In Conversation: explaining token.com with Bankless Brasil
We recently caught up with Bankless Brasil to learn more about DAOs. Part of the Bankless DAO, Bankless Brasil is a thriving community of passionate Ethereum believers. In our conversation, they talked to us about their DAO and how they see the crypto space evolving in Brazil. Following our interview, Bankless Brasil got in touch with us to learn more about our token.com project. When we spoke to them, we explained why token.com is launching in Brazil, how it differs from Monolith, and the role we hope it will play in shaping the future of the token economy. Initially published on the Bankless Brasil newsletter, you can read it below now.
What is token.com and how does it differ from other offerings in the current Brazilian landscape?
token.com is a new product that’s designed to give anyone easy access to the burgeoning token economy. Similar to our first offering, Monolith, it will create a way to leverage the best of DeFi through one interface. We want to help people grow their savings by accessing the high yields offered in DeFi. Additionally, there is a broader vision for the product that looks beyond the DeFi ecosystem of today. We believe that tokenization will create an abundance of new opportunities and change the world in ways we can’t yet imagine. If crypto lives up to its potential, it’s possible that 1 billion people will start using tokens in their day-to-day lives over the next decade. We hope that token.com will be the app that introduces a new wave of users to this technology. The app will initially focus on capturing yield available through DeFi, but in the future, it will empower users to invest in a wide variety of assets according to their beliefs and interests. We believe that tokenization will make it possible to invest in anything from sports personalities and musicians to local breweries in the future. When that moment arrives, token.com will make it possible in a few taps.
Brazil has made huge strides in the fintech and crypto sector over the last few years, which partly inspired our decision to launch token.com in the country. However, we think that the future of DeFi and tokenization will bring radical changes to the way we function as a society. The ability to invest in any kind of asset from your fingertips gives regular people the opportunity to shape the world around them for the first time in history. That’s why we think this movement will be at least as transformative as the Internet it runs on. So while Brazil’s technology scene is evolving, with many people taking a growing interest in crypto assets like Bitcoin, we are more excited by the world of Ethereum and Web3. token.com will create a way to access this world.
Why did you launch token.com in Brazil rather than another country?
We spent a lot of time researching regions to launch token.com, but in the end, Brazil was an obvious choice. The first reason relates to Brazil’s demographics. Brazil is Latin America’s biggest economy and one of the most populated countries in the world. Over 60% of the population falls under the millennial or Gen Z bracket, while over 70% have regular access to the Internet. This means that the country is home to millions of digital natives. We believe that this is the perfect target market to introduce to the possibilities of tokenization.
Beyond Brazil’s demographics, the economic climate is also an important factor behind our decision to launch in the country. As we heard from Bankless Brasil, Brazil’s financial system is among the most bureaucratic in the world. It’s also dominated by a handful of banks that have no incentive to improve their services for customers, which is why lending rates are among the highest in the world. Real interest rates are also negative. Against this backdrop, DeFi could create an opportunity for people to take ownership of their finances and change their lives for the better.
We also believe that recent technological developments in the country have set the stage for DeFi and the token economy to flourish. Brazil’s fintech landscape has evolved at a fast rate over the last few years, highlighting the population’s appetite for innovation in the financial sector. Moreover, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have proven popular as the space has entered the mainstream. We think that Ethereum and the advantages of DeFi will be next to catch on, and we intend to make our app the preferred access point to this fast-evolving world.
These factors combined make Brazil the perfect place to launch our new product. Just as importantly, several members of our team are from Brazil. Embarking on the next stage of our journey there is a logical step!
What are the similarities and differences between the Monolith project and token.com?
Monolith and token.com share many similarities, however they are very distinct ventures. The two offerings take inspiration from the world of tokenization made possible by Ethereum, and they aim to make it easy to access this technology with a few taps from anywhere in the world. They are both envisioned as entry points to DeFi and the future of this technology. token.com differs from Monolith in that it will abstract many of the complications associated with being an early adopter of Ethereum and crypto. Where Monolith has proven popular with Ethereum natives, we want token.com to be so simple that crypto beginners can use it and benefit. Part of this simplicity will be made possible by the design of the product, as it will not be a self-custody wallet. We think that while decentralisation and self-custody appeals to many crypto enthusiasts, offering an easier way to capture the opportunities the technology creates will be crucial to achieving mass adoption.
We want to add that both products will evolve alongside each other and we’ll continue to serve our early Monolith users. A big part of the plan for token.com is developing TKN, something that we hope will benefit our whole community.
What is the mission for the team behind token.com?
Our mission is to make the tokenized world accessible to everyone. We think that tokenization will cause a seismic shift in how we function as a society, but in its current form, it’s inaccessible to most people. We want to help any individual take ownership of their wealth and invest in resources they believe in. And they should be able to do it without even thinking about it. Until DeFi, this was not possible.
We’ll initially focus on helping users leverage DeFi to grow their money, but our vision for the future of Web3 and tokenization extends beyond simply yield farming or staking assets. We want to make a product that lets people invest according to their view of the world. While the traditional finance system relies on gatekeepers that prevent normal people from accessing investment opportunities, the token revolution will allow anyone to invest anywhere as they see fit. token.com will be the access point to this revolution.
How and why did this mission start?
This mission started when our team first discovered Ethereum back in 2015. While the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was a groundbreaking invention, our minds were blown by the limitless potential of Ethereum and smart contracts. We saw that it would be transformative for the world.
Our journey started in earnest in 2017 with the launch of Monolith. We created a product that let users live a decentralised life on Ethereum and spend their crypto assets anywhere with a Visa card.
But after several years on this journey, we’ve come to realise that the friction associated with onboarding and using crypto technology is a major barrier to adoption. We believe that crypto, DeFi, and tokenization is the most important technological innovation since the Internet, but in its current form, it’s not ready for mass adoption. Tokenization has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people, but it needs to be more accessible first.
We see token.com as a gateway to the tokenized world. Our focus is on introducing the benefits of this world to the next wave of adopters.
What is the target market for token.com?
As part of our research into Brazil and its demographics, we’ve also spent a lot of time looking into our potential early user base. While we envisage token.com appealing to younger digital natives when it launches, our target market is far wider.
The Internet currently has about 4.66 billion users today. We expect the token economy to hit 1 billion users in the next decade, and adoption should only increase over time. This means that the potential market for a product like token.com is huge.
However, for 1 billion people to have access to any tokens of their choice from the palm of their hand, there needs to be an entry point that anyone can use. We hope to make token.com that entry point, starting in Brazil.
Can you share any details on token.com’s roadmap and plans for the future?
We will be sharing a roadmap for token.com and will share more details soon. For now, we can say that the product will initially focus on DeFi and high yield capture. But it’s important to note that it will evolve as the token economy does, which means that it could look very different 10 years from now. Tokenization is set to change the world around us forever. We hope that token.com plays an instrumental role in the technology’s growth.