What, Why & How
I’ll be presenting Amber at a fintech conference in the coming weeks, so I thought I’d get some thoughts on paper. In doing so, I realised it would make for a good blog post, examining the what & why of Amber.
When we set out to build Amber (originally Stashh), we wanted to build a micro-investment app, to “make digital currencies easy for everyday people”.
We’ve come a long way since those early days, and in particular honed the mission around:
“building the fastest, simplest, easiest way to accumulate the most powerful money in the world”.
That money is Bitcoin.
Not cryptocurrency, not “blockchain”, not some altcoin, but the ONLY form of money that matters today; Bitcoin.
(and yeah, yeah — it’s a bit long winded, but bear with me, this is a blog post & brain dump).
The goal we have at Amber is such that any person, whether technical or non-technical, can get set up, link their bank account & set up automated, recurring investments in under a minute.
This is such an important first step, because:
- It red-pills new people. Quickly. And there is nothing like skin in the game to get one to learn more.
- Long term, we’re building a next gen ‘bank’, that plugs into the only internet-native central bank & financial protocol, ie; Bitcoin.
So if we can get someone onboarded & buying some Bitcoin; as a consumer, they’ve started the most important financial journey of their lives, and as a company; we’ve not only just made money for delivering a convenient service, but we’re building up our core asset: A relationship with a user base, who all hold Bitcoin.
Yes. Bitcoin. Not Fiat.
It’s the most powerful money known to man.
It’s the only natively digital, fixed supply, globally accessible, secure financial unit & network that anyone can hold & store their wealth in, and that any application can hook into, to provide superior banking & financial services for anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
The future of money & finance lies here. Not with the lipstick-on-a-pig neo-banks building nice UI over the top of old, decrepit rails that are becoming more draconian in nature by the day.
Money is the lifeblood of society, and if it’s healthy, you can build a strong, healthy society.
Finance is the plumbing, and the Bitcoin network has both the lifeblood & plumbing built into it. Although it already does, as it evolves (at the base, and more-so through layers), the ability to build superior, always on, transparent & functional plumbing exists like never before.
This is where the long-term opportunity for a product like Amber lies.
Zero to One.
With Bitcoin, we’re reinventing Money & Finance.
The Gutenberg printing press liberated knowledge and helped bring about the separation of money & state by taking the power out of the hands of the Church and their “scriptoria”.
Over the next 5 centuries, that power concentrated once again, until the advent of the internet; which once again revolutionised information & knowledge by giving everyone on it, three KEY abilities:
Think websites, then blogs, the social media.
I discuss this further on Page 25 of The Bitcoin Times, Edition #1:
Banks, at the dawn of the renaissance (much like the Gutenberg printing press) originally liberated money, and helped form the basis of free markets, but after 5 centuries, the seignorage & advantages that come with being the controller, manager & producer of the core resource of society (money), they too became concentrated.
Bitcoin, in much the same way as the internet did, rips this seignorage from the overweight, internally decaying institutions who no longer add value in their roles as the facilitators of finance & money.
Bitcoin gives every participant in the network the ability to Read, Write & Route money, in much the same way as the internet did with information, and similarly across multiple layers of the stack (Lightning for example, makes every participant a node which actually routes).
Bitcoin does this, whilst providing a guarantee of the three CORE functions a financial network needs to provide (which traditionally have been the domain of the banks):
One can abstract any derivative financial function from these three core primitives, as long as their integrity is maintained.
Welcome to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin pushed the function that banks provide in the financial world down to the protocol layer, where nobody needs permission to participate, and money can move at the speed of code.
These are the rails of a new financial system that is open, global & fundamentally robust.
Whilst the old guard are frantically trying to upgrade their archaic COBOL-based mainframes to better integrate with modern front end tech, Bitcoin has completely re-invented the base layer.
The future of banking, financial products & services is applications & access points that abstract the core functions will be performed at the protocol later.
Now & later are important to understand. Bitcoin is a temporal phenomenon, meaning those looking to leverage it personally or as an enterprise need to understand that its use will evolve over time.
Today, Bitcoin is the fastest growing, emergent asset in history.
- It’s up over 90,000,000 % since inception
- Every generation (2–4yrs), bitcoin grows by an order of magnitude.
- It’s the only network that provides a guarantee of Send / Store / Receive,
- with a unit that is un-confiscatable, un-inflatable & un-censorable.
That means in a personal capacity, you want to HOARD this asset, whilst the rest of the world comes to terms with what it is. Understanding bitcoin now is the greatest financial edge you can possibly have.
As a business, you want to build effective, useful gateways & onramps.
Tomorrow, Bitcoin is a fixed supply money that maintains purchasing power and allows the participants within its economic walls to build real wealth.
At that point, bitcoin’s use as a medium of exchange will grow, and (this is just a guess) businesses will need to evolve to provide products & services that facilitate this new reality. And this is likely where “banking & finance” will be reinvented — just atop an autonomous network that is un-fuck-with-able.
We hope to focus on what matters, when it matters, and today, what matters is onramps.
- Saving, Accumulation & Investing
- Fast onboarding
- Leveraging the largest capital flow in history (Economic Noah’s Ark)
- Generating revenue along the way by delivering a great service, and in the process, building our most important asset: Users with Bitcoin
Tomorrow it’s about a new line of products & services that can be entirely reimagined.
- Our asset = Users with Bitcoin
- Product = Hub style, global banking & finance product
- Every financial service you can think of today, and anything that is yet to be thought of
- Similar to what email clients did. They abstracted access to underlying communication protocols.
The financialisation of this asset is happening right before us, and will usher in the stage of the underlying network’s broader usage as a global financial settlement layer
This journey will be wild, and this next wave of adoption will be another order of magnitude larger than the last.
From a business perspective:
There will be billions of dollars flowing into this asset class. We’ll be here to provide a service from as many locations around the world, in a manner that’s simple, fast & automated, and of course, make money in the process.
From a philosophical perspective:
Money is becoming an unforgeable form of data, that nobody can control or manipulate — built on a network which nobody needs permission to build products & services on. This foundation allows us to build an entirely new world — not just a financial one, but a new form of society.
If you’d like to support what we’re doing at Amber, subscribe to our Medium here:
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And if you’d like to automate your Bitcoin accumulation, you can find the download links to the App on the website (currently only available in Australia, but we’re working hard on rolling out in Europe for early 2020).