Crypto Talks with IDRT: building a successful project in under a year
Instant crypto exchange platform Changelly has recently listed IDRT, the most widely adopted Indonesian stablecoin, making it available for fiat purchases and swaps to 150+ cryptocurrencies. IDRT was created as an on/off ramp, a gateway to global crypto exchanges for Indonesian cryptocurrency users. Although it has been less than a year since the project’s launch, IDRT already has many achievements and partnerships under its belt.
In today’s Crypto Talks, IDRT CEO Jeth Soetoyo shared his experience of setting up and managing a crypto project, talked about the future of stablecoins, and also touched on the topic of crypto mass adoption.
Could you tell us when you have gotten into crypto and how? What did you like the most about the industry when you just started?
I got into crypto in 2015 when I wanted to move my money when I wanted to move back from school. A friend of mine told me about bitcoin and so I decided to give it a try. The thing that I loved the most about the industry is the feeling like it’s an underdog story where a band of misfits with a huge belief of the impact of crypto on the way we do finance.
IDRT wasn’t your introduction to crypto, you’ve worked with it before. When did you get the idea to start your own project, and why did you choose to develop a stablecoin?
At the time I had a lot of friends who wanted the ability to trade on global crypto exchanges but had the difficulty of finding exchanges in Indonesia with good liquidity to use as an on/off ramp. That’s when we started tinkering with the idea that an Indonesian stablecoin can be used as an on/off ramp for major crypto exchanges- benefitting both the exchange by not having to build out local integrations, and for the customer for having multiple exchanges as options to trade on.
IDRT is currently in the active development stage. What do you think of its results so far? Which achievements are you most proud of?
I think we have done quite a good job with less than one year from launch especially compared with other stablecoins in the region, we have become the first and most adopted. On top of that, we are not stopping here and will have a lot of big news going forward. To pick which achievements that I’m most proud of is kind of tricky, personally we’ve done a lot of work from building partnerships with exchanges, DEXs, and DeFi amongst others. One application that is pretty cool though is IDRT being integrated with Sablier is one of the coolest, but this concept is still not easy to be understood by ordinary users and probably ahead of its time. By integrating with Sablier, people will be able to receive their salary (streaming money) in seconds using IDRT instead of waiting for the end of the month. Although Sablier’s current application is mainly for payment of salaries, it could also be implemented to other business models, such as for subscriptions, freelance payment, or insurance. We are quite optimistic that the DeFi realm such as Sablier will definitely be one of the main use cases of crypto including stablecoin in the near future. Other than that, I am very proud of how we have managed a robust and loyal IDRT community since day one. What makes us even happier is that our community is always super excited about our project and they also have bright ideas of building DApps by utilizing IDRT.
What competitive advantages does IDRT have over other stablecoins?
The fact that we are blockchain agnostics has enabled us to attain different kinds of advantages from each blockchain (IDRT is currently available on Ethereum, Binance, Luniverse blockchain) and thus open to different kinds of partnership and ecosystem which makes IDRT well-positioned in South East Asia (SEA).
In terms of stablecoins in SEA, we have the most access to global exchanges and this enables users to access global liquidity to trade crypto and conduct other use cases such as remittance and cross border trade. Although there are wide options of USD stablecoins out there, we found that it might not be as useful for day-to-day use for locals in the country compared to its local stablecoin. We are going to announce big news regarding this aspect this month.
IDRT is now the most widely used stablecoin that is pegged to the Indonesian Rupiah. What are the key points of your 2020 roadmap?
So far, we have partnered up with many top global crypto exchanges and managed to ensure good liquidity & user experience on these exchanges. On the crypto-trading aspect, our main focus right now is to encourage more people to adopt IDRT and trade using IDRT on these global exchanges. Another aspect we deem equally important is to focus on more real-world use cases of IDRT beyond trading, namely in cross-border remittance, global payments, global donation, and global on/off ramps. We are also seeking to explore more Decentralized Finance (DeFi) projects for financial products such as lending and borrowing, thus we can give a whole set of financial ecosystem to our users. In order to have all these initiatives accepted and adopted by the mass market, we have also put customer education in our top priority as we want to enlighten more people about the stablecoin itself and its benefits.
This past year has been quite eventful for you: you graduated from Harvard Business School and have developed your stablecoin project. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in crypto?
I would advise them to understand how bitcoin (at least) works on a technical level. I think this distinction will allow the person to filter the merit of different ideas in the space. A lot of times people would paste the word blockchain on any application without really thinking about the realistic application of blockchain.
March showed increased volatility for cryptocurrency. Do you think we can expect stablecoins to strengthen their positions amid this?
In general, users usually switch from Bitcoin (or other altcoins) to stablecoin to hedge positions in times of volatility. This period has been tough for many people globally, not only in the crypto market, but also in the traditional financial market. However, unlike the case in early 2018 where there were massive sell-off of cryptocurrencies, I believe the existence of stablecoin today could help people to secure their assets amidst the increasing volatility. One example of this might be through DeFi platforms where people can lend their cryptocurrency during this time for stablecoin and in return they can cash out the stablecoin for their daily transaction needs. I am confident that stablecoins on open systems could open up a wide array of new products that can replace traditional banking such as Forex, Non-Deliverable Forward (NDF), etc.
What does mass adoption mean to you? At what point do you think we will be able to say it is becoming a possibility?
From the perspective of IDRT, I hope that enterprise, commerce, merchants, websites, apps, etc can use IDRT as their settlement for cross platform payments as it is more effective than the traditional payment system. We see the future where people seamlessly move their IDR between platforms not only within Indonesia but also globally using IDRT when mass adoption will kick in.
What do you think Bitcoin’s price band might be in a couple of years?
As we know, there will be a great momentum this year for Bitcoin (i.e. The halving) and I believe that it will become a trigger for more Bitcoin bullrun. In the past few months, Bitcoin’s price has hovered around $6000 – $10,000, I expect this band would rise to around $12,000 – $15,000 by the time of the halving. With Covid-19 hitting all parts of the world this year, I would not be overly optimistic for a dramatic price increase of Bitcoin this year as many people will still be forced to prioritize basic necessities and scramble for cash. From my point of view, governments are now printing record levels of money to deliver stimulus packages which I believe could lead to massive inflation. Accordingly, there is a potential for safe haven assets such as gold to see price increase. Similarly, I also see Bitcoin as a similar asset class and personally think it will ride this trend over the next two years.
And now for the last question: what would you ask Satoshi if you meet him/her face-to-face?
Since you created Bitcoin after the 2008 Crisis, what have you planned to create after the 2020 Covid-19 crisis? Also, what are you going to do with all of your Bitcoin (that you originally mined in the past)?
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