Are we ready to buy and sell Steem with any fiat currency through peer to peer transactions without ever needing to leave the Steem blockchain or sign up for another exchange? While thousands of us said yes on the last post, we did not have a way to fund it in 2017. Today we do! Will you read the executive summary of this post below because it quickly explains how our gateway/exchange will work and how we will collaborate to build it?
- The Problem and Solution! Getting started buying and selling cryptocurrency online is challenging. We have the opportunity to be the first blockchain to build a successful peer to peer fiat gateway/exchange with instant transactions and no fees. In other words, anyone with a Steem account will be able to use our application to buy and sell Steem directly with other users in any fiat currency like USD, EUR, KRW, etc.
- No licensing or regulations are needed because our gateway with never touch any of the money. Functionally our application will be more like a dating app which helps people meet up while not actually participating in the date, sex, or marriage. Compliance with any financial regulations will be the responsibility of the users. Our application will assist both by educating users about what laws apply and by guiding transactions through the path of least regulatory resistance.
- The key features of the app will include a trust score, private messaging, dynamic pricing, feedback system, and filters by location and payment method. Our application's key strength will be the ability to use nearly any established method of payment to buy Steem directly from another user with Steem. Exploitation by users is our key weakness ranging from fraudulent charge backs on PayPal to getting robbed on an in person cash transaction. Our features will help manage this limitation by guiding users to the safest transactions based on all of our trust signals.
- Now Hiring! Starting today we have a job opening for one developer willing to build a functional first version and then continue improving it. The requirements to apply are that the developer be/become a Steem witness and earn at least 100 votes to validate a foundation of support among our community. If there are two or more developers wanting to apply, the first with a minimum viable product wins. Collaboration among multiple developers is also acceptable if everyone agrees and splits the same payment.
- Pay and Benefits? Each month, our chosen developer will earn the lesser of 1,000 Steem or $10,000 USD in Steem paid from @budgets as long as the developer is actively coding and improving the application. Additional perks of building this will include a witness vote from me, upvotes on updates from bids by @budgets, and 1 on 1 interviews.
- How To Apply? To apply, join my discord server from https://jerrybanfield.com/contact/ and ask Michel Gerard who is @gmichelbkk on Steem to upgrade to the member role in order to gain access to the "steemf" channel where I am available to discuss getting started. For those of us wanting to play a support role such as doing graphics for the website or testing the first functional version prior to public release, we are welcome to join the channel as well while being asked to avoid chatting until the time for help is needed.
For the 1% of us that want to get deeper into how this will work, let me explain in the rest of the post and matching video!
Why Hire 1 Steem Witness to Build a P2P Fiat Gateway?
I think a peer-to-peer exchange would be fantastically useful in the cryptocurrency world because right now one of the hardest things to do is to buy in or even to sell if we have earned cryptocurrency without having signed up on an exchange somewhere. We often experience high fees, long transaction wait times if we are going through things like Bitcoin and we have to go through cumbersome processes to get our accounts ready to handle higher levels of transaction.
The difficulty for the majority of us to change fiat currency like USD into digital currencies like Steem seems ridiculous in a world filled with ACH transfers, instant PayPal payments, wire transfers, Western Union, and thousands of other ways that we are already using to move money around all the time. Our problem is that up until today the majority of buying and selling of cryptocurrencies is forced through regulated exchanges and financial institutions which then defeats a significant part of the purpose of having cryptocurrencies to begin with.
While most other cryptocurrencies have almost no chance to build a peer to peer exchange/gateway because of a lack of trust signals and high transaction fees, on Steem we have a unique opportunity to use all of our existing contributions to Steem to establish a foundation of trust for transactions. All we need is a developer to code it for us based on how I already see it working.
Now Hiring 1 Steem Witness to Build a P2P Fiat Gateway!
Today I am now hiring one developer to build a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange that we will use on Steem to directly buy and sell US dollars and other fiat currencies directly with Steem on this exchange.
Now, I'm calling it an exchange and a gateway interchangeably because almost everyone understands the idea of an exchange. However, more technically it will be a peer to peer gateway application that assists users in identifying other users to directly transact with. This means functionally it is more like a dating app which helps users identify other users to meet and does not participate in the date, sex, or marriage that may follow.
In yet another way of saying it, no centralized authority will touch any of the money going back and forth. That gives it huge advantages over many of the existing exchanges and also creates some unique disadvantages because users will be completely interacting with each other which opens room for potential issues when it comes to trust. I have already seen a long way into how to build the app to minimize the ability for users to scam others and to maximize the rate of successful transactions. If you'd like to try to build this or you know someone who might like to try to build this, would you please continue reading because this will explain exactly how to do it?
The money comes from the @budgets account on Steem. We have essentially crowdfunding through the bidding bot on my account funded by my Steem power and the delegations to me which in total brings in thousands of dollars a day. Today the expected total bids for upvotes are over $5,000. About half of this is paid back every day to delegators in automatic payments while the other half fund projects for Steem paid directly into the @budgets account. This post is a proposal through the budget proposal system to request funding for this project.
Value for Steem?
This project will be fantastically helpful for the Steem blockchain to not only help us buy and sell Steem directly to US dollars and other fiat currencies with each other, but also to bring in users all over the crypto world struggling to buy in using other exchanges, to buy in straight to Steem, and then if desired change to other currencies. This will empower users already having cryptocurrencies to transact into Steem, and then sell directly to US dollars or other fiat currencies from there.
The minimum requirement to build this is to be a Steem Witness because this requires a minimum of entry level experience setting up a server and a dedication to the Steem blockchain on an ongoing basis to maintain it. For any developer new to Steem wishing to participate, becoming a Steem Witness is something I've already written a lot of guides for at Steem.guide. I already have all the tutorials needed and links to other tutorials to get a witness set up if you haven't started yet on Steem.
While anyone can just throw up a server, the second requirement is to have 100 or more votes for the Steem Witness, which means that there is confidence in the network in your witness and that you are a part of the community.
More than likely I think one or more of the existing witnesses be interested in developing this. This would potentially be the number one app on the Steem blockchain when it runs at full scale. If there is competition, then whoever gets a functional app finished first and agrees to continue developing it will immediately get two months of pay at once along the rest of the rewards listed below. If just one person wants to do this, then this job starts as soon as the the witness joins my discord channel, starts communicating with me, and commits to making it.
If no existing witness wants to give it a shot, anyone setting up a witness, getting the 100 votes, and committing to making the app in my discord channel will get the first month of pay. After any month where no functional app is ready, anyone else wanting to give it a shot and making a functional app will be able to take over.
Whoever makes this for us successfully will enjoy a lot of rewards including a paycheck every month of 1,000 Steem or $10,000 USD worth of Steem (whichever is less) from @budgets account as long as continuing improvements are made to the application. Additional perks will include upvotes on updates about the project, a link on every page of the application to the developer's Steem profile, and a witness vote from me if not having one already.
When the application is at full scale doing millions of dollars of transactions a day and bringing thousands of new users into Steem a day, the witness will probably stand a very good chance to become and remain one of the top 20 witnesses on Steem based largely on the success of the application. At this point, the payments from @budgets will be put on hold because top 20 witnesses currently earn 260 Steem a day.
This is what the app will have:
- No fees.
- Peer to peer transactions.
- Clear feedback system.
- Ongoing improvements.
- Effective marketing.
The critical feature for this application is the trust score will be the system's calculation of how trustworthy it is to do a transaction with that particular user. Generating the trust score through all of the available data on the Steem blockchain combined with transactions through the application and user feedback will then allow us to present exchange rates by user and trust score with a built in messaging system for communication. Every profile will need to help qualify what kinds of transactions are possible by country, payment method, and wait time. For any application to be considered functional, the app must be able to do all of this.
With the trust score being the key feature of this gateway application, let's discuss how this is calculated further. The number of followers, the reputation, the account age and wallet data can be used on Steem to help generate a trust score. In my case, with a lot of followers, with a high reputation, with a long account history, with how much I have in my wallet today on Steem, at least according to the app, I would be a trustworthy user to do transactions with from the beginning.
Now, the trust score will also be heavily modified by the actual transactions. While I would be able to easily start out on the app with a high trust score based on my previous activity on Steem, if I had some failed transactions and users provided negative feedback about transacting with me, then my trust score would go down very quickly despite the other data.
What helps on the Steem blockchain is we have somewhere to start with because from a coding and usage view this is the most difficult part of the equation. How do we handle new users? If new users all have a zero trust score, how can anyone get started using the app? Fortunately on Steem we have a ton of existing signals to begin with that will allow us to get off the ground. For example, we can use all these blog posts that we have done to essentially to eliminate the need to start from zero.
A month ago I originally posted about this and received the following feedback from @blocktrades who is one of the top witnesses and investors in Steem along with maintaining one of Steem's top exchanges at https://blocktrades.us.
"The issue is not one of software but one of regulation. I could develop a software platform to do this in a few weeks."
This feedback was extremely helpful because we can see that the difficultly of getting the software created to do this should be relatively low meaning we should easily be able to hire someone to do this!
As for the legality, I responded, "You're exactly right," which is why none of the money is touched by the app we are building here. The application we will build here acts only a communication tool that makes peer-to-peer transactions easier without charging any fees. Users are responsible for how the app is used just like with dating apps, snapchat, etc.
No Need for Licensing or Regulations!
On our gateway, users will set prices and deal directly with each other while relying on the application to help decide who to trust initially, NO LICENSING IS NECESSARY FOR THIS APPLICATION because users individually will be responsible for understanding the requirements to make fiat/cryptocurrency transactions based on country and state. If we do not trust users to do this or we say it is wrong to pass these requirements on or we demand that some centralized authority be a part of these transactions, why are we bothering with building any of this blockchain technology to begin with and not just sticking with using our existing banking system? Users are fully capable of handling the responsibility and will do it more effectively in some cases and less in others than existing exchanges.
Fortunately for users, financial regulations vary by country. If someone is doing business in one country and in another country, it doesn't matter what the US regulations are for transacting money, if neither of those users is in the US. Unfortunately with our current system today, we have very limited options for exchanges in most countries because of the need for centralized exchanges to comply with financial regulations from so many different countries.
The app in later stages will help facilitate education with country specific training for any regulations users need to know. For example, when a user signs up in the state of New York, users will be required to read and review both USA laws and NY state laws regarding cryptocurrency transactions. An optional test based on location could even be offered to improve the trust score for new users and to verify the rules are understood.
While centralized systems are limited in the ability for new users to sign up and participate, our application will allow anyone to use it which introduces opportunity for a lot of problems. We maximize the good and minimize the bad primarily with a clear feedback system. We are fully aware that many users might sign up with the intent to scam through sending transactions and reversing them, or put orders up, and not following through with them. We are aware that someone could come in and launder a bunch of money while becoming one of the most trusted users.
We will maximize the legal transactions between users and setup barriers to limit problems primarily with a clear feedback system to help users connect with each other. The nice thing is once users get connected with each other, they can do repeated transactions with each other, and don't need to interact with the entire market, but just have one or two, or maybe a handful of buyers and sellers to work with directly. This will also facilitate some huge buyers and sellers creating businesses through the system that will interact with lots of different people, and all the trust for that will be easy to see on Steem.
Cryptocurrencies have the potential to open the global economy up to everyone. To make this vision reality, we need to be able to change fiat currencies directly with cryptocurrencies without having to go through a centralized authority. I see this application having a gigantic impact on not just the Steem blockchain, but the crypto world altogether as millions of users sign up for Steem to use our gateway not just to buy Steem but as an entry point to buy into thousands of different cryptocurrencies.
How to Apply?
I would be honored to collaborate with you if you would like to build this or if you know someone who would like to build this. To apply, will you please go to jerrybanfield.com/contact/ and join my Discord channel because I have a private channel there named "steemf" for us to chat in? To get access to this private channel, will you please ask Michel Gerard in discord who is @gmichelbkk on Steem to upgrade to the member role because all members on my server have access to the steemf channel?
SteemF is my tentative name for this, and that stands for "Steem Fiat" or whatever you want to abbreviate SteemF. I already own the steemf.com domain.
This week my primary witness and backup servers ran smoothly with no interruptions. My seed node meanwhile crashed and I am trying to restart it myself while being willing to ask for help if I cannot do it on my own. Most of my time and energy this week has been devoted to getting this project up along with continuing existing projects like ads for Steem, tutorials on YouTube for Steem, interviews with Steemians, and working more effectively within my limitations..
In addition to this getting this job posting launched, I have been scaling up the ads for Steem on Facebook, YouTube, and Google to prepare for the hardfork 20 "velocity" update which will help us onboard more effectively. I am currently spending over $200 a day with Google and Facebook for ads on Steem. So far the ads have reached over 2 million people in 2018 resulting in thousands of shares, visits to steemit.com, and new followers from those seeing the ads, joining Steem, and then following me. A detailed report will follow soon after this project update.
I am very grateful to be in the top 30 among witnesses on Steem and plan to continue my service here indefinitely. My biggest challenge as a witness so far has been judging other witnesses for not doing enough. This comes a bit from my own insecurity combined with my all in approach to Steem. I do not invest in other currencies and devote the majority of my productive play time (aka work) to serving Steem. The rewards I am earning are fantastic for this and I continue to think of more effective ways to give back. One realization I had is that resteeming others more often is a simple thing I would love to do and am now starting to do about 10 times as often as I have done so far.
Today I am remembering my gratitude for the service of every witness that came before me and is working alongside me now without which would not give any of us a chance to experience the miracle of Steem. Some of those that have provided the most critical feedback of my service here have also helped me see exactly how to improve. The book I am listening to named Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein has been helping a lot with this along with drawing some playful counterarguments from @laurabanfield.
Thank You for Reading!
I'm excited to have the chance to get this application built on the Steem blockchain and I appreciate you learning all about it here.
If you found this post helpful on Steem, would you please upvote it and follow me because you will then be able to see more posts like this in your home feed? All SBD author rewards from this will go back to @budgets to help fund the payments to the developer meaning any upvote contributes directly to the funding for this project.
Made a witness vote for me yet? If not, would you please also make a vote for jerrybanfield as a witness or set jerrybanfield as a proxy to handle all witness votes at https://steemit.com/~witnesses because votes for witnesses are the most important we make on Steem? Every vote for me as a witness helps fund growth projects for Steem indefinitely via @budgets and my voting bot along with allowing me to represent our views and opinions about the future of Steem most effectively. Thank you to the 3,000+ of us voting already as seen at http://www.steemreports.com/witness-votes-info/?account=jerrybanfield
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