Invest in C14: Fiat Ramps for Harmony

Name of Project

C14: Fiat Ramps for Harmony

Proposal overview

We believe that Web 2 and Web 3 will combine into a single unified internet layer within the next 5 years. This vision for a Web 3 world will require faster and cheaper blockchains to reach mass adoption, which is why we believe the Harmony chain is a fantastic early partner. Consumers will need to move money seamlessly between the traditional financial world, where most of their assets currently live, and this new internet paradigm.

C14’s mission is to enable users across the world to seamlessly enter and exit the crypto ecosystem. Existing ramps infrastructure is expensive, difficult to use, and supports only a tiny fraction of the crypto ecosystem. C14 is building an ecommerce-like platform that can be deployed across projects (exchanges, wallets, dApps, etc.) to enable easy ramping in and out of digital assets.

For consumers, this will provide:

  • An easy-to-use fiat bridge in and out of assets on Harmony that mirrors a familiar e-commerce experience
  • Stored payment methods available across discrete projects to minimize friction for repeated purchases of assets that live on Harmony

For partners, this will provide:

  • An easy way for projects built on Harmony to ramp users directly in and out of their projects from fiat using familiar payment methods
  • A go-to-market tool for easily ramping customers into new tokens on the Harmony chain

C14 is built on a B:B:C business model, where end users are C14’s retail customers and platforms that host the C14 widget are C14’s referral partners. C14 will also partner with the development foundations that launch and manage blockchains and is in discussion with several now. These channels will enable C14 to efficiently distribute its applications to partners who need ramping solutions.

C14’s ramps will initially be focused on credit/debit cards (both push and pull methods) but over time will include additional payment methods (local bank transfers, APMs, etc.) These local payment methods will be the key to C14’s geographical growth strategy and will enable C14 to expand to regions with lower card adoption rates to support Harmony users globally.

Proposal ask

200,000 USD

Technology development, operational resources, access to Harmony’s engineering staff for Q&A, OTC relationship for liquidity

Metrics for success

  • First card transaction processed through C14 for the purchase of USDC on Harmony
  • First card transaction processed through C14 for the purchase of Harmony ONE
  • First integration of the C14 application into a live Harmony project

External links

The project is not yet public; further details have been provided directly to the Harmony team.

Based on Harmony Project X program (d13: aaron-jack), approved for $200K investment

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As discussed, we think this project has great potential. The funding will be provided via Project X d8: aaron-jack

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Thank you, @Jacksteroo and @aaronqli. We’re very excited for this opportunity!

Hi!

Please find C14’s general update below!

Product - Update

  • We completed setting up the our necessary server infrastructure
  • We’ve selected the third party API providers we need (KYC, KYT/Transaction Monitoring, risk prevention.)

Product - Next Steps

  • Begin integrating third party providers and build out the client flow
  • Build out rates API consumer widget to calculate sale and gas prices
  • Complete first integration with third party node providers to turn on post purchase send out capabilities.

Hiring - Update

  • Hiring has been a big area of focus for C14. We’ve been getting candidates both through a network of recruiters as well as our online job postings (Angel, Indeed.) We received verbal commitments from candidates who wish to join us for the following positions
    • Principal Blockchain Engineer
    • Hybrid Product/Engineering position that will focus on the payments layer
    • Operations and Compliance head
    • Marketing & Sales Lead

Hiring - Next Steps

  • We’re drafting off-letters and employment agreements and have identified a crypto focused firm to help us draft the necessary agreements to onboard our candidates
  • Begin onboarding candidates and continue searching for additional engineering resources
  • Begin searching for Chief of Staff

Operations - Update

  • We’re in the final stages of completing our round and going through the final rounds on agreement T&Cs
  • We’ve opened two bank accounts for operational purposes
  • We’ve begun onboarding with our first exchange partner
  • We’re engaging regulatory counsel to provide us with the necessary business documentation

Operations - Next Step

  • Finish the standup of the necessary exchange relationships
  • Begin onboarding with our primary processing partner
  • Create client facing agreements, privacy policy, terms and conditions, etc.

Business Development/Marketing Sales - Update

  • We’ve created the brand guidelines (colors, logos, etc.)
  • We have our GTM marketing plan (Social Media, Twitter engagement schedule)

Please find C14’s May Update Below

Product - Update

  • Server Infrastructure is stood up
  • Our Rates API has been stood up - this allows us to provide bi-directional quotes (fiat > crypto, crypto > fiat)
  • We begun integrating with third party node providers and price provides to calculate gas fees from on-chain activity in fiat terms
  • Our development team is currently building the front end skin for the quote/order screen which will consume the rates API
  • We’re negotiating terms with our desired providers and will become consummating business relationships with the third party integrations we need to power our ramps.

Product - Next Steps

  • Begin direct integration with third party processors which will allow us to authorize transactions
  • Architect third party API integration strategy for KYC/AML compliance
  • Design front end UX (graphics, branding, T&C, etc.)
  • We’ve begun exploring on-chain solutions to assist with liquidity management

Hiring - Update

  • Two of the candidates from our last update have begun working at C14 (Technical Product Manager and Sales & Marketing lead)
  • Principal Engineer and Operations and Product lead have both formally accepted their offers and will be starting over the next few weeks (dependencies around notice periods are impacting timing here.)
  • The C14 Executive Team and the Technical Product Manager are designing more detailed job descriptions for the engineering team build out
  • C14 will be extending an offer shortly to an additional Engineering candidate

Hiring - Next Steps

  • C14 will begin scaling its online recruiting efforts - turning on more paid search results to drive candidates to our application funnel
  • C14 will refresh its relationships with various staffing and head-hunter firms to drive more engineering candidates
  • C14 will continue interviewing candidates for a Chief-of-Staff role

Operations - Update

  • We’ve begun our closing process and our lead investor has invested - the C14 Executive Team will continue reaching out to other investors on the cap table to close the round. We anticipate having north of 90% of funds outstanding received by May 13
  • C14 has begun formally memorializing our compliance procedures and processes - first drafts of these documents have been sent out to regulatory counsel for review before implementation.
  • Outside counsel has drafted employment agreements for new hires (both domestically and internationally)
  • C14 has been working with its advisors to begin formally drafting our regulatory strategy (AML, KYC, BSA, etc.) - we’ll engage in several internal scoping sessions with our advisors before we formally complete the state-by-state analysis
  • Counsel has begun drafting client facing agreements, privacy policy, terms and conditions, etc.
  • C14 is standing up payroll and health insurance policies for employees (Gusto)

Operations - Next Step

  • Finish the round
  • Complete all agreements between employees, contractors, founders and C14
  • Submit all applications for upstream TradFi partners and shepherd those applications through to approval
  • Product/Sales & Marketing and Compliance begin to stand up our automated corporate onboarding process

Business Development/Marketing Sales - Update

  • Website is deployed
  • Twitter is live

Please find C14’s June Update Below

Product - Update

  • Our Engineering Team has built the front end screens for our widget
  • We have completed our integration with our card processors sandbox environment - this enables us to test both positive (transaction approved) and negative (various decline states - insufficient balance, CVV mismatch, etc.)
  • We have linked the card processing module to our blockchain module, which enables us to send out the desired amount of digital crypto to the end users wallet
  • We are about to begin our integration with Twilio (phone verification) and our third party KYC provider
  • We have negotiated desired terms with our preferred KYT/Blockchain analytics provider - expect to sign sometime next week to begin building out the flow
  • We have begun building out our automated KYB portal to allow partner’s to onboard without human intervention.

Product - Next Steps

  • Complete the Twilio and KYC vendor integration
  • Begin spec’ing out the implementation v.1 of the automated liquidity management system
  • Swap out test processing keys for production processing keys (operational dependency)
  • Launch KYB portal

Hiring - Update

  • Two of the candidates from our last update have begun working at C14 (Principal Engineer and Operations and Product)
  • We’ve onboarded an engineering intern for the summer, with the plan for the intern to begin full time after summer (this is the engineering candidate mentioned in the last update.)
  • We plan to hold off on additional hiring for the next few weeks until our current team gels.

Hiring -

  • We’re going to start posting more jobs for additional engineering talent once we get a better understanding of where our strengths and weaknesses lie
  • We’ve begun informally interviewing potential compliance leads

Operations - Update

  • We’ve finished a substantial amount of the documentation required to begin operations (Privacy Policy, AML and KYC Policy, BSA compliance, etc.)
  • C14 has formalized its regulatory strategy. We’ve bucketed this out below.
    • USA - Obtain MSB + followed by expansion into states where our regulatory counsel confirms we can operate without MTL. We anticipate having our MSB by June 13, 2022.
    • Canada - Obtain FMSB (Foreign Money Service Business) - We will update our USA policies to comply with Fintrac rules and regulations, but our Canadian counsel has advised us that this is substantially similar to FinCEN rules. We anticipate obtaining the FMSB approximately four weeks after we file the application.
    • EU - Obtain VASP (Virtual Asset Service Provider) - We are vetting providers for obtaining a VASP. This takes approximately one month after we engage counsel to obtain.
  • We’ve set-up health insurance for relevant US employees and payroll globally.
  • We’ve submitted several initial applications with our upstream providers - we anticipate our approval process will speed up after we obtain our MSB. We currently have applications outstanding with multiple firms who can give us broad geographic coverage

Operations - Next Step

  • Finish the round
  • Get approval from first card processor which will enable us to go live and begin processing transactions
  • Begin standing up the widget on our first partner sites
  • Recruit partners to assist us in community testing of the application on testnet.

Business Development/Marketing Sales - Update

  • Our team will be attending NFT.NYC to begin our outreach to the community
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Here are instructions for how to use our test environment.

Here is our demo environment

1.) C14.Money
2.) You need to input the Dest address in the url after the = (this will be pre-filled by the partner that is hosting the widget)
3.) Select Harmony stablecoin
4.) Input the amount of desired dollar coin or desired amount of dollars to spend
5.) Verify Phone (Twilio, this is being constructed now) skip
6.) Verify PI (Trulioo, final development leg)
7.) Input a new card, or use one of our saved cards. You can use the card number 4242 4242 4242 4242 to generate a successful transaction (enter any date in the future for expiration date and any CVV)
8.) Test cards - Docs (4242 … is the success card)
9.) Complete the purchase

We built this on Harmony Mainnet, rather than test net.
Here is our testing stablecoin contract 0x8daD3007e92f198D02F8C966c561F4e0c2d51D01

I’m unable to upload screenshots of the entire flow - as I am a new user, but the widget is very easy to use!

We’d love to start conversations with projects building on Harmony that may be interested in our ramps!