As the team prepares for launch, and the scheduling of a second AMA, I thought it would be helpful to revisit the first AMA and surface some highlights given the number of new community members and growing visibility of the project.
This AMA occurred on Thursday, January the 4th.
Q: What was the main reason you chose stellar?
A: Speed, no fees = Africa wins. Everybody wins.
Q: If the market cap value of RMT goes up and down dramatically like we are seeing with most cryptos, how will this affect the SureRemit ecosystem?
A: We do not expect the value of RMT to fall beyond what demand for vouchers on the platform will support. On the up-side, a more valuable RMT is generally good for the ecosystem. We only need to ensure persistent and growing demand for vouchers as a remittance instrument.
Q: What assurances are there that vendors will uphold the voucher valuation? How is RMT volatility handled?
A: For any vendor to be on the SureRemit ecosystem, there will be some agreements in place that will act as a guarantee for redemption. Also we’ve had 3 years+ track record of working with vendors upholding voucher value and don’t expect this to change. Here is a real-time dashboard showing vouchers been redeemed. We do not expect RMT to be highly volatile, as it won’t be a speculative token but an active utility token. The demand model is simple, the more immigrants send value home, the higher the demand for RMT.
Q: If I send 100 units of currency to my family member does that person receive the equivalent in store vouchers in the local currency without bearing any RMT volatility risk? And if so is SureRemit bearing that risk?
A: That’s correct. We have enough faith in the demand-driven base value of the RMT to assume that risk. If we’re going to be creating real-world applications for cryptocurrencies, we’ll need to do it boldly, especially as we don’t expect the RMT to be a speculative token (that can dangerously erode in value).
Q: Could you elaborate just a bit more on the demand driven nature of the token? I guess what’s the link from that to the sentiment RMT would not decline much in value on speculation on the exchanges?
A: We intend to have the demand for vouchers on the SureRemit platform determine the fundamental value of the RMT. The RMT’s value will hold to the extent that immigrants persistently and increasingly interact with the platform and seek to purchase vouchers using tokens. Speculation should not erode the RMT’s value beyond what the actual user-demand supports.
Quick/rough maths: If $20m a month in remittances = $x in RMT value, then any premium on $x is probably as a result of speculation. The floor of any negative speculation should there be ~$x. In other words, we just need to sustain and grow demand for vouchers on SureRemit.
Q: So SureRemit is actually acting as an exchange in one way to convert RMT (cryptocurrency) to local currency (voucher)?
A: Yes, SureRemit will allow immigrants to pay for shopping vouchers at destination countries using the RMT token, the recipients will be able to redeem equivalent value at the specified merchant location in the recipients’ country.
Q: How much per transaction is the SureGift network making right now.. and how is that comparable to what they’ll be paying on the app/token network? Will they as merchants be saving money?
As a follow on, I’d like to know what your base of gift card/voucher sellers thinks about moving off of the voucher system and onto the token system? Will they have a point of sale that allows them to issue RMT tokens there?
A: We earn good “sales commissions” from our merchants. After all, we’re driving significant volume to them that they would otherwise not have access to. This won’t change. The merchants are not moving off the voucher system, the RMT is being used as the instrument to pay for these vouchers by people all over the world on the SureRemit platform. The local recipients will still be redeeming vouchers, so nothing will change for the merchants, except for an exponential increase in sales as a result of being exposed to diaspora remittances.
AND thankfully, we’re going to be a global platform, so you’re likely to have access to vouchers even in your location (like Amazon vouchers) within the SureRemit app as well. The future is bright ;).
Q: Are participating local merchants able to sell there RMT tokens for the local currency?
A: SureRemit settles the merchant in local currency.
Q: Have you been finding yourself competing with services like BitPesa?
A: Bitpesa is doing good work in Africa to enable actual money transfers, so we’re not competing with them. In fact, Charlene Chen, the COO of Bitpesa is an advisor at SureRemit.
Q: Can you explain why you need a token for your system?
A: The primary reason is for global payment acceptance, transaction costs, speed, and security. The corridors that we target (Africa and other emerging market) are considered high-risk destinations for traditional payment system; tokenization was our break-through way of accessing the global market.
Q: How will they map RMT token to XLM to USD/local currency value and put it in vouchers? Is that going to be handled by Stellar? Or is it going to be handled by the company responsible for issuing SureGifts vouchers?
A: The utility of the RMT is to pay for bills or digital shopping vouchers. The local recipients receive these vouchers and present them to the accepting merchants at home. We already have a robust network of merchants accepting these vouchers today, and they will continue to. SureRemit settles the merchants in local currency and the liquidation of the RMT to achieve that is the responsibility of SureRemit. In the future, the merchants can elect to accept RMT directly as payment.
The company managing the merchant network satisfies any existing regulations in all countries where it’s operational.
Q: Can anyone here explain what the difference between Stellar and SureRemit are? Like isn’t this exactly what stellar is used for? What makes SureRemit relevant in comparison?
A: RMT’s main function is to facilitate “non-cash” remittances. So, the RMT will be functional in a situation where a person wants to pay for a specific product or service for another person. This is made possible as a result of our existing merchant network in places like Africa and other emerging markets.
The Stellar platform enables us to create tokens that are cheap to move around cross-border, fast and secure.
Q: Have you guys considered working with charities in the future as well? I think the payment accountability feature can do wonders for charitable donations as a lot of donors often worry about how their money is spent. If they can directly purchase goods and services by paying vendors with RMT and see their donations changing lives I’m sure a lot of people can get behind that instead of donating to Red Cross.
A: Definitely, we have actually been on the table with charities and governments in the past for disbursement of benefits for social programs (in Nigeria). For example, our voucher system powers this state government entrepreneurial support program.
The RMT will be especially useful now for international charities and development organizations that want to cut out middle-men that shave off a significant portion of charitable donations. If we have hospitals, food vendors, bills etc. on SureRemit, benefits can be disbursed directly to recipients without having to send (expensive and interceptable) cash first.
With the launch of SureRemit just a few days away (July 30th) We have an exciting few weeks ahead. This AMA occurred six months ago so you can find additional updates across SureRemit Facts. Try the FAQ, Key Milestones, and Media pages for starters. We also have guides for those who hope to purchase and safely hold SureRemit’s RMT tokens. And, if you haven’t done it already, join SureRemit’s diverse and growing community.