Unbanked Investor Update – January 2023

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!

A lot has happened in the crypto market since my last update.  If you missed that update, you can read it here – Unbanked October 2022 Investor Update.  I have a lot to share so let’s get right to it.

NO FTX EXPOSURE

I want to state that Unbanked had no exposure to FTX, Alameda, Celsius, BlockFi, Gemini, Genesis, Terra/Luna, or any other companies that recently halted business due to ongoing contagion in the markets.  Customers of Unbanked, and all white-label customers, continue to have access to their crypto to buy and spend as usual.  

The companies that were the worst offenders and catalysts for problems in the crypto market were offshore entities. They were outright stealing funds from consumers or had poor risk management in terms of how they were rehypothecating assets.  This is why I remain bullish on US-headquartered web3 companies as a safe haven for both US and International crypto investors.  The US has financial laws and regulations that make it a much stricter environment for companies to operate in which translates to better consumer protection.   

UK and European Card Programs Live

It’s finally here!  After two years of engaging with Mastercard and regulators of 27 different countries the Unbanked Card for European Residents is available and features our newest card design.  Residents of the United Kingdom and other European countries can register their interest for a user account, deposit their cryptocurrency and, subject to approval, get a card for spending their digital assets. Unbanked card holders can use 15 different cryptocurrencies to fund their user account, including BTC, ETH, UNBNK, and more. 

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Cryptocurrency funds are linked to a crypto-backed card, issued by Moorwand, so users can convert cryptocurrency to fiat in real time at merchants where cards are accepted. The card provides a unique set of financial, payment and crypto services that improve the accessibility and utilization of digital currencies for cardholders.

“We have worked for over two years on building this exciting solution to make the Unbanked Card available to interested users in Europe,” said Daniel Gouldman, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Unbanked. “It’s great to know with this launch, we will be able to provide residents in the U.K. and parts of Europe access to one of the most innovative crypto-powered cards in market.”

We are currently supporting residents in the following countries with additional countries going through the approval process.

Portugal, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Greece, Finland, Latvia, Italy, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Malta, Lithuania, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Estonia, Norway, Hungary, Czech Republic (Czechia), Romania, Ireland

Unbanked Press Coverage

We received a lot of press coverage from websites and YouTubers after we announced the European card launch.  I believe there was a lot of anticipation in the market for our card program, so it’s great to see such a positive response.   Here are just a few of the publications that covered us.

  1. Unbanked.com Launches Cryptocurrency Card in UK and Europe Сovering 27 Сountries
  2. Unbanked Opens the Doors for Europeans to Use Crypto Cards
  3. Unbanked Launches Its Crypto Card Program in UK and Select European Countries
  4. Unbanked Launches Crypto Card in Europe
  5. U.S. Based and SEC Regulated Platform, Unbanked, continue to Grow despite Crypto Winter

Unbanked Takes 2nd Place in the New Tech Challenge

This is our second year participating in the Quorus-Capgemini New Tech Challenge and we took 2nd place this year!  Last year we placed 1st, so it’s great to participate in this competition and place again.

You can read an interview I did with the team at Quorus here: Open Finance Community payment challenge: Unbanked.com

“I am thrilled that Unbanked took 2nd place in this year’s NewTech Challenge. This is only Unbanked’s second year participating, after taking 1st place last year and I’m grateful Unbanked continues to get such a high regard.  Support from the Quorus community has been fantastic as we continue to work on our mission of connecting digital assets with bank accounts, debit cards, and other legacy financial tools.”

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Deposit Support for Solana

We have added support for the Solana blockchain.  You may have noticed that it was added to your Unbanked dashboard as a funding option in the last few days. We have some new white-label partners who are building on Solana and we’re excited about adding new blockchains and functionality! 

Keep in mind that the Solana blockchain has occasionally gone down or been put on temporary hold.  When this occurs it limits our ability to process deposits.   If you run into any issues you can always contact our support team or check out the Solana Status page. 

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StormX Card Beta Release

We’re thrilled to be working with StormX to power their upcoming debit card release.  The StormX card has been in development for some time while the team works to implement and provide a great user experience.   In my opinion, they have done a fantastic job.   The card has a lot of cool features that I will let their team share when they are ready.  However, here is the first look at the card.

Make sure to download their mobile app and join their waitlist.  They are slowly rolling out their cards to members.

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Unbanked Start Engine Campaign

You might recall that two months ago we participated in Start Engine’s Pitch Campaign and won.  Kevin O’Leary awarded Unbanked $25,000, but also had some fantastic feedback to give on our business approach.  

“I’m gonna go with Ian & Daniel at Unbanked because they have proven their model in a really interesting place and they have significant revenues, but they are not the only great team of entrepreneurs in this contest.  If I had to put two million bucks to work I’d probably put it in there right now.” 

Here is the video:

For the last few weeks, we have been working with the Start Engine team to plan what a capital raise could look like on their platform.  I am happy to share that today we are launching our campaign on Start Engine. This campaign will likely be the last time we offer the SAFE terms for investors. The minimum investment is $250 and if you have thought about investing in the past, but missed the opportunity I would recommend doing your research now. 

Invest in Unbanked now on Start Engine

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Lead Investor Discussions

We are now in discussions with a number of large financial institutions and venture capitalist firms to lead Unbanked’s next investment round.  To date, Unbanked has only raised capital via the SAFE (simple agreements for future equity).  The SAFE has been a great fundraising vehicle and rewards our earliest investors and supporters. Once we agree to terms with the lead investors, all SAFE’s will be converted to equity and establish a formal valuation for Unbanked.  

With this next round, we are looking to build up a war chest of capital to help accelerate the international expansion of the white-label business and start serving even more web3 companies with our business solutions

That’s all for now. We appreciate everyone’s support and excitement for Unbanked and look forward to making 2023 our best year yet!

-Ian

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