WE’RE GOING TO BE THE JP MORGAN OF CRYPTOBANKS
Your team just got back from the CoinAgenda conference in Las Vegas. What were you expecting from the trip, and did the reality meet your expectations?
CoinAgenda is a very important event for us. In past years it’s seen the start of such important projects as Bancor, for example. We had something we wanted to show. For us this week was the next-to-last before the ICO launch, and we wanted to sync our watches with the major market players and cryptofunds we’re in touch with, and meet one more time with the people we work with. Of course, our main goal was to introduce our product to the wider audience of blockchain enthusiasts and to demonstrate why it’s unique.
What did you show at the conference? Can you give us the elevator pitch for your product?
We brought a working prototype of our app, and right there in the room we showed the inner mechanism for working with QR codes. For our product to work, we need the payment tool itself, and the payment infrastructure, which we still have to create. This is one of our most important tasks. The system will work not only with points of sale that already use NFC payment terminals, but also with the 70–80% of the market where payments in cryptocurrency are not yet accepted. For these we offer free solutions that use QR codes. Vendors will merely need to register their account, print out and hang on the wall of their store a special payment code, to which the customers will send money. Information on incoming payments shows up in the user account, with the option of confirmation by text message. The vendor can choose whether to accept payments as crypto–crypto or crypto–fiat – in other words, if they don’t want to work with cryptocurrencies, then payments received in cryptocurrency will be deposited in their account as fiat payments, just as if they had been received from a customer’s ordinary bank account.
The public met our idea with enormous enthusiasm; we really believe that we’re offering the market a completely unique and very convenient solution.
Tell us a little about the Crypterium project. It’s a bank, right? What advantages are you offering compared to traditional banks?
Not exactly. It’s a cryptobank. The word “bank” may set off alarm bells for people who are attracted to blockchain specifically by its lack of banking regulation. But our project is significantly different from ordinary banks, since we are creating a digital cryptobank, which is the operator of a payment and service infrastructure. Our goal is to build a bridge between ordinary life and the virtual cryptoworld, and make it so that you can pay with cryptocurrency anywhere on earth. It’s a solution that is convenient for both vendors and customers, and it consists of technological elements such as a built-in exchange, contactless payments, integration with cash register software, and QR-based transactions for which no cash register is needed. In addition, we will offer credit services, but it will be a new, blockchain-based format.
Thus, you could say that Crypterium is the first full-fledged cryptobank of its kind, which will address everyday tasks associated with the use of money, for example using cryptocurrency, like in an ordinary mobile banking app, to pay for mobile services, utilities, and taxes, to make transfers, pay at a café or restaurant, take out loans, and other services that are currently offered by legacy banks.
In contrast to ordinary banks, Crypterium is regulated not by the ordinary regulatory authorities, but by the blockchain infrastructure. In addition, many banks operate locally; we plan to offer services worldwide. Banks restrict withdrawals and transfers; we have virtually no restrictions. In fact, the differences are much, much greater, but that’s a whole other conversation.
So why are cryptobanks actually needed at all?
First, a short history lesson. Initially, blockchain and bitcoin were created, among other things, so that people could interact with each other directly, without banks. That’s a fantastic, worthy idea – if the community of people using bitcoin etc. were limited to a few tens of thousands.
However, if you’re talking about a global consumer market, about retail services, it’s all a lot more complex. Right now, there are plenty of people who buy or mine cryptocurrency, and they want to be able to use it. On the other hand you have the fiat economy. At the moment these two worlds have minimal contact with each other. Cryptobanks were thought up specifically to connect the crypto and fiat economies. In essence, by carrying out a mass of complex technical, service, and infrastructure functions, a cryptobank is the vehicle by which cryptocurrency enters the fiat economy. At the same time, clients receive secure solutions that give them the ability to use cryptocurrency in the same scenarios in which they’re accustomed to using ordinary currency.
This is why cryptobanks are very important. Although the cryptocurrency market has recently grown spectacularly, its capitalization is still relatively modest. The majority of experts agree that in the foreseeable future a minimum of 10% of global GDP may transfer to cryptocurrency. To us this indicates colossal growth potential. Cryptobanks have no geographic limits, and therefore they can work with the whole system, with the entire global market. They may soon become the new giants, the blockchain analogues of JP Morgan, Barclays, Citigroup. For this reason, all of the latest interesting solutions in this area sell like hotcakes – look at Tenx, which is not even a cryptobank, but a pure payment player, which was able to collect more than 80 million dollars in its ICO in something like 10 minutes! And that’s not the only example! This indicates that the market really understands that cryptobanks will play an important role in the blockchain ecosystem, and that they are worthy participants in it, helping to develop the infrastructure and to grow the market.
Do you think that in five to seven years you could become the JP Morgan of the cryptobank market?
I think that it could happen in about three years. I have great respect for my colleagues, but for now I don’t see any projects that offer the market anything really serious and significant. This means that we have every chance, at the very earliest stage, to become one of the leaders on a colossal market, which in five to seven years may reach 10 trillion dollars, and to operate an enormous infrastructure that we are already working to create!
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