If you’re reading Wallet Weekly and related publications, you know a lot about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Nevertheless, the majority of people are still clueless about it. They may have heard that some people have hit the jackpot by buying bitcoin while it was cheap, and that’s about it. Most people haven’t heard about Ethereum, let alone smart contracts.
A new project aims to change that, to educate the public about the brave new world of decentralized computing. It aims to do that with…
Crypto-focused brick-and-mortar stores
The name of the company on this evangelical mission is Ubanx, and it plans to to bring digital currencies to the real world by opening brick-and-mortar stores in cities around the world. This way, it believes, everybody will get an opportunity to understand and embrace the emerging world of crypto.
The idea is that people would be able to enter these stores while walking around the city and get information about “all things crypto.”
Said stores, known as Ubanx Spaces, will have a modern look and feel with the company planning to become “the Apple Store of crypto,” focusing on ease of use and quality of service.
Visitors to these stores will be able to browse physical blockchain products, such as miners and hardware wallets, and inform themselves about the latest technologies. Also, Ubanx Spaces will offer “crypto school” with the idea to fill a void in blockchain education.
Finally, there will be a companion mobile app from where users will be able to browse different blockchain services, learn how to trade crypto, and eventually buy and sell digital assets.
Partnering for success
Ubanx doesn’t want to do it all alone; in fact, the company has apparently already established partnerships and signed contracts with banks and financial institutions. One partner, Argentinian bank TSA Banking, will help Ubanx provide a seamless crypto and fiat account experience. Also on the list of partners are the hardware wallet maker Trezor and Priority Pass, an airport lounge access program.
Furthermore, the company’s entire program is envisioned as a franchise of sorts. As I’m writing this, Ubanx has received more than 130 applications to open Ubanx Spaces in more than 17 countries, and the lists keeps growing.
A diverse team
Ubanx seemingly has what it takes to succeed, with its team including ex-bankers, business entrepreneurs and members of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.
The CEO and co-founder Janes Cochesa was previously a senior partner at the private equity firm Cochesa Investment, which is focused on franchises, finances and sales for retail ventures.
The second co-founder, Pablo Orlando, was named an MIT TR35 Innovator by MIT’s Technology Review magazine in 2015. He serves as Ubanx’s President and Chairman.
And finally, the third co-founder is Mary Saracco, a former Investment Professional at the World Bank and UBS Investment Bank as well as the former CFO of blockchain security infrastructure company Zeppelin; she serves as a Chief Investment Officer.
Also, there are Ubanx’s advisors and backers that include Steven Nerayoff, a blockchain pioneer who was involved in the creation of Ethereum and ZCash; Ami Ben David, SPiCE VC co-founder; and Stefano Angeli, CEO of Bank Transatlantica.
Ubanx, naturally, has its own cryptocurrency. Marked as BANX, it is an ERC20 token, which could be used to obtain bidding for rights for operating Ubanx Spaces in any particular location, and for purchase of a variety of Ubanx products, services, and community benefits.
The token presale is running as we speak and will last through June 30, or when all tokens are sold. A week after that, the public sale will kick in and run until August 23.
As that’s usually the case, the earlier you jump in – the better deal you’ll get. To make for a sweeter deal for early contributors, Ubanx is also offering a one-year Priority Pass membership (worth $99) to anyone who buy BANX tokens for at least 1 ETH. Guess that’s more compelling than just bonus tokens, right?