It feels like just yesterday we were announcing the last round’s winners of the Stellar Community Fund. And it’s that time again! SCF #11’s first submission deadline is fast approaching. To commemorate this exciting event, we hearkened back to SCF #10 and spoke to Matus Vojcik, SCF winner and founder of Vitreous, a transparent fundraising platform built on Stellar. Take a gander to learn about Matus’s business and his experience with SCF – it may even give you inspiration for your own blockchain-based project!
The idea for Vitreous came from Matus’s interest in corruption, fraud, and transparency. In some countries, political campaigns must have transparent accounts, which are like bank accounts, but everyone can view balances, incoming and outgoing transactions, and sender and receiver information.
“Where public funds or donations are involved, we need transparency to know that the money is being spent properly to minimize the risk of corruption and fraud.” – Matus Vojcik, Founder of Vitreous
Even though transparent accounts are required, some governments don’t typically monitor them, which results in inaccurate fund reporting and confusing data. Accountability is instead accomplished through community involvement and discussion.
With this experience in mind, Matus knew that fundraising platforms could also benefit from transparent accounts and public-enforced accountability. And so Vitreous was born: a platform and social network for fundraising campaigns that makes it difficult for corruption to occur. “I would compare it to the consensus mechanisms in crypto,” he says. “There will always be bad actors, but we can design a system that keeps these bad actors from being successful.”
With Vitreous, users can create fundraising accounts for their cause for people to donate to. They then record how they spend received funds by posting invoices or images to the platform. The community holds the campaign accountable by discussing the account as a whole or asking questions about individual transactions. Having this transparency and demonstrating that money is being well-spent and well-documented not only attracts new donors but potentially motivates them to contribute more.
There are two predominant parts of Vitreous: 1) transactions and accounts and 2) social networking. It is essential for the first part to be trustless and decentralized, making it perfect for blockchain. Matus chose Stellar because of its low fees and powerful financial backend. With Stellar’s transactional capabilities, users can quickly send and receive many micropayments worldwide. Part two, the social network side, uses a centralized server. This combination of decentralized and centralized technologies helps Vitreous accomplish its mission (web 2.5, anyone?).
While essential, accounts and transactions aren’t the most exciting aspect of Stellar.
“The most valuable Stellar feature is the anchor network,” says Matus. “When building a financial application, you can connect to these anchors directly and have representation in multiple countries for very low effort.”
Matus envisions Vitreous being present in as many counties as possible, and the anchor network can help make this happen. Typically, launching fintech projects in multiple countries is extremely complicated due to unique regulatory requirements. This process is simplified with Stellar’s robust network of crypto on and off ramps called anchors (check out all Stellar’s anchors in the Anchor Directory).
As a winner of the Stellar Community Fund’s tenth round, Matus has some sage advice for those considering applying: “Do it!” With the funding, Matus and his team are completing his project’s front and back end and is excited to have something to show in a couple of months. He even mentioned that applying to SCF had some unexpected benefits: the application helped him organize his ideas and fill the holes in his business plan that he hadn’t thought of before.
You heard him! The first deadline for SCF #11 is September 25th. If you’re considering applying, we’d love to see your project. Head on over to our SCF website if you’re interested in learning more or engage with the community in our SCF Discord. And keep your eyes peeled for more exciting updates from Matus and Vitreous!