“hi” is a community-powered financial system for both fiat and cryptocurrency. hi utilizes blockchain in designing community-powered services. Notably, the community members are key stakeholders of the system, and the not-for-profit service focuses on improving membership value; not profits.
hi also plans to launch its services through a mobile app, exempting markups, and added fees.
The CEO of Altcoin Buzz, Shashwat Gupta, anchored the AMA session in our Telegram channel with hi Co-founder, Sean Rach.
We will go through a recap of the AMA with Sean Rach, co-founder of hi, to understand what the not-for-profit financial service has been up to recently.
Q. Welcome Sean, how are you doing?
Doing well. Thanks. Hope everyone is staying safe in this crazy world and crazy markets. We are working like crazy to make a difference in the world. The team is very motivated.
Q. Tell the Altcoin Buzz Army about your journey in the crypto space?
It is a real pleasure to sit down (remotely) with you Shash, the AltcoinBuzz Army. I had a career in digital marketing on both the agency and client side, and had the opportunity to join Crypto.com just after the Monaco ICO. I had first dealt with cryptocurrency in a coffee shop in Bangkok around 2013 and had been interested in the space but hadn’t taken action.
With Crypto.com, I scratched the entrepreneurial itch and dived head first. Funny enough, I had a career before all that in the US Navy on ships, and at one point was a cryptographic custodian (responsible for the communications codes the Navy uses). So, I think I may be one of the few people in crypto that have dealt with that kind of crypto.
It was a great 2.5 year run at Crypto.com. In 2020, it was time to take a break.
Q. What were you doing before joining the crypto space?
I came to Asia in 2000 to run an interactive/digital agency and this led to an agency career, and then move to financial services for most of the 2010s. The break allowed me to revisit some personal goals and plan next steps.
I am passionate about financial literacy and realized that many issues still have not been addressed. This lit the fire and then following a few interesting conversations, started planning what has become hi.
Q. Congrats on starting your entrepreneur journey. How is it going so far?
Its everything I expected and had seen as an employee of Crypto.com. A tough line of work, but even more satisfaction.
We are now a team of over 60, with nearly 600k members, and staff around the world.
Q. That’s a lot. In November 2020 you were five people, right?
Yes, it has grown rapidly on all fronts. – I think mainly because people agree and believe in what we are seeking to do.
Q. What is hi and what products have you built with it?
Hopefully, this video sets up the issue, and the top line solution.
Many of the original financial services firms were member owned/powered. Credit Unions and Mutual Aid Societies (insurance) were formed to offer services to members on a not-for-profit basis. Though they were constrained by their membership base (geographic or employers), any profits were used for the benefit of the members either with improved rates, or other member benefits.
In the current financial system, the people with less money pay more for financial services. Hard-earned income is eroded by fees – from remittances and wire costs to overdraft and ATM charges – while payday loans and finance charges are usurious. They (Banks) make money off you, not for you.
We believe that global, open, instant, and low/no cost movement of money will create immense economic opportunity. That everyone has a right to access financial services and to control their money. That the financial services infrastructure should be designed and governed as a public good and advance financial inclusion. We believe that sending money should be as easy as sending a text and have worked to make that a reality. A reality where hi is focused on maximizing member value, not profits.
Q. My family is a little orthodox Indian. I don’t think I can go to my mom and say ‘let’s get hi together’. How do you expect mass adoption?
Yes, we try not to take things too seriously COVID has taught us all that. But the pillars of
- being not-for-profit,
- having a second onboarding over major chat apps – already on your phone,
- and rewarding members for engaging and referring.
Q. I couldn’t stop talking about hi on this chat when I first transferred hi tokens on WhatsApp. Can you tell us more about the WhatsApp and Telegram bots?
Sure, the capability has been there. Libra and Diem talked about it. But it wasn’t built. So, we built it.
We are different in many ways, (we feel that “different” is better than “better”), we have a working product prior to our token creation.
Q. Isn’t hi dollar your token?
So, the current hi Dollars are closed loop prior to our Token event no later than 1 August. Yes, hi Dollars will be an ERC-20 token initially with likely migration to our own chain in time.
The community may get fired up with this: https://ropsten.etherscan.io/token/0xc79c7b360c6d7138f10e0ec6d11f21533f5e94fc
Q. As regards the hi token, interesting it shows max supply as zero. What is the max supply?
Yes, this is another point of difference for us. We are laser focused on membership. We will be minting tokens based on our membership base (the tokens earned for daily rewards and referrals). As the base grows, we feel that the network becomes more valuable.
Next week, I will share the details of the initial minting and then our plan going forward. We will continue to offer real time information on the number of hi members and the total number of hi in circulation on our website.
Q. I found the pre-valued tokens a little strange system and hard to explain for ‘old’ crypto people. Can you explain what’s up with that?
Sure. We are in the pre-sale. Based on our membership size, the price has been adjusted. Ultimately, it will be freely traded but we have seen an increase in the price as we have gotten closer to token generation.
Some projects do tranches of tokens with decreasing discounts, not that dissimilar.
Q. How do the stablecoin interests help the hi ecosystem?
Yep, there are a number of companies looking to bridge the gaps. And there are many gaps. There will be many successful firms.
How it helps the hi ecosystem as folks (like those in EU where they have to pay fees to deposit fiat) look for an alternative. To enjoy our benefits, members need to buy, or earn hi Dollars. The banks and central banks are doing a great job getting people ready. That’s why 100M+ to 1Billion people will get hi!
Q. Thoughts on the crypto market?
Crypto market, it is just the beginning – HODL and BUIDL. The institutions are coming. Don’t panic but also don’t overstep.
Q. Favorite altcoins projects?
Altcoin Projects, loving NFTs as more than what we are seeing today. Thanks to your intro continue to follow and HODL ENJ.
Q. Thoughts on NFT and blockchain gaming?
Wish I had more to say DeFi is an amazing force but very volatile.
Q. Thoughts on Altcoin Buzz?
Altcoin Buzz – love it and really appreciate the effort to follow and discover new projects, and innovation.
The Altcoin Buzz community gratefully thanks Sean Rach for taking part in the hi AMA on 22nd July in our Telegram channel.
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Find out more about the blockchain and crypto space on the Altcoin Buzz YouTube channel.