Around the World in 40 Minutes — Digital Dollars in Action
This week on the Money Movement we are getting hands-on with, well, moving money. Stablecoins and digital dollars are a breakthrough for how money can move around the world, enabling faster, more secure and less expensive payments and commerce, and connecting people on every continent in an open financial system.
While lots of projects talk in the abstract about making money work more like how we share text, content or email messages, we are delivering that in the real-world today.
USDC adoption has grown significantly around the world, and so this week we’re going to literally take a trip around the world in 40 minutes, showcasing in the process the incredible power of digital currency, public blockchains, and the benefits of open and interoperable standards for digital money on the internet.
In this episode, we’ll be joined by Itamar Lesuisse, Founder and CEO of Argent, the new super sweet mobile digital wallet, based in London, by Ronald Chan, CEO of ProBit, a fast-growing Asian exchange with connectivity in Korea, Sebastian Serrano, Founder and CEO of Ripio, a leading wallet and exchange in Latin America, Joao Reginatto, Head of Product at Circle, based in Boston, and Sumit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO of CoinDCX, one of the top exchanges and wallets in India.
In real-time, we’ll see stablecoin payments fly from business to contractor, from person to person, between non-custodial and custodial wallets, with pit stops and conversions into local currencies on the way, and we’ll take a look at a marketplace built on USDC. And a bit of DeFi in the mix to boot. And we’re going to be doing this live.
For those who haven’t experienced hands-on the power of digital currency, this episode is designed to blow your mind and see how rapidly the global financial system is poised to change, building on stablecoins and public chains.
This hands-on and highly practical episode is a good build-up to next week's show, on June 25th, where Jeremy will be having an in-depth 1:1 fireside chat with Lawrence H. Summers, who is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and the Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama. Jeremy and Mr. Summers will be discussing global macro issues and the role of digital currency in the future of the global financial system.
Huge swaths of the global population have mobile devices, but don't participate in the financial system. Stablecoins and the proliferation of digital currencies present an exciting new opportunity for people to connect to a more open and inclusive financial system, creating new economic opportunities for those who have been excluded from the banking sector.
Jeremy: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and welcome to The Money Movement, a show where we explore the issues and ideas driving this brave new world of digital currency and blockchains. Today, we're going to have, I think, a very special episode. We're going to have a live demo that really tries to show the real power of global digital currency. A lot of times when I talk to people who are not familiar with the space, or you talk about things like digital currency, and people are trying to say, "Well, how is this different than how I can do things today?"
That really reminds me significantly of the early days of the Internet, when people first had email addresses and talked about the ability to send or receive an email. People often say, "What's so special? What's so powerful about digital currency?" I think, once you experience it, once you see it, once you see the speed of it and how it functions, it really is mind-opening. That's what we're really trying to do today is open people's minds to see the power of this on a global basis.
Really, more fundamentally, we want to demonstrate how we are evolving our financial system, evolving from a financial system that is closed off to billions of people. A financial system that's expensive, a financial system that's slow, that's full of barriers and walls. We're moving to a financial system that is more open, global, efficient, inclusive. That's really the vision that we have with digital currency. It all starts with how we move money, which is the building block, really, to every other form of economic arrangement.
Today, in The Money Movement, we're going to move money. We're going to have an experience of moving stablecoins, USDC, around the world. These digital dollars are going to move from a business in Boston to a contractor in London, to a friend in Seoul, South Korea, to another freelance developer in Buenos Aires, through a marketplace, an E-commerce marketplace that's run out of Indonesia, and ultimately to a supplier of goods into that marketplace in India.
We're going to watch as these funds move seamlessly across different digital wallets, different digital services with convertibility into different fiat currencies. It's going to be really powerful. Joining us, obviously, today are a tremendous group of people, entrepreneurs building great products, great wallet services, great exchange experiences that really make all this completely possible. That's what we're going to do today. I want to get started moving some money.
What I want to do is actually just start with what we call a circle business accounts. What we have here, this is circle.com. Earlier this year, we launched something called circle business accounts. The idea is that really any business in 150 countries should be able to open up a financial account and use it to make payments, receive payments, automated in lots of different ways. Circle business account is like a starting point for a business that wants to use stablecoins and USDC as a way to make payments, whether to their employees, to partners, to suppliers, to really anyone that's out there.
I'm actually logged in here into my circle business account, and I'm going to be making a B2B payment. Actually, I'd like to invite on to join here Itamar from Argent, who is in London.
Itamar: Hey, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Hey, nice to see you.
Itamar: Pleasure. Thanks for having me here.
Jeremy: Yes, absolutely. In this example here, I'm in my business account, and I'm pretending that you're a consultant that helps look at policy issues in the crypto space. We had a short contract, you reviewed a document and I owe you $300. I'm going to pay you in USDC. What I do here just go to Transfer Funds. I've got you in my wallet, and I'm just going to put in 300 USDC. I'll put in 10 cents for the fee that is paid to process that transaction, so very inexpensive. I'm just going to go ahead and conduct that transfer. I just have to put in my two-factor code here. That will be off to the races.
What we have going on here is basically, using a business account, I was able to as a business, convert from any bank account really in most of the world. I was able to convert hundreds of dollars, or it can be thousands or tens of thousands or if you're a major business moving millions of dollars, you can convert those funds. Generally, you can do that the same day, we actually have an ability to do it 24/7, 365 with certain setups.
Generally, those funds get there and they're converted into digital currency, in this case into USDC. Then, in that case, I just punched in the wallet address, which I had saved for Itamar. Now the transaction's on the way and I want to just start maybe just talking a little bit with you, Itamar. The transaction's going to a product that you created, or you and your team obviously helped create, which is the Argent wallet, which is a super, superfly mobile wallet. Maybe just talk a little bit about Argen, the product, your vision?
Itamar: Sure, yes, by the way, the funds arrived. Thanks, for that.
Jeremy: That's awesome.
Itamar: Our goal at Argent is really to enable anyone to control and prosper from their digital assets. That means creating a noncustodial wallet, so where people are in total control, but it's as easy as secure to use than I would say the current banking system. People shouldn't have to worry and think about them, the blockchain complexity basically.
Jeremy: Sorry to interrupt. I think for a lot of people who are new to this space, this idea of a custodial wallet versus noncustodial, there's this philosophy of you can keep your money in a financial institution like a bank, or someone who's hosting the funds for you, and so on. Also, it's really powerful to be able to control the funds yourself, like money in your wallet. Mobile makes it possible for people to download the software application. Because these technologies are open and available to everyone, you can build a user experience where the user is in total control of the funds, not trusting some third party with it. That's what you've really been trying to solve and solve that with excellent user experience.
Itamar: Exactly. What we've built on-chain is really the same feature you'll recognize from your bank. You can recover your money if you lost your phone without relying on writing up some seed phrase on paper. We have on-chain for monitoring. If someone tried to drain your account, things would be delayed, trusted address, et cetera. Really building the same feature, or the same experience, the [unintelligible 00:08:06] model than what we're used to. Where it gets interesting is you can plug to an entire world of decentralized finance. Do you want me to maybe start with that?
Jeremy: It's available globally, basically in offshore.
Itamar: Anyone with a phone in the wall can plug into the same financial system. That's really what's so exciting about that. You download the app, and suddenly, you have access to that same global transparent financial system.
Jeremy: Any business that wants to pay you, you can just receive those funds instantly, basically, like we just saw.
Itamar: Exactly, then you can decide you want to earn interest on them, then you can use that to put them in some lending protocol, which would feel almost like a savings account, and you would start earning interest on your USDC.
Jeremy: Let's do that. You got $300, maybe you want to save some.
Itamar: Yes. That's the Argent, let's say finance marketplace, you have all these protocols. A compound is one that allows you to lend and earn interest. I will pick USDC, I will put let's say 30 USDC in there, and that's it. That's all I do. I literally input, 30 push on one button, the transaction will go to the blockchain, will go through and I will basically start earning interest. Here at some point, when it's finalized, I will see my 30 USDC and I will start accruing interest. That's really always the case.
Jeremy: For most people, when they think about earning interest, they think of, "Oh, I essentially have to lend my money to a bank and the bank is going to go do something with that and they might pay me some interest." What's happening here is with something like compound, that's actually there's no company. It's not like you're giving your money to some company and trusting them with it. You're actually lending your money to a marketplace on the internet that's just running enforced by code.
It's a decentralized credit market. We had Robert on the show earlier and talked about it but really, it's a breakthrough. In a sense, anyone with this mobile wallet who receives these funds can start saving and generating interest and participating in financial services capabilities that just are generally just not available to them at all.
Itamar: Yes, exactly. I think the beauty is not on anyone can access these services and anyone can build a new one on top of existing. It's really, totally open. As you say, you don't need to put trust into a company to a certain service. It's ruled by the code and in this case of compound, you can pull out your funds at any time. It's extremely flexible and simple to use.
Jeremy: It's so cool. We've moved some funds, we're getting some yield. I heard that you were going to have a friend fly over to London but it got canceled because of COVID. Maybe you need to pay that friend back for that trip and they were from Korea. Why don't we invite on your friend Ronald? Ronald, can you join us here?
Itamar: Hi, Ronald.
Jeremy: Hey, Ronald. Excellent. Welcome. Cool. Itamar owes you some money, how much does he owe you?
Ronald: He does, I believe it's 220.
Jeremy: $220. Right. We're going to beam that USDC over.
Itamar: Another great feature of Argent, you don't need fees to pay for your gas, these transaction fees. It's really easy. I pick Ronald. You said to 220, that is I owe you 220.
Jeremy: [unintelligible 00:11:37] you have similar to an email or whatever.
Itamar: Exactly, it feels the same than sending money in the US through Venmo. I've just picked Ronald in my address book. Sorry, I went a bit fast but I literally saved his address. Now I pick 220 USDC and that's it. I confirm my transaction. As you can see, there is no fee. It's just free to send and that's it. I would say 10, 15 seconds, and Ronald should have the USDC in his account.
Jeremy: That's pretty awesome. One of the themes that we talk about a lot is interoperability and open networks. People generally, when you talk to the average person, they're like, "I don't know what the hell that means." The benefit here is you're not locked into a single app. Circle business account is a service. You have a wallet that any user can use. Ronald has a wallet service that he runs in Korea and these all can speak to each other just like our email systems and message systems can speak to each other. It's super cool.
Well, thanks for joining for this, Itamar. This has been incredibly illustrative and obviously, I love what you're doing. Thanks for sending along the money.
Itamar: Thanks, Jeremy. Over to you, Ronald.
Ronald: Yes. Thanks a lot, Itamar.
Jeremy: Excellent. Welcome. I'm so happy to have you on the program and excited to do this with you.
Ronald: Hi, Jeremy. It's really nice to see you again. Should I share my screen?
Jeremy: Yes, go ahead. I was going to just maybe start just a little bit. ProBit. You guys operate a wallet service and you operate an exchange. It provides this great experience for people who are both trading but also sending or receiving payments and moving funds from say a stablecoin like USDC into Korean won?
Ronald: Yes, exactly. Right here in ProBit which is based out and started in Korea, we have created a fiat to crypto exchange, which means that anybody that wants to trade between crypto to fiat, crypto to Korean won, in this case, or from Korean won into crypto, or crypto to crypto, will be able to do so very easily on ProBit exchange. You can see here if anybody's interested, all you have to do is sign up, takes 10 seconds. Only needs an email address and then you will be able to participate in all the trading functions that we offer on ProBit.
Jeremy: For people in Korea, obviously because you can connect the Korean banking, this is a really powerful way if you're moving value to do that. Obviously, there's the trading side of this. Then there's a wallet side of this, which is connected to the same open protocols, connected through the Ethereum network to protocols like USDC to be able to send and receive these digital dollars as well.
Ronald: Exactly. Itamar mentioned just now that it's going to take me five seconds to receive the USDC and it actually has. If I were to go and check it out in my wallet, search for the USDC, I would be able to see it being confirming right now.
Jeremy: Excellent. For a lot of people who are maybe new to these digital currency transactions basically, there isn't some company that's processing these transactions. When a digital wallet like Argent sends a transaction, it's broadcasting that transaction to this global network of computers that are not in control of any individual or any company. It's this decentralized network of computers that are verifying all these transactions. The power of that is that there's no centralized intermediary, it's peer to peer. It works over the internet.
It also has these security capabilities, which is that this is like a resistant tamper-proof transaction system that's open and global, available for anyone to plug into. Now, these transactions on Etherium, the initial confirmation of it usually happens. I guess you would show it in your screen someone to see an incoming or receiving transaction in literally seconds. It gets broadcast, that first transaction gets picked up by the network. It usually is something like 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and then you know that you're getting it. Now obviously then your exchange, you're waiting for a few extra confirmations before you're ready to let someone use that as a currency.
Ronald: Jeremy, I would not have been able to explain it better myself. That was amazing. Just in time. I've got the money.
Jeremy: You got the money from Boston to London, to Korea, really and with basically no cost or just like 10 cents so far.
Ronald: It's really cheap. Now you can see that I've been credited with this 220 USDC in the middle of the screen. I have two items I would like to get done. First of all, I would like to show you how you can withdraw it into part of the traditional Korean banking system. If you follow me here on the screen, I would go over to the exchange. I will need more or less 100 USDC to be exchanged.
Jeremy: I think this is like that for the average person. There's currency exchange. Sometimes you do it at the airport, sometimes you do it online. You have a really sophisticated system where people can make large trades, et cetera. Someone who is even like a day trader of dollars and won could do that but even a simple transaction like taking a couple of 100 USDC and converting it to won, you can do that in a couple of clicks.
Ronald: Yes, exactly right. In the most simplest form, this is a money changer. I'm now changing between crypto to fiat, now changing between US dollars to something that represents Korean won. The two ways I can go about doing it, the simplest way would be to find a place that I want to and I need 100 USDC. If you look at the bottom right-hand corner, I've decided that I want to sell 100 USDC at this Korean won rate, 1,199.05 which, by the way, is a very good rate.
Jeremy: It's much, much, cheaper than the 3%, 4%, all these crazy fees that banks charge. It's totally insane. We're doing this super fast, super cheap. That's awesome. You're going to convert it to won.
Ronald: You mentioned the airport. If you were to transfer or to change at the airport, it would cost you even more with, the comissions and stuff, and this one is really fast free. I would go continue by selling and take a note of how much Korean won balance I have now. I have some small change. This is not even anything and then once I click it, I have a certain amount of Korean won as you can see over here. You can see that my USDC balance has decreased by 100. Exactly what I said.
Once I've got the Korean won value here, I can choose to withdraw it into the Korean traditional banking system. This is the amount that I have in my wallet and well, I changed the bank account number so that my private information is not up there but it would look like this. All I need to do is choose an amount that I would like to withdraw. This is more or less $150. All I have to do is withdraw this and click this and right now, it's 9:20 PM where I am. The banks are not going to process it-
Jeremy: The legacy banking system is slow.
Ronald: They let us down today. [laughs]
Jeremy: We can move money on the internet at the speed of the internet and radically cheaper and much more easily for people in businesses but all right, at this point, this is great though. The important thing is here anyone in the world who's got USDC can go to Korea with it, get into someone in Korea. They can very cheaply get it in won and get it into their bank much, much easier than in a lot of other ways.
Jeremy: That's awesome. Cool. I understand that you work with a freelance software developer in Argentina, that there's a team there and there was a small project you worked on. Maybe we can invite Sebastien in from Argentina to join us here for the next leg of the transaction.
Ronald: Yes, I work with Sebastien and he's really cool. I will be giving him what I owe him, which is about 120 USDC, and with him being in Argentina at all-- Oh, here he is.
Jeremy: Hey, Sebastien.
Sebastien: Hi everyone. Hi, Jeremy and Ronald.
Jeremy: Hey, welcome. How's it in Buenos Aires?
Sebastien: Today, I'm actually in Sao Paolo.
Jeremy: Sao Paolo, okay.
Sebastien: Ripio is a crypto wallet, we started in 2013. I've been before in the job of refreshing. We provide similar services as ProBit does.
Jeremy: Actually, I want to have you talk about that in a moment.
Sebastien: Yes, let's do the transfer.
Jeremy: We're going to get this transfer. There's still 120 USDC left. He got some in the Korean won and now, he's going to pay you back, I guess.
Ronald: Yes, exactly. Right now, let me pay you first-
Ronald: -and then I'm going to withdraw it. It's like you said, it's going to take as much time as the internet does right after I fill in my codes.
Jeremy: It is pretty typical because this is digital money and one of the things about digital currency is it's a little bit like cash. If I give you a $100 bill, you have it. You can go with it and digital currency is similar. It's an irreversible transaction. It's really important that wallets and services that people use have good security controls. Things like these two-step verification codes and even double security like confirm it through an email.
Ronald: That's me.
Jeremy: Yes, that's good. Another confirmation with an authentication code on a mobile device. These security features are really key when you're using digital money and you're using it on the internet. Awesome.
Sebastien: They also make it cheaper. This also means that, for example, there are no chargebacks. Credit cards have a lot of cost with them because the transactions are reversible. That's a lot of pressure on merchants into having to have extra security, extra controls.
Sebastien: This is not necessary.
Jeremy: Much better for people in businesses who want to know when you send that money it's good and it's a final transaction and it's secure. Those are definitely big, big benefits of digital currency. Awesome. Ronald, thank you so much for joining us in this journey around the world with digital currency and USDC.
Ronald: Thank you and the USDC was really happy in its time in Korea today, I'm sure.
Jeremy: Awesome. Cool. Thanks. Excellent. Sebastien, it's nice to see you again. Maybe as you were starting, I think it'd be great if you want to talk a little bit about Ripio and a little bit about the importance of digital currency in Latin America and Argentina, and stablecoins as well.
Sebastien: Totally. I think this is not only on always but also, in this particular time, it's very important and we're seeing a lot of developments around that. As I was saying, Ripio is a wallet in South America. Our main countries are Argentina and Brazil. That's why I'm in Brazil right now. We have over 450,000 users across the region. We started the business with a mission to provide access into digital assets and into bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
We allow people to buy and sell bitcoin and Ethereum and stablecoins across the region with their bank accounts. We also have interrelations and partnerships with networks. I have, for example, convenience stores where you can go with cash and load your wallet and convert physical cash into digital money, which basically is to enable people to access the online economy across Latin America. More than half of the population doesn't have access to financial services, traditional or formal or semiformal and this is a completely new system.
Earlier we determine you can just load digital money and access to [unintelligible 00:26:22] and give access to lending, which is things that a big percent of the population around the world literally don't have access to. Also in the-
Jeremy: This is really empowering for people in South America and many, many participating in the global financial system, making use of their own money. It's safer, more secure, more efficient. Ripio plays a really critical role because you're providing this wallet service but you're also providing this connection with the existing money systems in some of these markets.
Sebastien: Yes, and not only that. Also, currently in emerging markets, we have very high inflation. Argentina, for example, is having 3%, 4% inflation monthly. We have last year 40% inflation. The currency this year alone has dropped more than 50% and this is typical and exchange rates are varied depending on how you're flowing money. That has put a lot of pressure and having access to stablecoins is a very good way to save with less volatility than crypto, I will say long-term crypto flow.
Jeremy: We've been talking a lot on the show here about in the current global macro environment with all the economic stresses in so many countries. These intense interventions by governments is going to create these challenging situations for currencies. Digital currency is definitely a little bit of an escape valve and it's a way for people to leapfrog into this new internet-based digital economy. Maybe, if you want to bring up Ripio and show the wallet experience and we had some USDC sent your way.
Sebastian: Okay, this is my account.
Sebastian: I have a few pesos here and then basically, certainly is this my personal [unintelligible 00:28:37] account. I have ₱141 that I keep switching between pesos and reals in the form of Brazilian.
Jeremy: I see. The symbol.
Sebastian: This symbol is real's but I'm actually having the account in pesos right now. I have a few pesos and if I go into the wallet then-- for some reason I'm having the address here that-- the transaction rather. Basically, I have some bitcoins from USDC and then here, I can buy or sell USDC. Let's say I want to sell $50 of USDC. I just can go here and let's say-
Jeremy: Try to sell like 30.
Sebastian: Yes, I can just convert very easily.
Jeremy: It's similar to what we saw with ProBit. You've got a really simple interface where you've received this USDC and you can just instantly convert it into-
Sebastian: Totally. Then over here it's we have a much simpler wallet as you see compared with ProBit because we are trying to aim into larger audiences. We want to be a very simple wallet that anybody can use because we're aiming into mainstream and there's not-- This interface has much less tools and buttons to press and get things wrong. For example, if I was getting $10 and selling it through the traditional system, say what's been paid as a freelancer across the world or using banks, rather than having almost ₱1,200, I will be getting 700. That's how much difference there is between using stablecoins and the traditional banking system.
Jeremy: That's incredible. Obviously, for the person receiving that, that's radically better, change your life better. For a business that's paying someone remotely, they want them to get as much as possible. Obviously, in the banking system, it doesn't happen at the speed of the internet, it happens just incredibly painfully, and slowly. You just-
Sebastian: I just sell some USDC into pesos, now I have more pesos in my account. If I want to withdraw, we have two options to withdraw; we'll do a withdrawal to a bank account, a very traditional thing to do. Hopefully, we are in the morning in South America, this will get processed and it will be in the same day with no fees. We also-
Jeremy: That's great. Local banking, same day, no fees. Okay, we get that but tell us about Mercado Pago.
Sebastian: We have an integration with Mercado Pago which is basically the wallet of Mercado Libre which is like the Amazon of South America. You can buy literally anything online. We have a direct integration with them across the region so I could buy anything. Like say I need a new bicycle, I will be being able to buy. This will go instantly 24/7.
Jeremy: Instant 24/7. We like that. It's on the internet now.
Sebastian: There's no fees. [unintelligible 00:32:25] it would be like freelancing, getting paid in stablecoins, and then being able to literally buy anything online with this money and become a digital citizen that is joins an economy that is global.
Jeremy: What's incredible about that is people can store value in dollars, they're hedging on that inflation, they control that. Then when they need to buy something on Mercado Libre or they need to pay their utility bill in the local currency, you can convert and transfer out and take care of that. Obviously, Mercado Libre is almost all the things that you might need locally.
Jeremy: Very cool.
Sebastian: Let me check one thing.
Jeremy: Up there you got the USDC.
Sebastian: [inaudible 00:33:20] is just through the USDC from Ronald. Basically, we are doing this in just minutes and it's going across the world and it's extremely powerful. It's going to change the world.
Jeremy: Incredible. We've gone from a business in Boston to a contractor in London who could have been anywhere in the world with his wallet to a friend in Korea, into the bank, Korean wan and banking system, and then over to Latin America. You've got funds, you can store those securely, you're able to instantly get them into your marketplace to buy goods and services that you need, but you can protect your value with dollar value as well. This is all in, I think, less than 30 minutes so far. That's pretty good. Very cool.
Now, I think, of course, as someone who's-- you're working from home, we're all working from home, many of us are working from home, you also need to be able to participate in the broader digital economy outside of your regional marketplace like Mercado Libre. I think one of the things that we want to highlight is how things like USDC and Circle APIs and what we're doing can empower commerce marketplaces, and all kinds of marketplaces around the world to participate in the benefits of this.
I'd like to actually invite Joao from Circle who's head of product at Circle to join us here. We'll come back to your screen in a little bit but you can stay on if you want. Actually, no, I'll have Joao come over and then we'll have you come back in a few minutes, Sebastian.
Sebastian: Let's do it.
Joao: Hi, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Hey, man, welcome.
Joao: Thanks for having me.
Jeremy: Cool. Joao is head of product here at Circle. Before we maybe dive into the next piece of this demo, I think one of the things that I want to emphasize, and it really connects very much to what we were just talking about with Sebastian, is we have this vision of a new way that internet commerce can take place. A way that is built on digital currency, built on stable coins, things like USDC. We believe that internet businesses everywhere are going to want to plug into this because of the benefits, the efficiency, the speed.
In particular, we think commerce marketplaces are going to be a really interesting kind of business. We actually, just in the past quarter, launched a whole set of APIs. These APIs are for developers but it's for businesses that want to connect the power of these open networks and connect the power of things like USDC into how they settle payments. Not just from people who are paying them but also, increasingly, these marketplaces have suppliers and sellers and creators from all around the world. Creating a really seamless way to pay out on a mass basis to all these different types of businesses.
Maybe, Joao, you can bring us into an actual marketplace example that we're using here in this demo.
Joao: Absolutely. Let's talk about that, we were talking about working from home. Why don't we give Sebastian some better gear for working from home? Can you guys see my screen?
Joao: This is a marketplace that we have built just to explain a sample situation around how a marketplace operator, as Jeremy said, can leverage Circle APIs and USDC to effectively cover a much broader part of the world in a much easier and faster way. Sebastian, I'm going to go ahead and-
Jeremy: If I'm noticing this correctly, this is a furniture marketplace out of Indonesia?
Joao: It's out of Indonesia, yes, exactly. You see some prices in Indonesian rupees. I'll select this chair for you, Sebastian, I hope you like it. I'll add it to my cart. I'll continue to check out-
Jeremy: It looks good.
Joao: This is just as any other marketplace people would be familiar with on the internet. Let's say at this point, I have filled out my delivery information, I'll continue to the payment method, and here I will choose to pay with USDC.
Jeremy: All right, awesome.
Joao: Then I'll maybe stop sharing and let Sebastian make a payment.
Jeremy: Basically, in this case, this marketplace using Circle wallet APIs is like generating one-time payment addresses for USDC payments that are coming into the marketplace. Now that this is here, someone say in Argentina or Brazil or wherever who has USDC can now make that payment. Maybe if you stop sharing, we can go back over to Sebastian, who can pay you that 59 USDC.
Sebastian: All right, let's do it. I'm going to share back my screen. Basically, I'm going to do it. Before we were going to say 59, now we say USDC. I'm going to put high commission. Then that was the address that was on the secure code that I copy. When you send--
Sebastian: That's it. Something I could show that we haven't mentioned is that this is an open network and these transactions are going across the world but there is-- we can all see the transaction going. That was the hash and that is the transaction going into this network of computers. This is an explorer of the blockchain, this is something that all of us can see.
Jeremy: The whole world can see every transaction happening. They don't know who's sending it or what or where it's from, they just-- you can see these transactions. There's a record of the transactions that are out on the internet that are happening in real-time. That's super cool.
Sebastian: We're going to stop showing so we can go into-
Jeremy: We'll go back to Joao. Joao, maybe you could just talk for a moment about what it is that this marketplace is actually-- what they're using, how they're building that, and how to integrate in.
Joao: Yes, absolutely. Then I'll re-share my screen in a second just to show that last payment screen to illustrate what we are talking about. Basically, what we are facilitating for these businesses and e-commerce businesses and marketplace businesses around the world is the ability to now move into this tech stack that involves stablecoin and public blockchains in a much easier way that I think was not quite possible up until now. We have two main APIs that we offer for businesses. One is called a payments API and the other one is called a wallets API.
You can use the two to really provide your end-users with the ability to collect payments in multiple ways. I don't know if you guys remember, but on the payment screen, there were two payment options, one to pay with credit cards, and one to pay with USDC. Those two payment options are basically leveraging either the payments API where we collect payments from traditional methods and settle in USDC with the merchant, or the wallets API, in which you can collect payments in actual USDC such as providing an address, as we did with Sebastian.
The beauty of those two APIs is that they can have common settlement in USDC for the merchant. The merchant really now, with our APIs, they're able to only look at USDC coming from all of these different payment channels, whether they are more traditional or raw USDC. Then since they have USDC, obviously, settlement is much faster. As Jeremy said, they can do mass payouts to the other side of these marketplaces, the supplier, the manufacturer of that chair. They can do these mass payouts in a much, much easier way and we can have a look at that as well.
Jeremy: With the payments API, you can also take traditional credit card payments. If you're a marketplace and people want to pay you with the Visa or MasterCard from hundreds of countries as well, you can get those card payments but also get that in USDC and receive that in USDC. People are paying you with cards, but you as the marketplace are actually getting it in a stable coin, which has the incredible power and reach of the internet.
Joao: That's right. I'm sharing my screen here, you guys didn't see but basically, at some point, the marketplace was checking for that address and saw obviously a few confirmations. It turned into this page here. It's basically thanking me for the order because it has observed the initial payment of those 59 USDC. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to flip to another perspective, which would be a perspective-
Jeremy: I was just going to say here, we've got a supplier or a seller and I want to invite Sumit on to join us for this part of the demo. Go ahead, Joao, you can start talking about what's going on.
Joao: Imagine as with every marketplace, you need some capability for the suppliers in the marketplace to get paid. This is a sample screen where the manufacturer of that chair, they would have logged in on their account and they would see, "Oh, great, I got paid for some of my products or goods that I sold on the marketplace." In this case, they got paid 57.50 because obviously, the marketplace has to make a living so there was a fee taken here. Let's say that, Sumit he's going to be the supplier in this case.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to withdraw this balance of USDC that the supplier got on the marketplace, and I'm going to be sending this to Sumit's wallet. Hopefully, we'll see that there in a few minutes.
Jeremy: Okay, so in this case, the payment method of the supplier is they can receive payment from the marketplace in a stablecoin?
Joao: Exactly, exactly.
Jeremy: They just have essentially, an address on file where they're receiving these funds?
Joao: Right, right. There's a lot of possibilities that we can imagine for that last mile. That's typically a huge pain point for marketplaces is how do you actually pay individuals and companies in all of these places around the world? Obviously, USDC can reach anywhere where the internet is but Circle also has APIs to facilitate payouts in bank accounts. I think there's a lot of innovation that can be thought about how you can have these USDC wallets for anyone around the world and how you can associate traditional payment instruments that can be backed by those wallets.
Those would be ways that people can actually participate in the economy in ways that they can't really today.
Jeremy: Very, very cool. Sumit, are you with us? All right, awesome. Welcome.
Sumit: Yes, thank you, Jeremy, for having me on the show.
Jeremy: Yes, absolutely. Wow, thank you so much for pulling together the marketplace in Indonesia and having those funds flow through. I guess they're on their way to India now. Thanks, Joao.
Joao: No problem.
Jeremy: Cool. Sumit, great to see you again, and welcome. You're in India, and CoinDCX is a company you helped found and are CEO. You're connecting India to this greater world of global digital currency. Maybe just talk to us for a minute about what you're up to and the mission you have and how it connects here.
Sumit: Sure, sure, Jeremy. We have been running CoinDCX for more than two years now. We are currently the India's largest exchange. At CoinDCX, Indians can buy or sell 300 plus crypto assets with Indian rupees, they can do margin trading, they can do spot trading, futures, lending. We have built a suite of products that Indian people can get access to via CoinDCX. In terms of what we are doing is we are also planning to bring 50 million Indians into crypto. We are [inaudible 00:46:22]
Jeremy: All right, we lost you. You're back?
Sumit: Yes, sorry.
Jeremy: All right. That's okay. Cool. Yes, 50 million people.
Sumit: Yes, 50 million people into crypto. The whole platform was designed in a very simple way where any individual can very seamlessly buy or sell any cryptocurrency with Indian rupees.
Jeremy: Right. You're also connected to USDC and so these protocol for moving digital dollars around, it connects into India. If I'm a business that is a supplier in India, I could get these digital dollars and then get them into rupee. Or if I'm a freelancer or a contractor or some other individual in India, I can also receive funds instantly, cheaply as well. Maybe you can take us through and give us a view of actually, how that works for folks.
Sumit: Sure, sure. Let me just share my screen with you, Jeremy. Can you see my screen now?
Jeremy: Yes, absolutely.
Sumit: This is how the platform looks like. Here on the platform, people can buy USDC with Indian rupees. For everyone's reference, I'll just try buying USDC worth ₹100. I'll click on this buy order and then confirm, and then done. I got 1.28 USDC in my wallet. Similarly, I just saw that I received around 50 USDC on my wallet. Let me just see whether I received it. Yes, I got 50. It is currently 57.5, pending two confirmations. I've got USDC in my CoinDCX wallet.
Jeremy: Similar to the others like that transaction that came from that marketplace, as a supplier, you cashed out and now in CoinDCX, you see it. It's incoming and within minutes, it's going to be available for trading into things and actually even converting into Indian rupee.
Sumit: Yes, correct. While we are receiving that, I'll also tell you what other things the Indians can do on the platform. They can do spot trading with INR markets, they can do margin trading futures. This is our flagship product so people can convert their crypto, liquidate their crypto to INR. Recent update in Indian market as banking ban just got lifted three months ago and we have already seen a demonstrable impact on individuals who are using crypto in new ways.
One such example, we can see is a Indian KYC verified CoinDCX user who also happens to be a freelancer and expecting some payment in this case it's $57.5. Rather than waiting for bank to release this payment, which typically takes days and charges exorbitant rate in commissions, he chooses to use CoinDCX and liquidate his crypto USDC to INR. Let me just give you an example here. Here in the balance, you can see ₹240,000. I'll just sell 57.5 USDC and convert that into INR.
Here you can see the freelancer will get ₹4,422 in his wallet, right? Let me just try to--
Jeremy: How does that compare to fees that a bank would charge for receiving and converting dollars and so on? Obviously, this is happening at the speed of the internet, in minutes, and moving of it over the internet's effectively close to free. How does compare in terms of the amount that a bank might charge?
Sumit: Bank charges quite a lot. It varies from 3% to 5% or even higher depending upon bank to bank and the forex rate that we get is also-- The freelancers lose out a lot. That's approximately 5% difference that the people lose out on such transactions if they are using a traditional gateway but with CoinDCX, if you're registered on CoinDCX, you can immediately liquidate your crypto. In this case, it is completely free of cost. You will get at the best price.
You will get ₹4,422 in your wallet. Let me just confirm the transition and in a matter of seconds, done. I got ₹4,422 in my wallet. Here you can see the wallet balance increased.
Sumit: Now what the freelancer wants is, he wants this money in his bank account. What I'll do here is I will try to place a withdrawal request of ₹4,422 and it will come to the verified bank account. Let me just confirm the transaction. While I'm doing that, typically it takes-- the transition happens within seconds so within a matter of few seconds the person gets money in the bank account. Here the request is completed. Now what happens next is automatically, the money gets credited to the bank account of the freelancer.
Jeremy: Amazing. From Argentina to a marketplace in Indonesia, to your digital wallet into rupee at a virtually zero cost and into a Indian bank account in seconds which is pretty freaking sweet. That's awesome.
Sumit: Here you can see I just got ₹4,422 rupees exactly without any cost. It is credited already to my bank account.
Jeremy: That is super cool. I'm going to have us wrap up. If you can stop sharing your screen and then everyone else, all the guests, if you guys can all just pop back on here for a minute, that would be awesome. Excellent. Ronald.
Jeremy: Sebastian. All right, awesome. That worked. I can't believe that worked.
Jeremy: I think it's so cool and it's so cool to have obviously entrepreneurs from all around the world innovating in regional markets, in global markets, creating these tools that every person with a mobile phone can use. Eventually, I think very certainly in the next couple of years hundreds of millions of people can start to use. The benefits I think hopefully from this are going to be really clear to folks. Any final thoughts from any of you guys on what we just did today?
Itamar: We are way ahead of schedule.
Itamar: It looks so fast and it's really cool.
Sebastian: It also shows how easy it will be to integrate the economy globally. Compare this to doing it with Swift through banks. It's just not only the front end, what is happening to the user which is days of waiting and international wires, it's also on the backend. It's so much trust and accounting for every transaction, so much ways into fraud prevention. This just works seamlessly as [unintelligible 00:54:11] to the internet and it has these all benefits.
We did it in less than an hour. At least my transaction costs 50 cents, it could have been for millions of dollars. It's nice. Incredible powerful.
Itamar: I think, Jeremy, your point, we're all from different companies. Argent has never been in touch with any of these companies and our products are fully compatible and can incorporate. I think that's amazing.
Jeremy: Open standard, interoperability. This is how the internet grew so big and this is how we're going to take over the global digital account.
Sebastian: We never had to integrate anything, talk with each other. Their system just worked because it's like sending emails.
Jeremy: That is [unintelligible 00:54:56] proof, secure and cheap as well which is pretty cool. I know all of us, there's a lot of heavy lifting in what we're creating to make this all possible on different parts. There's creating awesome consumer experiences, there's in each of those markets whether it's Korea or Latin America or the US or India, making sure we're working with regulators, making sure we're doing things compliantly, we're handling knowing our customers and all these kinds of things. Everybody is making it possible.
Sebastian: Being this open, it allow us to be different people working on a common goal and focusing in-- We divided the problem. We don't have to care about how compliance works in India, we just work in Latin America, we work with local realtors, we do all that needs to be done to make it possible here. Everybody is working in this like it's in a global scale with no coordination.
Jeremy: Yes, it's pretty awesome. I want to thank everyone. Thank all you guys for helping make this happen. We pulled this together pretty fast and my greatest hope is that people who have heard about digital currency, who've heard about things like stablecoins, who've heard about crypto, but don't really get it, get the power of this and what's it's going to do for the world economy and for people and their needs and how they're going to participate in the economic system. I hope this helps really shed some more light on that for everyone. Thank you all for joining today and we will see you online very soon.
Sebastian: Bye, everyone.
Joao: Thanks, Jeremy.
Ronald: Thanks, everyone.
Jeremy: Thanks, you guys.
Sumit: Thank you, Jeremy. Enjoyed it.
Jeremy: I am really happy with how that all came together. Really incredible to see this global economic system developing in front of us. Tremendous work from amazing entrepreneurs. Making things possible that have never been possible before. Really, really grateful. Next week, we have a very special guest for an extended one-on-one Fireside chat or conversation with Lawrence H. Summers, former US Secretary of Treasury, a major player in the global economic system in the world, a great thinker.
He's going to be joining me to discuss global macroeconomic issues in the context of the global financial crisis that is continuing to unfold, and really explore the role of digital currency in the future of the international monetary system. Taking things like we saw happening today, how do we actually take that to the next level and really make that more core to the international monetary system? It'll be a really excellent discussion, I'm sure. Until next week, stay well, stay safe and stay informed.
[00:58:15] [END OF AUDIO]