Feb 2, 2024

Eco, which is the builder behind Ethereum layer 2 wallet Beam, just acquired stablecoin shopping app Join.

Video transcript

Imagine shopping on Amazon and Shopify and making your purchases with stable coins. That reality is one step closer. Joining us now to discuss is Beam Ceo and contributor to the ECO Protocol. Andy Bromberg. Andy. Good morning. Good morning. Thanks for having me before we talk about this uh new acquisition, this new partnership for the ad initiated lay the groundwork for us. Tell us a little bit about the eco ecosystem. Yeah, absolutely. So Eco is all about building better payments from the ground up, starting with the currencies. We use all the way through the infrastructure and the products themselves. And our main product is a product called Beam and Beam is effectively Global Venmo, a simple peer to peer product that makes it as easy as possible to send money to anyone anywhere around the world near instantly. And the key thing here is that while those listening to this have probably thought about, oh, we could use stablecoins, send money across the world. That's easy that exists. That's true. But a product that everyone can use to do so really hasn't existed yet. And so that's what Beam is aiming to be something that like I said is as simple as Venmo or Cash app or any peer to peer product out there, but allows for seamless payments anywhere in the world. And that's what we're really focused on right now. And as you alluded to, we, we made an acquisition last week of a company called join that will add even more capabilities to that platform. Tell me a little bit more about bea who are your users? How many folks are using Bea M as it stands? Yeah, absolutely. So we have more than 80,000 users all over the world. And I think this is one of the things that's so interesting about these products. So BEA M is non CSD, meaning we don't have access to or control over your funds. It's like meta mask or a ledger in that sense that even though we built the product, we don't control people's money and that's very different from traditional consumer fin tech products. So most traditional consumers fin tech products are custodial. If you think about neo banks or products like that, they have control over your funds. And as a result of that, there's really serious regulation and trust that needs to be applied there. We're just talking about FTXFTX was a custodial business and as a result, they were able to devastatingly walk away with people's funds in some sense, but these non custodial products can't. And as a result of that, you're removing this, this assumption of trust on the party running the company running the product. And as a result of that, the product can be global from day zero. So when we launched Beam on the first day, we had users from more than 100 countries sign up. And now today we have users all over the place. I think some of the biggest markets for us are Indonesia and Vietnam, but also the United States and increasingly in in Europe. And so I think one of the really interesting things for us has been seeing this product grow all over the world all at once rather than just in a, in a single geography that we're, we're narrowing it on. I'm assuming these are crypto native users or tell me a little bit more about the user profile. How are people finding out about be? It's a mix. I think the early set of users certainly was crypto native because when we launched it, that's where we got some attention and press and you know, people were, were hearing about us. But increasingly, I think the reason that these users are really excited is because even though they are Crypton native and they have access to a Metamask wallet or Phantom or whatever wallet they happen to use and they could have already used stablecoins. They're looking at beam and saying, wow, this product is so easy to send money that my friends and family who I previously couldn't convince to use this technology could actually use this. And so what we're seeing is those crypto native users are then using beam to send money to other people who aren't crypto native. And that's what we're really excited about. There are plenty of wallets out there that do all sorts of things for, for people that are well attuned to the space, whether it's Metamask or Phantom or Rabi or any of these. Um, but building a wallet that is actually genuinely usable by everyone in the world and is non custodial and offers all the benefits that come with that. That's what we're really focused on on this show all week. We've been talking about scams and hacks. They're very prevalent in the news. I think when we talk about this mainstream audience that you're mentioning they're very used and I, I shouldn't even say they, we are very used to if our uh account gets hacked or if a criminal gets hold of our visa card, um or our cash app wallet, there are insurances, we can get that money back. Are you, are you foreseeing any kind of obstacle with a non custodial wallet in educating people as to what that means? You know, if you lose the funds in your wallet, you don't, you don't get them back. Yeah, it's a great question. I think it's a double edged sword as with all things that really every piece of technology. So on one hand, I think it removes a lot of risk that comes with this again. FTX and others were custodial products that walked away with people's money and that's a problem. And with a non custodial product, you're not facing that risk, but it, it moves the burden at some level like you said to the user. And so we have to do a lot of work to communicate with people really clearly make it easy for them to set up and recover their account. Um, we work with partners to make it so you can sign in with your social uh, media accounts or your email instead of with a private key. Um, and that makes it easier for people to conceptualize, but there's certainly still risk there. And we do a lot of work to educate people about that risk. And, and I think the best analogy is it's like a physical wallet. We think of being like cash and just like you could leave your wallet on a table at a restaurant and someone could walk away with your wallet and with your cash and there's nothing you could do about it. There's the same concern with these non custodial wallets and I think of it that way. So I, I don't think it's a product for people to put their life savings in. Right. If you, if you have your life savings somewhere, you should probably have it, you know, in a place that's insured in custodial and that you trust and that's, that's all well and good, at least for most people. But for spending money for payments, I actually think this cash like experience makes a lot of sense and is really useful for, for people. Ok, let's take um let's take a little walk into the future, talk about the partnership and how you imagine the future looking, the integration is going to allow folks to use stablecoins on online uh stores compare this to using a credit card for me. What's the difference? What's benefit for users? Yeah, absolutely. So just for context, we made this acquisition last week or announced it with this company called join, which is building a Stablecoin powered uh shopping platform, founded by Tom Dean and Jay and Brad Crook, really compelling platform. And the way it works is is very simple when you have a beam account and you have Stablecoins in your beam account, you can go to AAA product that you want to buy on the internet. You take the link to that product, you paste it into beam, you fill in your shipping information or if you've already done it, you don't need to do it again. You hit, buy funds are sent from your beam account and the transaction is completed and the item shows up at your doorstep. So it's making it so that really simply without these other shopping platforms needing to integrate stablecoins directly into the checkout flow themselves, which is a huge hurdle, you can take that link of what you want to buy, put it into beam and then the item shows up at your doorstep funded by the stable coins you have in your beam account. Obviously, there's lots of ways we can extend that over time. But at its core, we think that adding that utility is really useful. One of the biggest challenges in uh crypto products, especially for the mainstream I think is the on ramps and off ramps. How do you get money onto and off of the product? And this is effectively an offering. It's a way for you to turn stablecoins into something you want a physical product that shows up at your doorstep. And that integration is going to be rolling out over the next couple of weeks. And Andy could a lack of stablecoin regulation in the US be a barrier for you bringing this product to market. I think there's going to be stable coin regulation. I think it it's going to happen. It seems like the part of crypto regulation where the it's being pushed forward the most seriously, at least in the United States. But one of the things that's really appealing about beam is that beam abstracts away for the user, at least at the surface, the stable coins that they're using. So you can have multi different stablecoins and beam and it treats them all like a single digital dollar, whether it's on optimism or base, it all works together and beam has technology that allows those stable coins to be routed between different networks and different stablecoins to get to where they need to get to. So it makes it really simple for users where they don't need to worry about switching networks or adding R PC end points or doing all this complicated stuff again, trying to make it for the mainstream user. But one of the effects of that is that a stablecoin regulation comes through and it becomes more clear and there's, there's different stablecoins that are well regulated in the United States. And an understanding of which one should be supported, beam can seamlessly support them and give users a really easy path to getting over to that stablecoin because rather than being super opinionated about, hey, this is exactly what you have to use and makes it really easy to route the stablecoins to whatever one the user wants to use. And as the regulation gets more clear, we'll certainly be helping users migrate to whatever they should be using. That was beam CEO and contributor to the ECO protocol, Andy Bromberg.

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