Below is a transcript of the above YouTube Q&A livestream with questions taken from this Reddit thread.
For those of you that are part of this for the very first time, how it works is that we do this Q&A twice a month, every two weeks.
I’m one of the co-founders of TenX, and I try to summarise everything that is happening here and answer all of your questions.
How we do this is that we have a reddit thread that people can upvote or downvote.
Then we pick around 10–15 of the most upvoted questions depending on the time available. At the same time, we also pick questions out of the chat. This allows us to be informative while letting everyone enjoy themselves.
02:05 Banking License
Many of you have noticed that I’ve been travelling for the past week.
I just came back, and you wanted to know what the travelling to Europe was about. Generally, most of my travel at the moment is related to securing our banking license for Europe. I want to give you a quick update on our progress.
There is one country still missing, that I will have a call with this week.
We have been in touch with 5 central banks, we have been discussing in detail the specifics with regard to compliance and regulation.
We have to display our business model and document the processes.
Our plan is to understand which of these 5 countries is on the one hand, the most likely to provide us with the banking license,
but also the most attractive from our side. So far, all of the countries that we have been speaking to, have been open and positive on what we are doing, and I think that all of them would be open to giving us our banking license.
The more important question is “What are the extra hurdles that we have to overcome, and is it worth overcoming for the reputation of the country, as opposed to cooperating with another country where it might be easier to obtain the banking license but not as reputable.”
We are trying to find this balance. We have completed our initial selection, and the team is going to have a discussion regarding this. As I have mentioned, there is still one country left, which I will have a Skype call with this week. After that, we will proceed with the next round of selection.
The timeline right now from all of the countries, is that is will be in Q2 or Q3 2018. If things proceed smoothly, this means getting the license in May or June. Otherwise, it will only be obtained in September or later.
4:30 Noah in London
There was also a big event in London called Noah.
It was important for me to be there because there are a lot of major players that were present there.
I had a lot of great meetings, with companies such as N26 and Revolut.
We are not a company that tries to go against competitors. We exchanged a lot of ideas and there is opportunity to learn from each other.
I also met some investment funds, not because we are looking to get investments right now, but rather because there are always strategic aspects that remain relevant.
Prior to Brexit, London is still a very important hub and large funds like Excel, Atomico and Index were all represented there. It was interesting and cool to see what was happening there.
05:40 New Office
I am not in our new office right now, I’ll do that tomorrow.
I went back to our old office because all of my stuff is still there.
Tomorrow I’ll probably do a quick Youtube Live through our new office which is open and ready. Its a work in progress but the office is live and the plan is that within the next few days that everything will be fully functional.
I’m very excited about the progress of the new office because we have been hiring aggressively and space had become a constraint.
06:30 Wirecard and Visa Program Manager
Next, I have also been getting a lot of questions regarding Wirecard.
“What does this mean, What does this Visa Program Manager mean, and why is TenX not announcing it?”
Let me make a half-official statement here. The reason it is half official is the following. We have signed the deal with Wirecard quite some time ago.
I cannot tell you exactly how long ago, but this deal has been signed and confirmed. But for us, this was not a piece of news that we wanted to release, not something that we wanted to announce until we had an exact timeline that we could tell you that by this time we will support this country.
At the moment we have Wavecrest in Europe, Wavecrest and we are going to keep Wavecrest for now for Europe because they have been doing a great job and I think we have been scaling up the sending out of the cards.
I think we are over 200 cards a day right now, and there are many of you that are getting the cards and we are planning on scaling even more efficiently.
The goal is to have the waitlist to be cleared before Christmas. It should happen for Europe. If you have ordered the card or planning to order the card , the worst case is that you will get it right before Christmas. That is our plan, and we do not expect much happening between Christmas and the New Year because people will be celebrating the holidays. The entire shipping and parcel service will be overloaded. Our target is to have literally the entire waitlist cleared for Europe. We are probably going to keep working with Wavecrest with that, because the infrastructure is there.
With Wirecard, the plan is to scale internationally.
Even though Wirecard is a German company, they are active internationally.
They are in the US, Europe and Singapore. They could be our international partner for scaling. The reason we did not announce it is because we did not want our competition to pay attention to Wirecard, and we understand how difficult it is to give timelines, especially if nobody has provided such a service before.
One of the reasons we did not announce it officially is because it was never a big deal for us. We already support VISA through Wavecrest in Europe. There are thousands of users who use our cards every day. We are a Visa Program Manager, we have just never felt the need to announce it to the world.
I understand that sometimes you look at TenX and you ask questions like “Why are they not announcing this? Why are they not doing this?”
Put yourselves into our shoes. We want to build a functioning business. We have this working product, and we need an exact timeline on understanding when are we going to be able to support users in the US, when can we support people from Australia and Singapore? When can we start supporting China?
One of the things that we have learnt is that, especially in an area where nobody has done before, it is quite difficult to make exact predictions. This is why we have not announced these details, because we want to have an exact buy-in from our partners. We need them to be able to confirm the timeline before we announce it. The announcement right now is not interesting or attractive, but it will be once we have the exact timeline. This is about “Can we do everything before Christmas? Will things be postponed after Christmas?” There are things that are beyond our control. Everything has been signed, and the question is not whether we will support a certain country but when we will be able to support that country.
11:16 Competition and Rumours
There are some companies that attempt to spread news.
It is important to stay rationale and objective, and for us, it is not interesting to announce such news because we already have users, and we I do understand that if a company doesn’t have a card or users, then every little step is a big deal.
At TenX, we focus on larger things instead of picking on the small things.
I think a lot of companies that are announcing that they have something, what they actually have is a Fiat card. This means that they have a card where people can convert fiat to crypto. I do not know this for a fact, but I met with some VISA representatives in London and asked them specifically about other companies. There are other companies who are claiming they have something we have, namely a pure crypto card. Lets see how that turns out, because these are just rumours that I have heard.
TenX is not interested in a fiat card. For those of you who have used TenX and used our card, you will understand the difference and how it works. That is an important distinction to make between our company and theirs.
Yes, right now we have a lot of users, and maybe even ahead of our competition, but we cannot get complacent. We must always challenge ourselves to grow, to deliver the best product possible.
13:23 Token Structure
Next, questions about our token structure. Are we sure that our token is not a security, why is Julian not representing anything in writing, why do people have to trust Julian and why does TenX not have a legal paper.
These are fair questions and I understand where they are coming from.
There are companies that have been removing their token benefits, but TenX will not be doing that.
We will be distributing the token rewards. Our method will be 100% legal and complies with the Howey test.
We want to get the written documentation from the lawyers in the US and Europe. We have it from the lawyers in Singapore already.
Once we have that, we will make an official announcement, an official press release. We are going to explain exactly how it works.
It took me a really long time to figure out a solution, and initially we thought “Why not patent it, and let TenX be the only ones able to use this”
But after some discussions within the team, this goes against our ideals. We believe in competition and rising above our competition.
At the end of the day, we do not have a problem with other companies copying us. This shifts our focus away from being the best we can be to protecting something. We believe that we are one of the best companies out there, with one of the most amazing teams. I believe our track record is fantastic.
Yes, we have missed certain milestones, but we are also far ahead on other milestones. As soon as we have everything in writing, we are going to publish it and start paying the rewards. We will get this done by the end of the year, as promised.
Yes, we do want to have something that is unique to TenX, but we also believe in the entire ecosystem. There is no point in pushing everyone else down. We have card issuers and token structure.
I haven’t spoken much about China lately due to the the regulations. It looks like they might be easing up a bit, but we are still observing the situation. We are definitely interested in getting into China, 100% legal of course.
We want to provide Chinese users with better access to TenX, and this applies to other countries such as the U.S.
As soon as we have an exact date, we will release it.
I have learnt my lessons in the past months, how difficult it sometimes is to announce something, when you know that everything is 100% working, but due to unforeseen circumstances it has to be delayed.
The same applies to the rewards.
As soon as I have the written proof from the lawyers, I am going to announce it. If this happens before Segwit2X, it will happen before, and if it happens afterwards, it will happen after.
I am not going to withhold information about those things.
I will withhold information regarding business decisions. This includes new strategic partners in other countries like the U.S. a Japan. , because these are business decisions.
But something that affects the token, we will not withhold information. We want to take care of our token holders and we respect you guys.
We need to deliver value, and will not release every little bit of information straight away.
I understand that this has a lot of consequences, like exchanges. Please do not believe that we are going to be delisted. I have been in contact with both Kraken and Bittrex.
Exchanges such as shapeshift have just erred on the side of caution, especially with ERC 20 tokens.
21:00 Questions Start
1）Is it possible with a banking license to give out the credit cards as some merchants do not accept debit cards?
A: Obviously, with a banking license, it would definitely be possible. It all depends on our priorities, whether we want to focus on the debit card or the credit card.
2) When will you integrate other currencies to the app?
A: Lets go through what we promised previously. Ethereum for everyone, Dash for everyone, and once we have that, ERC tokens for everyone before adding new currencies.
You have seen a couple of videos, presentations with other companies that are interested in being listed.
Yes, we have 4 or 5 other coins in the pipeline, but currently we are prioritising scaling our infrastructure due to the huge influx of new users.
Scaling should be done by friday, and at the moment I believe that we can handle 500 new users per day.
I think we can handle a total of 300,000 users right now, which provides us with a bit of time. After this is completed, we will focus on adding more coins.
3) When will the TV advertisement in Germany be aired.？
A: First of all, we have not said which country it is in, and it is not a TV advertisement.
I will not announce that up front, as I do not like speculation. As soon as the date is happening, we will announce it so that people can watch it if they want to.
On the 20th of November, there will be a team from the US here, from FOX Business News. There is going to be a filming and I think that episode will be aired in January.
4) How many working and sent out cards does TenX have?
A: This is something I do not want to announce publicly, as well as the exact transaction volume per user. This is because you can do many calculations, which has implications on our security. I can tell you that it is in the 5 digits.
We are sending around 200 cards out per day, and we want to scale that to ensure that we can clear the waitlist by Christmas.
5)When is COMIT, and when COMIT is finished and starting to work, how does the PAY token benefit from that?
A: The PAY token does not benefit from COMIT directly. TenX PAY is about Payments.
We expect a lot of people to use COMIT as a payment gateway.
The PAY token holder benefits from that. COMIT itself is a system that is open source, and hopefully will be developed and used by many other teams.
There will be an update on COMIT next week or the week after, where I introduce the COMIT team which is around 5 people strong.
This will allow you to do your own background checks on them if you want to . These are people who might not be as recognised in the crypto ecosystem, but they are individuals who have a lot of experience when it comes to networks and protocols.
COMIT is not as much of a crypto challenge as a protocol challenge.
Yes and no, we know that COMIT will work. There are still questions in how COMIT will work and how COMIT will develop. There are a lot of things that we need to solve along the way, especially how it scales and how it deals with liquidity. Obviously, we are quite convinced that it will work, and having done calculations, it looks very promising.
One of the reasons we chose COMIT in the structure it is, is because it is a challenge. Most of the time, the challenging problems are the most rewarding.
6) Do you have your own BIN number?
A: Yes, we will have that.
7) What is COMIT?
A: Just go to COMIT.network and you will be able to find more information on it.
8) Do you do extensive background checks on your employees?
A: Yes, we do a lot of background checks, especially if the team members have access to certain information.
The degree of the checks differ depending on the role of the team member. The backend developers are the ones who are subject to the most extensive background checks, because they are the ones who have access to almost all of the information. We also have very special systems to ensure that no data can be stolen, that it cannot be manipulated. There is proper documentation for everything.
This is something that we have been working on for the past 6 months. 6 months ago, our team only had 6 people. Everyone knew each other and there was 1 person for everything. Over the past month, we had to scale as a company. We had to give access rights, and I think that’s a key difference between a product and an actual company. This process is really challenging, but I believe that we are handling this quite well. We just signed a new HR director, who has experience with companies like Paypal and Amex. We are also getting a new COO and VP of engineering, a lot of senior staff with decades of experience.
9) Are there any plans to add more utilities to the PAY Token?
A: Wait until we have announced the updated token structure so that we are certain that it will not be seen as a security.
The rest of the plan of this year, is to fulfill the rest of the promises that we have been making.
It’s really about completing all these things, for everyone to have access to Ethereum and DASH.
Support all the scaling, grow the team and make sure everybody is aware of what is happening.
Have the entire international rollout ready. Ready the first stage of COMIT, as written in the whitepaper.
10) Does TenX have an exclusive agreement with Wirecard?
A: I doubt that that is going to be possible.
It is something that we have been pushing for, but it is not something that will be easy to obtain. The way we have our debit card is quite exclusive and unique, no other company is exploring possibilities with Wirecard in the way that we are.
It’s not so much about the actual card issuing. It’s really about a lot of other things. Most of these other companies, that do not have a live product are not aware that the card issuing is just the first step. There are so many processes that follow, so many scaling issues.
If you have 1000 users and you scale to 5000 users, it is not 5 times harder, because you have totally new limits, you have totally new transactions, you have to deal with money laundering and fraud detection, which increases the difficulty exponentially.
11) Is TenX Shipping out of the EU at the moment?
A: No, we are not, we are releasing the timeline as soon as we get it. If you are from the UK, you should definitely be getting your card before Christmas. I know that many of you have already received your cards, and many more will receive it over the next few days and weeks.
12) Will you partner with other small companies that have tokens to be used through the TenX wallet?
A: Yes we will, but not at this point in time. We want to incorporate the large companies or large coins first.
13) Will TenX go cardless?
A: Definitely, that is the plan. The end goal is to remove cards entirely, to go directly from crypto to crypto.
14) What do you think about other companies?
A: We do not comment on other companies.
Personally I hope that these companies are successful. I personally know that it is not going to be as easy as they think.
I think one of the worst things in the crypto ecosystem is what is happening to Tezos. I receive a lot of messages asking “Hey Julian, aren’t you happy that this is happening?” No Im not. I’m not happy that there is no much negative press surrounding ICOs and the crypto ecosystem.
I would love that all of these companies do a great job and that everything works out. But I know that this is not going to happen, because not everyone has the same morals, the same work ethics, standards and not everyone is interested in building a team.
Many individuals are just “Hey, I have an idea, let me do a bit of execution” These are the projects that fail eventually.
I would love for everyone to do well, I would love for everyone to do a legitimate job. I’m not going to say anything negative or wish ill on anyone.
15) Its 7 weeks until the end of 2017. What goals does TenX plan to fulfill by the end of the year?
A: We are aiming to fulfill our promises.
Initially we did not think we would have so many users, so we have to shift our priorities a bit, but we are on track.
16) If you guys are working long hours, how can you guys relax and revitalise? How do you guys have enough fun?
A: I think we are having tons of fun. I sometimes wish we were under surveillance, because what happens in the office is hilarious.
When we hire people, which I am in charge of, one of the most important things, one of our values is “Create Fun”. One of the questions I always ask is “How do we create fun?” This is something I want people to do. Every Friday we have fun friday, which means that we order pizza and drinks for everyone. We just chill and socialise. We work around 6 days on most weeks.
What is work? At TenX, we like each other and work on challenging tasks together. We do not micromanage each other, allowing each individual in the team to do their own thing. One of our unofficial core values is “honest feedback”. This is something we try to integrate into our culture.
When somebody comes up to me with a new idea, I do not say “That’s not a good idea”, but instead “Let’s try this out, let’s have a look” This is the dynamic in our workplace, where it is okay to explore possibilities, to make mistakes. Everyone here is a smart creative who has their own ideas.
We adopt an approach where our team members are the ones who suggest the solutions, instead of being told how to solve the problem. Listening and being open to feedback is important.
17) One or two vlogs back, Julian said that TenX is not yet over the hump where they can call themselves successful. When will you call yourself successful?
A: Personally, once we have fulfilled all these promises, such as Ethereum and DASH being available to everyone, the cards are internationally available, and the first step of COMIT.
I think thats the first step to success. We are not going to be successful until we are cashflow positive and we have a track record.
That’s the first stage. I have not taken a single day of holiday in 2017, except for weekends. Most of my co-founders, and most of the team, is the same.
This is why we want to have that for Christmas. We want Christmas to be a time where we take a small break and spend quality time with our families. Everyone has goals and everyone understands that it is not easy to achieve.
18) At which point are you guys falling behind or are ahead of schedule with regards to the whitepaper?
A: Clearly the 100,000 users are ahead of schedule. I think right now, we are on track. Not behind and not ahead, but on track to fulfill our goals by the end of the year. In London, somebody came up to me and asked, “What do you need right now?” and I replied, I just need 6 months. In 6 months, everything will be live!
We have everything needed. The right team, the right people, we know how to solve these problems, it just takes time! There are only 24 hours in a day.
19) I would like to buy some TenX merchandise, will there be a shop of some kind?
A: Yes, we are actually setting this up. Details are being finalised and once it is up we will announce it.
Of course we would love it if you are willing to show that you support us?
20) If you put 1 Bitcoin on your TenX card, will you be able to drink beer for the rest of your life?
A: I hope so! That would be fantastic.
21) Should we look into other companies named on the COMIT graphic from your presentation at Noah?
A: No, this was just a graphic to show all the different companies that we could connect via COMIT.
There will be an update on COMIT soon, but our current priority is TenX as a company.
22) With the TenX card, you can withdraw money to fiat, and use it to purchase goods and services. Are there any plans of having it convert crypto to fiat to send it directly to a bank account?
A: At the moment this is not possible, but we will look into it once we have a banking license.
23) Scalability. Is COMIT replacing the Plasma or Lightning network?
A: Plasma, maybe, but I think it would be complementary to the Lightning Network.
24) Token rewards should only be given actively to PAY Token Holders, not just anyone so that the rewards will not be lost.
A: I totally agree. Actually, the way it is going to be updated is exactly that way. The token holder will have to do some work to get the reward. Thats a key concept, because it is one of the important aspects needed to pass the Howey test. You need to be able to do enough work that it is legal, but not so much work that getting the rewards is a 24 hour job. I think we found a way to make it legitimate.
45:20 Questions from Chat
25) Can we personalise our cards?
A: At the moment, no, but yes in the future
26) How was the banking license meeting in Amsterdam?
A: Who said it was in Amsterdam?
27) I ordered on the 5th of October, when will I get my card?
A: I can’t give you an exact date, but it will be by Christmas if you are from Europe
28) Where is the team expanding right now?
A: Currently, mostly backend developers.
At the moment, we do not urgently need anyone? We are also hiring more senior individuals for positions such as COO, Compliance, HR and VP of engineering.
By the end of the year we are likely to have 50 team members and next year we will be looking at 200 people.
At the moment, we have not spent any money on marketing.
We did not pay to be mentioned anywhere or go to an event.
Once we have scaled, we will start investing money and time to get to 1 million users
29) Australia cards, what is the ETA?
A: I can’t give you any ETA for any countries apart from Europe.
Everything has been signed, we are just waiting for a timeline from our partners.
You have to understand that it is not that our partners want to delay this process either.
Visa has a moratorium from the 15th of November to the beginning of January. They shut down a lot of their implementations during this 6 weeks because of the numerous holidays in the U.S.
30) Still have the Ethereum from the ICO, or cashed out and moved to smarter portfolios?
A: We had a blog post on this. We have sold half of our cryptocurrencies because that’s the money we need to use to operate for the next couple of years.
The rest is still in crypto, we have someone who manages that portfolio from a risk perspective.
We are not looking to make any high profits, but rather being diversified enough.
We need that for COMIT to provide liquidity. In the event that the value of crypto does increase significantly, we would be open to selling a little bit.
One of the most important things that I see is, that over the next 18 months, we will experience a significant correction.
It reminds me of when I first came to know of the cryptocurrency scene in 2013–2014.
Back then, a year earlier, the halving of Bitcoin happened. There was this big spike to over $1000, and out of the blue, a correction occurred.
During these setbacks, it is the companies that are cash rich, risk averse that have the opportunities to really take advantage of the situation. These are the companies who will then be able to pay salaries and be even more aggressive.
Look at the dot-com bubble. I’m not saying we are in a crypto bubble. Corrections are normal, and you want to be in a position to take advantage of it. The business of TenX is not to make money in cryptocurrencies. We are interested in building a company.
We do not need to invest in cryptocurrencies, we need to build a good business.
You did not give us this money so that we can build our own fund and make a crypto fund. You gave us this money to fulfill the whitepaper.
And making a crypto fund is not part of that whitepaper. We need to take the most risk-averse approach to ensure that we have everything aligned and can achieve our goals.
31) What is the biggest risk for demotivation? What can happen that will reduce motivation to a critical point?
A: I think we already experienced that around roughly a month ago.
Due to the huge influx of new users, our priorities were shifted to scaling the infrastructure.
For a lot of people, including myself, to be within arms reach of our goals, and suddenly needing to shift our focus.
What we learnt from that is to always expect the unexpected and to be flexible.
I think that’s important, because our team is very self motivated and as long as they can complete that task, they will be motivated. Obviously we want these people to take breaks.
At the moment, Desmond, our head of legal is working a ridiculous amount of hours to ensure the updating of the token structure is proceeding smoothly.
Sometimes I feel like the community needs to respect how hard every single team member has been working, be it the community managers for the English, German or Chinese community.
You guys are a fantastic community and I hope that every once in a while you appreciate their efforts and send them a thank you.
32) How much TenX tokens do people hold in the chat?
A: I don’t know. Ask them.
33) Do you plan on doing APIs as eCommerce solutions?
A: Of course. We are already working on a number of things that will be complementary to COMIT.
I think with this, we went for almost an hour. All the questions should have been answered. Any last questions that I need to answer?
34) What Bitcoin chain is TenX going to support ?
A: We are going to go with Segwit, not Segwit2X, unless there is some major surprise. I will make a video on our TenX channel, especially on Segwit2X. I highly doubt that there is going to be sustainable, but that is a very personal, internal opinion.
35) Virtual cards
A: Yes we want to roll out the virtual cards, but give us until Q1 2018 for that. The plan was in 2017, but we already have our hands full, and we want to ensure that everyone is able to use Ethereum and DASH before tackling virtual cards.
36) How many people are currently on the waitlist?
A: I don’t know, tens of thousands, but we will be able to clear it by Christmas
37) Do the current European cards have contactless functionality?
A: No, the current European cards do not have that function
Fantastic. With that, I hope I answered all of your questions.
See you in two weeks at the next Q&A.
I’ll do a quick Youtube live tomorrow to introduce the new office and the team.
Other than that, I hope that you will join our online community at chat.tenx.tech.
We are always happy to answer all of your questions.
Please be patient with us, we are doing things that no other company has done before, and it is not as easy as you might think it is.
Thank you so much, have a great Tuesday.
All the best from Singapore, see you next time.