Zephyr For Investors #1 – What is Bitspark & Zephyr? – By Maxine Ryan

Tai Zen: Confirm that we have audio from the audience and then after that then we’ll get started. So I don’t see the live feed yet, there’s always an ad that runs in the beginning of these things, give me 1 second. So it looks like the audio is working, so let’s go ahead and get started here, guys.

All right guys, this is Tai Zen, and I’m broadcasting from Dallas, Texas today. And with me today we have some very special guests. First of all, we have the honorable grandmaster, legendary, world-renowned, LeonFu.com, say hello Leon.

Leon Fu: Hey guys.

Tai Zen: The Oracle of Cryptocurrency and an all-around good guy, all right. And then we also have with us our other team member, David Fong, we affectionately call him F here in-house because like in James Bond, he’s our Q, he’s the one that builds all the tools and the software that we need to manage our portfolio and trade and grow our portfolios faster and easier.

So today guys we have a very special guest from broadcasting. Say hello David. And David is broadcasting from Toronto, is that correct?

David Fong: That’s right, I’m hanging out with my folks and my nieces, try to make sure they remember me.

Tai Zen: And Leon is broadcasting from the city of Austin, Texas. And today we have a special guest her name is Maxine Ryan, and say hello Maxine.

Maxine Ryan: Hi, excited to start this part.

Tai Zen: And Maxine is broadcasting from Hong Kong right now, and she is the CEO and the founder of Bitspark.

Maxine Ryan: Just a correction, I’m actually a COO.

Tai Zen: You are one of the founders of Bitspark, correct? All right, so we have reviewed a ton of ICOs and different Cryptocurrency projects on our channel. You guy’s been following us for the last 4 years but we have never looked at a project that was an ICO or a Cryptocurrency project that was started by a woman.

This industry is dominated by men and so when we saw this Bitspark and the Zephyr ICO project, it caught our attention because we rarely have any ICO projects that started by a woman. So can you start out Maxine by helping our audience understand how you first got into Cryptocurrency, into Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency?

Maxine Ryan: Yeah, so I got into Cryptocurrency back in 2014. And basically, at that time I was studying and I had 6 months to graduate my degree in International Relations. And very serendipitously I met my co-founder who was my housemate back then, and he was mining some Bitcoins.

So obviously being a curious person I asked what the hell a Bitcoin is and then everything changed. And basically what happened was I felt as though this technology was going to fundamentally change everything that I had known including payments, how we exchange information, how information can be verified instantaneously.

And I was just completely done for, I quit my degree and then I started this company with my co-founder. So it happened pretty quickly, at that time I was in Australia and we moved the company to Hong Kong to start it.

So we were actually the world’s first cash-in-cash-out blockchain remittance platform, and since then we have launched in 7 countries. So that’s Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Ghana, Pakistan, and Nigeria. So just in that very small timeframe of 3 and a half years, we were able to grow pretty quickly.

Tai Zen: So you started a Bitspark remittance company and just so the audience knows in case you’re new to the market because we’re broadcasting from the US. So the remittance market you know it is fairly good-sized here especially between like Mexico and countries like that.

The remittance market is where people are sending money from there the country they live in the back home to the country where they came from outside of the country, is that correct?

Maxine Ryan: This is a definition for a type of payment which it tends to be done by migrants from their working country back to their home country. So the size of these remittances are typically called micro transfers, and they range sometimes from $200 to $100 it really depends on how much the person is earning.

The reason why remittances are different to something like a bank transfer is that predominantly remittances are handled in cash, so for example, if I was an overseas foreign worker I’d be paid by cash and I would then go to a remittance house, to then send that money overseas, back to my family.

Now what’s really interesting about this is that these money transfer operators who handle the cash payments, the systems that they use are very archaic, so they haven’t been changed. So think of the Western Unions, the MoneyGram, things like this. The system itself is pretty broken and basically what happens is that there’s high cost and those high costs get pushed on to the end-users which are those who need to send money back home.

Tai Zen: So when you first discovered about Bitcoins and Cryptocurrency in your college dorm in Australia, right. What inspired you to go into the remittance market after that? There are other areas of blockchain and Cryptocurrencies that you can go into, what inspired you to go into the remittance markets?

Maxine Ryan: So when we first started we were actually an exchange. So you know that was where all the hype was? When we first started in 2014, and basically what happened was we just saw all these exchanges popping up so we were like, hey you know Hong Kong doesn’t have an exchange, there’s also no exchange that hosts Cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.

So our goal was to become an exchange, well at that time was to become an exchange which would be able to have as many Cryptocurrencies as possible.

Now the problem with that is that there were already so many exchanges at that time, and we decided how are we gonna differentiate ourselves and we had always sort of doing remittances anyway, we just thought that we’d start with the exchange so that we could become an exchange house and then the component can come in later.

But we realized it’s actually much easier to just get started with remittances itself. Now why we use Cryptocurrencies to do remittances is because it’s faster and it’s cheaper than sending cash overseas or using it banks transfer.

And at that time we thought that we were going to be targeting those who are actually sending the money themselves, but we realized that it was the money transfer operators who had this really decades-old internal system that really needed to be changed and improved. So that’s where the component of remittances and blockchain come together.

Leon Fu: So Maxine correct me if I’m incorrect here. My impression was the challenge for remittances is the hyperlink. It’s not really that hard for me to say get money from my bank to say a Mexican bank or a bank in the Philippines.

As I mean just 2 examples of markets that have larger admittances. The problem is that when you get to the other side like they need to walk into a store or some storefront, you pick up the physical currency.

Maxine Ryan: Yeah, to actually get physical cash because a lot of these remittances are actually going to places where they can deal with cash they don’t need Cryptocurrency, so that’s why we were the first cash-in-cash-out. Now to fix the last mile problem is we have 150 partners, and these 150 partners actually we get access to about 500 thousand cash-out locations.

So we don’t change the fundamental process of the remittance flow so that’s cash going in, cash going out because that demographic is still very cash-based if cash is king, right. But what we do change is the inefficiencies of getting the cash in there in the first place.

So, for example, the existing remittance system how it works is that there’s a lot of hedging involved, so if I was sending money from Hong Kong to the Philippines I would have to make sure that the FX market is right, I have to send money in bulk, and basically that has a lot of high risks and that risk equals cost, right. Now what’s different about Cryptocurrencies is that obviously, you can do it instantaneously, so we actually avoid that risk.

Leon Fu: But I don’t quite understand because, as the traditional FX world, the Crypto markets are even more volatile than the foreign currency market.

Maxine Ryan: So basically we only use Cryptocurrency as a tool to send money. We do not hold customer funds in money, oh sorry in Cryptocurrency. So for example, if there’s a licensed money transfer operator who’s holding up the balance with Bitspark, that balance is held in cash, it is not held in Cryptocurrencies.

It’s only when there is a trade involved that it’s done instantaneously. Now I hope later on that we’ll go and talk about why we’re switching to Bitshares, because that it’s actually a very strong component in terms of the inefficiency of Bitcoins now compared to where it was before.

Leon Fu: But just as an example I’m having trouble seeing how you’re saving money versus Western Union. I mean the reason it costs, let’s say Western Union, it cost so much is because number 1, they have to do the whole last mile, it costs money to have a bunch of these storefronts where people can pick up cash, and number 2 they have to comply with all the legal KYC AML, all the legal costs to be a regulated entity.

Maxine Ryan: So there are a few components that go into that and you’re completely right. The problem with things like Western Union is that they are bricks and mortar that has high overheads.

Now our system is completely online, it’s free to join, and basically, anybody who has a computer and who is a licensed money transfer operator can log in and after their information goes through our compliance team, we’re then able to verify them and their shops can then become the cash-in-cash-out. Now that’s where we can basically reduce the cost of having bricks and mortar.

But another place where we can reduce costs is doing a transaction with Cryptocurrencies is fundamentally cheaper than doing it with cash because there are fewer intermediaries, so it is a peer-to-peer transfer. Now with a peer-to-peer transfer, we’re able to lower cost that way.

So instead of saying, if you’re using Swift system which you need around $20 to do a micro-transfer if you’re sending $100 and you have to pay $20 to do a small transfer it’s just not worth it.

Leon Fu: Okay, but do you have the same? I understand that, that’s the built-in financial cost but another big cost for something like a Western Union is the compliance cost, the lawyers, hiring the lawyers to deal with all the regulators, to follow all the money transfer rules in every single country that they deal with, won’t you also have the same cost?

Maxine Ryan: So in so in Hong Kong, Cryptocurrencies is actually seen or Bitcoin specifically is seen as a commodity and not a currency. So even though if Bitspark holds a money transfer license, it’s not actually seen under the same regulations as it is with currencies. So it is true that some of the cost of Western Union is compliance but it’s not all the cost.

There’s a lot of components that go into it. So you know later on we’ll probably see that governments will start trying to regulate Bitcoin or some sort of Cryptocurrency and perhaps they’ll be costs that are inferred then, but that’s certainly not the case right now.

Leon Fu: So what is your biggest market right now, what between which 2 countries are the remittance.

Maxine Ryan: So this is really interesting. Basically, the biggest market that we have is from Hong Kong to the Philippines and to Indonesia. So in Hong Kong, the population here is about 300,000 overseas foreign workers, and they are split between the Philippines and Indonesia, now they all need to send money back home.

What’s really been interesting actually is looking at the FX rate that we’re able to provide our customers. So if we’re sending to places like Nigeria or Pakistan we can actually be 14% better than if they were to go to a traditional shop. And you know the reason why that is, is because in these markets basically what happens is that when you send money there’s a lot of costs, there’s a lot of intermediaries that are involved.

So an example I always like to give is in Africa there are 9 countries that are connected to the Central African Franc. And basically, if you want to send money from Benin to the Ivory Coast, you can’t do that because the banks don’t speak to one another and they don’t work together.

So there are costs in that in itself so I think the main points that I would probably get across as to why Cryptocurrencies are better for certain markets is because it’s actually peer-to-peer and you reduce costs by cutting out intermediate, it’s like the principles of P2P remittances.

Leon Fu: And so what are the mechanics. Like if I’m in Hong Kong and I want to send money back to Indonesia as you said, do I bring my Hong Kong, I assume I have a job I’m one of these migrants I’m working somewhere and I earn Hong Kong dollars and I want to send it to my family back in Indonesia . Do I just go to like a Bitspark, is it a similar experience.

Maxine Ryan: I think like the most important thing about trying to get more people using Cryptocurrency based products is to ensure that they don’t need to learn anything about it. So none of our products require the end-users to need to know what Cryptocurrency is, how to use it because, to be honest, it is very difficult to use, not everybody, there’s the time that you need to put it in to be able to understand how to use it.

So the way that the process works at the moment is, a person walks into this shop, they have their remittance, they give over their ID, they fill in the AML KYC. The licensed money transfer operator who is using Bitspark system will then look at that information say, ok they’re in the clear, and then they didn’t send that transaction. So for the end-user, there’s no difference to how they would typically have to send remittance.

Leon Fu: That is that vendor in Hong Kong, taking like my Hong Kong dollars and then buying Bitcoins with them, and then sending it over to.

Maxine Ryan: So Bitspark handles all the transactions that have to do with Cryptocurrency. So he doesn’t have to know what Bitcoin is, like how to trade it, how to cash it out, which exchanges to use.

Leon Fu: You guys are then taking that money buying Bitcoins with those Hong Kong dollars, the other side selling it for Indonesia currency.

Maxine Ryan: And then we’re able to then cash out in a bank, in a pawn shop, in a convenience store, in Indonesia they use post offices. But basically the customer they have more choice, they have more countries to send to and they also have more cash out locations to send to.

So basically like a problem with money transfer operators is that they have to use several systems at once to gain access to different markets. With Bitspark you know we’re continuously adding more markets and there’s also more cash out locations, so there’s less maintenance, there’s no signup fee, none of that they just can get started immediately.

David Fong: If I was an end-user I wouldn’t go up to somewhere that says Bitspark, I would just go somewhere I would normally do my remittances and the backend, is that what’s happening?

Maxine Ryan: Exactly so the way that I like to think about it is that we’re not changing how the workflow exists, we’re changing the plumbing because the plumbing sucks.

Tai Zen: So that was my question right there. So it sounds like to the end-user who is sending home money to their family on the surface, they just see the same thing and what you guys are doing with Bitspark is coming in.

And like you said to change the plumbing is that the infrastructure underneath the surface, you guys are using the Cryptocurrency, the blockchain, you were formerly using Bitcoin before, you said you know you’re moving towards Bitshares, we’ll get to that Bitshares portion in a minute.

But you’re using the Cryptocurrency technology underlying all this to basically confirm and settle the remittance transaction quickly so that you can release the funds on the other end, is that what you’re doing? Can you talk a little bit about why you guys made the decision to switch over to the Bitshares network?

Because we’ve been researching a lot of blockchains and the differences between them internally on our team, and we have also come to the conclusion that the Bitshares network is also one of the fastest blockchains on the market right now.

Maxine Ryan: I mean there are so many reasons as to why we’re switching to Bitshares and we actually wrote a pretty lengthy blog post about that, that’s available on Steemit. But basically, the key component is that with Bitshares you get access to 180+ currencies with no banks, right.

And that is incredibly important to try to get microtransactions all over the world. On top of that, it’s faster, it’s much faster than the Bitcoin network and any other network that’s out there. And another component is that their exchange is decentralized.

So from the security standpoint that’s incredibly important. Now how Bitshares actually will be used for us is we will be working with the United Nations Development Programme to do a test pilot of basically domestic transfers in Tajikistan.

So what will basically happen is that 1 person in a village in Tajikistan will send a transfer to another person in the village in Tajikistan using the Bitshares network and they’ll be using the BitSomoni or something like that.

So I think the main component is that remittances are available for only a few but there’s a lot of countries that actually miss out because of currency controls,, because of not being able to get access to a bank account and issues like that. So those are just kind of a quick roundup as to why we will be using Bitshares.

Leon Fu: I have a question about that. As one of the reasons Bitcoin is so popular is the liquidity, I mean billions are traded every single day in Bitcoin markets across the world so it’s very easy to move you know large amounts of money in and out of Bitcoin versus any other Cryptocurrency. But Bitshares, is there enough liquidity you have enough trading volume to do all that?

Maxine Ryan: So basically the way that will work is that the reason why we’re switching the Bitshares in the first place or we’re kind of creating the Bitspark 2.0 as we call it is that you know somebody’s remittance who is going to the other side will be already being bought. So that’s where Zephyr will come into play.

So essentially liquidity is not as big as a problem as one would think, it’s just that if there is a buy and sell order there it will be taken because it will be at a lower market price than anywhere else. So with liquidity, it’s interesting because it’s a question that we get quite often but I think that the market is a little bit, it’s not mature enough for us to make an estimation as to whether or not it’s going to be sufficient.

Now if you look at BitUSD. So, for example, we might be selling a BitSomoni but then we can be selling it for BitUSD as well. So it will be paired in some aspect but that will be divulged later on.

Tai Zen: So like if you look at the CoinMarketCap right now Maxine, it says Bitshares has a trading volume of like 5 million, let’s just say estimate, and the trading volume for Bitcoin is over a billion. Do you see that as a hurdle? Let’s just say I’m trying to send 10 million dollars through Bitspark, is it possible or is there a limit on how much I can send through the network.

Maxine Ryan: The thing is that it will be a slow progression to the Bitshares network and it is something that we are testing, for now, we are still using the Bitcoin network just because of the liquidity. But we’ve got some plans in terms of making almost like an aberration, all remittances in these different networks so we kind of hope that we’ll be able to get enough people who will buy and sell.

Now, this is where our money transfer operators become very important because essentially people can then go into a money transfer shop and liquidate their balances. So, for example, I’m a money transfer shop and I have cash and I need to get BitSomoni, somebody would then, maybe a local entrepreneur would come in and sell me BitSomoni for my cash and then they would be able to earn a profit on that. So that is also a solution that we’re going to be implementing as well.

Tai Zen: If you guys don’t have any other questions about the Bitspark or remittance system, I like to move on to about the Zephyr ICO, you have any other questions? So can you talk about them, I noticed that you guys obviously were a Cryptocurrency investing channel so it since is cool and everything for the audience.

But this is a Cryptocurrency investing channel and the reason that y’all’s project caught our attention is because you guys are about to do an ICO for a project called “Zephyr”. Can you talk a little bit to our audience about what is Zephyr and how is that related to Bitspark?

Maxine Ryan: So Zephyr is a token sale which we are launching on the 6th of October and basically the purpose of Zephyr is to be able to create a rewards program for those who economically benefit, the Bitspark network. So the Bitspark network it’s an ecosystem where people can send and receive top-up and refer people to use it.

Now we want to be able to benefit those who are doing well for the system and by giving them basically Zephyr. So on top of that every single successful transaction 25% of that successful transaction in profits will be going back to buying Zephyr tokens. So we hope that that will provide not only more liquidity but also a positive price pressure on the Zephyr market itself.

Now the reason why that is an important component for remittances is that it is a very word-of-mouth and referral on community-based, I guess environment. People are looking for a second income.

So for example if I can go top-up somebody’s mobile phone, if I can go top-up a money transfer operator or if I can even earn by doing a remittance then they’re more likely to do that, and also we kind of hope that it will be an opportunity for people who are sending remittances to be able to invest in Cryptocurrencies and also widen their knowledge of Cryptocurrencies in general.

Tai Zen: So in addition to being a rewards program, incentivize people, I guess it’s to incentivize people to continue using the Bitspark network and then it’s also to inspire other people, motivate other people to want to use it.

Because if I’m a Bitspark user and I’m getting these loyalty points called Zephyr and I’m gonna more than likely, I’m gonna accumulate more of it if I can introduce it to my friends so David or Leon or get other people involved, is that what that is?

Maxine Ryan: So the thing is you actually do a rewards program now anyway and it’s a very normal marketing strategy. The thing is that we want it to mean more and we want it to be digitalized, at the moment with a lot of all of the remittance companies these reward programs are actually part cash.

So we want to start making everything digitalize where if somebody is sending a remittance, and they or let’s just say they topped up if they verified somebody, then they’ll be at maybe a couple of Zephyr tokens and then that will incentivize them to use you know the platform or the remittance app more.

Tai Zen: And so the natural question that we always ask every ICO project that we interview and research. So we got like 860 Cryptocurrencies out there on the market already, do we have a need for another one, the 861st Cryptocurrency, or do we need an extra token on top of it. What is it about Zephyr that makes it different from all the other 860 Cryptocurrencies?

Maxine Ryan: So the difference is that it is backed by something. So Bitspark has existed since 2014. We are backed by the Hong Kong government for their incubation program, we have an immense track record with Accenture, SixThirty we have VC funding.

And I think that a lot of these token sales or these ICOS, you’re not quite sure who’s behind it if they can execute a plan. Now Bitspark we’ve been able in the last 3 years to release 2 products. We have about over 150 partners and 500000 cash out locations all over the world.

We have a large team so I think it’s kind of, and it’s actually based on something it’s based on the remittance network that Bitspark has created. So Zephyr is a reward token for Bitspark’s FiatPeg Cryptocurrency network, that is the foundation of it.

So if you look at a lot of these coins that are available it’s predominantly speculation. It’s not actually based on anything so I think that’s the value add in terms of Zephyr in Bitspark.

Leon Fu: So I have a question. Yesterday BnkToTheFuture, you know. When Tai told me that we were gonna interview Bitspark and I just happened to get the email was sitting in the same when he told me I happened to get this email from BnkToTheFuture.

Can you talk a bit about what is the relationship between Bitspark, the Zephyr ICO or the BnkToTheFuture?

Maxine Ryan: So I think it was 2015 that we did a crowdfunding round on BnkToTheFuture and then when Simon Dickson, who is a CEO of BnkToTheFuture heard that we were doing in ICO, he suggested that we would launch it, I mean we would launch a special price basically for the BnkToTheFuture qualifying investors.

So we’re actually the first ICO that has been on there. The first token sale that has been on the ICO page and I’m really happy that you’re able to see that actually, it’s pretty cool.

Leon Fu: So BnkToTheFuture is at a 60% discount, that’s what the email says.

Maxine Ryan: So the thing is that the reason why we are doing that is that you know back in 2015 we had investors from a crowdfunding round, and that is just basically like an ode to them and thanking them for believing in us and then investing in us as well. So if that’s actually opened I think for the next 20 days so it’d be really great if people can capitalize on that and get 60% off.

Tai Zen: So the people that decide to invest or purchase the Zephyr ICO, that Zephyr tokens via Simon Dixon’s BnkToTheFuture site. You’re saying that if they go to where they get a 60% discount, but before we talk about the discount can you talk about is there a cap on how much money that you guys are looking to raise?

Maxine Ryan: So in total coins existence, there’s 2 billion to represent the 2 billion unbanked. The total tokens that will be available are 600 million and it is capped at 10 mils.

Tai Zen: Can you say that last part again, I think I missed it.

Maxine Ryan: So in total coin creation, there’s 2 billion to represent the 2 billion unbanked. And then the total that is available in the market to buy is 600 million and where it’s capped at 10 mils.

Leon Fu: Is this a fixed price, so are you selling it with a fixed price with a discount, is that the model right now that there’s going to be a fixed price in terms of Bitcoin or Ether like how are you running this.

Maxine Ryan: So basically if you go to the white paper, you’ll be able to see the pricing model. So basically the earliest you go in then you know the cheaper that it will be, but yes it is a fixed price.

People can now deposit Ether, BTC and also Bitshares. And I would strongly suggest people look at the white paper because there are quite a few nice little discounts in there.

Tai Zen: Now you guys are releasing the Zephyr token. Is this going to be done on the Bitshares network or a completely new brand new blockchain?

Maxine Ryan: So it will be on Bitshares decentralized exchange and then probably after we finish doing the raise, we will be hosting it on different exchanges. Now the reason why we’re doing it on the Bitshares exchange first is that that is the network that we’re going to be using ultimately, but yes we will be launching it on other exchanges in the future.

Leon Fu: I have a comment about that. Because we’ve invested in several tokens in the past that launched on Bitshares, and the problem with all of them, at least with all the ones that I’ve invested in, is very low liquidity unlike, say if you were to launch the token on.

And ERC20 token, for example, tended to get listed by exchanges very quickly, they tend to get the good trading volume right out of the gate as ERC20. But the projects that I’ve seen, list on Bitshares tend to don’t trade, there’s no market for them.

Maxine Ryan: There’s not much liquidity, so that’s why we are going to be launching on other exchanges. We do hope that the liquidity won’t be too much of an issue and then as we list on different exchanges that will change over time, but it’s definitely a concern.

But I probably see us listing immediately after the ICO on the 6th of November that’s when it ends and then we’ll be launching on other ones soon.

Leon Fu: You have agreements or with exchanges to list.

Maxine Ryan: So we are in the middle of talking with them at the moment. At the moment it’s kind of more of like a time constraint, but it’s definitely a big one.

Tai Zen: And then how long are you planning to run this ICO for. A month? And how did you come to that time frame?

Maxine Ryan: So basically we decided on a month. And the reason why we decided in a month is that in November we’ll be going to Tajikistan to be launching this project. And we just thought that it would be a really great component to make in time for this Tajikistan component that we’re doing with the UNDP.

So we hope that by November when we can set up the domestic remittance program there that people will also be able to participate with the Zephyr award.

Leon Fu: So you’re saying that your goal is to plan on raising a cap off, your goal is a target of 10 million for the Zephyr project. I know the Bitshares network has a fast speed confirmation and settlement speeds and all that.

But I’m just thinking that from a business perspective that with all the ICO selling out the ones that are on the Ethereum network. Did it cross y’all’s mind to possibly do the token sale using an ERC20 token like we all have mentioned just so that you can have the assurance that you can raise that $10 million.

Maxine Ryan: The thing is that for us the money isn’t so important as the technology. So the reason why we’re sticking with Bitshares is because of what it provides us as prizes 180+ currencies with no banks. A lot of people have asked us why we don’t use Ethereum and it’s because it’s just not made for remittances.

Remittance is a different type of beast, and when we analyze Bitshares and the access that it gives you which is what we need to solve in remittances, it’s accessed, that’s the most important component. So maybe if we were raising on Ethereum blockchain perhaps the community is bigger. But we want to stay true as to why we’re using Bitshares and why it’s important to our all ultimate goal.

Leon Fu: Do you guys have any other questions. This is kind of off the wall a little bit here but what prompted you guys the name at Zephyr, I’m almost curious how these names come up different projects. Does this have anything to do with “The Matrix”, is this one of battleships inside “The Matrix?

Maxine Ryan: Zephyr means a breeze, it means a cloud and we want that to be what people experience when they send money overseas. We’ve all experienced like that headache of sending money and you and we have access like banks, We don’t cash predominantly, we don’t use cash predominantly. So the idea behind that is we want to be able to give access, we want people to send money like a breeze.

Leon Fu: I didn’t know if that was a reference to the matrix or something like that. Because you know you got Neo, Ant shares that rebranded into Neo and they were using like the matrix type and I didn’t know if you guys are looking at like, hey Neo has success by.

Maxine Ryan: Predominantly it’s to do with the speed in access.

Tai Zen: Oh that’s great. Why did you choose the remittance market in the first place, that whole industry, is there some reason that prompted you to?

Maxine Ryan: It just sucks. So this is the biggest problem when it comes to the remittance industry is that it’s old and basically the people who are competitors there like the Western Union and something like that. They’re very complacent and they’re happy with how things are going.

But I don’t see anybody trying to change anything fundamental about the remittance market. You can see a lot of people using blockchain for capital markets, for trade finance all this type of stuff but nobody really looks at why Cryptocurrencies were created in the first place and that’s predominately to do payments faster, better and in the trustless system.

So for me like the immediate application of that was in 2 payments.

Tai Zen: One of the things that that caught our attention, you had asked in the email when we were corresponding the step test interview, you’d ask how we heard about the Zephyr project. I think it was just something on my Twitter feed or something like that. We have over several thousand followers on our Twitter feed and somebody had mentioned something about it.

When Leon and I first started reviewing ICO is back in 2014 then when it was not very difficult to review an ICO because it wasn’t that many, only the serious people were coming out with ICOs and stuff.

And then all of a sudden there was a bunch of some clowns coming out with ICOs all the time so when I rate across y’all’s Zephyr project and the Bitspark project, that’s what caught my attention because it was actually someone that was a real person, because you have all these ICOs and you don’t even know who they are.

Maxine Ryan: It’s really important, transparency is really important and I think that’s how we differentiate ourselves.

Tai Zen: And it didn’t take me that long to search for Maxine Ryan on YouTube and you have done a bunch of talks at different places and you’ve been written up in several different publications online and stuff. So it’s like a real person, so one of the things that we are always concerned about is that if we talk about a certain project, we’re always concerned about we’re in the back of our mind we’re hoping like, I hope it’s not just a scam, a bullshit project or something.

We’re introducing to our audience so it made it a little bit easier to look into setting up an interview with you guys because at least we know that there are real people behind this project.

And we don’t think that every project that we are going to be a home run, that’s gonna become the next Google or Facebook

But the one thing that we don’t want to do is interview any projects that turned out to be a scam or something like that to the public. So it was good to see that you have spoken at several other venues already before we reached out to you.

Are there any misconceptions or misunderstandings about Bitspark or Zephyr that you have seen in the media that you would like to clear up so that when people review your project they don’t get led down the wrong path about it.

Maxine Ryan: No I’m very confident about our image online and how it represents us. I honestly don’t think that if anybody went online and searched anything up they would perceive something that was incorrect.

So I mean I’m really confident about it, we’ve always had really good feedback from media and also from the acceleration programs that we’ve been in and also with banks and partners in Hong Kong, a lot of people come to us to ask us our advice as to how to start a new company and we’re pretty active in the community here.

Tai Zen: So speaking of starting a new company, the mission of our channel and our site is to help accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology, we don’t favor any specific blockchain, we just believe that if it becomes mainstream it can really help everyone.

So businesses and you helping businesses since you’re one of the few female-oriented businesses involved in the Cryptocurrency space, what advice or recommendations or opinions, first of all, what opportunities do you see for women in Cryptocurrencies and blockchains, in this big blockchain space in general.

We do have 8% of our audience are female and surprisingly enough that 8% is made up of a lot of young women, kind of surprising when I was looking at the analytics there are a lot of high schools and college kids.

So what would you say to those young kids, young females that are watching this channel and following us? What would you say to them about the opportunities that are available and what they can look forward to getting involved?

Maxine Ryan: I really think misconception with any sort of technology that’s up-and-coming is that you need to be some sort of tech wizard to understand. So for me, I didn’t come from a technical background but I understood the fundamental pillars of blockchain technology, Cryptocurrencies and what it meant, and then from there through pure passion, I was able to then learn the technical side, the business side.

There’s so much more than the technical side to this technology because the technology exists but if you cannot build good products on top of it if you cannot sell it, if you cannot market it, you cannot find an investment, then really it’s not going to be growing. So I think that in the blockchain space there’s more than 1 role anybody can take.

Tai Zen: So let’s say that we have a young girl that’s watching this from high school, college and they are interested, inspired from your interview here to get involved in the blockchain space. What wouldn’t we be the best and ideal venue for them to reach out to you with questions or anything like that?

Maxine Ryan: I think Twitter, I tweet it all the way, Twitter is the best way to do anything effectively. I think many things are available, but I’m mostly for.

Tai Zen: I have your Twitter information and everything underneath the description of this video so if you watch this and you have any questions about Bitspark, the Zephyr or for women and blockchain in general.

Maxine Ryan: The really good thing that helped me was going online and trying to find some meetups that were blockchain orientated and I think a lot more people are noticing. Like for example I did a woman in FinTech panel the other day and the audience was about 50 people and most of them were women and I was really surprised because about a year and a half ago that just would not have happened.

So I can already see that a lot more women are getting into space and it makes me really happy and there’s also a lot more women who are heading this. So Blythe Masters who are doing distributed ledger technology, she started I think about a year and a half ago. And I’m seeing more and more women actually heading up this phase as well so it’s pretty cool.

Tai Zen: So our channel we also like to inspire people whether it’s men or women to move forward with their dreams and stuff and their business goals. From a motivational and personal perspective when Leon and I and David when we go to a Cryptocurrency conference it’s like heavily dominated by men and we only see as a few women in there.

How do you overcome that personally like when you go into a field where all you see is guys dominating the field? Does that put fear into you or does that inspire you? For some people they get scared of that may lead and then for others they get inspired by that and it motivates them to excel.

Maxine Ryan: I mean I really don’t see gender like it doesn’t really affect me. So if I walked into a room I’m not thinking oh there’s a bunch of like males and here I’m thinking, well there’s a lot of really cool people that I want to meet and I want to share my ideas with.

So I think it’s all about the mindset. Because if it’s with anybody it doesn’t matter, if it’s gender it could be your age, it could be anything. Like you didn’t graduate from university or whatever about it, whatever chip you have on your shoulder, it’s really up to you to decide how you want to change your mentality and get out there.

I think the biggest thing is just getting out there, that’s the hardest thing and then after a while you start making friends and you start realizing that you can go to a Bitcoin meetup in Geneva and you’ll meet people there that shares the same idea. And I think there’s something very powerful about this space that’s happening at the moment.

I mean think about how much it’s grown on the investment that’s been in here, how many businesses are sprouting up, like there’s definitely some sort of like paradigm shift in the way of thinking. And I think over time just as we see with like mobile phones or with cars I think that everybody will start adopting it, so don’t miss out, that’s the biggest thing just don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity.

Tai Zen: I just text everyone in the chatbox to submit any questions that they have for you and we’ll answer a few questions before we wrap up and conclude this broadcast. Now do you guys have any other questions for Maxine and if you guys have any questions in the audience please leave in the chat box and I’ll ask them to Maxine.

Leon Fu: Hey Tai, I have to run here. Nice to meet you, Maxine.

Tai Zen: Thanks, Leon.

Maxine Ryan: Oh sorry, I can’t really hear you talking.

Tai Zen: Oh sorry about that. He had a doctor’s appointment that he had to run to. So we got 1 question from Robert, Maxine and he asked what are all the ways that Zephyr can be earned if someone does not invest in the ICO, like are there bounties.

Maxine Ryan: I’m sorry I didn’t mention that earlier but we do have a bounty available on BitcoinTalk. So if they just search up a Zephyr ICO bounty they’ll be able to find it there and we’ve got a pretty comprehensive bounty there, that allow people can be involved in, it’s across lots of channels like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook.

So I really strongly encourage people to go down that route if they don’t want to go through the investing route. Because it’s pretty much like it’s for free, all you have to do is spread the word.

Tai Zen: Another question from Kim Hogan, Maxine and this is a pretty good question I’ve got to ask earlier. How do you hope to operate in countries like Nigeria and not just Nigeria but countries that are high in like financial fraud, stuff, how does Bitspark deal with those countries like that?

Because I don’t know how it is in Hong Kong but all the traditional stock Forex futures brokers in America, most of them will not allow a Nigerian resident or citizen to open up an account. Because I talked to some brokers here and they’re like we just don’t want to deal with all the fraud that we have to deal with.

Maxine Ryan: There’s the Nigerian prince issue. So basically the way that we do that is we have standard AML KYC protocols that we have to abide by, having a license and then also our money transfer operators are also licensed. So they have their standard protocol which they have to go through themselves.

So a lot of this is going through their name, their ID, the points of ID that they need to produce. If they’re sending a larger amount of money then there’s more they have to produce in terms of identification. A lot of the systems or the system we provide, if somebody’s name goes through it, it goes through the terrorist list and all this type of stuff.

So in terms of our protocol to identify and prevent fraudulent identification is actually embedded in our system itself. And this is actually a lot better than the existing systems that you have where they don’t provide that type of security blanket that we do.

Tai Zen: That’s all the questions that I see coming in. Someone just refers to as the female Vitalik. I guess that’s a good compliment. So have you met Vitalik or worked with him before?

Maxine Ryan: No. It was really weird because he was here for a conference, maybe when I first got started and I couldn’t make the meetup but I walked past him and how he’s just so identifiable. Everybody knows him in the Crypto world.

And I was about to say something but he just kind of went away so I was like there’s my moment loss. So I hope when he’s here next time I’ll be able to meet him properly.

Tai Zen: So we interviewed him in person when he first came out, we were one of the first channels to interview him about the Ethereum project going back to our channel way in the past and watched me and Leon interview him in person at the Texas Bitcoin conference. And we thought he’s a pretty amazing dude, I think he’s like 19 or 20 at the time and he’s coming out this project and our team was like we’re loading up on this guy.

Maxine Ryan: With everything you kind of need the people at the forefront that are leading this thing. So it’s really good to have the core people who are spreading ideas, spreading the logic as to why this is important.

Tai Zen: Someone asked Raphael, he said is there anywhere in London to send money via Bitspark.

Maxine Ryan: Not yet but please be in tune with our social media quickly because we always add new countries. We are actually talking to some parties in the UK to enable that functionality. It’s just all about getting the shop so predominantly where Asia faced for now, but definitely sometime soon.

Tai Zen: Well what about to Latin countries like Mexico or any of the South American in the US and that’s a huge remittance market in the US.

Maxine Ryan: It is. So the thing is that we’re not actually going to be functioning in the US for now just because I think that there are other markets that are perhaps less saturated with competition. So what you actually see is what you see they’re really popular markets that are just completely saturated but then that actually shows a lot of neglect for the stands like Tajikistan and all this type of stuff.

There are people who already have access and there are people who have very limited access, I think that we should be able to provide a platform that everybody can basically get involved with. So definitely soon I think basically if you look at the timeline on our website, we’re aiming for I think the end of this year, at least to 1 of next year to have a lot of currencies up and running.

Tai Zen: So we have 2 last questions here, Maxine. Robert asked if you can clarify how someone can earn those Zephyr tokens for providing liquidity to your MTOs.

Maxine Ryan: Yes, so basically how that works is that if there is an MTO in your region who either needs to buy or sell USD, let’s just say for example BitUSD, he needs some way to top-up his balance. So for example, if you have the Sendy app, perhaps you’ll get a ping or a notification that says no X user or this MTO needs his balance to be liquidated with BitUSD.

So you as an entrepreneur would get this notification, you would then go into the shop and go, hey I will sell BitUSD with a premium, let’s just say, 0.5 whatever the market is, 4.5% and then she would go, confirm.

You would then give him the BitUSD and then he would then give you cash and a bit of profit. So if you look at the white paper we actually have it pretty laid out with diagrams and stuff like that on how it works.

Tai Zen: So that kind of answers the other question where Bitshares Wolf asked about will customers be able to buy Bitshares or BitUSD directly as kind of an on-ramp.

Maxine Ryan: Yes.

Tai Zen: Let me see something buddy here, “When is Tai, Fu gonna dress like a pimp and drive Ferraris?”. Let’s keep the questions related to a Bitspark and the Zephyr. That’ll be probably coming in 2018.

So that will wrap up this session on Bitspark with Maxine Ryan and the Zephyr ICO. Would you be open to coming back after the ICO is done and share with everyone a wrap-up summary or how it all went and everything?

Maxine Ryan: Yes I would love to do that because I think there needs to be more transparency on how this thing works. It’s a great way for people to raise money for their ideas.

So I would love to come back and I’d love to come back with my CEO George Harrap and then we can talk about it as a team because there are a lot more components about it, lots of different perspectives, so that would be great.

Tai Zen: Awesome so you have any other last thoughts you want to share with our audience.

Maxine Ryan: Yeah, please join our discussion, we’re in discord, we’re on Bitshares chat, we’re on the telegram, you name it whatever you like to use. Please just start talking to us, we want to know your ideas. And also we’ve got 60% off on BnkToTheFuture and also on our actual launch date we’ve got 50% off, so don’t miss out.

Tai Zen: Well thanks for joining us on this broadcast I will come to the end of the hour here, Maxine and it’s great having you on and thanks for explaining everything clearly about the Bitspark remittance system and the Zephyr ICO. If you guys want to follow or have more questions for Maxine about the Bitspark project and the Zephyr ICO, I have the links below in the description.

Make sure you use the links in the description box and not some other links because those are the correct ones. Obviously any time there’s a new ICO out, there will always be people trying to make a fake website so I have put the correct domain to the best of my knowledge and if you can inspect that, also when you get a chance and let me know if there’s anything wrong with any of the domain names that I put at the bottom.

And then all the Twitter handled for Maxine Ryan, it’s Twitter.com/maxineryan and I also put the Twitter handle for the Bitspark BTC so that you guys can follow them. If you guys have more questions or information on it.

Thanks for coming on this show today, Maxine, and we’ll look forward to talking to you again in the future after your Zephyr ICO is done to see how it went and give us a summary on it.

Guys, like this video, give us a thumbs up. Bitcoinmeister says pound that like button. If you don’t like it, give us a thumbs down so we’ll know not to do it again in the future.

You guys want to learn more about any future broadcasts we have, any future ICO interviews that we do, make sure you guys follow us at https://cryptocurrency.market/newsletter and thanks for watching this and this will conclude the broadcast. Thanks, everyone.

 

Learn more at:

https://bitspark.io/
https://zephyr.bitspark.io/

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