Engineering The Future — The Vision, Mission, and Direction of SCI

Miguel Cuneta
Jul 4, 2018 · Unlisted
Our old motto focused on Finance. It’s still a big part of what we do, but we are now more than just Fintech.

As we celebrated SCI’s fourth year in business this year, we took some time to look back in our history and appreciate the challenges we were able to overcome in building a thriving startup using a new technology, often ridiculed and doubted by the industry at the time, with little funding and mostly just pure grit and determination.

SCI in our tiny office in 2014. If you arrived late, you would be working without a desk.

“Blockchain” wasn’t a big buzzword then, and startups like us had to build working products and services from scratch, have actual traction and users, product-market fit, and have a concrete business plan before anyone took us seriously. But what’s even more important was that we had a vision back then, one that led us this far, one that served as our beacon when times got rough.

We had a vision of a future where Bitcoin and blockchain technology would empower people who had been excluded from the world of finance. It was simple but powerful.

Today, it’s a different story. Things are moving so fast and evolving with the demands of the market. So, we have decided that it was time to redefine our Vision, Mission, and the direction we want SCI to take as we move forward as a company.

We are growing fast. It can be easy to lose sight of our goals as we get busy with the day-to-day operations of running a growing organization. We are now more than 60 on the team, not too big, but growing fast enough that we aren’t able to guide each member of the team by ourselves at this point.

We think that by having a defined target and a clear path showing how to get there, it will get everyone on the same page and nudge us towards the right direction if we ever get too complacent with success, or stressed by the daily challenges of running a growing business in this “wild wild west” world of Blockchain and Crypto.

What does a Mission-Vision mean, anyway? To put it simply, the Vision is your “someday”, and your Mission represents your “everyday”.

The Vision — Our Dream

Interoperability and inclusion are the things that we believe are badly needed in our financial systems today, and through the use of this revolutionary technology that manifests all these qualities, we can bring the financially excluded billions of people around the world into a global, interconnected, and digital web of value.

SCI CEO John Bailon

Imagine a world where every Overseas Filipino Worker could send money back to their loved ones without paying 10% fees, waiting for days, or worrying if the money was spent wisely. A world where sending money is instant, secure, cheap, and always available online.

Imagine a world where every person with a smartphone and internet access will also have equal access to the world of finance, where people who cannot access banks will have banking services available to them on the palm of their hands.

Imagine a world where next-generation marketplaces and asset exchanges are fully digital and powered by blockchain technology, with every eligible person able to access these markets on tap, using applications that are free to use, allowing unprecedented economic growth.

Imagine a world where blockchain technology is more utility than novelty, and institutions, governments, and corporations are able to use it to streamline business processes like never before.

That is our Vision. That is why we are doing what we are doing, and the future we see for our company and the industry.

The Mission — Our Purpose

It is not enough to have a vision. A vision without a clear-cut mission is just a dream. Our mission when we started out in 2014 was very simple, and that was to empower people with what we called the “People Power” of money and finance — Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. In an area such as financial services, one of the slowest and most resistant to change, what do we need to do to empower people in a measurable and achievable way?

Our Mission can be broken down into six key initiatives:

2. To sustain our commitment as trailblazers in this fast-paced industry.

3. To maintain the highest standards of security for our users data and digital assets.

4. To conduct our business with utmost transparency and integrity.

5. To share our knowledge and expertise with the public and private sectors.

6. To empower our employees by providing them the best opportunities for growth.

That is our Mission. These are the things we need to accomplish in order to see our vision come to life. This is what we strive for on a daily basis.

The Direction — Achieving Our Mission and Vision

The vision and mission are both important, but without a clear direction and strategy on how to implement them, it is just wishful thinking. We feel that we have already outgrown our old SCI tagline of “Engineering the future of finance” because we realize that the technology we are using to develop our ecosystem goes beyond just money transfers and payments.

Our direction is guided by our Mission. Each of those six key missions can be applied in practice through the platforms we have built in the last four years, and are going to build in the coming years.

To achieve our vision and mission, we identified three main areas that make up the whole ecosystem of blockchain technology. These are:

Blockchain-powered Financial Applications

Enterprise Blockchain Solutions Beyond Finance

The Master-Planned SCI Ecosystem Play

Digital Currency and Asset Exchange Platforms

Regulated, compliant, and secure exchanges for digital crypto assets for both retail and institutions.

“To maintain the highest standards of security for our users data and digital assets.”

The SCI platform is primarily anchored on the core business of the exchange of cryptocurrencies. The first step in seeing our vision come to life was to allow people to exchange cryptocurrencies into local currencies and vice-versa, easily and securely. This was what allowed us to offer our crypto-remittance platforms and merchant services, for example. This is also why we worked together with our central bank to help regulate the exchange of digital currencies into fiat currencies.

The exchange business brings in steady revenue for the company, which in turn flows back into the company to help it grow. This has been the backbone of our operations for the last four years, and it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

Having a robust market for cryptocurrencies and digital assets allow our financial service applications to flourish. Because we can easily, and legally, exchange these assets into fiat and vice versa, we are able to offer financial services powered by such platforms.

We envision a future where our initiatives allow us, with the blessing of our SEC and relevant regulators, to develop tokenized securities, property, and other assets, effectively bringing all the benefits of the crypto-asset markets — mainly real-time settlement, 24/7 markets, instant transfers and exchange, peer-to-peer markets, and all done on a mobile app that’s easy to use and free — to more mature markets such as stocks, bonds, commodities, derivatives, and more. This will considerably lower costs, eliminate bureaucracy, and allow for greater transparency in markets.

Blockchain-powered Financial Applications

“To sustain our commitment as trailblazers in this fast-paced industry.”

“To create innovative blockchain applications that everyone can use.”

Blockchain Remittance

Our service was a trailblazer in the “Rebittance” industry. It was the reason why we were able to grow our business to what it is today. The remittance market is a global $500 billion industry, with $28 billion going to the Philippines annually. We envisioned a platform where individuals and institutions alike can easily connect and use cryptocurrency to send money to anyone in the Philippines, anytime, no matter where they are in the archipelago. We are able to deliver cash to anyone by connecting with more than 10,000 off-ramp locations, banks, and delivery services.

Today, you can use to send money to anyone in the Philippines using cryptocurrency. In the future, we see business and individuals alike connecting to the Rebit platform and being able to send money to anyone in the Philippines using any crypto-powered platform they are using, without worrying about volatility, without worrying about having to exchange the funds to fiat.

Mobile Money

The digital mobile wallet is the front line in this battle for a more financially inclusive world. Bitbit is our entry into this untapped market that is poised to boom within the next decade. A perfect storm is brewing in the Philippines for this — only 3% credit card penetration, more than 80% unbanked, and only 1% of commerce is done digitally, yet smartphone penetration is nearing 70% and internet usage is almost 50%. Globally, it is almost the same situation.

If we can’t get people to come to banks, let’s get banking into the hands of the people. By offering services such as bills payment, e-commerce, cashless transactions, and of course, cryptocurrency wallet and seamless exchange to fiat within the app, we hope to enable the untapped unbanked market and allow them to participate in the digital commerce world.

Bitbit will offer digital wallets for everyone to access the global crypto-powered markets, both as consumers and as merchants as well. Daily financial transactions can be done via a simple smartphone app, and users will be able to save money and, more importantly, time and effort.

Enterprise Blockchain Development Platform

“To sustain our commitment as trailblazers in this fast-paced industry.”

“To create innovative blockchain applications that everyone can use.”

Our Blockchain labs will be constantly building new apps for the ecosystem

Looking ahead into the future of blockchain technology, we want to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality. This is why SCI has not stopped developing blockchain applications and services that will be useful in this ecosystem. So far, we have deployed several projects that has gained traction and revenue, and continue to build, build, build. The infrastructure layer of this industry will take years to develop, which is why we never rest on our laurels and continue to keep building.

Industry, Community, and Government Engagement

“To share our knowledge and expertise with the public and private sectors.”

When we engaged the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in 2014, it was, to put it simply, to ask for permission and guidance for what we wanted to do with as a company. Three years of constant communication and engagement later, BSP Circular no.944, or the Guidelines for Virtual Currency Exchanges was released, and we consider this a big triumph in our efforts to legitimize our industry. We have constantly engaged with the BSP, the SEC, Congress and the Senate, as well as the private sector, as expert representatives of the industry.

SCI representing the industry in the Senate, Congress, Department of Trade and Industry, and the SEC. We also actively participate in activities with universities and the private sector.

We are also investing heavily into education and development of talent in the local blockchain industry, starting with our initiatives like Blockchain Association of the Philippines, of which we are founding directors, and Blockchain Space, a venue for blockchain initiatives, seminars, meetups, and community-building. We want the youth to learn more about this technology and build careers that will let them compete on a global stage.

The Team As The Anchor

“To empower our employees by providing them the best opportunities for growth.”

None of this will be possible without the right team behind its planning, implementation, and execution. Our core team of now more than 60-strong will be given all the tools and resources at our disposal to ensure that we achieve all our goals. This team consists of some of the best and brightest minds in the country, from Manila to Davao. We have mapped out how we want this team to grow and expect to at least double in size within the next twelve months, with each new addition being meticulously chosen by the management team.

Establishing Vital Industry Partnerships

“To conduct our business with utmost transparency and integrity.”

We are also in the process of adding new stakeholders and partners to add to our already strong relationship with Kakao, our main venture investor. These partnerships with established institutions both in traditional finance and the crypto space will add immense value to our business moving forward. Expect to hear more about these partnerships soon, and when we say partnerships, we don’t mean a photo-op signing, we mean joint ventures and official commercial partnerships.

We believe that the right teams on all levels of the organization is the only way to achieve all our goals, and we are happy to say that we have one of the strongest teams in the industry today.


Engineering The Future, Now

In 2014, we chose a tagline that a lot of people thought was pretty cheesy — “Empowering with the ‘People Power’ of Money.” For those who don’t know what ‘People Power’ means, it was a revolution that happened in the Philippines in 1986, ousting a dictator of thirty years with no bloodshed and peaceful protest. We were ambitious and idealistic, and thought that Bitcoin represented a similar revolution in the world of finance.

In 2015, we decided to keep it more focused and chose “Engineering the Future of Finance.” We had developed financial applications by leveraging the Bitcoin blockchain and saw hockey-stick growth in our numbers across the board. We still focus a lot on finance today, and it is still the main driver of our business.

Today, the blockchain industry has quickly evolved and expanded beyond the world of finance, which is why we have decided that it was time for our tagline to evolve into something that reflects the changing times.

We are engineering the future, now. Our vision is clear, our mission is on track, and our strategy has been tried and tested. Even though this industry is in its infancy, we know that the fundamentals of the technology are sound. Too much capital, both human and financial, that has been poured into it, making it practically unstoppable at this point.

There are many unknowns that still needs to be tackled, but we are up for the challenge, and we hope to attract the best people out there who want to be part of the biggest technological revolution since the dawn of the internet itself.

If you think you are up for this challenge, then let us know. We are always on the lookout for bright minds that share this vision with us. Join the SCI team and become part of something bigger, and help us usher in a new era of inclusive economic growth, productivity, and prosperity for all. We are building great things and need great people to help us build it!

Our belief in the transformative power of blockchain technology is shown in our commitment to developing its practical applications, and by helping this industry grow and thrive in our own backyard here in the Philippines, we believe that this will truly make the world a better place for everyone.

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