The biggest problem with cryptocurrencies is the difficulty of integrating them with the rest of the currency world. People who want to buy cryptocurrencies find it painfully difficult to go through the many steps required, and the high fees discourage adoption. Banks aren’t very friendly to cryptocurrencies and the companies creating them, and decentralized entities don’t mesh well with centralized ones. We know it will take several years for cryptocurrencies to go mainstream and that there will be a multi-year overlap during which a hybrid crypto/fiat approach is necessary. With this in mind, believe that the best way to fix this is to own a bank. So we made it happen.
We found a remittances company in Costa Rica, called Remesas Instantaneas (now rebranded as Ridivi) created by two very bright guys named Yann and Stephan, who have spent the last two years perfecting the ultimate remittance platform to compete head-on with Western Union and other established competitors. During this time, they’ve acquired over 10,000 clients and refined their model to be ultra-competitive and easy to scale.
- They can open a new branch for under $6000, only two employees, no guards, and no manager.
- Their system takes only 30 seconds to process a customer’s transaction, compared with 4-5 minutes for Western Union.
- Ridivi’s customers pay half of what they would pay at Western Union.
- Setting up a new customer with an IBAN account takes only four minutes. With one of these customers can send USD, EUROs, or CRC (Costa Rica Colones) to family and friends in almost any country, from a phone app.
- Like Divi, Ridivi has a focus on customer service, treating their customers with great respect, to create a beloved brand that customers trust with their money.
We realized that a great path to mass adoption of Divi would be to start with remittances, which is nearly a $700 billion market. This remittance market is where people who live and work in one country, are regularly sending money home to family. Cryptocurrency experts know that this is a financial industry ripe for disruption if only a bank and a cryptocurrency company could work together to make that happen. The problem is that the two sides are natural enemies, so what was needed is a single entity that can do both. Yann and Stephan were aware of this too, knowing that ultimately, remittances will probably be a dead business because of cryptos and the right step was to partner with a great crypto company. Thus, it seemed to be a perfect match from our first meeting.
Although we have many plans for the mass adoption of Divi, this is one of the best of them, and it starts at the bottom, helping the people who can benefit from crypto most. Yann and Stephan have created the perfect vehicle to scale quickly, so we will open up Ridivi offices as fast as we can in all the remittance markets that we can. Five more are in the works for Costa Rica at this moment, which we hope to get open by the end of the year. Ridivi will aggressively take on Western Union directly, opening up offices right next door to them wherever we can.
What features will this bring?
Owning a Fintech, operating within existing world financial legal frameworks, allows us to revolutionize what a cryptocurrency wallet can do. So here are a few features you should expect to see in early versions:
- One-click bank fiat bank accounts (USD and EUROs) in our mobile and desktop apps, with up to $1500/mo transfer
- One-click fiat-to-DIVI and DIVI-to-fiat, making the world’s most accessible crypto on/offramp
- Wire transfers worldwide within the wallet
- Debit Cards
The metadata technology we’re building into our blockchain is ideal for fiat/crypto features. We can use it to connect a DIVI or BTC account with a bank account and the keys to access it, so that apps can make easy exchanges in the background. Our goal is to eventually bring fees close to zero, and when that happens, it opens up a new financial world. When someone can change their DIVI to dollars or to Bitcoin, or to a gold-backed token, for free, then what will they choose to hold, and what services will new types of apps provide to help people diversify their funds? The Divi platform will provide a place for entirely new classes of businesses to emerge.
More on our bank accounts
Costa Rica’s banking system allows us to offer worldwide fiat accounts with minimal KYC. All that’s needed is a scan/photo of a passport, and a phone number. We can even offer accounts to people in China and India where crypto is banned, or soon will be, leaving millions of crypto holders without a market. The limitation is that users of these types of “remittance accounts” can only receive up to US$1500 per month (there's no limit on outgoing transactions.) However, for many people in the world, that's more than enough.
However, account holders will be able to upgrade to better accounts with no limits, but that requires more standard KYC/AML, including proof of “Source of funds.” We will build an in-app KYC/AML process that creates a Portable ID, through one or more partners. This can be used throughout the Divi platform, ideally working in the background so users aren’t even aware of it.
This is huge for the crypto industry in general because the crypto-to-fiat process is so cumbersome now. We’re already in discussions with some top-tier exchanges to provide IBAN accounts for their hundreds of thousands of customers, to crypto mining companies, and will also work with ICOs and similar businesses.
How does Divi benefit from this?
Because mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies will take several years, and hasn’t even really begun yet, we believe that a great way to reach a mass audience is to build one within the existing system. Ridivi was designed to be able to take market share away from its competitors while still being profitable. Unlike our competitors in the crypto space, who are desperately looking for users and uses cases and running out of money, we now have a unique way to grow regardless of how long crypto adoption takes.
Other benefits for Divi include:
Education: Ridivi’s focus on customer service is perfect for crypto education. Since our customers trust us, we have the perfect vehicle to be able to educate people as to the benefits of crypto. We can teach them how to use our apps and how they can stay safe.
Rebates: we also have plans to use DIVI for fee rebates. Imagine that instead of giving discounts, we give users part of their fees back in DIVI. And it can be time-locked for a year or two, so it will build up like flight miles so that eventually it’s enough for these users to take an interest in learning how to use it. We can also use DIVI for prizes and contests.
Discounts: We can give clients discounts for using DIVI instead of fiat, or pay fewer fees if they use DIVI instead of cash. There are so many ways that we can find new use-cases.
Metadata: The cool stuff that happens in our wallet is all controlled through user metadata on our blockchain. DIVI will be used as a utility token to pay for the registration or modification of all that data in our DDNS (Decentralized DNS). Moving fees into the metadata realm, where real value is added, is also what allows us to remove or reduce transaction and exchange fees.
Our multi-coin, multi-currency future
The future that we envision is a token-based and coin-based economy with more variety than exists today. We don’t expect that Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies will displace government-issued fiat currencies, but instead, the two will co-exist along with other types of digital assets. The Divi App will integrate all of them to make it easy to swap between them in simple ways that are easily understood by our users. These include:
- Fiat Currencies
- Stablecoins such as Tether, USDC, Facebook’s Libra
- Utility Tokens such as ETH or EOS
- Security Tokens representing shares of startups and other companies
- Tokens of other value such as real estate, stocks, bonds, etc
While we believe that DIVI will be one of the top coins in the world, we aren’t Divi maximalists. Many people believe that the world only needs Bitcoin (or their favorite alt coin) and no other cryptocurrencies. We believe in a future in which many brands of money co-exist, each with its own appeal to different niches and demographics. Atomic swaps and frictionless, free exchanges will make this possible. Furthermore, because Divi has three ways for holders to earn more (masternodes, staking, and lottery) we believe we will become one of the most popular cryptos to hold.
The future of e-banking
The truth is that ordinary users don’t care about cryptocurrencies. They just want stuff that works, is easy, and improves their lives. We believe they will love to have access to all their digital assets in a single application.
With this goal in mind, we are creating a way to set up and create a USD and EURO account with a click. When ready, Divi wallet users will be able to click a bank icon and set it up easily, in the background, using a Portable ID (KYC/AML) created in our app using services such as ShoCard or uPort.
By streamlining this process to be an order of magnitude easier, faster, and cheaper, we believe there will be a market for hundreds of millions, or billions, of bank accounts worldwide. Coupled with the already burgeoning “Gig Economy,” our new ways of earning and investing will encourage people around the world to open multiple bank accounts for themselves and their small businesses and projects. Accounts will be free to set up and maintain, and DIVI’s coin will be an essential part.
This benefits the Divi Economy because when the system is implemented fully, fees can be discounted if paid in DIVI, requiring users to own some, and once they learn something about it, we think many will hold and use our coin, helping us to grow our user base.
We will beat the banks at their own game
As crypto-evangelists, we all are aware of the history of evil deeds of banks and their chokehold on world finances. “He who controls the money controls the world,” and so, we dream of a decentralized future, where the world’s money isn’t controlled by a few mysterious men in suits but by an alliance of people-power and math. Satoshi Nakamoto invented blockchain because of the last crash in 2008 and showed the world a better way forward. We believe that another financial crash is coming soon, and hope that this time, people will demand a better financial system. So we’re building that new economy here at Divi.
To beat the banks, we must first become them. Using open banking standards and technology, we are infiltrating the system and will underprice them, with the goal to achieve massive market share by offering better, cheaper service, especially to the world’s poor, who currently are the most abused by banks with high transaction fees and penalties.
This is Divi’s plan to go after the $700 Billion remittances market. We attack from two sides at once. From the top, we undercut the banks and remittances companies with lower prices, better service, and better technology. We will provide our customers with smartphone fiat accounts and worldwide financial inclusion. Meanwhile, from the bottom, we build crypto infrastructure and attack with near-zero fees. Nobody can beat us because, with our plan, we don’t need to charge fees to profit since we own it all, and we will locate our profits elsewhere in the value chain. Instead, we focus on acquiring a massive market share of loyal customers who become users of the Divi platform.