Ethos x Voyager Community AMA Transcript with Steve & Shingo

Over the course of the last several weeks, we collected all your most pressing questions about Ethos, Voyager and what's in store for our future. We received lots of great questions which were presented to Voyager CEO, Steve Ehrlich, and Ethos Founder & Voyager CIO, Shingo Lavine during a live AMA in our Telegram Community. This is the full transcript of the Community AMA.

Ethos x Voyager Community AMA Transcript

Q: When will Ethos/Voyager plan to go international, and which regions/countries first?

Steve: Great first question – we are actively working with banks and regulators to turn the combined company into a global company.  This will take some time but we are hopeful by the 4th quarter we can share where we will be.

Q: Now that Ethos has merged with Voyager, did this change what kind of customer you are aiming for? For example, the ones that are more interested in regular stocks, but like to use crypto trading to make gains instead of holding crypto for longer time period?

Steve: We believe crypto serves multiple purposes and hits multiple segments. There are traders and hodlers and the combined companies can serve both types of customers. We don’t see a reason why we would exclude anyone trying to use our products.

Q: In the Ethos app, we can buy/sell different coins, but we can’t purchase Ethos. Now, since Ethos and Voyager are working as a single company, how soon can we expect the functionality to purchase Ethos Tokens from Voyager app? Also, will there be Ethos/BTC or Ethos/stable coin pair in the future?

Steve: Love the question – Voyager is working on a super advanced router that will be launched by early summer. Once this router is done we will be able to add Ethos and other coins to the platform. We are huge believers in the coin and the community and value and want to make it easier for customers to acquire the coin. At this point we haven’t decided on the pair although to a USD stablecoin is likely.

Q: Do we have any other bedrock customers in the pipeline? Will the Ethos token still be used to power it?

Steve: I am sure everyone saw the Ledger announcement today. That’s the beginning of developing upon Bedrock and moving the ball forward using Bedrock as a core competency for the Voyager/Ethos offering. We are really excited by today’s announcement and think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Q: Will there ever be a desktop version of the Ethos and Voyager systems?

Steve: A desktop version is being contemplated but as of now we feel a majority of crypto hodlers and traders want to use their mobile app. If there is significant demand for a desktop version we can look at that. I would suggest people complete our latest survey to let us know what they want.

Q: Will there ever be an opportunity for individuals to run Bedrock nodes, which would be able to answer API calls, and collect a portion of the Ethos fee as a reward? This could drive huge demand for the token and increase the scalability, decentralization, and reliability of Bedrock.

Shingo: This is something that has been contemplated and thought about quite a bit internally. There are a number of things we would have to engineer for this though… How do you ensure that nodes are operating truthfully? What happens when someone running a node is being malicious? A service like Bedrock that spans across multiple blockchains can’t rely on any of the underlying networks in order to run…

What you’d need to build is a second layer decentralized network that was able to bridge the underlying networks in a trustless way while at the same time building some sort of governance system to ensure that nodes operated truthfully. This is not a simple task by any means and doing it properly would take a lot of resources.

That being said, we see a ton of benefits for it including…

  1. High token velocity and utility
  2. Scalability if implemented right
  3. Decentralization of an important service that many other providers could be relying on in the future

This will be on our radar as we look towards the future and think about how we want to build the Bedrock business. Right now Bedrock is being used to kickstart a lot of these institutional relationships and is giving the business a competitive edge that will be shared with users in a better user experience. I see Bedrock and opportunities like these as the next phase of the business after we grow out of this one

Q: What do you see as the biggest hurdle for getting more investors interested in increasing their exposure to crypto assets?

Steve: We think seeing major players start to enter the space (ie Fidelity Custody) will start to drive more and more interest. The increased price of BTC and subsequent news coverage (60 minutes) has also been helpful. The Voyager app over the last few weeks has also seen a huge uptick of customers as well. We also believe products like Ethos and Voyager which make crypto trading and holding easy help drive adoption.

Q: Is it possible to brainstorm to involve the existing community as part of the marketing push (ie hashtag competition #ourEthos) to explain the meaning/vision of our awesome product?

Amateo: I’ll chime in on that one – and the answer to that is absolutely. We used our last round of surveys to get a lot of community feedback which directly informed some of our tech, features and coin listings – I’ll work with the community to keep them engaged in the campaigns moving forward.

What incentive do Voyager shareholders have to support the token? How does it work to their advantage? As shareholders, they have rights whereas token holders do not. What is to stop them from pressuring the company to remove the token from the ecosystem if they decide it’s a liability?

Steve: The Voyager Board strongly believes in the token. The Board is comprised of the largest stakeholders of Voyager. As noted earlier, the token is a very powerful tool for Voyager/Ethos to help drive engagement, rewards, utility and community. It’s not something we take lightly.

Is it possible for Voyager/Ethos to expedite some of the planned work by hiring more developers/engineers? It seems like the team has a great plan and is executing on that plan, but perhaps there may be some bottlenecks causing avoidable delays. I wonder if some extra sets of hands could help things move along a little quicker?

Steve: As with every development project there is a point of declining returns on adding staff. We are creating products that require a tremendous amount of thought and detail. We believe we have the perfect balance right now to build the best products and bring the best value to the community, shareholders and customers. Many of the things we are building have never been done before and we have the best team to make these things happen.

Q: What can we expect about token utility beside cashback? Will there be utility for all holders (non-traders)?

Steve: We are looking at a lot of different items for token utility and we can say for certain that it won’t be limited to just cashback. A trading app combined with a self-custody experience has never been done before and there are tremendous opportunities for token utility within that. Gas fees, Margin trading, lending, P2P transactions – there is so much that we can open up with the combination and we are excited about a future that combines the best of Ethos and Voyager.

Q: Is there any competitive advantage – this I refer to strictly as something Ethos/Voyager can do that potential rivals can’t – that you have developed or are developing, and how are you going to sustain that advantage over time so that you create high barriers to entry and can maintain economic profits in the long run?

Steve: Love this question. Might be my favorite. As we bring the companies together we are examining how we bring the products together to deliver the very first trading app with self custody storage. The token is integral in this as we make the transfer seamless for customers. When you couple multiple custody options with our best execution capabilities you have something no one is doing. Our router is so advanced we can find the best execution/best available price across the exchanges we connect to and again no one has done this.

Ethos/Voyager is a CRYPTO Broker. The other guys are everything but.

Q: Will the Ethos wallet accept ST-20 tokens?

Shingo: ST-20 potentially although I think the question is really around security tokens in general since there hasn’t really been a standard that has emerged that has trumped all others. For security tokens – for me the bigger question is the strategic importance of security tokens rather than the technical difficulty of integrating them. How many big security tokens have launched over the last 12 months that have universal recognition and success? I can’t even name 3 security tokens that have launched over the last 12 months let alone any that have had success. We are in the early, early days of security tokens and being able to store them on the Universal Wallet has minimal additional utility

However, if we see in the near future a boom in security tokens, we will absolutely look at integrating and trading them

Steve: We have had meetings with quite a few STO Exchanges – they all want us to connect. Unfortunately there isn’t any volume yet. What most people don’t know is that we own a Registered Broker Dealer which allows us to offer STOs and other securities whenever we deem the timing is right.

Q: Are there any plans to add Neo and Nep5 tokens to the wallet?

Shingo: For NEO/NEP-5 and really all other coins, our biggest fear is investing months of development time/effort just for nobody to use it or for the coin to diminish in popularity making our development investment all for naught. I’m not saying NEO isn’t worth the investment, but that is our thought process for when we integrate tokens.

NEO/NEP-5 integrating will depend on a number of factors including the number of customers that end up trading NEO and NEP-5 tokens on the platform. I’ve looked into the technical path and anticipate it will be about as long if not longer than ADA integration. It is on the higher end of coins that we want to integrate by priority.

Q: Coinbase has released a debit card, Ethos said they would – does Ethos or Voyager still plan to have a debit card linked to your Voyager account?

Steve: We think at some point debit cards will be part of the Voyager/Ethos ecosystem. As we build out the global FIAT gateway we will likely add that functionality at some point in the future.

Q: Ethos/Voyager plans to be an institutional custodial solution, but aren’t institutions more likely to put their funds in larger or more trusted solutions such as Fidelity? What advantages does Ethos have over them?

Steve: One word – partnerships – we have had numerous discussions with various custodial partners about using Bedrock.

Q: With so many other multi-cryptocurrency wallets coming out, it seems this will be the normal standard people expect. What will keep Ethos ahead of their competitors?

Steve: Its the seamless integration into trading

Q: How far down the road do you see widespread institutional adoption happening?

Steve: Starting to happen but most likely still a few years away as the US awaits a clearer regulatory framework.

Q: When can we expect Payroc crypto payments to launch?

Steve: Payroc is still on the development roadmap – we have no timing yet on release.

Q: Apart from what’s already on the DevDash, what other chains will be added to the UW and how long would that work take?  The greatest potential will be unlocked when Voyager’s and Ethos Bedrock’s chain support are in line with one another. How soon do you expect the chain support of the two platforms to match?

Shingo: This is a good question because it highlights something unique about Voyager and Ethos put together.

A coin has four states within the ecosystem:

  • Transactable
  • Depositable
  • Withdrawable
  • Tradeable

And we won’t be limited on a coin only being some or one of those states. I’m not sure that it will ever “perfectly line up” because we may want to test customer interest by turning on trading before deposits or transactions before trading etc. In terms of future chain integrations, I’ll defer to my previous answer – we have to look at customer demand. If there is a demand for something we’ll integrate it, but we don’t want to waste our precious resources integrating chains that aren’t in demand by the community.

Q: Will Ethos tokens be rebranded to Voyager in future? However, if the team feels that rebranding is not the right decision, I would like to know what is the reasoning behind that as well.

Steve: That is one item we are discussing internally as there are pros and cons to each approach. It is not a decision we take lightly and will gather feedback from multiple constituents before we make any final decision

Q: Do you still plan to introduce domain names in the next year or two?

Shingo: It’s something that is being discussed internally and once we have a roadmap for it we will be able to share more

Big Thank You to the Community!

Thank you for all your contributions towards the AMA. We’ll be doing more in the near future. If you have any additional questions, feel free to drop by our Telegram channel.

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