Although opponents of cryptocurrency continue to peddle environmental damage or terrorist financing, users from countries where most people are economically excluded see this as a breakthrough innovation.
Encryption utility inspires volatility solutions
For example, for undocumented immigrants, cryptocurrency provides a faster and cheaper way to send money to loved ones. For users living in countries with unstable currencies, cryptocurrency can be used as an alternative store of value. Cryptocurrency also played a protective role during the period of hyperinflation. In some places, small businesses are now using cryptocurrencies for cross-border payments.
However, despite the increasing use of cryptocurrency, many companies and merchants are still reluctant to accept crypto payments. One of the challenges frequently mentioned by African businessmen is related to the fluctuation of cryptocurrency prices. From a merchant’s point of view, this unpredictability makes these alternatives to fiat currencies less attractive.
In order to overcome this particular challenge, there must be a solution that protects merchants’ cryptocurrency revenue from violent price fluctuations. Over the years, many start-ups have been trying to provide solutions to this problem, but have not achieved much success. In South Africa, a fintech startup, 6DOT50, claims to have created a solution, which is now used by approximately 40,000 merchants. To learn more about this solution, Bitcoin.com News contacted Warren Venter, the founder and CEO of the startup, via email.
Bitcoin.com News (BCN): When did you start operating?
Warren Went (WV): The company was established in 2019, and its first product was launched in May 2020 because domestic employers were unable to pay cash employees’ wages because of the five-level blockade in South Africa. This has accelerated the development of the business and the launch of our digital rand currency notes.
BCN: What made you have this idea?
Vivi: Traditional banking systems have failed billions of people around the world by charging high fees and challenging document requirements, keeping them excluded from the digital economy. By introducing our credential-based model, as an alternative store of value, 6DOT50 can provide any individual with free access to bank-level trading accounts without having to meet the KYC requirements related to opening a bank account.
There is a gap between the world of cash and cryptocurrency and the world of actual production industries. We believe that cryptocurrency and fiat currency will coexist at the same time, so we build a bridge between different currency worlds by providing a service that converts physical cash and cryptocurrency into digital representation of fiat currency, so that cash and encrypted payments are in our The bank card becomes an acceptable merchant network.
Unlike traditional financial technology solutions, 6DOT50 is not a regulated business, and its focus is to make it easier for people to access and use traditional bank accounts. Our unique value proposition is to use our digital currency vouchers as an alternative way to store funds, send and receive funds, and pay for goods and services without having to have a bank account.
BCN: You said that more than 40,000 merchants use your digital voucher solution. Is this a sign of the popularity of cryptocurrencies, or is it just a reflection of how much work your company has invested in this area?
Vivi: In order for our digital currency coupons to meet the main functions of currency, we need to ensure that our products can act as a medium of exchange and enable our users to conduct transactions. By building a bridge between the cash world, the crypto world and the fiat currency world where merchants participate, we can provide merchants with competitive settlement fees and accept digital payments from traditional cash customers. Our recent integration provides conversion from cryptocurrency to fiat currency, allowing merchants to access cryptocurrency value without having to accept cryptocurrency as payment. Expanding our business footprint locally and internationally is a key component of our platform products.
BCN: Many fintech startups have tried to provide a solution or service to protect merchants from extreme cryptocurrency price fluctuations, but they all ended in failure. What is the difference of 6DOT50 that makes you confident in the success of your solution?
Vivi: Unlike many fintech startups that have been trying to develop solutions for merchants to directly accept encrypted payments from users, we believe that the crypto world and the fiat currency world will coexist. By building a bridge between the value of cryptocurrency and the value of legal tender, we make cryptocurrency an acceptable method of payment by bank card. Our currency vouchers provide a simple and affordable conversion layer, offer crypto users a discount of legal value, and provide a seamless way for merchants to accept value without anything related to extreme crypto price fluctuations risk.
BCN: Do you plan to increase businesses from outside South Africa?
Vivi: Yes. We are launching our digital dollar currency coupons. These vouchers not only provide South Africans with an easy way to hold the value of the U.S. dollar, but they will also open the door to international business opportunities.
BCN: Have you had any contact with any of the several regulatory agencies in South Africa?
Vivi: Yes. Given the nature of our business, we work with local and international stakeholders in the regulated payment sector, and in some cases with them, to ensure that our users can access and use our digital currency vouchers.
BCN: The South African encryption industry continues to be plagued by scams. How much impact does this have on your business and the industry as a whole?
Vivi: We believe that, as a new and still unknown entity, the legitimacy of our business is best recognized by the partners and merchants we try to ensure on our platform. Well-known, trustworthy and respected brands, including Shoprite Group, Cape Union Mart Group, Famous Brands and Zapper, all accept 6DOT50 payment. We hope to provide our users with a sense of comfort, because these brands not only integrate with everyone As one, and their acceptance of 6DOT50 payment is a credit to our achievements so far. Nevertheless, we still need to win the trust of users by continuously providing innovative solutions and satisfying users through our services.
BCN: In your opinion, what do you think needs to be done to help the South African encryption industry get rid of the notion of being dominated by scams?
Vivi: Our mission is to turn cryptocurrency into a currency by enabling all merchants to accept bank card payments. Our current digital currency coupons provide a conversion layer and a store of value, which can be achieved without replacing or reinventing the current point-of-sale technology used by merchants. Pushing the availability of encryption may attract a diverse user base and attract institutional investors and millions of merchants, who may provide a new form of oversight to reduce the possibility of fraud and change perceptions.
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