Our current focus is on building the next app with a scalable fiat on- and off-ramp. Our current plan is to deploy this app in Venezuela first, and then in other countries. This project requires not only a lot of new code, but also new hires and new operational processes. We are working on all three at the moment.
The next app will allow users to transact with RSV on-chain, and has a custody mechanism we are really excited about. The goal is to give users a “normal finch” experience, while still having it be that we don’t hold their keys. Operationally, we are working on improving our processes for how fiat-to-RSV transactions are processed. Some human elements exist and we are working on how to do them faster and cheaper, and we are also experimenting with automation of bank transactions. This is all so that we can provide the fastest and cheapest service possible for RSV users.
We are not about to release this new app. It’s going to take significant time – exact release window isn’t even set yet. However, in Venezuela, some of the updates we are making along the way will improve the service within our current app, so it’s not all-or-nothing.
Our team of Venezuelans is growing significantly. Several are on a trial period still so we aren’t going to announce them yet, but we will in a month or so once that period is finished. We have also let a few people from our US team go in order to make room. If everyone passes the trial period, our team will be about 50% US 50% Venezuelan. I’m super excited about the people we have found.
While we are here in this moment, I want to point out that this is how a snowball can work. We started with a basic app that honestly is not very good. But it’s allowing us to learn a TON about what users want and how operational system can work in Venezuela, AND it’s shown people in Venezuela who are passionate about bringing better financial services to the country that we are really trying to do that, which has allowed us to connect with and begin to bring on some of the top talent in the space. So while we are still at the beginning in the big picture, I’m pleased about our progress.
Reserve is not very impacted as a business by COVID-19. People will want to transact regardless. A global recession will reduce transactions across the board I think, but we’re not like an airline or an events agency or something.
Like other Bay Area teams, we are mostly working from home. COVID-18 has been detected in Venezuela and they are swiftly shutting down schools and considering shutting down the entire workforce there. Our team has been working together to make sure everyone is knowledgeable and prepared. We are connected to people in China through crypto, so we were ahead of the curve for the most part. I am personally very prepared and am playing it safe. I’m mainly worried about all of our parents and what we will do if any of them get sick during the peak of infections – I advise calling your parents once a day to badger them into staying at home. It’s taken me some time but I’ve finally started to get through to mine.