The following is a transcript from an AMA hosted by iNFT marketplace featuring our CEO, John Tan, on 30.08.22. iNFTspace has recently integrated Alchemy Pay ‘s on & off ramp plugin solution that allows users to purchase crypto with Mastercard, Visa, bank transfers, and many mobile wallets. It also allows for the exchange of crypto back to fiat currencies.
Brandon (iNFT’s AMA host): NFT is a persistent and popular field. As a multi-chain NFT trading market, iNFTspace has been exploring not only the application of NFT scenarios, but also how to help users join with a lower threshold. We know that in the next few years, NFT will explode into a larger market size and derive more applications. Even so, “how to buy cryptocurrencies safely and with lower fees” is a very big problem for many users. As a fast crypto exchange platform, Alchemy Pay is a very important partner of iNFTspace, helping iNFTspace to carry out more convenient token exchange and participate in NFT collection. Any tokens and assets can be traded at any time, and anyone can settle and withdraw cash anytime, anywhere, so as to lower the threshold for non-Crypto users to use iNFTspace.
So today, we invite Alchemy Pay CEO-John, to talk with us about “Crypto On and Off Ramps — What, How, and Where?” Hi, John. Nice having you here.
John Tan (Alchemy Pay CEO): Hey Brandon!
Brandon: First, John, can you give us a brief introduction of you and your project?
John: Certainly! I’m John — the CEO of Alchemy Pay, and i’ve been with the company since its inception in early 2019. Alchemy Pay is best known for its crypto payment services which is powered by our ACH token — currently listed on top exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance and other top exchanges. Like myself, my other co — founders hail from traditional finance space from industry leaders such as HSBC, PayPal, Mastercard, to form Alchemy Pay with one mission: to make crypto and Web3 services accessible by the mainstream.
Today, we have added on several other core products such as crypto ramp (used by iNFTspace!) as well as fiat rails and white label crypto cards.
Brandon: Very good. I’m sure our users must want to know more about Alchemy Pay. So, can you give us a little background on Alchemy Pay, what you do in the industry, and your mission for crypto?
John: Our mission is to bridge the fiat and crypto economies — which really, is another way of saying making crypto investment and web3 services a lot more accessible by the mainstream (via our crypto ramps and fiat rails offered to web3 players)! Also — we want to make real world services accessible by crypto holders (via our crypto card and crypto payment)
Brandon: That’s a great vision. I believe ACH will play a significant role in the crypto world. Now, since you are partners with iNFTspace, can you explain Alchemy Pay’s recent ramp solution integration with iNFT? First of all, what is a crypto on & off ramp and why is it important for accessing iNFT marketplace?
John: Crypto ramps also often referred to as Crypto On- and Off-Ramp is effectively a simple and seamless way to buy crypto (on-ramp) with mainstream fiat payment channels such as credit cards, and sell crypto (off-ramp) into fiat currencies to be deposited into a fiat account such as bank accounts. I guess you could see crypto as a highway, a ramps being the connector to the fiat world.
Many of you here may be familiar with buying crypto assets on crypto exchanges in order to access crypto services such as going onto iNFTspace to buy an NFT, however, you probably forgotten how challenging it was when you first tried to buy a crypto! Personally, back in 2016/17, when i tried to buy crypto with Singapore Dollars. I struggled to find an exchange that would accept my SGD via bank transfer (which took ages to process), when i finally found one — i remember being confused by stablecoins and the daunting number of pairs. This complexity is a huge barrier to entry for most people to attempt to invest in crypto or access web3 services.
In the case of our partnership with iNFTspace — our crypto ramp is a plug-in placed conveniently on their website. Users will be able to buy crypto asset using the payment method they prefer (such as credit cards) to be able buy their NFTs — making NFT trading available to newcomers to our Web3 world
Brandon: Thank you very much John. In order to catch more users, you gotta have something that others don’t. There are other ramp solution providers out there. Could you explain what your ramp can offer that others cannot?
John: 96% of the world still have not bought into crypto. 80% of people who said they are interested in crypto have no clue how to do so. Alchemy Pay is here to change that. It’s incredibly important we make crypto accessible by anyone no matter where they are.
However, existing ramp players can only enable crypto purchase with credit/debit cards and SEPA transfers (EUR currency). This is a major issue! Looking at the top 40 markets by crypto adoption, >50% are developing markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines etc. Yet, credit card penetration rate is only approximately 10% in these countries.
Simply put, many users are sidelined by the existing ramp players and still cannot buy into crypto. Alchemy Pay ramp solution offers a comprehensive payment channel. We offer:
1. Credit/Debit Cards
2. Regional & Domestic Transfers (such as SEPA, Singapore’s PayNow, Mexico’s SPEI, Brazil’s PIX, Thailand’s PromptPay etc)
3. Fiat Mobile Wallets (such as Gopay used by 190M Indonesians, GCash used by 40M Philippinos etc.) in many of the developing countries with the leading and fasting growing crypto adoption rates
Besides our on-ramp, we also offered an equally comprehensive off-ramp solution where we can help users sell their crypto assets into fiat deposited directly into users’ bank accounts in 50+ countries. Comparatively, our ramp competitors such as MoonPay and Simplex and mainly allow conversion into EUR and USD.
Brandon: What are you guys doing in the backend to make this ramp work to convert fiat to crypto and vice versa?
John: There are several components to make crypto ramp possible and we built in-house solutions and work with a variety of partners to make it happen:
1. Card acquirers and local payment partners: These players make it possible for Alchemy Pay to receive fiat payments such as cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers and domestic/regional instant transfers.
2. Risk and Compliance: We work with KYC providers such as SumSub and ZignSec to ensure our users are properly KYC-ed before they can transact to mitigate money laundering risks as well as Forter to help minimize frauds such as identity theft
3. OTCs/Exchanges: We work with world leading exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase and OSL to convert between crypto and fiat.
4. Remittance companies: Collaborating with these global companies to make funds transfers globally in real-time with the best FX and lowest fees.
Of course, in reality — there are more moving parts and complexity, such as the need to acquire payment licenses, crypto licenses, fund transfer licences. Other consideration includes finding ways to build in-house crypto wallet solution that are safe and secure which can further lower gas fees when sending crypto asset to users (most crypto wallets available to the public put a mark up on every transaction and hide it together with gas fees!)
Brandon: Can you tell us what else Alchemy Pay has coming up in the near future?
John: As the crypto ramp player that is publicly endorsed by top layer-1s such as Algo, VeChain, Avalanche etc. we have receiving a huge amount of interest for our crypto ramps. We expect a huge part of our efforts to be focused on continually enhancing our crypto ramps. For instance, we will look to include more payment channels such that users in more markets can use our ramps to buy crypto with their local payment channels. For example, we have just secured Brazil’s PIX channel today.
We will further lower cost of using our ramps by securing local payment licenses that will grant us the most competitive rates. For instance, we just invested in an Indonesian payment company that will be able to work directly with their local banks and mobile wallets for tier-1 acquirer rates.
In the near future, there will be plenty of announcement of Web3 players using our ramp services. This will be including NFT players and many more such as blockchain games, DeFi/Swap platforms, crypto exchanges and more.
Live Questions (taken from Telegram audience)
Q1: What really inspired you to come up with the crypto ramp solution?
John: Every Web3 player, just like traditional companies/businesses, can only thrive when there are demand for their services. While demand for crypto is strong in the past few years, a big part was due to the speculation of its price. There is a need for blockchain based services to be built and utilized for the longevity of our industry and hence, our ramp solution plays a significant role in making it seamless for anyone to be able to purchase/sell crypto. I guess you could say a big part of our motivation was due to my personal challenges when i first tried to buy crypto
Q2: Does Alchemy Pay team loves pizza?
John: Of course! But you no longer need to find a pizza joint that accepts your Bitcoin to buy your pizza. While we are able to help pizza shops around the world to accept crypto payments, we can also help crypto holders seamlessly convert their crypto into fiat (try it here: ramp.alchemypay.org under “sell crypto”)
Q3: How $ACH will be the the top most used crypto in payments system? What are your plans in that regards!!
John: $ACH is mostly transacted between Alchemy Pay’s enterprise clients, where we accept $ACH as a form of payment/deposit/fee payment for the use of our services. Including crypto payment, ramps, and white label card services. However, in the future, we will be building an application directly for customers that can hold multi currencies, buy/sell crypto, remit money globally, access web3 services such as staking/NFT purchases and more. On this application, $ACH will be used as a platform token. That said, this will be available as part of a longer term plan due to short/mid term priorities to built/enhance our ramp solution!
Q4: What are the ways that generates profits/revenue to maintain project and what is its revenue model ? How can it make benefit win-win to both investor and your project?
John: The bulk of our revenue stems from transaction fees such as processing crypto transactions and buy/sell crypto via ramps, where we make a margin on all transactions. Other incomes include selling white label solutions and building tailored solutions where we charge integration and customisation fees. A big part of our income is paid to us in $ACH as clients receive benefits for making payment in ACH such as fee discounts, lower maintenance fees and access to other freebies like our wallet APIs
Brandon: Alright, due to time reason, I think we’re gonna call it for the day. Thank you John for sharing with us today. And finally please share some links of your project with us so that we can have an experience of it.