Get ETN through mobile operators


#1

I brought up this discussion in the “Fight The ETN dump Club Round 2!” -thread and came to conclusion with @Squidward_Nakamoto that it deserves it’s own thread.

As I said there:

The biggest problem I see for ETN is how do the people with only cash and no bank account get their hands on means to exhange their cash into ETN.

One good way of doing this was suggested by @Blues_brother :

From what I saw there will be some people who either through direct trading on exchanges or using relatives in developed countries can take ETN off the exchange system and into wallets. The ETN in these wallets can then be used to disseminate ETN sales in cash to those without access otherwise. This obviously carries the risk of rogue exchanges rates and commissions but even some fiat currencies have this problem. - -

On the other hand, my ideal scenario in a developing country would be: One in the family will collect the cash from everyone that trusts that person in that neighborhood. She/He goes to the mobile vendor and makes the exchange. Then she/he comes back and gives everyone what they paid for. This way I think it would be natural there. If there are many 3rd parties involved, I believe it can get shady really fast.

Also another method was mentioned by @Squidward_Nakamoto : that there could be “- -prepaid ETN cards that people can buy and top off their ETN account.”
I think this is one valid way of dealing with this. But there might be some counterfeit issues. I think just buying it at the mobile vendor and the balance instantly appearing in the customers balance would be the best way to go.

Also there is the gig economy coming up. If I am correct, this would be the main method of getting ETN for people in developing countries in the current plans of ETN team.
I think this is great and will get the people in western countries to buy ETN and let the coins flow that way. But I also sadly believe that not everyone in the developing countries will have the digital skills to offer anything in the gig economy. For those people it would be critical to be able to change their cash into ETN where they normally top up their minutes and data.

Then there is the entrepreneurship that Richard Ells has talked in many videos. If people can not get ETN through official means, they will make something up. To me this seems that some people there that do have bank accounts would get ETN from exchanges and start selling it for those that do not have bank accounts. Sounds pretty simple? This is similar to what @Blues_brother descriped above. The way I see this, is that it will happen anyway regardless of other means, and will work fine in most cases but sometimes will also involve illegality and scamming.

How would the mobile operator benefit from providing ETN to their customers?
Of course they would have to take a premium on the exchange rate to make sure they do not make a loss from that. So if they wanted to exchange ETN into fiat at some point, this would be the most logical way for them to do that. And the operators do also have natural means of getting ETN, from their customers and the deals they make with ETN team (for example get 1 dollar worth ETN per customer every month). And if the demand is huge, they can just buy from the exchanges and sell that at a premium.

I truly hope this is just something that the Electroneum team has kept silent about and have the plans done already. But if not, I hope that this post can open up some eyes and have something done about this matter rather sooner than later.

PS. About to call this spreading FUD? Regardless this post, I still stand by my price prediction for the next year, go check it out on “Electroneum economics” it is the 3rd comment.


Fight The ETN Dump Club Round 2!
#2

There are 1000’s of people in the UK that don’t have bank accounts and haven’t been able to get mobile phone contracts, also people with bad credit. With that said these people have fallen into the “pay as you go” category which is as simple as purchasing pre paid top up card with cash over the counter. Given this has been working well for over 20 years I would see this as the best route and also already has the required infrastructure/ vendors in place. Theft of cards maybe but you can get that in service selling a product, I cant say I’ve seen much in the way counterfeiting these as telcos are pretty on the ball at eliminating these issues. I would imagine that price volatility is the biggest issue to this plan though?

Also after watching yesterdays video from AAT Richard mentioned that as we are trying to create an eco system the coins taken as payment will be recycled back to the people through various means. The telcos want network growth not ETN coins so its in their interest to reward the coins back to the people. I personally think this isn’t as much of a problem as we think it is until the 7Billion pre mined coins are gone although by that time I’m sure a solution will be in place.


#3

Thank you for your comment!
The way I see ETN for the customer in a developing country is that it actually in it self is a “prepaid card” or prepaid currency if you like. They want it because it can be easily exchanged into minutes and data from anywhere at any time. So what reason is there to be also a card for that? Perhaps it could be used to get around some legal issues on the operator’s part but in my view it does not have any other use. If you were to buy a prepaid ETN card in a shop, why not just credit that balance to the user there and then instead. Also by doing this you cut off all the extra costs that come with making the prepaid cards and having shelf space for them.

Also after watching yesterdays video from AAT Richard mentioned that as we are trying to create an eco system the coins taken as payment will be recycled back to the people through various means.

This was something that left me wondering also. What did Richard mean with these “various means”. I truly hope that selling ETN at the operators stores would be one of these. But it will be certainly interesting to learn about these other means when that time comes.

I am happy to change my mind on this one. But for the time being I think that buying ETN directly from the mobile vendor would be the best way to go about.


#4

I guess if you want to know how they will do this in the future you need to ask how are they doing now. These people are unbanked currently and cash only and have yet still found a way to use a mobile phones, networks and data which they currently pay to use so it shouldn’t be much different. Its a good post though, very thought provoking.


Prepaid etn without any additional infrastructure
#5

We talked a bit on this in this thread: Prepaid etn without any additional infrastructure


AllAboutTech Interview - Part 5
#6

Well then. @ETNCEO decided to anwer to this topic in the last part of AAT interview. Of course that was recorded before I made this topic so I feel stupid now, because they already answered this before I even asked the questions :sweat_smile: So for everyone interested in this topic, listen the answer to the first question in that video.

This was an interesting answer and cleared one of my misunderstandings:
I thought people only could do top ups remotely with their ETN. But after watching this it seems people can go buy their top up vouchers from “agents” like they did before. But this time they can pay with ETN, and likely get more minutes and data by doing so, instead of cash. Proof: “- - the smartphone guys bring in their ETN - -.” around 4:20-4:40 . And also buy directly from the mobile operator with ETN around 5:25 Richard describes the users thoughts as: “- - I’d like to buy ETN (from the agent) because when I pay to my operator directly I get a discount - -.”

But where I saw this answer fall a bit was when he started talking about how will the agent get hold of more ETN, to pay her/his bills to the operator. At around 5:10 " if he (the agent) now wants to get hold of ETN and hes got cash from the feature phone people. He can actually start saying: “I will sell you some ETN” to people."
At that point I was just thinking: “Wait what? How is the agent going to get more ETN by selling ETN to people?”

In my opinion at that point the agent should open up a bank account (if he does not have one yet) and get that cash in there. Then get that FIAT changed to ETN via 3rd party or an exchange. Selling ETN to people will not be very viable option if the goal is to get more of ETN.
And I really doubt that the mobile miner will inject enough ETN to the community that there will be enough for everyone that wants to pay their top ups only with ETN. Someone will need to go to an exchange to fill the demand of ETN in that community. Which is a good thing in my view, because that would mean ETN price going up.

On a side note, it will be interesting to see what are the methods for the operator to put ETN back into the community. Will they boost the mobile miner payouts for their costumers? Will they hand out free ETN? Make raffles and winners get ETN?


#7

I think the established ecosystem around pre-paid mobile subscriptions, agents and providers can still accommodate ETN relatively well. I think what Richard was suggesting is that the regulatory framework for transacting value in some countries can be very complicated and by using mobile providers you are avoiding this problem. Providers can always return ETN into the ecosystem through prizes, rewards, giveaways and agent commissions. They could also pay a certain percentage of the agents salary or profits in ETN that the agent can sell for cash independently of the providers. I think the key thing is to stay away from regulatory problems as they are often bigger in countries with higher unbanked populations. Otherwise maybe a separate blockchain lending solution using proof of stake like what has been suggested for other reasons in the forum.


#8

Yes most definitely. This is their main thing and ETN will definitely be huge because of their cooperation with mobile operators.

But hear me with this question: How is the agent that is selling top up vouchers to people going to get his ETN to pay for those vouchers to the provider? Lets say he get 30% of what he needs from the smartphone users in ETN and rest 70% as cash from feature phone users. At that point, if he wanted to pay the bill to the provider in ETN he needs to get those 70% cash to be turned into ETN. And if he wanted to sell ETN to people, he would need to get even more ETN from somewhere. So where does he exchange this 70% cash into ETN and where does he get the ETN that he would want to sell to people?

This is the problem I had with Richard Ells’ answer. He talks about not needing exchanges and it is a closed loop. But In my view there is a huge “plot hole” in that.


#9

I understood Richards answer to that to mean the ETN that is used by customers and paid to providers will be of little financial importance to the provider as they are mainly looking for more customers, marketing etc. This means that the ETN they ultimately hold is almost free and can therefore be transferred back into the ecosystem without affecting their margins which is why they can use it to as incentives for both customer and agent. The liquidity might be a very slight issue to begin with but I think that even with current fiat currency exchange rates and discrepancies between rich and poor at present time the unbanked will not be looking at storing or trading thousands of ETN. It would take time and more adoption to win their trust over fiat currency. Once they are confident with crypto liquidity should have picked up and problem solved…i think!?


#10

Yes this will work out as you explained if:
mobile miner payouts + Operator provided ETN is greater than the demand for ETN.
But I believe the demand will rise quickly when the people realize how easy it is to use and it’s value goes up unlike their cashes value which is going down. Also the bonuses they get for using ETN rises the demand. All in all, I think the phase when loop can be sustained through ETN team and the mobile operator will pass rather quickly and someone will need to get more ETN to the people from exchanges. Otherwise why would we be expecting ETN’s price to go up? Sure user numbers are nice but if they do not create demand, they do not mean much when it comes to price.


#11

You are very right that it could get tricky if demand overshoots but if anything what that will do is create more value for that local ecosystem and although in comparison to global exchange rates the price wont change, the amount of airtime/ goods etc the ETN can buy locally will shoot up. Then people will see opportunity and bridge the gap from other countries. This is something that ETN can’t and probably shouldn’t get involved in. If you think about it there are more american dollars outside the US than in the US and a lot of those dollars are in countries that you would struggle to send money to directly in a single payment. If people see a need they will try and make something work!