Latin American Bitcoin Startup Moneero Exits Stealth Mode
Uruguay-headquartered bitcoin startup Moneero has officially exited stealth mode, and announced that its debut wallet services are open to an initial batch of users.
The news coincides with the launch of the company's currency agnostic banking system, Moneero ROX, a tool Moneero says allows it to manage accounts and subaccounts in a variety of currencies, including bitcoin, litecoin, Ripple, fiat and smart property.
Speaking to CoinDesk, chief product officer and co-founder Steven Morell told CoinDesk that ROX will allow Moneero to one day extend its full suite of finished services - including a planned ATM service and FX trading platform - to users in any country around the globe and to remain compliant with local laws.
Comparing ROX to a set of Lego pieces that rearrange to suit many differing needs, Morell said:
"In Hong Kong, you can do transactions up to HK$8,000 without verifying yourself. In Uruguay, the threshold is U$3,000. What we can do with ROX is that in Uruguay, the moment someone in Uruguay uses Moneero, a different set of [AML and KYC] rules apply to him."
He added: "This means we can rapidly adjust to regulation in every part of the world".
Moneero is a continuation of the previously announced project BTC Global. Morell maintains that the rebranding was needed for both legal reasons and to stress the ongoing evolution of the previous brand's ideas.
BTC Global had previously aimed to introduce a Massive Parallel Licensing (MPL) program, which it aimed to use to address onerous exchange regulations. Moneero's founders include Morell, Vladimir Marchenko and Mauro Betschart
Though Morell did not provide many details on the offering, he indicated that what might be the cornerstone of the company's vision is the development of Moneero Social, its product that will allow users to send bitcoins to friends and followers on various social networks.
Morell stressed that it is in this area that Moneero hopes to improve access to bitcoin, citing how for many younger users around the globe, the Internet is now purely mobile and social.
"There are people selling fish on Facebook, and there are sheepherders selling sheep on Instagram. In the next five years, anywhere between three billion and five billion people will get on the internet and they all will get into an internet in different ways than the one you and I know."
Morell explained how the company's API will connect to what it calls "ThinApps", applications that don't have their own business logic and that don't store data. It is these apps, he said, that will be used to help it roll out its Facebook and Twitter apps and previously announced SMS and bitcoin ATM initiatives.
The product follows the launch of Facebook-integrated wallet QuickCoin, which arrived to great user enthusiasm in May.
When asked how Moneero aims to educate these users, who may be new to bitcoin, Morell also refrained from offering specifics, stating that the company is currently in talks with potential partners that possess the large number of users it would need to jumpstart its initiative.
To start, Moneero will not provide bitcoin buying and selling services, but rather introduce two wallet products, the PlayWallet – which requires users to provide no identification – and the OptiWallet, which it describes as a secure multisig wallet. The company plans to use an exchange partner, at least initially.
OptiWallet aims to solve a common pain point for bitcoin users owing to the importance of keeping coins in cold storage for safe-keeping. Morell said OptiWallet will allow users to spend bitcoins that they have in cold storage by taking out loans from Moneero.
Morell said that these extensions will later be repaid by users:
"You can spend your money while it's stored securely. At the end of the month, we send you an account bill and take back what you borrowed."
Moneero also plans to provide a bitcoin test wallet for the development community, and expects more features to roll out in the coming weeks.
Images via Moneero
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