We see big promise in blockchain and crypto technology and solutions and are excited to sit down with crypto payments pioneer Ben Way, CEO of Digits.io.
Ben is an acclaimed serial entrepreneur in technology, with decades-long experience, and has been innovating in crypto since back in 2011. His company Digits.io is creating a way for people to use any debit or credit card as a crypto card! He also is quite into extreme activities and sports and has some wellness and detox tips for us as well.
Digits.io is ushering the future of crypto payments by making paying with crypto easy and secure. When the consumer pays with a credit or debit card registered with Digits, payment may be made with cryptocurrency instead of fiat currency. Merchants can enable cryptocurrency via Digits without any additional merchant account or agreement. They do not need to change any process in order to accept cryptocurrencies and the settlement times, processes, and fees, are exactly the same as they experience today. Digits’ Hedge Lending Network™ is a real-time marketplace optimized by artificial intelligence to choose the best outcome for both consumer and lender in real time. Find out more and signup at http://Digits.io
ATHLEISURE MAG: Ben, thanks for taking some time with us. Why is Digits.io well-suited to jumpstart crypto payments? How and why will it be adopted at this early time in the industry?
BEN WAY: For merchants, they don’t have additional agreements they have to sign; worry about the price of crypto, when they are going to get it - they get it when users swipe that crypto card, the merchants get exactly what they are expecting, exactly when they are expecting it. And from the users’ point of view, it is incredibly simple. They just have to swipe their card like they would be accustomed to, and their payment goes through. The registration process to connect you into crypto is really very easy. You just type in your 15/16 digit credit card number already on the credit card in your pocket and we then connect your Coinbase account and when you do a transaction, that money is taken out our your crypto account.
AM: Sounds incredible, tell us more about the vision behind it.
BW: There’s two very fundamental parts to Digits. One is becoming the next generation payment processor for crypto, and the other thing that is very unique to us because our team is coming from Visa, PayPal and Apple Pay, we really see ourselves as from a standpoint that there is already a very established payment ecosystem - and we believe we are the bridge between the new and the old world, which is where we want to be. And part of being the first part of that world, is that we had to come up with solutions to the two major problems in crypto payments, which is volatility and network transmission time, and that’s what we did with something we developed called the Hedge Lending Network™ (HLN). This is a new instrument we designed which is why will be able to pay the merchants what they are expecting when they are expecting it.
AM: Hedge Lending Network™ does sound cool. What’s the story with that?
BW: It’s actually quite complicated, but from the users’ perspective it is really quite simple. Basically, every single transaction is turned to a smart contract backed loan, and even though it is a loan, from the users’ point of view, the costs of the loan are included in the transaction fee, and because it is a loan, it means we can do two things that are pretty cool for the consumer - the first is we can finance a short termed backed event; and the second, the user can pay back that transaction within a year at the price it cost them of purchase, so you can get any upgain in the value of crypto. So to give an example of that, if you are going to buy something, and crypto has then doubled, you can actually at the end of the loan term pay the initial price off, and get the upside worth of crypto back.
AM: Are you taking registrations now? Is there a Beta launch?
BW: We are signing people up for the waiting list. We imagine we will be in Beta in about 90 days. We have already done our first end-to-end test run and we’re seeing it is working nicely. We want people to sign up and be the first to test the technology. Digits will be making some big announcements in a couple weeks, please check-in at http://Digits.io and our Telegram Group.
AM: Who’s on the Digits.io Team?
BW: Well, the team is where we are very, very lucky. We have an exceptional team in the payments and the crypto space. Our team is coming through Apply Pay, Visa, PayPal, and Ripple. And the first CFO of PayPal is our Chairman. And we have a just incredible team. I am a serial entrepreneur, my background is extensive in technology and crypto, started crypto in 2011. You’ve got Nick Fallon, our CTO, who has extensive experience designing enterprise-scale software systems; and Leo Patching, COO, great operational guy, very knowledgeable in finance. Laura Wagner is our CCO, who was responsible for being the first person to have credit cards swipe in McDonalds, among other accolades. We have a great team and board.
AM: Where do you see blockchain, crypto and technology coming in the upcoming decade?
BW: I am a futurologist at heart. I track a number of technologies. Crypto, AI, Robotics.. all are game changing technologies, which will be making an intense impact in the next fifteen to twenty years. Especially, a lot of the issues of transferring value, the different applications and decentralized nature of interconnected disciplines, including payment tech, will become incredibly powerful and lifechanging.
AM: We heard you are quite adventurous and into extreme sports and wellness. What are you passionate doing and what has helped you for health and wellbeing?
BW: I am quite an extreme human being. So every year, for last 7 years, I’ve done a full 90-day detox, where I basically become vegan, I cut my calorie intake down to about a third, and I exercise 5 times a week. And it is really a biological cleanse and it is incredible. I can tell you it is so powerful that any gray hairs I have at the end of the year disappear by March and you’ll see a huge weight-loss, say 20 pounds in say 60 or 70 days. I have a very active lifestyle, and this is a personal technique that I have come up with for age reversal through diet and exercise. I have a personal trainer 5x a week and I combine cardio and weights. Weights has been recommended as more of a focus. I am very passionate about extreme sports – I am a rock climber, a handglider, I firebreathe and firedance, ski, snowboard, dive.. if it can be done, I’ll try it once. Hah. I am a big believer in the combination of cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic. Those three ingredients combined are very powerful. A little aside, garlic is so powerful that if you leave it on the skin for over twelve hours it will give you second degree burns.
Disclosure: One of our members is an advisor to Digits.io and Etheralabs.io. Under no circumstances should any content or material in this publication, and related sites, about blockchain or cryptoassets, or any other topic, be construed as an offering of securities or investment advice. Readers should look at all risks and always consult with a professional investment advisor before considering or making any investment decisions or actions.