Dear Telcoin community,
I hope this update finds you and your family well in unprecedented times. I know it is cliche to say it has been a crazy year, but it really has. Despite the ups and downs, I believe Telcoin is in an incredibly rare position to do something very special for both crypto and fintech at large.
In summary, we have built two parallel products that, once brought together in 2021, will enable us not only to compete with traditional remittance players but also centralized financial systems in general — across the globe and in a non-custodial, decentralized way. Of course, others in our space are trying to do just that, but I believe Telcoin is in a position to win for a number of reasons — here are four of them:
1. We’ve already built the right technology infrastructure. We’re confident in the Ethereum network and have been involved from a very early stage with the burgeoning DeFi movement taking place on it. Also, while the initial team perhaps overengineered things, the good news is that we do have a great multi-signature wallet and infrastructure as a foundation. We feel strongly that Ethereum, and Telcoin, will be at the forefront of the new decentralized financial world.
2. We made the decision to split into two distinct “tracks” at an early stage — crypto rails and exchange on one side and fiat remittance on the other. This has enabled us to successfully partner with major telecom and mobile money companies — while staying in the good graces of their respective regulatory authorities. But our existing crypto infrastructure will allow us to “flip the switch” as regulations evolve. As these worlds converge, Telcoin will emerge as a globally accessible platform that enables anyone, anywhere to hold, send, and exchange just about any digital asset they want — all in a non-custodial, decentralized way.
3. Telcoin is one of the few crypto companies that is fully embracing the US market and compliance with US regulation. We’ve assembled the right team and strategy to be able to target this narrow window of opportunity that we see in 2021, which is to bring to market in a compliant manner a non-custodial, decentralized remittance and exchange platform to consumers in the US. We will specifically target the population that is sending money abroad, but I also think we will gain a lot of users who simply want easier access to digital assets and decentralized financial opportunities.
4. We have a great brand in Telcoin, and a great long term strategy in aligning ourselves with the mobile telecommunications industry (GSMA) and mobile network operators globally. I call this “MFS 2.0” (MFS meaning Mobile Financial Services). “MFS 1.0” started more than a decade ago, with mobile network operators around the world allowing transfer of mobile prepaid credit to buy groceries or pay a friend. While this quickly surpassed traditional banks’ market penetration in many developing countries, telecoms were forced by central banks to spin off these e-wallets into separate banks. Mobile networks operators around the world still are in a great position to sell financial services to their users — they now have a second chance to do this with Telcoin. By working with us, they will be able to make money off of financial transactions without taking custody of user funds (i.e., without needing a banking license). I still believe that this industry alignment will be what launches Telcoin to a higher orbit.
Of course there is also a very important fifth factor, which is the team that we have assembled. I am proud of everyone who stuck with us through our transition, and also excited to announce some new members who have joined us during these uncertain times. I am really looking forward to the entire team reaping the benefits of their tremendous efforts.
Thank you for your continued support and patience as we move into a new year and a new chapter for Telcoin. I am very excited about 2021, and what we will finally be releasing, and sincerely appreciate you being along for the ride.
We look forward to a wide public release of version 2.0 of the Telcoin App for both iOS and Android users that will enable cost friendly fiat remittances from Canada to the Philippines. We’re excited for the integration of many of our partners in 2021 and building a world-renowned force in the remittance industry — but that is just the beginning. Over the second half of the year, we designed and tested numerous layers and products, including multiple public pilot programs. As the puzzle pieces are finally coming together, we are excited to deliver a full suite of novel, user-owned and operated financial services directly through the Telcoin App in a simple, easy to use way.
In addition, we are pleased to report that our new head of Android has been lightning fast in catching up the Android version of our app — which is absolutely integral for user acquisition in the Philippines. This will allow for nearly simultaneous launch and updating of the functionality of the application across both operating systems.
TEL Token Ecosystem
Now processing over twice the daily transaction volume of Bitcoin, the Ethereum network has undergone what can only be described as a financial renaissance over the past 12 months. A cambrian explosion of financial primitives, colloquially characterized by crypto natives as “DeFi,” short for decentralized finance, has come to dominate the economic activity of the crypto space. From peer-to-peer lending protocols to decentralized exchanges to stablecoins, a new financial infrastructure — separate from the legacy services operated by traditional financial institutions — has flourished on Ethereum and established a meaningful product market fit for consumers.
This ever-evolving and improving financial ecosystem of interconnected financial primitives supercharges Telcoin’s mission of bringing the underbanked and anyone with access to the internet high quality, low cost financial services — and we are excited to leverage this ecosystem to bring blockchain to the masses who need it most.
Our focus this past quarter has been to educate TEL holders on how to bootstrap on-chain trading liquidity for TEL on decentralized exchanges Balancer and Uniswap, to ensure end users can, in a non-custodial way, access TEL as affordably as possible. These decentralized systems and TEL liquidity are important parts of our 2021 plan to not only deliver the most efficient remittances but also expand access to decentralized digital asset exchange — and a full stack of financial services on top — to anyone with a smartphone.
Linked below you will find a Medium post detailing our most recent roadmap for 2021. We delayed some of the 4th quarter targets in order to implement KYC for all users, including recipients, earlier than expected in the roadmap. This delayed our initial remittance corridors a bit, but gives us more options in terms of what we can release in the US and globally in 2021. So while we are delayed in this most recent quarter, we are intent on being caught up with our roadmap by the end of the second quarter 2021, and have many more exciting things to share.
While unfortunately there are no new partnerships we can announce publicly, there have been some major developments in key geographies — primarily South Asia and East Africa. We hope to announce deals signed in 2020 early next year, along with closing some deals that are currently in late due diligence or final legal sign-off. We’ve also re-engaged some prominent contacts from the past and are back on track with a few names that anyone following Telcoin would instantly recognize.
Jeff is (and has been) looking forward to a community AMA to share partnership progress, but the pandemic has slowed down the approval process for making certain announcements public knowledge. Stay tuned!
Radhey Patel - Head of Android Development
Radhey, based in Los Angeles, graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a MS in Computer Engineering, concentrating in VLSI and Computer Architecture. Although his concentrations have been mainly hardware and material focused, Radhey’s true passion is in Android development. He’s been developing Android applications since 2015, and even started his own company while still an undergraduate. That experience gave him great insight into how much work is required to develop a polished product. Throughout the years, Radhey has been working on personal Android projects that have honed his skills so he can deliver an amazing application when the time is right — and for Telcoin, that time is now.
Riley Hoffman - Software Engineer
Riley, based in San Diego, has a BS in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he first began working on software. After graduation, he worked as a product engineer for Palomar Technologies in the semiconductor industry, where he focused on image software, before transitioning to full time blockchain development last year. He has worked with Decentral Games and Superworld on their Ethereum based applications, and brings these skills to expanding Telcoin’s blockchain usage and integration.
Amir Shirif - Blockchain Developer
Amir, based in Los Angeles, graduated with his Masters in Computer Science from New York University where he specialized in software development. Passionate about the underlying technologies that make cryptocurrencies possible, he dedicates much of his free time keeping up to date on the various emerging platforms and changes in protocols. Experienced in Solidity, Amir has been brought on as a Blockchain Developer to help integrate payments and wallet platforms with the Ethereum Blockchain.
Seaun Eddy - Project Manager
Seaun, based in Los Angeles, is an extremely motivated individual with an eclectic background that spans education, sports, consulting, and entrepreneurship. Upon graduating from Columbia University in 2014 with degrees in Economics and Mechanical Engineering, Seaun worked in Tokyo for Bain and Company as a consultant for 18 months. Seaun has spent the past four years playing professional basketball in Japan’s top professional league, and running his startup. He is currently spending a gap year working as a Project Manager for Telcoin before matriculating at Stanford University Graduate School of Business in September 2021.
The objective of the current TEL mining programs on Balancer and Uniswap is to calculate the necessary inflationary incentives required to bootstrap “minimum viable liquidity” for cost-effective TEL trades on Ethereum. With nearly 2.5 billion TEL pooled across Ethereum, representing approximately US$550,000 worth of liquidity reserves, the TEL power users have certainly achieved that mark. Notably, the TEL:ETH 80/20 Balancer pool has grown from 1 LP representing US$12,500 worth of liquidity at the beginning of October to 59 LPs pooling approximately US$455,000 in total value. Since AMMs like Balancer mathematically quantify trading costs based on total pooled reserves, we can easily calculate the trading costs for the global average remittance value of $250.00. At 0.20 percent of slippage and a 0.10 percent trading fee to LPs, that cost sits at 0.30 percent. We are extraordinarily excited about the design space enabled by Ethereum.
Cheers to you all! Wishing you a Happy New Year and a brilliant 2021!
The Telcoin Team