“When you travel to another country and must use money to pay for your needs, your FICO score or healthy home country bank account don’t matter” laments Alexi Lane, CEO of Ethereum startup Everex. “They basically don’t know you. That’s why there is such a preponderance of cash and underbanked people”.
To solve this and other problems in cross-border finance, Everex, which is currently holding a Token Crowdsale, has designed a mechanism to put a fiat currency on a blockchain. Travelers can soon be able to exchange currencies before entering a foreign country using mobile friendly blockchain wallet app. This will allow, for instance, Russian tourists to purchase thai baht in their home country for rubles, or Thais to buy HK Dollars before landing in Chek Lap Kok. How’s it work?
Ethereum smart contract technology allows Everex and their banking and financial service partners to program fiat currency onto a blockchain so travelers can exchange currencies at any time before or during their travels, as well as making payments and getting a microloan in any currency should their travel needs exceed their budget. To make it even more convenient to spend the digital cash, Everex offers free payment processing to merchants at hotels, shops, restaurants, amusement parks, and everywhere the travelers go. And the best part is that merchants don’t need to sign up!
“Our Members can just download the wallet app and accept payments in fiat currencies simply by displaying the QR-code with Ethereum address” says Mr. Lane. “No application forms, no POS equipment to buy, no chargebacks. no wait for the payment processor to send you payment. Money is available right away in your mobile wallet to spend”.
Cash on blockchain is particularly tailored to those in underbanked regions, such as Asia and Latin America. “Tourists in these lands will no longer need to travel with their paper local currency,” says Lane. “They can travel with blockchain cash in their mobile phones and our goal is to make it acceptable in many retail and online stores to minimize cashouts. Hence, saving on ATM and conversion fees. Having more transactions made with blockchain cash, builds up credit scoring for the system users, making them automatically pre-approved for a credit delivered right to their mobile phones. It is practically suitable for both individuals and small businesses”.
Everex, which was recognized for its ‘Service Originality’ at this year’s Remittance Technology Awards, plans to save Members as much as 9 percent compared to Western Union, Moneygram and credit cards with its fiat currency on a blockchain service.
Everex’s Token Sale has revolved around a key piece to the Everex of products. The startup app’s native digital token, EVX, will allow Members of the system to build own credit score, so that Everex’s lending department can determine accurate loan risk and rates.
“By using machine learning, mobile phone data, social media data, EVX token transaction history and more, we can determine the sorts of loan rates our Member-Lenders should offer,” Lane elucidates. “Thus allowing Everex to bring the financially underserved into the global financial system.” This has long been a central theme for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and Alexi believes the way to take cryptocurrencies mainstream is by making it familiar to everyday people.
“A restaurant or store owner receives a blockchain cash payment within thirty seconds, with transaction fees ranging from zero to max of 1%, whereas Visa or Mastercard payments take a few days to receive and 3-5% in service fees” further notes Lane, whose startup is currently taking part in Bangkok Bank’s InnoHub. “The business owner can right away use this money to pay salaries to vendors, suppliers, and so on.”