Pioneer A Financial Life on Ethereum with A Non-custodial Banking Replacement by Mel Gelderman 在以太坊上開拓無需銀行託管的新金融生活

On the first day of 2019 Taipei Crosslink, the CEO of Monolith- Mel Gelderman gave a speech on their Monolith Ethereum Wallet + Tokencard and how people are starting to know and embrace Blockchain technology in our daily life, not for gambling or fraud, but for the real positive changes it can bring to the world!

Everything dates back to 2015 when Taipei Ethereum Meetup was merely a small group of people… Mel started off the speech with the memory of him stepping into the Ethereum ecosystem!

Story-telling time!

A brief description of Monolith

Monolith is a decentralised banking alternative on Ethereum, with its current business area in Europe. There are two main products: Monolith app is a contract wallet to transfer cryptocurrency to fiat money; Tokencard is the debit Visa card that anyone can use just like a normal Visa card.

The Status Quo

  1. Monolith has been through the FCA Sandbox in the UK. However, AML(Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC(Know Your Customer) are policies Monolith has to comply with.
  2. AML and KYC can be achieved by simply looking into the origin of the cryptocurrency or tokens, as everything on Ethereum is there, open and transparent: if an address is known to be of illegal source, banning it solves the problem.
  3. Currently, there are already more than 1000 users using Monolith Wallet and Tokencard to cover daily expenditure!

TKN Token: Be our own bank!

Though the topic of TKN wasn’t brought up in the speech, TKN plays a crucial role in the ambition of Monolith: to return the interest of depositing money from banks to users. For more information: CLICK!.

If you’re interested in such ambition, also check out: Compound!

Demo Time

Mel demonstrated how to use their Monolith Ethereum Wallet. During the demo, there’s an anecdote really amused everyone:

The transaction time on Ethereum is surprisingly not really longer than the time on Visa lol

Apart from the above evidence that blockchain is rising ;) Here are a few notes about Monolith Wallet worth mentioning:

  1. Monolith Wallet is a contract wallet with a recovery mechanism, which solves the problem of usual wallets that there is no way to get back your assets on blockchain once the private key is known to the attacker.
  2. Whitelisted addresses are specific addresses not bounded by daily spend limit, and cannot be modified afterwards. Combining the two, even if an attacker gets to know the private key, the attacker can only transfer up to the daily spend limit, and the owner can transfer the remaining assets to the whitelisted addresses.
  3. Monolith is also working on another recovery mechanism to deal with the situation of losing your phone. Stay tuned!
  4. Monolith Tokencard also has every mechanism one needs for a normal debit card: freezing and unfreezing the card, reporting lost cards, etc.
  5. The workflow of using Monolith:

Decide the amount of cryptocurrency for exchange -> Decide the targetted fiat currency -> Wait for transaction confirmations on both Ethereum and Visa -> Success! This is now the debit card with money to spend :)

To wrap up this section, Monolith is the purest DeFi you can imagine! — Mel

Future Goal

Back in the days, it’s impossible to live solely on a Bitcoin wallet, as the exchange between cryptocurrency and real-world currencies was never easy.

However, with Monolith Wallet right now, the blockchain technology is mature enough for people to rely on the blockchain solution for daily payments, rather than trusting in banks to deal with our money.

It’s not hard to imagine that in the future, with the mass adoption of the blockchain technology, we might be able to receive cryptocurrency as salary and pay many things to anyone in every corner of the world with only a single wallet and a few clicks on your phone!


1. When or if it’s possible for Monolith to be available in Taiwan?

South Korea may be the first place for Monolith in Asia. Taiwan is on the list for sure, and hopefully, Monolith will be available by the next time when Mel visits Taiwan ;)

2. What is Monolith’s opinions on anonymity and privacy?

AML and KYC are the agreement Monolith made with Visa and FCA. However, Monolith is considering issuing a token to compensate users for going through these policies!


Mel’s is definitely one of the most inspiring speeches: Monolith and Tokencard visualize the dream that blockchain technology can really help make our society a more decentralised place and reduce the risk that we have always been staking on the centralised institutions!

In the end, I’d like to quote a line from Mel to summarize the speech and also his enthusiasm towards blockchain and Ethereum:

We are on the cusp of the most exciting moment in Ethereum since its creation!

Special thanks to Mel Gelderman for the friendly and patient feedback on my questions and recommending me COMPOUND!!! also, to Yahsin Huang for reviewing and her helpful advice and as usual to Chih-Cheng Liang for organizing the TEM column:)





Recommended from Medium

Introducing to BNBPay ($BPAY)


The Monero Moon (Issue 29)

Why is Ethereum “London Hard Fork” a big deal?

Ethereum Hard Fork, Upward Price & Transitory Inverse Price Correlation with Bitcoin

Guide to Using ZenCash on

Bozzcoins for Motivation and Discipline

FLIXXO Review ($FLIXX) Decentralized YouTube

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
田少谷 Shao

田少谷 Shao

Blockchain Enthusiast & Developer |

More from Medium

Compendium.Fi (CMFI) is now added to the Whirlpool Program on Orca.

Yearn Finance heads to ETHDubai

Pioneering Solana’s EIP-4626 Vault Standard

DLT Interoperability and More ⛓️#3 ⛓️ — Maximal Extractable Value