Foundation
An excellent example of a customer use case is the Maker Foundation that leverages the Request Invoicing to make payments plus keep comprehensive records of invoices seamlessly. In 2020, Maker Foundation was seeking an intuitive, elegant invoice solution for all in-and outbound payments. The Maker Foundation chose Request Invoicing to provide invoicing solutions to make payments to grantees and freelancers easily.
Request currently provides invoicing and payments software on Maker. This feature allows Maker Foundation users to collaborate on the platform easily and provide/pay invoices using a defined flow that ensures timely payments. Besides, a complete record of users’ invoices and outbound payments is stored on the platform and can be accessed from an easy-to-manage dashboard.
Commenting on using the Request Invoicing platform to achieve invoicing and payment solutions, Torben Jorgensen, Chief Financial Officer at Maker Foundation, stated that: “Using Request Invoicing has allowed us to manage our grants program better. The ability to collaborate with our internal team has unlocked us to more accurately disburse funds while also maintaining a complete and up-to-date record of pending and completed transactions.”
Current State of the Network and Future Ambitions
Over the years of its existence, Request Network has substantially enhanced the existing flows of its features and functionalities, making the product even more stable & reliable.
The platform also increased the amount of data being transmitted to the payer, enhancing transparency and visibility of what is being paid. This translates to more accuracy in payments with a reduced chance of a payment error.
Request Network also launched several products as functionalities to reinforce its position as the leading cryptocurrency payment network. An innovative product recently launched on the platform is Bitcoin invoices allowing users to issue and pay an invoice in Bitcoin. There is also support for Fiat payments via request invoicing. The most interesting is stablecoin invoices involving USDT, USDC, DAI, cUSD, and aDAI.
The platform has also recently added support for AAVE, aDAI, ANT, ANKR, and SAND cryptocurrencies.
Regarding its ambitions, the platform is exploring several development options such as node incentives and staking. It also seeks to make REQ tokens more visible and carry out incentives, including discounts and governance.
What’s Coming up on Request Network?
Request is set to launch several features to enhance its functionality and streamline invoicing and payments. Some features are currently in progress, while others are still in the initial phase. They include:
Safe Online Payment
Most online payments are usually made by credit/debit card, thus exposing users to phishing attacks leading to loss of enormous amounts of money. Request Network will soon facilitate safe online payments through an escrow set to be launched soon. It will also launch a Reputation System to enable payees to determine the payment ratings and act accordingly.
Other Features set to be launched on Request Network include Payment of fiat invoices with crypto, compound interest, integration with Quickbooks, integration with Xero, partial payments support, and a visual invoice dashboard.
Request Network aims to become the ‘backbone of world trade.’ Request is more than just a blockchain-based payment system; it allows developers to create the apps and services to build a bankless system for open finance. At the moment, the Request Invoicing App shows an increasing adoption, as we can see here: https://req.network/, and this is good news. It’s one of the rare DeFi projects with actual traction. Request is among the few blockchain-based projects with real-life use cases. It, therefore, has an immense potential to disrupt the existing global payment systems that are marred with plenty of issues, including centralization, censorship in other countries, and inefficient, frustrating processes. Request Network is truly a game-changer in the decentralized global payment scene. It’s one platform to keep an eye on as crypto adoption continues to grow.
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