It’s Sean here. After a hiatus from writing these reports, I wanted to pen this edition personally. I hope you are happy and healthy, wherever in the world you might be. If you are new to the hi community, I bid you the warmest welcome.
Quite honestly, it’s refreshing to sit down and take a moment to reflect. Not unlike other businesses operating in the world of Web 3 and Crypto, the past few months have been a whirlwind. I can’t imagine there is any other industry that shows such volatility and this week has been particularly wild.
Let me start by sharing my empathy with those affected by the FTX fallout. And let me also reiterate that hi has no affiliation with FTX whatsoever. We’ll monitor the situation carefully as things unravel.
Fortunately this isn’t my first bear market, and I feel better prepared than most to navigate the uncertainties. But oh boy, I’m looking forward to the end of this cycle.
I can’t help but feel that we have a real opportunity to take the market by storm once the good times return. There will be some bumps along the road no doubt, but hold on to your horses (and your HI!) because we are in for a ride.
We notified the community recently of some updates to the rates we provide on our Earn products (USDT, ETH & HI). This is a preemptive measure, to ensure that we steer well clear of any unnecessary risk during this market. There’s no point in saying we will learn from the mistakes of others, and then not act on it, right?
If, like me, you are using this time to educate yourself, then I highly recommend Matt Levine’s ‘The Crypto Story. Where it came from. What it all means. And why it still matters.’ It’s an extremely thoughtful and researched piece of literature, I certainly learned a lot about a subject I’m already well versed in.
I remain energized, resilient and motivated – as does the hi Team. We view ourselves as hungry underdogs in the chaos that is currently ensuing, and feel confident that with a lot of hard work – and a bit of luck – we will be able to repay the faith you have shown in us.
Transparency Report November
I present this report as an investor update. Hopefully it will give you a good sense of the trajectory of our business as a whole. We’ll cover the following topics:
In my opinion, there is no incumbent successfully bridging between Web2 and Web3 Digital Finance. And indeed, the fall-out of crypto winter leaves gaping holes in the market.
We recently revealed a new positioning for our business as a Web3 Neobank. We feel this is the best articulation of what we do – in short, to give people the most simple way to manage and grow their crypto and fiat.
Currently, our strategic focus areas are as follows:
- Rapid product development with focus on the mobile apps
- Product differentiation through functionality and design
- Global partnerships to accelerate customer acquisition
- Expansion of regulatory footprint
- Watchful management of OPEX
We launched our platform and token in the midst of a bull market. Now, 18 months on, some priorities have changed. For the remainder of this year, we intend to allocate resources to the following activities:
- Super App functionality: Debit Card, Exchange
- Fiat services
- Process optimization & automation
- Security & compliance
- Member support & experience
- Partnerships to accelerate geographic expansion of service provision
- Co-marketing with member acquisition in mind
That’s a lot for us to be getting on with! And yet, looking ahead to 2023, we plan to release an updated version of our Strategic Roadmap, where the integration of a non-custodial wallet and decentralized services to the platform look set to be a key focus area, as well as renewed focus on the development of our own Blockchain the hi Protocol.
Optimising our processes is a big priority right now. I recognise that sometimes transactions take longer than expected to be processed, and this is something we are working on. I shared with the community earlier that our average withdrawal time was between 8-12 minutes across September and October, and we expect to get it down even further in the coming weeks. We had a blip associated with the Yolo Free Bets campaign, but that situation has been rectified and should be viewed as a learning experience and outlier.
We are building the financial super app for both traditional and digital assets, with key innovations in technology, customer acquisition, and a 3-pronged product offering across Trading, Savings & Payments.
As most of you are aware, right now we are highly focused on the Payments and Trading elements of our product. Within the coming weeks we aim to launch:
1. Virtual Debit Cards for EEA & UK members
- Physical Debit Cards for EEA & UK members
- Debit Card NFT Customization
- Card Benefits & Rewards program
- New functionality to the hi Exchange
6. A number of new tokens on the platform
- Support for at least 2 new fiat currencies
The BINs for our Card are now live, and we are deep in the testing phase for the Virtual Cards. We expect the first public virtual cards to go live for some of the community in November as planned. I realize everyone is very excited to get their card, please stay patient, it’s important we launch only once we are confident in both functionality and security.
A little further out, with more geographies in mind we are looking at strategic fiat on-ramp partnerships and card issuance relationships. Switzerland is a market we are looking to add card support for as soon as possible, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly we roll the card out to new regions. Our relationship with Mastercard is strong, and we are viewed as a key partner, closely aligned with their strategic focus on cryptocurrencies.
Our current membership count is at approximately 3.5 million members, with Italy now making up over 10% of the overall base. Forza Italia! We have +175,000 members from France & Germany combined, as well as a similar number in Japan and Korea – all historically strong crypto communities. Currently, we see the biggest percent change week-on-week from Germany, France, Romania and Nigeria. In most European countries between 30-40% of members have KYC’ed and we expect to see this number increase following card launch.
We continue to welcome 100s of new members to the community every single day, and importantly a large portion of newcomers become active members of the ecosystem by buying and staking HI. A big thank you to existing members of the community who provide guidance and friendship to new members, not least in the Buyers Groups on Telegram.
I would like to reiterate that our ambition is to create a platform with equal opportunity and access for all. In the short term our service provision will be strongest in Europe, but we are working at full steam to bring the full suite of services to The Americas, Asia, Australasia and Africa as soon as we can. If – (like me!) – you are not from Europe, please stay close to developments as we roll out new services to your region.
We recognise that we can provide better member support, and we are working hard to do this. We ask for your understanding, that implementing this as a fast-growth tech company is not a trivial matter, given the 24 hour, global and technical nature of our business. I thank you for your patience, and likewise thank all the volunteer moderators for their commitment and support. You are all amazing.
The highlight since our last report, was the global announcement of our partnership to deliver NFT Debit Mastercards. This news was featured positively on almost every single major crypto and payments media – all with a marketing spend of zero.
A question we are often asked is why don’t we spend money on advertising? Well the simple answer is that we would rather invest marketing dollars in you, our community, to help spread the word, instead of lining the pockets of large advertisers. The mind boggles when I look at some of the marketing investments made by large crypto platforms in recent years. I truly believe – much in the spirit of Apple – that if you build a product people love, then word will spread. Will we maintain this strategy forever? To some extent yes. Will we invest more in marketing strategies moving forward? Likely yes. But with our product as yet unfinished, it would be counter-intuitive to spend big on advertising right now.
Our marketing strategy in the meantime, will focus on building our brand and establishing strategic partnerships that will bring quality members to the community at scale. You can expect to see several of these popping up over the coming months, including (assuming everything falls into place) a partnership with one of the world’s leading L2s.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll look to create more moments for the community to come together and have some fun, not least with the FIFA World Cup kicking off in a few weeks. If anyone has a good idea for how we can make 350,000 Italians feel a bit better about their team not being there please let Sam know!
Since our last transparency report, we removed the 4-Year Daily Release option from the App. I’m often asked, why don’t you just switch off the sale of HI via the hi App altogether? Again, the answer is simple. The sale of HI via the App – or primary market as we call it – provides stability and runway for our business. It enables us to hire and retain quality talent, and to invest in building a product full of utility that ultimately will drive more value into our token and platform. Why do thousands of other projects come and go, and disappear in quick time? Because their business either relies on outside investment that only has a certain shelf-life, or because they focus too much on short-term gains and cannot sustain the cost of their business.
Is removing the sale of HI in our roadmap? Yes. When will we do that? Only when we have enough quality volume running through the hi Exchange.
If you are invested in HI, it’s likely because you believe we might just be the next big thing, and because you see value in the products and services we provide. Keep that faith and we’ll do everything we can to deliver on your investment.
Since our last report we listed HI on MEXC exchange, this now in addition to Bitfinex, Bitmart, Pancakeswap and Uniswap.
On stake.hi.com, there is 7.4m HI staked in the ETH Giga Pool, 8.8m HI staked in the BSC Giga Pool and 2.4m HI in the Mega Pool.
At time of writing:
The total token supply of HI is 9,833,337,402 HI.
The total circulating supply of HI is 2,898,698,242 HI.
We have just burned 79,316,853 HI of inactive Rewards.
In line with our commitment in the whitepaper, we have just minted an additional 479,093,448 HI, 50% on BSC and 50% on Ethereum.
And that concludes this edition...
I’m sorry it’s been a while, but it was nice to connect with you once again. On behalf of the team I would like to thank you for your support and energy as we approach the end of 2022. Rest assured, I will do my best to steer the good ship hi on a course for success.
Thank you for reading,
On behalf of the hi Team,