The Official Ionic Blog

Build amazing native and progressive web apps with HTML5

bitpay-checkout

Bitcoin has been the new hotness in currency–the first form of decentralized cryptocurrency, independent of any central authority or ownership. It’s open source, so anyone can use it and take part in supporting it.

Turns out that Ionic apps play well with Bitcoin, and devs are taking note. We tracked down two awesome companies who built Ionic apps that allow users to pay with bitcoin, in one case, and invest in bitcoin, in the other.

Pay with Bitcoin

BitPay’s Bitcoin Checkout app, a fast, simple app that allows retail and mobile businesses to accept bitcoin payments, was built with Ionic. It’s available for both iOS and Android, and is used by hundreds of BitPay merchants to accept bitcoin directly from a device, without complicated point-of-sale integrations.

The app supports 40 languages and includes multi-employee checkout, tipping, and tip reporting. Customers can use bitcoin wallet apps to make QR code payments or hold their device over the merchant’s point-of-sale device and tap “send”. The payment will be transferred via NFC (near-field communication) technology.

“Bitcoin Checkout makes use of many Ionic elements–most importantly, the high level services and event handling that Ionic standardizes so well,” says Jason Dreyzehner, who leads the design team at BitPay. “We’ve been really impressed with Ionic overall, and we’re really excited to be using Ionic in several other projects now, too.”

Dreyzehner’s team is experimenting with using Ionic in Copay, an open source hybrid bitcoin wallet app based on BitPay’s Bitcore project.

Bitcoin Checkout has been featured in CoinDesk and TechCrunch. If you or your business accept bitcoin payments, definitely give this app a test drive!

Invest in Bitcoin

Lawnmower, another Ionic app available for iOS and Android, allows users to passively invest their spare change in bitcoin over time.

“Connect a credit card, debit card, checking, or savings account, and Lawnmower will automatically round each of your purchases up to the next dollar and set the differential aside to purchase bitcoin,” says CFO Alex Sunnarborg, who founded the company with CEO Pieter Gorsira and CTO Patrick Archambeau. “We’re extremely friendly towards newcomers to Bitcoin, and we want to let people get started quickly, by putting its complexities in the background.”

lawnmower-bitcoin-app

The Lawnmower app automates the investing process and lets users customize how much they’re saving, by using a spare change multiplier, and monitor their investment, using the stats page. New users to Lawnmower or Coinbase, Lawnmower’s partner Bitcoin wallet, receive $5 in bitcoin for free.

Unlike apps provided by existing Bitcoin exchanges, Lawnmower is focused on a passive, hands-off investing experience and invests into bitcoin, unlike more traditional investment platforms, such as Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” program, Digit.co, or Acorns.

The Lawnmower team used Ionic’s navigation elements (bars/transitions/views), modals, spinners, side menus, popups, lists, inputs, and almost all of the services, including Push and Analytics, in their live app.

“When we first ran Lawnmower on a Nexus 4, we were blown away by how few changes needed to be made–we had maybe two or three minor issues that needed fixing,” says Sunnarborg, whose team launched Lawnmower for Android less than two weeks after their iOS launch.

“For a startup with two developers, it was an insane turnaround,” he says. “By having just one code base, we were able to release the Lawnmower iOS and Android apps very quickly. Also, we love that we can use the web dev tools that we know and love to create apps that feel native. It was a win-win for us.”

Lawnmower is available for both iOS and Android.

  • Theveloped

    Great to see it’s not just mee that feels Ionic and Bitcoin match so very well. I’m currently working a fork of the bitcore libraries to bring them to Ionic (cordova-bitcore). This would allow ionic to connect directly to the bitcoin peer-2-peer network.

    • Luke Childs

      Sounds like a cool idea but have you checked the impact on battery life? I remember using a wallet app that connected directly to the network a while ago and it absolutely hammered my battery life.

      • Theveloped

        Battery life is indeed still a concern. The current approach is to build a thin (spv) client this keeps the required data to a bear minimum. One will however need to keep at least a single tcp socket open while the app is in used. And although using BIP37 the data sent over this socket is minimal, I’m not sure what effect keeping the socket alive will have on battery life. Will have a look or I can add a starter to the ionic market to get some more people going.