Everex: Digitizing Currencies on Ethereum for Financial Inclusion in Developing World

EverexEverex SingaporePosts: 2Member
Our plan is to make cross-border payments easy and affordable for everyone, using 'cryptocash' - national currencies held in reserve at financial institutions & digitized on the Ethereum blockchain. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the project.

About 2.5 billion people across the developing world today have no access to banking or basic financial services, according to McKinsey & Company.
Providing workable financial services to this population is often tagged as a key step towards eliminating world poverty and bootstrapping economies. Everex is deploying its solution on Ethereum blockchain technology to do just that.

Working in partnership with banks, money-service businesses (MSBs), and currency exchangers, Everex is creating effective solutions to reduce overheads and compliance costs — and at the same time making financial services more accessible to billions more people in the future.
  • Everex has identified the following priorities to address using their technology:
  • Direct global remittances between developing countries;
  • A peer-to-peer (P2P) online payments for e-commerce;
  • Decentralized P2P exchanges for local currencies;
  • 0.27% transaction fees and settlement within seconds.
Introducing the ‘Cryptocash’ concept

To smooth cross-border transactions and enable fast conversions and settlements, Everex has created the novel concept of ‘Cryptocash’. Cryptocash is a unit of existing local fiat currency, digitized on the Ethereum blockchain. Each Cryptocash unit has value pegged to (and a name based on) the currency it represents — eg: US Dollar (USDEX), Thai baht (THBEX), Philippines peso (PHPEX), or Indian rupee (INREX), and more.

All Cryptocash balances are provably underwritten by actual balances held in accounts with well capitalized and licensed financial institutions. Users simply convert their cash (both paper or digital) to Cryptocash at their local bank branch or currency exchange kiosk and transfer them over blockchain peer-to-peer, using wallets kept on mobile phones or desktop browsers — wherever in the world they are.

Cryptocash opens up a new world of fast and affordable remittances, payments, and even decentralized investment opportunities to anyone with a smartphone. It’s not necessary for any user to have a bank account — though it is a useful option for those with access to one.

As for the banks and money service businesses, not maintaining individual accounts for every customer can save millions on compliance costs. Everex’s technology allows them to create new products to service new customers without needing to open new accounts for them.

Problems Everex solves

Global remittance. Long lines at counters during restrictive business hours, pages of analog paperwork, high fees and lengthy delays — all common experiences for expat workers.

All popular remittance networks today are centralized and control not only how money moves, but also exchange rates. Filipino workers in Singapore send SGD and their families receive Philippines pesos (PHP). At the point of origin they may pay a fixed S$4 on any amount. This seems reasonable, until you look at the currency exchange rates, which can be extremely uncompetitive — and most customers don’t even realize it.

When Everex explored the cost of sending money from Thailand to Myanmar, the FX spread was a massive 12% — while Burmese remitters thought they were paying a fixed fee of only 200 THB.

Online payments. It’s not only remitters and their families paying a high price to transfer money. High probability of chargebacks and high network association fees lead online payment processors to press exorbitant costs onto online merchants dealing in the cross-border segment of e-commerce.
Payment processing fees in the 10% range are quite common, in addition to overboard 10% rolling reserves held for 180 days. Payout times for international online merchants are at best weekly, and come with bank transfer fees.

Currency exchanges. As the largest cross-border financial service, FX trading has its own challenges. Handling customer deposits and withdrawals often result in long delays, high fees, and even the inability to transmit funds between countries. Access and safety of the funds on deposit is another problem facing customers of FX brokers.

Opportunities for banks, financial services companies

Everex sees banks and financial services companies as financial partners to be responsible for underwriting cryptocash underlying assets, and distribution of the cryptocash, while the blockchain has the power to secure transactions between them.

The business opportunities for banks and other financial partners lie in the issuing, underwriting and trading sides. Everex does not touch any exchange between fiat and crypto currencies. This aspect is entirely up to the banks to manage and set the respective fees as they wish.

As a technology partner that does not handle funds, Everex only charges 0.27% fees for transactions between wallets — transactions for financial partners are free.

Financial services for the future

It’s an exciting time to be working in financial services, whether you’re an existing bank with millions of customers or a startup looking to disrupt.

The combined breakthroughs of blockchain, cryptocurrency and smart contract technologies are about to change forever the way the world does business. A global shift in the way people view and interact with money is in progress.

The ‘Everex Transfer’ wallet app is free and available for anyone to download and view, and the company welcomes any feedback. The wallet is currently offered on Android with a compatible online version available from https://th.everex.cash.

Everex’s technology team has already released the Ethereum custom token viewer Ethplorer.io, and will be releasing its “aeon links” / proof of existence / blockchain record storage service Chainy.link in a few weeks.

Everex wallet services are currently available to Thailand-based customers, with services to be expanded rapidly across the region and world once the system has been tested thoroughly and required adjustments made.

Why use Ethereum?

Ethereum is a versatile blockchain platform aimed at creating ‘smart contracts’ — financial arrangements far beyond simple transactions. The platform is ideal for the transfer and instant conversion of multiple different assets — including Cryptocash and other digital tokens yet to be invented.

On the Ethereum blockchain, all transactions are P2P and transparent, meaning they are verifiable via the permanent public record.

Everex has previously worked with other public blockchain-based projects, but settled on the more versatile Ethereum smart contracts platform. Ethereum allows a wider range of functions needed to present viable financial solutions to the developing world.

Original article posted on Medium.com

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