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Alchemy Pay AMA Recap

To help celebrate the listing of the Alchemy Pay Token (ACH), AscendEX’s MAry Zengh sat down for an AMA with Alchemy Pay’s CEO John Tan to gain more insight into the project’s success and strategy for the future.

Project Details

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Mary Zangh | AscendEX

Hi John! For those that are not familiar, can you briefly describe Alchemy Pay, and what problems you are aiming to solve?

John Tan | ACH

Certainly — So Alchemy Pay is a payment focused cryptocurrency project which launched the world’s first hybrid payment system & we have a number of different core parts of our business.

The main one and the one we are known for is our hybrid crypto-fiat payment network which gives online and offline merchants a practical, convenient way to accept both fiat and crypto for payments. We’re also very honored to be the few selected to process Binance Pay. Merchants worry about a number of aspects of crypto that we have solutions for. So first of all we are software only meaning that merchants don’t need to purchase new hardware to run alongside their current payment terminals.

Our solution is compatible with the hardware they already have. Merchants worry about price volatility and the accounting challenges of crypto but with our network they can choose to avoid handling crypto altogether — their POS terminals accept crypto payments from a customer’s crypto wallet address but our network immediately converts that to stablecoins and then to their local fiat currency which is how they actually receive it.

Another service we have allows crypto platforms like exchanges to accept mainstream fiat payment methods like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc. They cannot do it directly themselves due to the perceived risk of crypto. We take on that risk for them.

In addition, we provide on-ramp services to allow direct conversion of fiat (cards, mobile wallets etc.) into cryptocurrencies. We expect this to drive the adoption of decentralized services by mainstream folks such as NFTs, Metaverse, DeFi solutions and more!

Mary | AscendEX

Let us transition a bit towards the native token — ACH. How does the ACH token function within the platform and why is it needed?

John Tan | ACH

Our ACH token is used to incentivise use of our fiat crypto payment network. That means incentivisation for merchant partners and for retail consumers who are using the network to pay with crypto. Broadly speaking, the core functions include:

PLEDGING

A major use is “pledging” to join our network, our merchant partners purchase a specified amount of the ACH token and ‘pledge’ it. This means that while using our network our partners lock up funds which can be returned if they choose to withdraw from the network.

REWARDS

The main appeal is the rewards of transacting with Alchemy Pay — there will be a distribution of ACH in some cases. For instance, financial institutions, payment companies, e-commerce platforms are major partners that transact using our solutions and are incentivised with ACH at set rates based on their network size and transaction volume.

FEES DISCOUNTS

Fees are applicable for transactions taking place on Alchemy Pay’s system for payment transactions, payment rails and other white label services. Partners opting to pay for fees in ACH yield fee discounts depending on various factors.

In addition to these functions, there are numerous places where staking of ACH is available. In fact, over half of million dollars worth of ACH is up for grabs via staking across Binance and PancakeSwap (available tomorrow!).

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Thank you for the detailed explanation about the functions of ACH!

Could you share the development status and progress of the project thus far? Including the major partners and perhaps some operational data.

John Tan | ACH

Certainly! Our core products begun development in Mid 2018 and was launched in 2019 across Singapore and Hong Kong. Today, we are in over 60 countries and have over 2 million merchants within our network. This was made possible by our top-down strategy where we partner industry leaders that have numerous merchants under them. These partners include Shopify, QFPay and other major merchant networks! We also partner up with major crypto leaders such as Binance, Polygon Network, Algorand, NEAR and many more.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

May I ask who will be the users/clients on your projects and what are some examples of use cases for them?

John Tan | ACH

Our crypto payment solution are used by online and offline merchants to accept cryptocurrencies. We also integrate with payment companies, eCommerce platforms and other major merchant networks to provide their users with crypto acceptance capabilities.

We also provide fiat payment channels such as credit cards and mobile wallets to crypto players such as crypto-exchanges to help them target investors from all around the world.

Our crypto on-ramps are targeted at decentralized projects such as Metaverses, crypto wallets as well as investors to buy crypto-assets directly with mainstream fiat payment methods.

Last but not least, we also provide white-label crypto-linked card solution targeted at token issuers, crypto wallets and exchanges to help them conveniently issue Visa/Mastercard cards that will enable their users to spend crypto at all Visa/Mastercard touchpoints — driving payment use case of cryptocurrencies!

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

What is your strategy regarding attracting more users to your protocol?

John Tan | ACH

Well the ACH token itself incentivises use of the network as we mentioned before. Obviously we are creating a network so the larger our network becomes the more attractive it becomes. That is where our community of nearly 200K is important — it has grown so much over the past year — this time last year we had less than 50K! This is the power of network effect. The same is true of our commercial clients — once services and exchanges see our fiat payment channels working well for others they have the confidence in us to use them too. In terms of direct crypto on-ramps, now that big names like Polygon, Avalanche, Elrond, Algorand, NEAR etc are using our services it makes it a lot easier for us to attract other blockchains.

In addition, we launched the Blockchain Infrastructure Alliance (BIA) which is now supported by other founding members such as Polygon Network, Avalanche, and NEAR to foster greater collaborations that will drive synergistic growth for each other and the industry as a whole.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Great. Let’s talk about the current landscape of other projects doing something similar. What separates you from some of the competitors?

John Tan | ACH

We were the first in project to develop the hybrid crypto-fiat system which really propelled us to where we are today across 60 markets. The Alchemy Pay management team is comprise of payment veterans that not only drive our merchant growth rapidly with their industry network, but also help us secure the necessary licences — which is a major roadblock for most crypto service providers — to continuously expand.

That said, we are not really seeing competition right now because we know there is enough market share for everyone. Plus we can also learn from other companies in the payment space.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Cool. What unique experience does your team bring that puts Alchemy Pay in a position to be successful?

John Tan | ACH

As mentioned in the previous Q, I think it’s fair to say that our background in the traditional finance space and fintech has set us up in a really strong position to make connections and create partnerships all across the world. That really counts in what we do — global remittance companies, card issuers, blockchain networks, developers, principal acquirers. To create a payment network that can provide payments for crypto services, traditional businesses, and consumers globally you need the know-how to connect it all up. That means technical know-how as well as in terms of personal relationships. Different continents, different industries, different regulatory regions — it’s quite a challenge but we have an experienced team that is achieving it as we speak!

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

What does success look like for Alchemy Pay? What are the biggest risks and challenges Alchemy Pay will need to overcome to consider the project successful?

John Tan | ACH

I think we are always wary of the regulatory landscape. It is always a slight unknown. Of course we saw China take an extreme stance last year but, as time goes by, elsewhere we see more and more politicians and financial institutions around the world becoming accepting and even positive about crypto. So we are hoping the regulatory landscape will open up for the industry. In the past two week Russia and India appear to be intent on regulating rather than banning crypto which is huge news!

With that said, we feel that regulations help the long-term growth of the industry as it brings confidence to users/investors new to this space.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Can you please elaborate on the goals you are aiming to achieve in 2022?

John Tan | ACH

We will continue to strengthen the foothold we have in the markets we are already in while seek out major partners to work with to expand into new key markets to tap for growth. We are also in the midst of applying for licenses as well as investing into companies with relevant licenses that will reduce cost of our payment channels — this will bring great benefit for everyone in the cryptosphere such as lower fees to buy crypto with cash.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

The last question from my end is a non-project-related question — which sector of crypto markets excites you the most?

John Tan | ACH

NFTS

Well obviously NFTs have totally exploded in the past 12 months in such a way that it is taking market share from altcoin projects at the moment. Although the idea of collectibles and artworks is exciting enough I do think we haven’t seen anything yet. We will continue to find new applications for NFTs that can really change the world — particularly in terms of asset tokenisation which we are still only exploring at the moment.

METAVERSE

Apart from that, the metaverse is very exciting because it brings together so many elements of decades of technological developments and of course bringing that together with blockchain. The idea of this fluid movement between virtual and physical worlds sometimes seems daunting which is why we want the Web3 ideals to come through so that it is as free and open for individuals as possible.

People outside of the industry perhaps still don’t realize that the cryptocurrency economies that all blockchain metaverse virtual worlds will grow hand in hand with the metaverse itself. I think we really could be looking at the next big emerging market!

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AscendEX is a leading global digital asset financial platform founded by a group of Wall Street quantitative trading veterans in 2018, servicing retail and institutional clients in over 200 countries and regions of the world.

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