The founder and CEO of Magna Numeris, Rayane Hocine, tells us about his solution Cartam, a crypto marketplace where geolocation is important.
Rayane Hocine, the founder and CEO of Magna Numeris, has talked to theicodigest about his Cartam solution, a crypto marketplace where geolocation is very important.
Tell us about the creation of Magna Numeris and the Cartam product?
Rayane Hocine: The initiative dates back to the beginning of 2017 with my associate Axel (Baechelen). I was already working in the blockchain industry in London and Axel, who was still a no-coiner at the time, wanted to acquire his first crypto-currencies. After a multitude of problems to get his first tokens, we thought that we should find another simpler, more humane and cheaper way to access this market for individuals.
The idea had never left our minds and when I returned to France we decided to develop the thinking in January 2018 to create a platform both technologically advanced and functional, always keeping in mind the simplicity of use to allow individuals to acquire crypto-currencies.
One thing leading to another, after several pivots of the project, we came up with the current Cartam idea. The main interface of our Cartam platform is an interactive map, based on the user’s geolocation. We therefore wanted a name that evokes this function and is easily pronounceable in English.
Could you sum it up in one sentence, Cartam?
Cartam is an IOS and Android application in the form of a marketplace between individuals wishing to obtain, sell and use their crypto-currencies. It could be summarized as a “Leboncoin” for crypto-currency users with a redesigned, brand new concept, where ease of use is combined with purchasing power and security.
Where are you today on your roadmap?
We are still in the production phase with several product releases in minimum version (alpha) for the year 2020, the first result of which is the blockchainless web platform in March 2020.
The companion mobile application integrating messaging and blockchain wallet will be released in May. For all the DeFi aspect of the platform, we have decided to keep this information to ourselves for the moment. We are currently incubated at The Garage, the No. 1 blockchain incubator in Europe and in discussion with one of the main players in the DeFi ecosystem.
How do you stand out in this market and what do you bring to your customers?
Our service has 3 main functions: the exchange of used goods for crypto-currencies, the exchange of cash for crypto-currencies and the visualization of nearby shops that accept crypto-currencies as a means of payment. Our service offers a complete ecosystem for users to exchange free of charge in a completely decentralized way.
The primary functions of exchanging cryptos between private individuals, selling goods for cryptos and displaying a list of shops accepting these digital currencies as a means of payment exist in various forms. Our goal is to bring them together in a clear way on the same interface.
How do you position yourself on the essential issue of such a service: security? Is an insurance project planned in the medium term when we see the recent examples of other industry giants?
We have a mission to inform our users, notably via our FAQ section. The blockchain and the crypto-currencies have a functioning that our users need to understand.
In the first version of our mobile application with a personal blockchain wallet, the cryptos will be stored on the user’s device and only the user will have access to them via his private key that only he knows. We do not hold cryptos on behalf of our users and do not intervene in transactions, the aim being to make our users responsible for the management of their wallet. There is therefore no insurance on cold storage wallets.
Why does the P2P economy and more specifically the marketplaces universe need Blockchain technology?
We are still surprised that the main way to enter the crypto universe from fiat is through centralized players and banks, the latter regularly preventing transfers from their customers. Blockchain technology is inherently decentralized, so it is clear to us that its uses and adoption must migrate to a peer-to-peer (P2P) system between individuals.
Marketplaces between individuals, such as Leboncoin in France, have had problems with trust for years, and are not implementing new technologies (and I’m not just talking about blockchain) to overcome them.
In this type of market, we live and die thanks to the community. How do you intend to gain the trust of users and prove the benefits of such a marketplace?
This is indeed the challenge of any market place. We are counting on our presence in the French community to test our service and measure very closely how it will be received. The first few weeks will be decisive and the entire team will be mobilized to collect user feedback, which will determine the success of the service.
We are currently experiencing a phase of phenomenal growth for DeFi, what is your opinion on what could upset a whole section of the traditional economy?
DeFi is the Tech trend of the year 2020. These processes are very interesting because they allow complex financial flows to be organized automatically and in a decentralized way without intermediaries.
Until today, only a banking organization and its infrastructure could manage financial flows and offer its clients investments or fund management. The DeFi allows the same thing, but in a more flexible way, at lower costs and using very heavy infrastructures. DeFi, and financial applications in general, are symptomatic of a crisis of confidence in traditional financial systems.
It can bring financial services in a very simple and reliable way to populations previously excluded from its services. However, like any disruptive innovation in a very traditional sector, many legal questions arise.
Investors often see cryptocurrencies as a financial product from which they hope to derive added value and not as exchange values. Crypto rather rhymes with currency for Magna Numeris?
This is the paradox of crypto-currencies, many people own them and hear about them through trading, but trading is not the primary use of cryptos. They are a new way of organizing economic exchanges and are intended, in the long run, to be used as a means of payment in the same way as scriptural money.
Our service aims to reinforce the adoption of cryptocurrencies in everyday life, particularly in France, and focuses on their function as a means of exchange.
Any last words about your project?
The release of the first web version of our Cartam platform is due by March 2020.