On Thursday, we had a regular AMA session with our CEO, Vladimir Kardapoltsev. He spoke about the global economic stagflation and how PointPay is addressing this issue. Furthermore, PointPay's CEO provided an overview of our main achievements for the last month and gave insights into our future plans.
Below is a summary of the AMA, which took place on July 28, 2022.
Alina (Host): Hi, everyone.
Vladimir: Hello, Alina. So without further ado, let's start. Let me say some welcoming words to you all.
Thank you all for your enormous support. Thank you all for believing in our project. Even though we're experiencing a crypto winter, we're going strong. It's probably the worst one we've had in quite a long time.
We are developing our products, and I think it is a great opportunity for all of us. Since all the crypto market leaders like Celsius have gone bankrupt, we can enter this market quite confidently and learn from their mistakes. So let's start our AMA session.
All the departments worked incredibly hard this month. Nobody went on holiday, and we were all here working days and nights to provide you with the best service and to improve our product. So let me go through department by department what we have done in the last month.
In terms of our website interface:
- We completed and released the redesign of the personal account, supplementing it with the KYC Settings, Notifications (extended), Crypto Debit Card, Device Management, Password Change, Customer Support, 2FA, User ID Settings (Country Change, Name Change) in the new design. Added the ability to upload a profile picture to personalize your user account even more.
- Furthermore, we’ve improved site navigation;
- and prepared a separate link to the Bug report.
- We improved security by configuring the inability to enter the old password when you are trying to recover it via the "Forgot Password" link and adding a new auto log out interval (30 minutes) to Settings/Auto-log out-time.
- We redesigned the Home page and set up the work of the Reviews section.
As for the mobile app interface:
- We have implemented crypto loans functionality;
- Added a minimum deposit for each cryptocurrency to the Receive To Address flow;
- Implemented the Edit Profile section;
- Removed the display of the commission when sending funds to the PointPay user in the flow Send by Email.
- For cryptoloans we improved the deposit flow for full and partial loan repayment screens and for increasing the amount of collateral.
We have a new task force called the Withdrawal team, and they work specifically on withdrawal security and optimization. As part of this huge project, we
- Analyzed the transactions of suspicious users. According to the internal security system, some users were blocked. In the last month, we have unblocked 57 users after displaying their balance correctly.
- Improved the work of tools for reflecting user deposits and the correct display of user balances.
- Improved automatic rules for controlling withdrawals from the system and added new monitoring tools for Exception management / Manual validation.
- Activated new currencies: DOT(Polkadot), CAKE (PancakeSwap), ETC (Ethereum Classic), DOGE (DogeCoin), DASH (Dash), ADA (Cardano), AVAX (Avalanche), BUSD (Binance USD) ( edited). We are planning to have close to 100 by the end of the year.
So now we're moving to our core products. As for the exchange - one of the main pillars of our ecosystem:
- We are preparing to release commission discounts for PXP holders.
- Furthermore, we improved and fixed the front end of the exchange, adding a split order book and spread withdrawal.
- and added documentation pages.
- A new order type - IcebergOrders - will be available next week.
With regards to our payment system, the second pillar of our platform:
- We have prepared a new design of Payments v2.0 Seamless integration.
- We are in the process of setting up and testing Seamless Integration with Mercuryo partner.
- In addition, we have launched a project to Audit and prepare a PCI DSS environment in 7 sec.
The third pillar is the PointPay Crypto Bank:
- We have redesigned the Accounts summary, Deposit, Withdrawal, Transfer, Staking, and Invoices pages. In addition to the visual improvement and more convenient flow of banking products, the main breakthrough is the ability to execute actions in modal windows.
- Furthermore, we implemented the dependence of interest rates on the LTV ratio (the larger the collateral, the lower the rate). This will allow users to manage risks and interest rates themselves.
- We’ve also conducted a deep audit of the cash flow in the system and improved the quality of implementation.
As I mentioned during the last AMA session, we are going to have a P2P platform.
- The product development was completed and the product was released.
- A new development team has been formed to develop and scale the project even faster than before.
- Most of the work on the administrative panel of the product was completed. This will allow the business to control the product more conveniently and transparently.
As for the Launchboard platform, we have
- Fully completed and released the product!
- Developed and launched methods for obtaining new projects (potential clients).
- Prepared a marketing strategy that will allow the development and scaling of the product.
PointPay HR Talent platform is also one of our recently released products.
- We’ve integrated HR Talent into the admin panel of the Escrow project. Now you can manage both C2C projects from it — HR and Escrow.
- We added the ability for both the talent and the client to add the language to the profile/vacancy. This allows you to find a person from a suitable language group in the marketplace.
- Added the ability to set a commission for talent and a client to the admin panel.
- Implemented moderation of talent profile, client profile, and contract.
- Implemented a feature that allows you to copy any contract.
- Added the ability to leave a review about the talent upon completion of the work.
- Implemented a messenger module.
- Implemented the “My Talents” page, which contains all those who worked/are working for a particular client.
- Integrated the full-text search library into the product.
- Extended talent profile that allows you to add information about your education and previous work experience.
With regards to our Escrow platform, we have
- Completed the development and release of the product.
- Prepared a marketing strategy for product development and scaling.
In terms of our infrastructure, our team has
- Written CI/CD pipelines for new services: “referral” and “pxp-board”.
- Performed load testing for Auth, Exchange, Bank, and Accounts services.
- New infrastructure has been successfully deployed in the Azure cloud.
- Performed security review for Payments, Accounts, Bank, Auth, and PXP services.
- Developed secured and scalable architecture for AWS SQS (Simple Queue Service) and SNS (Simple Notification Service) for all PointPay services.
- Scanned all PointPay websites and APIs for vulnerabilities.
- Standardized security requirements for all Pointpay services have been.
- Performed infrastructure cost optimization work.
- We’veiImproved pipelines for exchange, order-book, market data, ohlcv, and matcher;
- and improved logs backup system.
- Tested and integrated security tools SonarQube, OpenVAS, and Nessus.
Let’s quickly go through our licenses:
- Our subsidiary UAB Point Pay EU is registered and authorized as a cryptocurrency exchange operator and cryptocurrency wallet operator.
- Prepared Legal Opinion for cryptocurrency exchange business. We are now allowed to process crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto transactions worldwide, except for forbidden jurisdictions mentioned in our updated terms and conditions + countries in the US sanction list + US residents, because for US residents, we have a separate American legal entity.
- Within 2-3 years, we plan to obtain an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) license and/or API - (Authorized Payment Institution). This license will give us the possibility to issue our own banking cards with the possibility to exchange crypto-to-fiat and vice versa by using our website and/or mobile applications on iOS and Android. To complete this, we need to be certified in accordance with IT standards - ISO 9001-2015 and ISO 27001. Our technical team is working on this, we expect to complete our IT certification within 2 years.
- Our subsidiary Point Pay LLC, WY, is registered as MSB and authorized Money Transmitters in the USA. Our MSB activities cover all US states and territories.
- Applying for MTL Wyoming — Document package ready; we have applied and received pre-approval for the MTL license in WY from the regulator – Division of Banking in WY, USA.
- Our company has been registered in the NMLS system. Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System and Registry - is a secured, web-based system that allows state licensees, companies, branches, and mortgage loan originators, to apply for, amend, update or renew licenses online.
- The application has been submitted with all required attachments, we are waiting for Regulators - WY Division of Banking to finally accept our filed application with attached documents.
- NY MTL + Bitlicense — Missing item Surety Bond. Actively working on the issuance of the SB report. We need to obtain an MTL license in WY first then we will be able to obtain NY licenses - MTL + BitLicense.
- Received legal opinion on the PXP token under US laws and regulations.
- Received legal opinion on the US crypto exchange.
Vasp License Cayman Islands
- Our subsidiary Point Pay International LLC, is registered. Document Package ready. Waiting for mandatory AML/Compliance + Cyber security officers. The agreement has been signed with the Service provider.
- Signed two contracts with AML officers. Interviewed 6 new candidates and 2 compliance officers under review and approval by the local regulator - CIMA. Reviewing CV of Cyber Security Officers, expect to conduct 5 interviews this month.
- Pre-Application approval for the Fintech license is received. Working on a full-scale license with AFSA. The application filling process is in progress. The technical team is working on the description of our crypto exchange technical features - our technical team is expecting to provide a full technical description of updated features of our crypto exchange by the end of August 2022.
- Company name - Point Pay Central Asia - under registration - will be completed as soon as the general application for the Fintech license will be submitted.
Working on the Currency Exchange or Money Remittance License. We are
- analyzing legal requirements, legal risks, and the possibility of getting the license in the jurisdiction;
- analyzing allowed business activity for cryptocurrency business;
- several commercial offers received from local consultants.
I think that was too much information for all of you. So let's move on to the questions. Let me take a sip of water.
Alina (Host): All right, let's go. Thank you so much for all the updates. Very exciting news, as always. Let's move to our questions. The first question is, what implementations are you developing that favor the utility of the PXP token and increase its value? What other utilities might be implemented in the future?
Vladimir: As I said before
- We are developing a discount system for PXP token holders. Next week it will be available on our exchange, and later for all of our products.
- New Discounts for token holders will be implemented in the new P2P platform that was released recently.
- They're all going to be some incentives within our partner NFT platforms for the PXP token holders.
- We are going to be introducing new products and a referral system very soon.
- We also plan to have new listings on Tier-1 and regional Tier-2 exchanges. This will make the token more liquid, which should facilitate demand for the token, and drive its value up.
Alina (Host): How will the team handle the sale of a large number of PXPs that will be released from staking?
Vladimir: Well, the market is incredibly strong and liquid. We have seen from our market activity that most of our token holders are actually long-term investors.
We had a significant drop about a year ago after we released the tokens. Then quite a lot of people decided to quit. However, the token price hasn't changed in more than half a year.
Also, the staking program allows users to lock up their tokens for 3, 6, and 12 months to earn rewards. We haven't seen any significant price drops after the 3-month and 6-month expiration terms.
In addition, if the users want to sell PXPs, this will increase trading activity and improve our market liquidity. This is an important step for being listed on the Tier-1 exchange, and that will be their loss. You know, you have to believe in our project.
Alina (Host): Do you think PXP could be worth as much as BNB in 5 years?
Vladimir: Well, BNB has an interesting history, and I sincerely believe that we are going to repeat an overdue its record.
If we think back to when the BNB was introduced, it slumped down, and then it was slowly growing until it skyrocketed. This is exactly what is going to happen to PXP.
When we have more trading activity and finish our platform, that will mean that users will be using the PXP tokens to pay for the commissions to receive the discounts. Demand for the PXP token is going to rise. That is going to increase its price. And we're doing regular burns and using PXP tokens within our ecosystems.
We need to increase the number of orders that we have within our ecosystem. We now need something along the lines of only $700,000 in order to break that wall and close all of the orders. Afterward, the demand for the PointPay token is only going to grow exponentially.
So I see the bright future for the token - PXP should not only grow significantly but also surpass BNB.
Alina (Host): Absolutely. A lot of exciting things are going to happen in the future. Next question, why was there no token burn this month?
Vladimir: Well, the answer is simple. We are considering the market turbulence and the general economic stagflation. So we have already burned, I think, close to 30 million tokens since I came in.
Every single time that we burn tokens, it's quite expensive - something like $60,000. And that takes away the money from marketing and from the development as well.
We are planning to do another token burn by the end of the next AMA session. We will continue with the token burns, but probably less frequently.
Alina (Host): When will the next listing be announced? We are especially interested in hearing about new listings on Asian Tier-2 exchanges.
Vladimir: Well, I think we all know the thing that's happening in the market. There aren't many listings, and many exchanges have closed. Tier one exchanges have decided to wait it out, see when the market will stabilize, and then introduce new products.
We were scheduled for a listing with one Asian exchange. They kind of slightly chickened out on us, so we are in the queue. We paid the fees but are waiting for market conditions to improve before taking advantage of our listing.
We have contacted all of the 10 Tier-1 exchanges. We are now in advanced talks with two of them. They did an audit of our system and gave us feedback. Now we're making certain improvements. Most of them are at the moment waiting for us to complete our ecosystem.
Our token value and volumes are stable. However, they are waiting for us to complete our ecosystem, invest money into our marketing, and grow our community. It's all within the achievable realms.
Overall, we're going to be attending a lot more conferences in September. So you'll probably see a lot of my face somewhere in Europe very soon.
Alina (Host): Very exciting. Will you reduce the PXP yields in Q4?
Vladimir: We are not planning to decrease yields on Savings accounts or in the Staking Program.
- You can earn up to 10% by depositing PXP on the Savings accounts. Please note that there are limits on the number of withdrawals per month. You can move your funds only three times from your Savings account per month.
- You can earn up to 20% by locking your PXPs in the Staking Program.
Alina (Host): All righty. And the next few questions are in the same category. The first one is when will Pointpay implement a fully automatic and fast withdrawal process without delay. The second is our accounts have been blocked for pending investigations. When will we have access to our accounts?
Vladimir: We are waiting for the end of the final audit. It should be available next month.
We will have one email address where you can send an appeal for your ban. We'll give you more information about why we've banned your account. There are approximately 30 accounts, which is not many considering that we have a quarter of a million people in our ecosystem; that's literally a drop in the ocean. These actions are due to compliance reasons.
But, if your account has been permanently banned, we will contact you by email. Our legal team will explain to you in detail why this happened. You can either appeal the decision or provide more information with regard to that.
Most accounts that have been blocked, will be unblocked literally within hours.
Alina (Host): Can you tell us a bit more about the PointPay P2P Platform?
Vladimir: It’s a peer-to-peer platform where users can interact directly with each other to exchange money. It's incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. PointPay will not act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. However, we will moderate the process in case there are any issues with your transactions.
It doesn't have any fees within them. It costs us money, but it's a great way to engage our community. Many platforms don't have it because it doesn't bring you any money, and it's a big headache. Nevertheless, it's a great thing for the community, and that's why we have it.
Alina (Host): Okay. The next question is, when do you plan to expand the PoinPay Crypto exchange product?
Vladimir: We've started expanding all of the trading instruments, and integrated new designs into our ecosystem.
- We are hoping to add 100 more cryptocurrency pairs by the end of the year.
- We've introduced the Iceberg orders. More orders will also come by the end of the year.
- We are going to be introducing margin and futures trading hopefully by the end of the year, but maybe in the first quarter.
- We're going to be enhancing the way that you interact with that ecosystem. We will be improving how our exchange is laid out, and the speed of the transactions.
- And as I said before, we're going to be adding the commission discounts for the PXP holders next week.
Alina (Host): All right. The next questions are in the same category. Do you still think the NFT market is worth your attention during the crypto winter? What do you think about a recent number of hacker attacks on the crypto market? Will it create obstacles for the whole industry?
Vladimir: I think the NFT market will fluctuate, and it's not the last crypto market crash we'll see. But I believe in numbers when it comes to NFTs, and the market is growing at an incredibly high pace. It's projected to reach more than $100 billion by the end of this decade.
Unfortunately, I think hackers can still profit from targeting NFT marketplaces. And the only solution is to improve the security within these systems and to have clear regulations in place. But this all will happen when the market grows.
The crypto industry used to be Wild West. Literally, within years, all of the market conditions and all of the market conventions emerged. States started to regulate. And I think this is what will happen with NFTs as well.
With regard to the potential partnership opportunities, we already have a partnership with NFT Sky. We are going to be announcing a new partnership, maybe in September, with another great NFT platform. So we're constantly working within that market.
Alina (Host): That's right. Do you think the weakening of the Euro against the dollar will affect the crypto market?
Vladimir: I think investors are already moving their money out of the euro-denominated and euro-backed assets. It's kind of recovering at the moment, but there is a huge fear of a recession in Europe with regards to the price of heating and everything else possibly.
However, the euro-pegged stablecoin market is still quite small compared to the overall crypto. So I don't think this will affect the crypto market in the long term, maybe certain European-based exchanges.
If you're looking for stablecoins, do your research. If you're investing in something unregulated like Terra, it's not a good idea. But you are in a better position if you're looking into USDC or BUSD since they are fully backed.
So do your research before you invest in any kind of stablecoins.
Alina (Host): Totally agree. With Celsius, Voyager, and 3AC filing for bankruptcy and many other crypto companies cutting back their staff and service: How is PointPay different? How did this market crash affect you? What have you learned, and what procedures do you have to avoid that?
Vladimir: Great question. I think all markets are subject to downturns. The crypto winter is triggered by a more global economic downturn. With regard to the end of the pandemic and the start of the war in Ukraine, we cannot predict all of the possible issues. But we can minimize the negative impact on our business. We have quite a lot of employees in Eastern Europe. I’ve shared how we mitigated this with Coindesk before.
We’ve learned our lessons with the problems in Kazakhstan because we have two employees there. PointPay has a system in place to assess and mitigate the risks related to market turbulence.
We are on the safer side than Celsius, Voyager, and other similar companies because we are fully regulated. We have to store our data and manage our cash flow very carefully. We have contingency plans and reserves and can afford to make mistakes because we are so early in the business.
But if you're as big as Celsius, you know it's risky. You know, if you fail, you fail. We also don't face certain reputational risks, and we constantly monitor the market. We have a risk manager to help us manage these risks within our ecosystem. This will help us to be profitable and give you the best possible product in the market.
Alina (Host): Wonderful answer. What are your key markets? Where are you planning to expand next?
Vladimir: Well, our key market is Europe and America. That's why we're trying to obtain the licenses there. We have a separate website for US users.
Another important market for us is Brazil - our third largest community. We have about 50,000 people from Brazil.
But PointPay is a global ecosystem. Anyone who has access to the Internet can use our ecosystem. Our motto is that we want to provide financial services to 7 billion people around the world. We want to service all unbanked populations.
In terms of other markets, we are looking at China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, and Bangladesh.
Alina (Host): Thank you. The next question is, what other new products are you developing atm? Will we find out about new partnerships soon?
Vladimir: I’ve already shared with you that we are focusing on developing our new P2P service, which should be released soon. It should be released in its final version very, very soon. We are constantly improving the services, but I don't think we're going to have anything more added to our ecosystem.
We're going to be improving all of the services that we have at the moment. So that's kind of our four core products and the additional products as well.
We're going to introduce new partnerships. As I mentioned before, we'll have an NFT partnership within the next couple of months, and we'll have other new partnerships by the end of the year. We are currently negotiating the best possible terms with new platforms to grow our ecosystem.
Alina (Host): The next question is from our VIP member. How are you going to prepare for the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) on the final act on virtual assets regulations that impact DeFi?
Vladimir: First of all, we're not a DeFi project, so it doesn't really affect us in the end.
Secondly, the Financial Action Task Force is primarily concerned with combating money laundering. As I mentioned earlier, we're licensed. That means we're fully regulated.
We do KYC in our ecosystem. So basically, you can't transfer any amount of money larger than $1,000 without passing KYC every year.
With DeFi, it's a little bit different because you don't have to provide any personal information. So this regulation doesn't really affect us because we're fully compliant with the Financial Task Force regulations, and we scan people every month with all kinds of lists that they provide to us.
Alina (Host): Wonderful thing for the answer. And we're approaching our last question for this session at about an hour mark. The last question is from Jeronimo - I apologize if I pronounced it wrong. When will we open a bank in Central Africa, the second country with Bitcoin as a currency?
Vladimir: African banking is difficult and not trustworthy, so I think getting a banking license there will be more difficult. They don't have currency or regular partner banks like in other countries. It's hard for Africans to send money to Europe. That means that, for example, an African who wants to send money to Europe finds it very difficult to do that.
We are currently working on the European and American markets. If we get all the appropriate approvals in the European Union, we can definitely serve not serve Africa but also all the other countries in the world. There are reputational risks if something goes wrong because political regimes are unstable.
Thank you all for coming. Have a wonderful week!