First of all, we need to understand the underlying technology. It’s asset-to-asset trading. That simple, actually. But the opportunities this feature will bring about is countless and enormous. It means that you will be able to create your own asset (like you can do with Counterparty or Nxt), and trade it against other assets created by others.
Now let’s take a look at the real use cases.
1) Fiat integration: If a financial company creates its own asset and says that “I will sell this token for 1 USD and also buy it back at the same price,” and comes up with a legal document showing its liability for the convertibility of the asset into real USD, then that asset is the USD-token. Its value is 1 USD, backed by real USD held in the bank account of that financial institution.
Now it means that you can trade any crypto-asset created in the platform against that USD-token. What are those assets in the platform? BTC, for instance, or ETH. So it means there is no need to worry about the reliability and security of the centralized exchanges. Bitfinex, Poloniex, Coinbase etc… In those hackable systems, you store your cryptos in hot wallets, and pay tons of transaction fees. But when you trade in the decentralized exchange of the Waves platform, you will hold your cryptos as well as your fiat in your Waves wallet, and the trading fees are just the network fees of the platform, that is, a few cents.
2) Crowdfunding projects: Think of it like a decentralized Kickstarter. You may issue your own token and sell it against USD in the platform. The positive consequences of such an application is apparent. You don’t pay fees to a middleman. Your shares in the crowdfunding project is tradable. So it’s like the company gets listed in a stock exchange right in the crowdfunding phase. And you don’t have to take into account the price volatility of bitcoin, since you get the money already as USD.
3) International money transfers: That’s a straight conclusion of the fiat integration. There will be many gateways in many countries, each issuing their local currency. Now if Alice wants to send 100 USD to Bob, and Bob wants EUR instead of USD, it’s easily achievable by buying USD-tokens, converting them in the decentralized exchange to EUR-tokens and then send them to Bob, who will then use the EUR-gateway to get the tokens converted to real fiat and sent to his bank account.
Now this is what disrupts the traditional centralized model most. A platform to be the infrastructure of a wide range of companies which are competitors of Kickstarter, PayPal, and Bitfinex. I hope the long-term potential is obvious here. So why invest in Waves? Because each transaction in the platform will require a transaction fee, which is payable in Wave coins. So the adoption of the platform means the demand for the Wave coins, which should increase its value.
Note that the Waves platform doesn’t only serve to the cryptocurrency community, but because of the fiat integration, it aims to be the decentralized network for the non-crypto folks as well.
I hope that counts as an explanation, and I hope you join us!