As more entities participate in the Stellar ecosystem, the more potential and upside there is for network effects to occur. Network growth means that participants can not only find their own footing to operate independently and sustainably, but also discover ways to scale their business by collaborating with other entities in the ecosystem.
The two SCF finalists we’re featuring in this blog post are a great example of ecosystem participants partnering with each other to create their own network effects. Together, enterprise payment processor COINQVEST and wallet-anchor Anclap are able to combine their respective strengths to offer inflation-free payment processing to merchants and enterprises in Argentina. However, this partnership might not have come to fruition in the first place if it weren’t for the significant progress that each finalist had made on its own.
We dug deep into COINQVEST and Anclap, their missions, and how their products will benefit their users:
Founder(s): Stefan Schneider, Marcin Olszowy
Use Case: B2C Payments
As business becomes increasingly globalized and omnichannel, merchants need an easy and reliable way to service customers all over the world when it comes to transactions. With COINQVEST’s all-in-one solution built on Stellar, merchants are able to accept payments through cryptocurrency while staying compliant at the same time. By expanding payment offerings for merchants, COINQVEST aims to “transform the way businesses get paid by helping them with simple and programmable digital currency payment processing.“
COINQVEST realized that to be the “Stripe of crypto,” they needed to build their product on a blockchain that could support wide-scale transactions and provide merchants security, speed, and low transaction fees. Through Stellar-powered transactions, merchants can leverage COINQVEST’s solution to convert their customer payments into their desired currency and deposit the funds directly into their bank accounts or crypto wallets. All merchants need to do is simply integrate COINQVEST’s checkout button on their payments pages or employ COINQVEST’s REST API to further mesh more advanced features with the rest of their online setup.
Since cryptocurrency hasn’t reached mainstream adoption quite yet, regulations surrounding crypto vary vastly from country-to-country. To provide a seamless experience for merchants, COINQVEST also includes analytics and tax-keeping data in their business toolkit so businesses stay compliant. Rounding out the package are the automated invoicing and financial reporting features, helping businesses keep track of balance sheets, account statements, and transaction history.
As COINQVEST started picking up traction, some merchants would tell them of their initial uncertainty accepting cryptocurrency as payment. “They’re interested in adopting new digital currencies, but it can seem overwhelming at first,” said Olszowy. "When they experience how COINQVEST removes the complexities of integrating with multiple blockchains and provides settlement in their desired currencies, their sentiment turns positive quickly.”
For the upcoming year, COINQVEST is eager to expand its product offerings, partnerships, and team. By continuing the hard and necessary work, COINQVEST aims to undo merchants’ initial perceptions of cryptocurrency, and show them the benefits of accepting crypto and stablecoin payments instead.
Founder(s): Ivan Mudryj, Mariano Morales
Use Case: Asset Issuance, P2P Payments,
Anchors are core to the Stellar network, and Anclap is giving anchors a twist by building a new type of bridge between Stellar and the real-world. Through their extended interoperable anchor services, the Stellar-issued ARS token can be used to pay anything. Anclap gives their users a way to load a prepaid international debit card, access to more than 5,000 different local services – utility bills, public transportation, health care insurance, and more – and send payments via digital tokens.
The ability to pay with digital fiat is especially meaningful for Argentines, who long have had to rely on physical cash at risk of the peso devaluing due to inflation. Today, cryptocurrencies serve as a mechanism to protect value against inflation and long-term savings, but it is still complex and inconvenient to pay with those same digital savings if necessary. Now, thanks to Anclap's payments services, Argentines can protect their values by holding any type of asset and use their money for day-to-day transactions, while merchants get paid in their local currency.
Interoperability plays a huge role in Anclap and the many features they offer, which is why it’s built on Stellar in the first place. By scaling its anchor services through several SEPs, Anclap offers its features through other ecosystem wallets and applications such as LOBSTR or Solar. Users don’t have to forgo the wallet experience they’re most used to in order to access the benefits of Anclap, and developers can build on top of its services.
For 2021, Anclap plans to launch Buckler, a mixed fiat and crypto wallet that prioritizes functionality and user experience. It also will focus on expanding its marketing efforts, ensuring that both crypto and non-crypto users are aware of the savings and payments features Anclap has to offer. By rolling out these initiatives, Anclap will empower Argentines to take control of their wealth after decades of financial anxiety.
You can view all the finalists of the SCF: Seed Fund here! Voting begins on April 26!