“Imagine, just for a moment, that it would be possible to send and receive money instantly, all around the world, with no intermediary companies, with no costs. Welcome to Hive.”
With these words, and in front of a public of experts, Bit2Me started the 5-minute pitch and demo of Hive, a product that has been developed by the Spanish startup Bit2Me. The product became world champion some hours later at the Fintech Americas conference, one of the most important financial events of the world.
Leif Ferreira (CEO and founder of the company) and Bogdan Stirbu (co-founder of the Hive division) presented their product on the 21st of October at the hackathon organized by Cobiscorp, from Fintech Americas, to an audience composed of more than 400 key financial companies. They competed with two more teams from India and Peru, which were selected out of teams of more than 150 countries. Each team presented a solution to improve the current situation of international remittances.
What is Hive? In its founders’ words:
“Hive is a product that was born within Bit2Me, in the I+D department. It allows users to self-organize themselves, like a peer to peer world financial network, where you can deposit financial products like remittances, loans, investments… all backed by Blockchain, that is without doubt, the most disruptive financial technology of the last decades, avoiding with this intermediary companies. Its potential is huge!”
In a world where there are ever more people living outside of their countries, it is estimated that the 2015 international remittances total will exceed $1000 trillion and costs the users more than $60 trillion.
About the famous Bill Gates’ quote “Banking is necessary, banks are not,” Leif Ferreira adds:
“We live in a generation that, paradoxically, in general doesn’t like banks, but it loves the financial products: to pay instantly, to send money, to ask for a loan… This clearly indicates that something has to change, and we think this change should take place by empowering the people.”
Hive is not a cryptocurrency. Hive is a mobile phone application that uses the Blockchain underneath with already existing cryptocurrencies, but all this in a transparent and user-friendly way. The user sees in the application a balance with a familiar currency, like euros, dollars or pesos. People can use a local network of Human ATMs to add funds to their accounts and operate with them. When wanting to withdraw cash, you return to their local network that is covered by a strong social component and not have to worry about getting their funds devalued by the typical fluctuations of the cryptocurrencies thanks to the developed technology.
Bogdan Stirbu mentioned in his pitch that:
“In 2020 we will approach a world population of 10 billion people. A population with a power of self-organization never seen before. Hive offers this from a Smartphone.”
We have to remember that nowadays, there are countries where the annual costs of a bank account outweigh the costs of a Smartphone with an internet connection.
To send money, traditional remittance companies are often expensive and slow. For example, is it not the same to send $50 as it is to send $500? The costs are not proportional, and can become close to a 20% commission, known intimately in the micro-remittances space.
“With our slogan “connecting money” we look for a very clear objective: to create all the infrastructure necessary for a P2P Bank. It is hard work, but it is not about a technological challenge, which we have already solved, it is about a cultural and psychological challenge: make people understand that it is possible to self-organize to solve these kinds of problems, and just with a few clicks,”
Bogdan Stirbu tells us.
Hive will now maintain a focus on the development of its product and will focus on fundraising to take the product to the next level. They are developed by Bit2Me, a Startup that is not new in Blockchain technology. In January 2015, more than 10,000 traditional ATMs were connected to Blockchain for the first time in the world, putting Spain in the leading positions of this technological innovation. Furthermore, it was awarded as Best Startup 2015 by “Caixa Bank” and “Actualidad económica” (http://blog.bit2me.com/es/bit2me-premio-startup-2015/), and was also invited to Brussels by the European Commission to advise and show its point of view on the Blockchain technology
What do you think about Hive? Let us know in the comments below!
Images via Hive.