Blockchain innovations, cryptocurrency and new payment platforms are constantly disrupting the traditional banking and financial industry, but these technologies are not accessible to or consumable by the general population.
The existing technologies are too complex for everyday consumers, and many platforms lack a user-friendly design, making them prohibitive to late adopters.
Coming from a background at Wells Fargo, Jason Davis set out to change the way people bank with crypto to make it seamless and simple. He is introducing Hoard, a cryptocurrency wallet, exchange, and payments platform, to address this hole what’s currently available to make crypto so easy that even your grandmother can understand it.
- Can you walk me through how the current system works integrating cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies?
Basically, the current system of integrating cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies has many flaws, some of which are on the front-end and affect the user – e.g. finding a complicated numerical address that if you mistype even a single digit, your money is gone forever. On the backend, some of the aspects of both centralized and decentralized methods of exchange are either weak security-wise or liquidity-wise. When you go to a bank, you don’t think about any of these things – you just put in your money or take it out. Hoard is designed to give you that exact same feeling – you don’t need to know how it all works because it just works.
The Hoard wallet will be reinforced by a fiat gateway with advanced buying options in the future, enabling the purchase of many different cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum. The open-sourced and multi-currency Hoard mobile wallet will serve as the entry point and dashboard to the many other offerings, including a decentralized exchange.
- What are the current challenges within mobile banking/investing for cryptocurrency?
Crypto technology is complex and that often discourages adoption. Markets are hard to enter, which also blocks participation by those interested in it. Cryptocurrencies aren’t fungible like cash ... yet.
The current offerings are missing automation and intelligence to improve the experiences and investing results. This is a nightmare for everyday consumers. Rather than fragmented pieces of a puzzle, Hoard is building a cohesive ecosystem with a suite of financial tools for all blockchain-based assets.
By removing the barriers of entry and eliminating the steep learning curves, we're aiming to increase the utility and value of cryptocurrencies for all. By succeeding in these efforts, we believe that it will open new opportunities for collaboration with traditional financial services players.
- Cryptocurrency is still a relatively new process, what is your advice to help the general public learn to understand crypto?
With all emerging technologies, trends and changes, people must take their curiosity and explore. Education is a key part of any new thing -- especially in financial areas.
I recently read more about ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Web. The article highlighted how online banking services were offered to customers in the late 1990s. Those initial payment systems were not user-friendly, and there are many parallels to what we see today with blockchain, crypto and payment technologies.
At Hoard, we are aiming to help the marketplace learn and explore.
- How do you plan to develop an adoption of crypto banking? What will be the impact on the banking industry?
We often say that Hoard is the cryptocurrency app you can bank on. We’re not building a bank, we’re reinventing banking.
Many parts of the financial services arena fail to focus on the customer experience. Hoard has the potential to be a big player in payments and we don’t need banks, checking accounts, debit cards, EVM chips, point-of-sale hardware, credit, etc. We simply need to make it easy for consumers, lower the fees as much as possible, and remit cash faster.
If we do this, we'll have many in the banking industry looking to partner with us. Banks are now some of the leading organizations exploring blockchain. Many hold countless patents. They know that an evolution is happening. Many didn't want to embrace mobile banking either, but they realized what Brian Solis called "Digital Darwinism."
Consumers will expect and require different elements of digital transformation. If you fail to adapt and deliver it, you'll be left behind.
- The space seems to be coming very crowded, how do you plan to stand out?
Hoard empowers ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the world to hold, track, transfer, and transact with any tokenized assets from a mobile device ... privately, instantly, securely, and easily.
We makes crypto as simple as putting coins in a piggy bank. Our soon-to-be-launched wallet focuses on simplicity, with a state-of-the-art design that delivers a more rewarding user experience. Users won't even need to worry about the complex crypto addresses. They can simply find a contact on their device and send or request funds, even if the other person (or merchant) doesn’t have Hoard or another crypto wallet yet.
Hoard plans to:
- Connect the world to blockchain technology
- Re-invent banking as we know it
- Give power back to the people
- What is difference between this and other forms of trading within the crypto space?
Hoard is creating a bridge between the old monetary systems and the newer blockchain-based economy. We’re delivering simplified experiences over complex technologies.
Some elements of our ecosystem are centralized, like connecting to banks and converting fiat to digital currencies. Other elements are decentralized, like our blockchain protocol and cross-exchange pipeline.
In between these two worlds lives the Hoard app. This application is your personal banking interface to the tokenized economy of currencies, assets, commodities, securities, and utilities in a single location.
Together, these focus on crucial foundations for cryptocurrency and overall financial capabilities: scalability, interoperability, fungibility, accessibility, and simplicity. Open-sourced and distributed.
Simplicity is not a patent. The individual user must be able to easily adopt a technology if we expect the world to adapt to that technology. The Hoard team approaches every single interaction from the user’s perspective. It’s part of our pedigree as interaction design practitioners, highly skilled in human factoring.
Trading with Hoard focuses on the evolution of money, banking, and blockchain. The Hoard wallet is merely the first of many platform products accessible via our mobile applications.
Hoard will provide multiple trading experiences, including connections to multiple decentralized exchanges (including our own) and an offering called Swaps. The Hoard wallet will enable instant swaps between cryptocurrencies and new tokenized assets as they become available.
Our approach is to create a simpler experience, adoptable by everyone regardless of skill level. It will be as simple as a physical fiat currency exchange kiosk, without the hassle of entering a complicated trading platform or dealing with the paperwork.
- Shopping with crypto for everyday purchases – is this feasible in the near future?
Hoard believes that cryptocurrency is not simply a storage mechanism for value and investment, but an upcoming foundation for transactions of all types.
Like any emerging technology, ongoing adoption is crucial. Look at things like mobile and app-based payments. It is still ongoing, but requires consumer and business interest to establish a marketplace of uses. Once the demand occurs, merchants will start to embrace it over traditional methods like credit cards that result in extensive fees.
Besides, with our rule-based engine, people will be able to pay for their morning coffee or lunch-time tacos and invest the change in crypto. If you look across the global landscape, different types of merchants are starting to offer payment by cryptocurrency.
- What are your ICO plans, what is the timeline, and what do you plan to achieve?
Hoard is officially kicking off our ICO on September 15th. Over the past year, we have established solid relationships throughout the crypto community. People are excited about our vision. We will also be launching our mobile wallet beta app soon, illustrating that the fundraising will be used to expand on the efforts we've started, and expand on our extensive roadmap that includes fiat gateways, partnerships with industry players, and our own decentralized exchange reinforced by our upcoming second-layer blockchain network.
Additional ICO updates are being finalized and will be shared very soon.
Jason Davis is CEO of Hoard.