How this bitcoin-based startup is revolutionizing international payments

Our redactor’s team has roamed through the Seedstars Summit to find interesting, relevant and crazy stories of entrepreneurs coming from emerging markets.
Today we present the story of a “Bitcoin enthusiast” and CEO of Bit.One, a startup based in Brazil. From the business model of his company to the bitcoin sensor in his hand, here is his story.

Could you tell us your story, what is your background?

I’ve been a Bitcoin enthusiast for some time now. I bought my first Bitcoin around 2012-2013 (100$ for 1 bitcoin, a good deal because now it is worth more than 1200$, ed.). I went to London to study and decided to write my academic thesis about it. Then my thesis got published – it was one of the first in the world – and after that, I did some economic analyses about bitcoins for the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Then I wondered: “How can I solve a problem using Bitcoin?”. I thought about developing countries: people there have so many problems sending money abroad or receiving it from other countries. Plus, using Bitcoin can be one-third cheaper than a regular bank and the money is delivered within the same day, whereas with regular banks it takes up to 4 days. And of course, in Brazil (residence country of Bit.One founder, ed.) we have limitations. The banks are slow, expensive and usually, it’s complicated to authorise international payments over 2000$. But with Bitcoin, you have no limitation.
Using this technology, we are delivering the financial freedom that is taken for granted in European countries.

An interesting fact about this technology is that we don’t directly attack capital controls because we never take money out of the country. We are trading digital assets locally to move value across the country. So, you will never damage the economy or break the law. We perform full compliance checks on our customers so that we are aligned with the best practices in banking.

I believe so much in this technology that I placed a chip in my own hand to store my bitcoins.

What? Say that again?

I have a chip implanted in my hand to store bitcoins. You can see it here:

Thiago Augusto Ramos Cesar, CEO of Bit.One                                                                                         Bitcoin sensor in the hand

Connecting one of our redactor smartphone
to his sensor, giving him contact details

And can you pay with it, wherever you go? 

So, basically, I place my phone on top of my hand and it opens my wallet, so yes. We can also do a money transfer! Fun fact, I did the implant myself:

Why did you implant this?

For technology purposes. I can program this chip, I can experiment new payment methods and I thought, why not me? Of course, it has the security as well, this device is not connected to the internet, it cannot be hacked. (The dispositive uses an NFC technology, ed.)

Last modified: 31 août 2020

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