Our first report is here.
When we started with PeerPay at the beginning of 2022, we knew that we would learn a lot and have several challenges, but we have learned much more than expected, we have achieved more opportunities in the future, we have had valuable user feedback and we are already preparing the following years.
Regarding the technical details, we have managed to make a lot of progress, including doing a test implemented CBDC technology through an ILP connector.
We have also been able to present PeerPay to funds, accelerators, and other investors, mainly to get their feedback and show the advantages of Interledger for these types of projects.
PeerPay is already a functional prototype, which we have tested with users from Chile, Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia to verify the safe sending of money assuming that they will be remittances.
These tests were carried out within the XRPL network for the exchange of money, connected with own ILP nodes.
During the course of testing, we received feedback such as:
- Adjustments to the visual design of the platform: At first, the platform was not so friendly and easy to understand, especially for those who do not understand payment networks or blockchain.
- Ease of receiving payments: We take a functionality from other Fintech to facilitate receiving payments, and that is to create payment links to share and simplify payments.
At the communication and marketing level, we have made alliances and participated in some events in South America to show PeerPay.
In 2023, our goal is to integrate with businesses to make it easier for people to pay directly without having to attend in person or rely on credit cards.
Our key activities in these months have been:
Feedback collection: After the first version, the feedback obtained by users was:
- Improve the interface: Beyond the proposed financial inclusion solution, we realized that many users do not have the technical knowledge to understand advanced aspects of using Web platforms, so we began to simplify the interface, with better-highlighted buttons, simpler words to explain everything and many pages have tooltips to explain each section that the user can see, because they also told us that they would not see videos because the platform should be self-explanatory.
- Understanding of money transfer options: We had different types of users, from people who know or use some cryptocurrency, to people who do not understand technology, which led us to understand that in transfers (also when creating wallets), we must give different options for each user, which is why we are building 4 modalities: a) Multi-chain: for people who know about cryptocurrencies and other assets, but do not understand Blockchain and networks, allowing exchange through Interledger. b) Single-chain: For people who understand Blockchain and like one in particular, in this modality users send and receive money in a single network always through ILP (for now we only have XRPL capabilities). c) Centralized (see our preview below): For people who prefer to trust Central Banks and their new digital currencies, without worrying about managing money on their own. d) Multi-currency: For people who still prefer fiat money.
- Communication and marketing: In the section below, we detail what we have done and our objectives for 2023 onwards.
- Communities: We are working with communities of entrepreneurs and people in different conditions, through Socialab (an NGO that promotes social enterprises) with which we have been able to reach different users in different corners of various countries.
- Technologies: In addition to the integration with nodes in the XRPL network, we are working on integrating Gnosis Chain (the creator of the DAI stablecoin, since it is very cheap), the Bitcoin SV network (a Bitcoin fork, because we are starting to work in opportunities with them), and some Ethereum Virtual Machine - EVM compatible networks (Fantom, TRON and Polygon). We will work on non-EVM networks from 2023. Additionally, we are still working on the integration between Rafiki and PeerPay (we already have some successful internal tests) and we are starting to explore Dassie as another integration for the platform, so we can facilitate and decentralize liquidity and payments through PeerPay.
During these months, we participated in the Ripple hackathon on CBDC technology, and in our case, we were able to implement a private blockchain with CBDC in PeerPay connected with Interledger, since this blockchain is identical to XRPL, so we use the same connector. And we won the hackathon. With this experience, we see an added value in using the Interledger Protocol for this new type of assets, since it really is a very valuable bridge for financial inclusion with the participation of Central Banks.
To show our progress, through the main company that created PeerPay, Techgethr, we partnered with the Insurtech Argentina Chamber in order to participate with other startups and offer PeerPay as an option on their platforms/startups and for insurance companies. We participated in different events, mainly in Argentina and online, including in training that we did on technologies (always with the opportunity to show PeerPay to the attendees).
We already participated (and were invited) to events in Córdoba, Mendoza and Buenos Aires (cities in Argentina) to show PeerPay in those cities and get closer to local communities, taking advantage of alliances and connecting payments through Interledger with the world of insurance.
We promoted alliances with other emerging startups in South America from the Fintech world, such as Regcheq (a company to verify identities through KYC and AML), because we saw that in order to reach every corner and talk about financial inclusion, we needed to be inclusive and we couldn't get there alone to meet every need of people.
With the first year coming to an end, the future for PeerPay is very promising.
By winning Ripple's CBDC hackathon, we remain in contact with the area in charge of this technology to continue working on these new assets and integrate them into PeerPay through ILP, which will allow us to serve different countries and be prepared as a payment system massive from the first day that the Central Banks decide to operate in real form with this type of money.
Additionally, thanks to the Kanoo Innovation Hub, we are going to explore the use of PeerPay in the Caribbean (a great pole for cryptocurrencies) with mentoring and access to networks and alliances for it.
Finally, with Draper University we will have the possibility of showing PeerPay to other countries where there are contact networks and accessing a network of funds and investors.
We want to transform PeerPay into the "Paypal of Web 3.0", but always with the vision of concrete financial inclusion and that the future requires that all types of currencies can coexist and people can be educated and have the decision about what type of coin handle.
We are also working on integrating a KYC (Know Your Customer) platform to validate users, but that is not so complex if we think about ease of use.
With the feedback from users and the research we have done, the new features we are working on are:
- Money in real time: To pay bills or salaries in limited periods of time (minutes, hours, days), so people can have part of their income immediately without depending on credit.
- Monetary portability: The volatility in many countries and the lack of trust in governments, leads us to give people (especially the most vulnerable people) to be the ability to move their money in different assets within ILP (from fiat to crypto, from crypto to CBDC, from CBDC to stablecoin, from stablecoin to crypto and more), to give people some reassurance that their money has value to them.
Soon, in another post we will publish all new features that we have in mind and some that we will be enabling.
For us, the community is fundamental, and our goal is to reach all parts of the world, but we know that this is not feasible only through us, and we need other projects in the rest of the world (Africa, Asia, Europe, USA and more) want to integrate with PeerPay (through API) and we with their applications, thus empowering us so that they can access Latin America and PeerPay to the entire world.
Additionally, we believe that trust in the ecosystem needs more actors, and in addition to the ILP nodes that we manage, we want to connect to other ILP nodes (with different ledgers and blockchains) to make it a system with greater access to users, without depending on a single actor (us) to make it more decentralized.
At PeerPay our vision is long-term. We know that financial inclusion will take years, but it is what we want to do and we understand the challenges that will come our way.
We also want to be allied with other projects working on financial inclusion (not only on payment issues) and help from our experience for the success of you and the entire ecosystem.
Let's keep in touch with each other. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I attach some links (some repeated) to the events, programs, and advances that we have had: