Everest is a next-generation, blockchain-based platform and network that encompasses all the features and functionality of most major main nets, plus adds real identity and a regulated stablecoin.
With these additions, Everest positions itself as the inflection point to bring traditional finance, Web2.0 and existing power structures into a user-centric, DeFi-empowered society that enables users, businesses, govts, merchants, etc. to perform any transaction (payments, trading, voting, supply chain, health records, etc.) in a society.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
My co-founder and I had been wrestling with a few ideas since our days together at BitTorrent. Mostly, we were looking at Dapps that separated identities from transactions. What we found was that “identity”, proving you are who you say you are, is broken in most of the world, including crypto.
Compounded with the fact that I was spending a lot of time in emerging markets, where lack of infrastructure equated to under-banked masses. India’s Aadhaar + India Stack and Estonia’s eGov platform were inspiration as well.
So, the a-ha moment came when we realized we could combine (a) biometrics from any mobile device to establish deduplicated identity + credentials (i.e. KYC), with (b) blockchain-based accounts, and (c) crypto/digitized value transfer. Like Uber when GPS showed up in 90% of phones……we saw that new markets could be created – everything from “banking the unbanked” to user-owned data, to the melding of fiat, crypto, payments, eGov, damn near anything.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
The pandemic allowed us to move from missionary/evangelism conversations to real use-cases. That is, two years ago, when I’d explain that existing systems are inefficient, likely to crumble, and not adequate to address the 21st-century problems, most people thought I was a little nuts. The pandemic showed the whole world that we need remote onboarding with verified identity; we need digitized value transfer; we should tokenize everything from payments to land to securities; users should control their own data, etc.
We also finalized our license to be a crypto custodian, which allows us to program money, execute orders, and generally deliver on the vision. Additionally, we spent a lot of time recompiling all the elements of Everest to do more of a direct-to-consumer/biz offering that enables users to create an account with fiat or crypto, and swap, trade, earn, send, etc.
What can we hope to see from Everest in the future?
Everest will be making decentralized finance (DeFi) faster, cheaper with fiat-on/off ramps around the world – delivering on the vision to make DeFi mass market…..2-3 clicks from one’s checking account to earn 1% per month, and back out to fiat at will. Additionally, you will see us open more broadly to allow other applications (health, education, eGov, voting, supply chain, etc.) to build on top of our infrastructure.