After several years of hard work we are excited to announce the launch of our blockchain International Bank Account Number, the Monerium IBAN. This IBAN is the first of its kind to enable businesses to connect their finance directly to blockchains.
This is revolutionary for businesses, as they can now send and receive money directly between their blockchain wallet and bank accounts. The money in their blockchain wallet can be sent anywhere, exchanged for anything, at any time, instantly and at fraction of the traditional cost. Until now, this possibility could only be unlocked by going through crypto exchanges using cryptocurrencies or stablecoins that try to replicate money.
For the last decade we've seen financial crises and now global pandemic causing a global economic slowdown. Trade, investment, growth, and employment are all affected. Settlements with fiat currency have been tied up in a complex and permissioned financial infrastructure with many intermediaries. The settlement can be costly and take days and it's hard for businesses that don’t have access to a line of working capital credit to pay their vendors on time. This is especially true for small or medium sized businesses, that represent 99% of all companies in the world and need real-time payments to improve cash flows and access their funds at any time.
This is where Monerium is going to make an impact.
Our vision is that within ten years everyone will have access to a secure borderless economy where everything happens in real-time.
Founded in 2016, the Monerium team members have backgrounds in central banking, finance, cloud services, financial regulation & compliance, and blockchain technology. We were early adopters of cryptocurrency, and we are supportive of their adoption. At the same time we realize that traditional fiat money will continue to play an important role for most households and companies as a means of exchange and unit of account.
We didn't get the electric light by continuously improving candles. Rather than focusing on improving existing payment systems, we made it our mission to make money smarter, i.e. to evolve money so that it can be sent anywhere, exchanged for anything, at any time, instantly and at fraction of the traditional cost. We want to make money so smart that other builders can manage and automate its flow without intermediaries.
How are we going to make that happen? Here is our strategy.
Monerium was founded in Iceland where the 2008 financial crisis changed everything. The impact of the systemic banking collapse was enormous. The Icelandic krona plunged by 80%, capital controls were imposed on households and regular businesses, international legal disputes ensued over the banks’ liabilities, and many people lost a significant part of their pensions and savings. The crisis was not fully resolved until 2017. One of Monerium’s co-founders played a key role in helping Iceland get back on its feet as chairman and vice-chairman of the Central Bank of Iceland between 2013 and 2017.
We learned that excessive and bad lending by commercial banks can compromise the deposits and payment functions for the mainstream economy. Consequently, when we started Monerium our goal was to make money and payments as independent of banks as possible.
We found that the simplest and most secure way for our customers to store money would be for Monerium to become an Electronic Money Institution (EMI). The EMI licence was established in Europe more than 20 years ago and is the closest thing to a central bank money that consumers and businesses can access. With this EMI license, our customers can be assured that:
After two years of working closely with regulators to understand the benefits and risks of blockchain technology, in July of 2019 Monerium became the first EMI in Europe authorized to issue money on blockchains.
In 2011, we were excited to discover Bitcoin and blockchains. In 2014, after participating in the Ethereum Initial Coin Offering, we found the solution to how we could evolve money so that it can be sent anywhere, exchanged for anything, at any time, instantly and at fraction of the traditional cost.
We believe that to drive mainstream adoption of blockchains, we need money that lives under a known regulatory regime - not a stablecoin that is trying to replicate money.
On 17th of June (Icelandic National Day 🇮🇸) 2019 we became the first EMI to issue money on blockchains. The Icelandic Krona, the currency most impacted in 2008, became the first to circulate as digital money on this new medium. In our view, the restructuring of the financial sector post-2008 will not be complete until money circulates on blockchains in volumes comparable to those within the banking system.
You shouldn't have to choose between either banks or blockchains, you should be able to use both. That is why we built the Monerium IBAN, an international bank account number that connects your blockchain wallet to SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), allowing you to send and receive payments in euros (€) between bank accounts and blockchain wallets. All incoming payments are automatically stored as money in your wallet where you can enjoy all of the benefits of blockchains. Outgoing payments are just as easy, you just choose which bank account you want to send the money to and it's automatically redeemed from the blockchain and sent to the bank account via SEPA.
The new borderless economy on blockchains goes way beyond payments and is unlocking new values and lowering barriers for businesses. We have partnered with leading platforms that offer amazing services such as:
We've built the platform to move us closer to our vision, but now it's time to make the impact and put it in your hands.
We are starting in Europe and we are inviting businesses to join the first group of customers to try the Monerium IBAN and the benefits of euro on blockchain.
We are always looking for partners that share our vision. If you are building something amazing, check out our developer portal.
We are far from done and the Monerium team is already working hard on adding more blockchains, currencies, jurisdictions and features. Today we celebrate this epic milestone on the journey of making our vision a reality!
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