Lawnmower was once touted to be one potential killer-app for Bitcoin and digital currency, as they had a feature that would let users convert spare change into Bitcoin. Not only was this solution rather elegant, but it was also a convenient way for users to keep accumulating small amounts of Bitcoin without too much hassle. But ever since the team decided to pivot their business model into an investment app, the Bitcoin community is looking far less favorable upon this app.
Lawnmower Had A Lot of Potential
Surviving in the Bitcoin world as a startup is far from an easy task these days, as some business models will just not work out as intended. The same can be said for Lawnmower, a platform that once prided itself on offering a very convenient way for users to buy Bitcoin. It has to be said; their solution was a rather simple way for people to get their hands on tiny portions of Bitcoin now and then.
The way Lawnmower worked was by rounding up purchases – assuming the user linked their support online bank account to the platform – and “save up” the extra change charged for a particular transaction. Once the user would hit the US$4 threshold in saved up change, a purchase would be made to buy a small amount of Bitcoin through the application automatically.
Considering how one of the most often heard criticisms about Bitcoin is how consumers are having a hard time buying Bitcoin in a convenient manner, Lawnmower seemed to be solving that problem. Moreover, there was no interest from established Bitcoin companies or exchanges to pursue a similar business model, creating a golden opportunity for the startup and their three-man team.
The beta test of Lawnmower was launched at the end of March 2015, and it was only available to iOS users. However, with limited support for connecting bank accounts, the requirement of having a Coinbase account, and only one investment option available, clearly showed there was still a lot of work to be done before this offering could be taken to the mainstream.
Unfortunately, very little has changed on the positive side of things ever since this launch, as Lawnmower has removed the functionality to convert spare change into Bitcoin altogether. Moreover, selling digital currency through the mobile app has been eliminated entirely, and any mention of these two services has been removed from the website FAQ altogether.
Coinbase allows recurring purchases of Bitcoin by users who have connected their bank account, so there is no sense to make users give up that information to a different app altogether. Unfortunately, Lawnmower has turned into a “boring” bitcoin wallet rather than offering a different way for novice users to get their hands on digital currency in a convenient manner. It is not uncommon for startups to change their business model, but it remains a rather strange decision on the part of Lawnmower.
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