Meet hi, a new financial services platform that lets you send and receive funds on Whatsapp, and Telegram
Financial services empower most communities, although the current ecosystem does not support this course completely. Traditional financial services offered by institutions such as banks and investment firms are largely inaccessible to most people, especially in developing economies. According to the latest Findex data, close to 1.7 billion adults globally were still unbanked as of 2017.
This narrative is gradually changing with the invention of mobile money services and blockchain networks that have given rise to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The crypto ecosystem has evolved significantly since Bitcoin was launched in 2009; this market now features other crypto projects such as DeFi innovations that seek to decentralize financial services. In doing so, the projects in this niche are making financial services more accessible to everyone.
Other than DeFi-focused projects, some upcoming native platforms are also building a distributed financial ecosystem. The next section of this article features hi, a not-for-profit community-powered financial services platform whose approach is focused on building accessible financial solutions.
Let’s Get hi Together
Not to be confused with the actual concept of getting high, hi borrows this mantra to build a global community where users can send and receive funds seamlessly – getting ‘high’ together on the blockchain wave. At the helm of hi’s operations is former Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rüst and Crypto.com’s founding Chief Marketing Officer, Sean Rach.
The firm was founded in January 2021 to solve the current pains of sending and receiving money through third-party financial intermediaries. hi’s cross-platform chat enables users to send and receive funds within chat platforms such as Telegram and WhatsApp hence reducing the associated costs while increasing transaction speeds.
Ideally, this community-powered ecosystem introduces trust and lowers the cost of access to financial services. hi also features an advanced user experience that anyone, including DeFi newbies, can use. The platform’s infrastructural design allows anyone to launch hi within their preferred chat-based platforms to send or receive funds.
Making Financial Services Accessible to Everyone
True to its mantra, hi offers users the opportunity to get high on their own supply by making financial services available in just a few clicks. The project is currently in its first phase where it is onboarding more users; prospects can visit hi.com to register through social channels, including Telegram, WhatsApp, and the platform’s web application. Notably, hi has launched a rewards initiative program with early adopters set to receive hi dollar tokens.
That said, here are some of the features that will enable hi users to access financial services from all corners of the world:
1. Cross-chat Financial Services
hi’s cross-chat financial services platform is a pioneer of its kind, given that most blockchain innovations focus solely on leveraging the crypto ecosystem. With hi’s approach to integrate social platforms, the project is better placed to connect more people financially. hi intends to facilitate sending and receiving money through chat services ranging from Telegram to WhatsApp, with plans to integrate more platforms in the future.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, hi users can access additional digital asset services, including a custodial wallet provided by Fireblock, one of the leading security-focused digital wallet providers. In addition, the platform’s users can send funds to each other, eliminating the need for a financial intermediary. According to their roadmap, hi will feature more crypto services, including virtual debit cards that will allow users to make purchases via hi dollars.
2. Multi-currency Interest Accounts
Though scheduled for a later phase, hi is set to launch multi-currency interest accounts where users will earn up to 20% on their savings. The firm, currently based in Hong Kong, operates as a global team of over 70 stakeholders. This worldwide presence will enable hi in its debut of multi-currency interest accounts as the firm plans to allow fiat and crypto deposits from over 100 countries.
3. Network Rewards
Like most nascent crypto innovations, hi features a native token dubbed ‘hi Dollar’. This token is designed to act as an incentive for early adopters of the hi ecosystem. As of press time, crypto users can access the hi Dollar rewards by signing on hi through Telegram or WhatsApp. Notably, the project features a referral program where users can earn up to 50% of the hi Dollar tokens allocated to a new referral. This token is set for launch in early August, while withdrawals will likely be enabled in the middle of the month.
A Not-for-Profit Approach
Contrary to the approach taken by profit-focused crypto projects, hi takes a more people-oriented approach. The firm, which operates as a not-for-profit entity, believes that everyone has the right to access financial services and control their money. hi’s team is on record noting that “the financial services infrastructure should be designed and governed as a public good and advance financial inclusion.”
So far, the hi platform enjoys over 650K members, with the number growing from 590K users as of July 22. It is also noteworthy that this non-profit crypto project has accomplished several other milestones, including the raise of several million during its token presale. Going by their roadmap, hi has a lot in store in the coming phases. The project is set to launch its mobile application, crypto and fiat services, virtual debit card, non-custodial wallet, and the hi Chain mainnet scheduled for phase 4.
The Future of Finance Is Inclusive
Financial inclusion is one of the supporting pillars of U.N’s sustainable development goals. This means that the world has to work collaboratively in embracing solutions that will push us closer to this goal. With blockchain networks in the equation, it is now easier to scale up financial inclusion, which can be seen through innovations such as DeFi.
While it may take some time before people fully embrace the underlying potential, the shifting trends point to the possibility of a blockchain-built financial ecosystem. hi is one of the many blockchain projects that have since kicked off the journey towards making financial services accessible through the power of decentralized technology.