Seeking to dramatically reduce the time and cost of processing fiat to crypto platforms, London’s Fiat Republic is building a compliance-first, crypto-regulated banking and payments API, and has secured $3.5 million in a seed funding round. At the same time, the startup is building a crypto collective in order to get a seat at the table with traditional banks and regulators. The seed funding is slated to be used to accelerate acquiring its regulated status in both the U.K. and EU, as well as augment the existing 14-person team.
You don’t need me to tell you that cryptocurrencies are well beyond a fad and maybe not be the entire future of money, crypto has come into its own and is undeniably a financial force to be reckoned with. Just ask the nation of El Salvador.
Yet despite you, me, and my mom (who can hodl like you wouldn’t believe) all having our coin or two, crypto platforms still struggle with accessing traditional banking transaction services. If you’ve often wondered about those hefty “network fees”, a portion of this fee is what platforms are required to pay when moving currencies around, namely due to the lack of uniform compliance and security backing.
This struggle to access traditional services is exactly the pain point that Fiat Republic is addressing by bringing crypto compliance measures to the banking-as-a-service sector with its API, thereby facilitating access to mainstream and local payments networking across Europe and afar.
Now providing the API and a series of services aimed at incorporating crypto into more and more of the day-to-day financials is one thing, but as a decentralised by nature industry, this does lead to the sector being woefully underrepresented when negotiating with regulators and traditional banks.
Fiat Republic is taking a page from many a united front of years gone by and looking to establish a consortium of crypto platforms that, together, will effectively earn the sector a seat at the regulator’s table. As many financial institutions come under increasing levels of regulation, see the EU’s 5th anti-money laundering directive, for example, The Fiat Republic Consortium also aims to foster and promote responsible and financially sound practices within the cryptocurrency space. But it all begins with a voice. A voice that Fiat Republic is building.
“The crypto industry as a whole is still in its infancy. We believe that by bringing crypto platforms into a single body under the Fiat Republic Consortium, we can increase our collective standing with regulators and enhance our leverage with big banks, who, until now, have dictated the terms of access to fiat-based on harsh internal risk policies, often conceived mainly out of fear of the unknown,” explained CEO and former chief product officer at OpenPayd, Adam Bialy. “By creating an API that facilitates seamless data exchange between both traditional and crypto players, we believe we can foster transparency and better understanding between both sides, which in the future will benefit the whole.”
Fiat Republic's $3.5 million in seed funding is provided by Speedinvest, Seedcamp, and Credo Ventures.
“Crypto has clearly reached the point of no return, going far beyond early adopters and enthusiasts to the masses. Despite this shift, crypto companies are still unfairly cut off from traditional banking because the banks lack a unified compliant layer of connectivity which would decrease their risks of entry," commented Speedinvest's Olga Shikhantsova. "With more and more crypto companies and DeFi applications emerging and mass adoption rates on the rise, the need for a compliant fiat connectivity layer is a must. The Fiat Republic team is pioneering this connectivity by merging their exceptionally deep knowledge of both worlds."
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