Stably's CEO Kory Hoang is interviewed by Ashton Addison from Crypto Coin Show, Event Chain for Investment Pitch Media, and FinTech News Network. Below is a video of the interview along with a transcript which may not be 100% accurate and may have some grammatical errors.
Ashton: I’m Ashton Addison from Event Chain for Investment Pitch Media and FinTech News Network. And today on blockchain interviews we have Kory Hoang, the CEO of Stably. Kory, welcome to the show, it’s a pleasure to have you back and have you here today.
Kory: Yeah thanks for having me on the show Ashton.
Ashton: You’re very welcome. For the viewers that didn’t see our last interview, I’d love to kick it off with a little bit of background on the Stably project as well as Stably USD. So if we could start, I’d like to get a little information on what is Stably and why is Stably USD an important asset to the blockchain ecosystem.
Kory: Yeah sure, so Stably is a Seattle based FinTech startup, we were founded in 2018. We have raised a total of 3 million dollars, close to 3 million dollars in venture capital so far. Currently we have a stablecoin product that we started developing in 2018 that’s backed by the US dollar, it’s called USDS. We managed to launch it toward the end of 2018 and it got listed on major exchanges including Binance, Bittrex, Kyber, and a lot of other decentralized protocols as well. And ever since then, starting in the middle of last year, actually we started expanding into stablecoins as a service. Creating stablecoins for other enterprise clients and B2B customers, as well as creating a borderless financial account platform. Where anybody can open an account or a wallet essentially, a digital wallet that they can open online and hold any sort of crypto currency or US dollar and they can also issue and redeem stablecoins directly from that account. But yeah everything is really going great. We actually just closed our most recent funding round earlier this year. And right now we are on the path to launch several major enterprise projects that we have been working on with our partners and clients. Should be coming out soon, here within the next one to two months.
Ashton: Very cool and yeah Stably has done a lot since our last interview last year with your new enterprise solution and Stably Prime. And we’ll get into that, but first touch a little bit more on Stably USD stablecoin. You can tell on the website that it's an asset backed, regulated, transparent stablecoin. And a lot of people that are just getting into bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are having a hard time understanding the difference between fiat and cryptocurrencies and what backs different currencies. So could you talk a little bit about what are the specific assets that you saw to back Stably as a stable value for cryptocurrency and how did you decide what was the best way to back the currency.
Kory: Yeah so the first stablecoin we created, Stably dollar, or USDS, is backed by obviously the US dollar. And the reason we settled on that is because the US dollar is very straight forward, simple, and easy. It’s the world’s reserve currency and there’s a lot of use cases for it. And when we first embarked on this project back in 2018, there were a lot of other projects that were trying to create an alternative US dollar backed stablecoins to compete with Tether. Since then, Tether hasn’t really slowed down, they’ve gotten better and stronger, and they’re still growing. Since then we decided not to directly compete with Tether in the US dollar stablecoin game because that would be suicidal. So we pivoted over to tokenizing other assets classes including commodities, like gold, silver, looking into tokenizing crude oil as well. We are also tokenizing other fiat currencies. Recently we tokenized the Canadian dollar for one of our enterprise clients. And we’re working with several other clients in Asia to tokenize Filipino peso. We’re creating a stablecoin pegged to VND but it’s actually backed by US dollar and not VND. That one is a pretty interesting project. There’s another that’s Bahamian stablecoin project, it’s backed by Bahamian dollar, that’s already pegged to US dollar. Yeah so we’re getting a lot of interesting requests for a lot of different enterprise customers all over the world. We’re looking to launch fast and well tested and robust method of issuing their own brand of stablecoins within two or three months. And we’re able to develop and deliver that solution based on our already existing technology that we’ve already built. Some asset classes like oil or gold for example. Those are more unique, its not as easy custody like cash at a bank. So those projects do take a little bit longer to develop and launch. I think in three or four weeks we’ll be announcing one of our precious metal backed stablecoin projects with one of our major partners.
Ashton: Very interesting that theres all these different currencies and countries that are getting involved with this and it really seems to be really picking up steam. And earlier on you mentioned that you’re working on this borderless transaction service, thats apart of Stably’s model. Now stablecoins seem like a very valuable way to transfer value internationally as opposed to going through some centralized providers. Can you talk a little bit about why you launched Stably Prime and how does that fit into your stablecoin ecosystem?
Kory: Yeah absolutely. So the reason we launched Stably Prime are three primary reasons. First is to create a borderless account. What I mean by borderless is an account that is truly accessible for anybody in the world. So with this account anyone in the world can open it, no matter where they're from. So let’s say, I’m in Vietnam right now at the moment, if someone here in vietnam wishes to open this account, they can go ahead and do it alone. They don’t have to travel to the US like a regular bank account which requires a passport, visa, money to get the plane ticket, all that kind of stuff. So it’s not as easy for the average person in a developing market who wishes to access US banking products. It’s not easy for them to go to the US and do that. With this account, it’s an account that’s actually administered by Prime Trust, which is a regulated financial institution from Nevada, and they’re a trust company. And it’s almost like a bank account, it’s bank-like, it’s not exactly a bank account. But it’s similar to a bank account, in that it can hold US dollar, you can deposit and disperse US dollar from this account to anybody in the world, you can receive deposit in US dollar from anyone in the world, it has wire, ACH, check, credit, debit card etc. And then we also started adding crypto integration to it so that you can deposit crypto currency as well as disperse crypto currency. And then we build it into the ability to issue and redeem stablecoins, which is actually our USDS our own brand stablecoin. And we’re also going to build into the ability for people to buy and sell cryptocurrency. So basically it’s an all-in-one solution in one single account, that a lot of different type of customers can use from crypto customers like funds, exchanges, crypto market places, or ICOs NCO etc, to traditional businesses like remittance companies, payment companies, or international companies that does a lot of payments, cross-border payments etc. They could all leverage this account. So yeah, so that’s our first goal of being a truly borderless account, that could help people transact faster and cheaper with global accessibility. The second reason that we created Stably Prime is we wanted to offer a way for people to earn better interest on their dollar. So right now as you know if you put money into a bank account you're not earning anything. You're earning like less than 1%, probably 0.1 or 0.2 or something tiny to nothing at all, because the interest environment is at an all time low at the moment. But in the crypto market you see there’s crypto lending which is really taking off. It has grown significantly. For example Celsius Network, which is our partner, they recently cross-fund billion dollars of total assets into a deposit on their platform, which is pretty huge plus for this industry as a whole. You know the rates that crypto lending is paying now is significant, you have an interest rate going from 8 to 9 to 12% even on certain platforms. This is a lot more, obviously it's a lot more attractive than the traditional interest rate that banks are paying. And of course this is a crypto lending, it's not like a regular FDIC insured cash. So there’s a couple of caveats to it. That’s the reason why we built Stably Prime, we want to make it easier for people to access this type of product and make them aware how this works and what’s in it, what are the risks involved so that they can make their own informed decision to put their money to work in this system and earn 8-12% a year and not let it sit idle and eat up by inflation. So earning interest and beating inflation. And third most importantly is we basically want to create a platform where we can provide simple support for Stably Enterprise projects that we are launching. We are working with a gold dealer to do a gold token, we’re working with a silver dealer to do a silver token, we’re working with clients in the Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong to do various types of fiat backed stablecoins. Once all these are launched, we obviously help our clients and partners connect with exchanges, OTC trading desk, lending platforms, market places etc a lot of ecosystem players in order to integrate our enterprise clients' token. In addition to that we also want to have our own platform we can provide access to the users to our clients tokens. If you want to buy their gold token, maybe you can buy on Binance, maybe you can buy on Bittrex, maybe you can buy directly with the gold dealer, or maybe you can go to my platform, you can get it from there too. It would provide a place where we could showcase all of our client’s products, it’s also a place where we could distribute it to the public.
Ashton: That’s great and a lot of information, it’s great to see that you’re integrating cryptocurrencies as well as fiat, wire transfers, and then integrating the staking and it’s definitely been an attractive industry inside of cryptocurrency so far with these stablecoins giving from anywhere from 8-12% as opposed to lower than 1%, you're right. So that’s really interesting that you’re integrating that into Stably Prime. What you mentioned about the enterprise clients is super interesting as well. I’m curious what is your take on how important is enterprise adoption of this kind of service versus individuals and where do you see the industry growing. Is it required to have all these enterprise solutions or will we see a more of ground up individuals joining and starting this kind of revolution.
Kory: I guess I’ll answer that question in two parts. First is I think the reason why we’re in the business of creating stablecoins for enterprises or asset backed tokens for large clients at all is because we believe there's actually value for these companies and their users in doing this. Even for the economy and market as a whole. When you’re a major brand, like Costco, Walmart, or Amazon for example. You have a lot of existing users, right? And all these users are paying you either with cash or most likely they’ll pay with cards. They’re paying online, they're paying with cards, Visa, Mastercard, American Express or whatever. Guess what, each one of those transactions takes up 2 or 3% in fees. The person who has to pay that is actually the consumer. They charge the fee to the merchant but the merchant marks up the product anyways and the consumer ends up having to pay for that 2 or 3% in fees. If a business like Facebook or Walmart or Amazon, Facebook and Walmart by the way have already announced their own stablecoin plans. Libra with Facebook, I don’t know what Walmart’s coin is called, I don’t think they have a name yet, we’ll call it Wally coin or something. Facebook has Libra, Walmart has Wally coin, and they all know if they get their users to use their stablecoin to pay for products and services in their ecosystem. They save 2 or 3% from not having to pay to Visa on every transaction. That’s a lot of money, 2 or 3% on all of those transactions, on top of that. First they’re saving money, second they’re earning money. When their customer puts money into the stablecoin, the reserve, the fiat reserve backing up their stablecoin, that now goes into the custody of Walmart or Facebook or a custodian financial institute or bank that they use. Now that they have that deposit, that deposit is going to earn them money. If you have a couple hundred million or billion customer deposits sitting on your hand, there’s a lot of things you can do with it to generate reserves and still keep it safe and stable to the end consumer. Also you create your own brand of stablecoin or digital money you have a lot of marketing power there. There’s a lot of branding, there’s a lot of promotion, there’s a lot of huge potential possibilities. Also the last piece is when you get your customers to use stablecoins, your own stablecoin even better. Now that data is on the blockchain. Now you can get users data, get blockchain data insight on how your consumers are spending their money or spending their stablecoin, using their stablecoin, what product they’re spending the most money on. There’s a lot of use cases for private enterprises to issue their own digital money. And so they can go find someone who can help them do it. Like Stably who has already been around for 2 to 3 years now, as long as the stablecoin word has been around. We’re one of the early pioneers in this, and we have the technology stack available. We work with every client to really figure out what’s their needs, what they really want, and who we can best deliver on that solution, on case by case basis. Like everybody is different, there’s no one shoe fits all sizes right now.
Ashton: Definitely, well we’re running out of time Kory but sounds super interesting especially with all these large companies creating their own stablecoins and I can see how SMBs and smaller companies would want to get involved with this as well. For the viewers and the companies that are looking to learn more about enterprise solutions, or just Stably in general, what is the best way to reach out and learn more.
Kory: Please feel free to visit our website www.stably.io or you can also visit our Twitter and Facebook. It’s twitter.com/StablyCoin or facebook.com/StablyCoin or you can also visit our community channel on Telegram t.me/StablyCommunity.
Ashton: Great, thank you so much Kory, I will leave those links in the description blocks below for the viewers. I appreciate you coming on to speak about Stably, all the best with the project moving forward, and let’s follow up in the near future.
Kory: Thank you so much Ashton, you as well.
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Reuters insider: https://share.insider.thomsonreuters.com/link?entryId=0_23c12ij8
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