In this tutorial, we will explore the transcript of the Kuneco April 2021 session titled “Bridging to the Fiat World.” The session features two startups, Bidali and Ramp Network, discussing their initiatives in bridging traditional finance with the cryptocurrency ecosystem. We will delve into the key points made by Eric Krisky from Bidali and Simon from Ramp Network, highlighting their mission, challenges, and solutions.
Bidali, a startup co-founded by Eric Krisky, aims to enable financial access and autonomy for all individuals. Eric emphasizes the importance of mission alignment, particularly with the Celo alliance, which shares a similar goal. He recognizes the challenges in accessing the traditional financial ecosystem and highlights the need to bridge this gap for people to benefit from Celo’s technologies.
Eric discusses the existing financial inequality, where one in three families worldwide remains underbanked. He emphasizes the frustration of being able to send photos instantly but facing difficulties in sending money. Without low-cost digital banking, individuals are forced to trust potentially untrustworthy counterparties with their livelihood. Eric believes that access to banking is a fundamental human right in the digital age, as the lack of it leads to generational and geographic inequality, civil unrest, and economic decline in countries like Venezuela.
Eric acknowledges that Bitcoin was the catalyst for rethinking a better financial system. However, improvements were necessary to address challenges such as spending, volatility, and ease of transactions. Cryptocurrency allows anyone with an internet connection to have a multi-currency bank account and perform low-cost touchless transactions worldwide. Bidali aims to enable spending cryptocurrencies on real goods and services in a cost-effective and easy way. They achieve this by facilitating the purchase of gift cards from over 3,000 brands across 150 countries.
Bidali recently integrated with Velora, allowing users to use Celo Dollar (cUSD) within the Velora app to purchase gift cards and mobile airtime. This integration brings together decentralized stable digital currency and a user-friendly experience. The usage within the Velora ecosystem has been promising, and Bidali plans to expand its payment system to enable peer-to-peer transactions and more efficient transacting with currencies like cUSD and the Celo network.
Ramp Network, co-founded by Simon, aims to make crypto accessible and facilitate financial accessibility. They partner with crypto entrepreneurs to simplify the process of purchasing and liquidating crypto assets. Simon highlights the alignment between Ramp and Celo’s mission, emphasizing the global nature of crypto and the products built on top of Celo. Ramp takes care of regulatory, compliance, and legal aspects, allowing entrepreneurs to integrate Ramp’s SDK into their products seamlessly.
Ramp provides a simple way for users to purchase crypto within partnered apps, as demonstrated in the Valor app. Users can seamlessly connect to their banking app and authorize payments, topping up their wallets within seconds. Simon emphasizes the importance of enabling even banked individuals to access crypto easily, as it can drive the adoption of crypto rails for remittances and sharing money with loved ones. He also announces that thanks to the partnership with Celo, this entire process is free for users, further boosting Celo’s economy.
Simon acknowledges Celo as a clear leader among blockchain ecosystems and highlights the significant contribution Ramp can make to Celo’s growth. By offering entrepreneurs the ability to integrate Ramp’s SDK and provide their users with a seamless way to purchase and liquidate crypto assets, Ramp Network aims to drive adoption and usage of Celo’s ecosystem. This integration not only benefits users but also creates a thriving economy within Celo.
During the session, both Eric from Bidali and Simon from Ramp Network discuss the challenges they face in bridging the gap between the cryptocurrency and fiat worlds. They also provide insights into the solutions they offer.
- Regulatory Compliance: Eric acknowledges the importance of regulatory compliance and the need to work within the existing financial frameworks. Bidali ensures compliance by partnering with regulated entities and complying with relevant regulations in different jurisdictions. They maintain transparency and compliance to build trust with users and regulatory bodies.
- User Experience: Simon emphasizes the significance of user experience and the need for a seamless on-ramp and off-ramp experience. Ramp Network focuses on creating a user-friendly interface that enables users to connect their banking apps and easily transact in crypto. By simplifying the process, they aim to remove barriers and make crypto accessible to a wider audience.
- Partnerships and Integration: Both Bidali and Ramp Network highlight the importance of partnerships and integrations within the crypto ecosystem. Bidali’s integration with Velora allows users to leverage cUSD within the app, expanding the use cases for cryptocurrencies. Ramp Network collaborates with various crypto entrepreneurs, offering them a solution to integrate Ramp’s SDK into their products. These partnerships and integrations contribute to the growth and adoption of crypto within Celo’s ecosystem.
The Kuneco session “Bridging to the Fiat World” featuring Bidali and Ramp Network showcased the efforts of these startups in enabling financial access and autonomy while bridging the gap between traditional finance and cryptocurrencies. Both startups recognized the importance of mission alignment, regulatory compliance, user experience, and strategic partnerships. By addressing these challenges and providing innovative solutions, Bidali and Ramp Network aim to drive adoption, usage, and global participation in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Their initiatives contribute to the vision of a more inclusive and accessible financial system.