On September 18th, a fundraiser appeared on the forum of the anonymous cryptocurrency Monero (XMR).
It was launched by Riccardo Spagni, known as FluffyPony. Riccardo is one of the 7 main developers behind Monero and a founder of the company Globee which offers cryptocurrency payment integration to web shops.
Riccardo is asking for 4500 XMR in the name of Globee, an amount valued at around $450,000 with current XMR prices.
Riccardo’s original text is copied below for archival purposes:
As you may (or should) know, Globee is a payment processor that accepts Monero among other cryptocurrencies. Our focus has largely been on Monero, for obvious reasons. Recently we were approached with an opportunity, by one of our business partners, to integrate with a series of very high profile merchants. Because of the scope and requirements, we are doing an FFS to raise half of the money required, whilst Globee will be putting in the other half.
WHY IS THIS GOOD FOR MONERO?
The merchants that will be accepting Monero will also talk about accepting Monero, which will have a material impact on Monero. This is a major coup, as these are merchants who currently do not accept any type of cryptocurrency. Their target demographic is extremely broad, but largely consists of younger people who are smartphone-entrenched, but aren’t necessarily technical.
The integration will be Monero only, through a custom Globee interstitial that doesn’t allow you to switch to other currencies.
This will also change the talking points about Monero somewhat; instead of journalists being interested in why Monero’s price has gone up, or which darknet market is accepting it, they will have something else to talk about.
ACCEPTING MONERO IS POINTLESS, WHY BOTHER?
One of the things that we’ll be doing with these merchants is having unique and exclusive items that you can only purchase with Monero, thus strongly encouraging people who are not at all familiar with cryptocurrencies to figure out how to buy and use Monero. This will expose millions and millions of people, all over the world, to the process of getting into cryptocurrencies, and particularly to the process of using Monero.
Of course, this isn’t a fantastic user experience right now, which is why we’ll work closely with MyMonero and other thin wallet apps to make sure they are in the App Stores and ready for when this goes live. Additionally, we’ll work with the community to make sure that there are video tutorials and blog posts demonstrating how to purchase and use Monero.
WILL GLOBEE MAKE MONEY FROM THIS?
Yes. Globee makes money from fees charged to merchants. It is for this reason that Globee will (excuse the pun) pony up half the funds. Because of the effort involved, and the fact that Globee has to pay its bills and is treating this as a loss-leader, Globee is committing to fund recovery in the following manner:
- The first 4500 XMR Globee makes in fees will go to Globee to cover operating costs
- The next 9000 XMR Globee makes in fees will be split as they come in, half will go to the general donation fund and half will go to Globee to cover operating costs
- Anything thereafter (if that much is even made) will be for Globee’s benefit
Of course, as a Monero company that makes money from Monero’s existence, Globee supports Monero development. It is unsurprising, then, that Globee pays for one of the Monero contributors to work on Monero full time.
WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR ALL THIS?
We expect to have the first of these merchants fully integrated and ready for the December holidays.
WHY DO YOU NEED SO MUCH MONEY?
Most of it (65%) is going to the merchants to cover their integration costs, legal fees, and marketing fees. A portion (25%) is going to the company facilitating this, as they are going to spend a lot of time working with the merchants, as well as putting together Monero FAQs and facilitating everything. A third portion (10%) will be set aside and used for general marketing for this effort, as well as some formal PR with a PR firm.
Globee is putting up half of the amount we need, so this FFS is only for the second portion. It is a LOT of money, but I think that the value in doing this is going to be infinitely larger. Moreover, if we don’t pursue this, then this opportunity will be offered to other cryptocurrencies, many of whom are centralised and can tap into premines (and other mechanisms) to do this, and this is not an opportunity that will ever be repeated.
There is some time pressure on this, if we want to start launching these by the December holidays, but Globee putting up half of this is enough to get started.
WHY THE SECRECY?
Revealing any details might allow others to get ahead of this opportunity, so we unfortunately need to keep it secret.
What’s interesting about this fundraiser is that it goes against Riccardo’s character up until now:
- As an anti-corporation and community-driven currency, Monero has shied away from having any kind of public event like this
- Riccardo is risking a part of his company’s reputation, and the reputation of Monero itself, should this mysterious integration fail
- Riccardo is generally very cautious about any kind of optimistic prediction in regards to Monero. For him to go all in like this, and publicly, is surprising.
- Using official PR firms to do marketing also isn’t something one would expect to see in the Monero ecosystem
- Riccardo’s text mentions millions of people across the world, smartphone entrenched but not necessarily technically oriented. This makes us assume we’re talking about some kind of app store and/or in game currency.
The project is currently 50% funded, and almost $90k of it was provided by a single whale (a user holding a lot of a specific cryptocurrency) by the name of “Pa”.
If you’d like to help the project, you can donate here.
What do you think the secret project is? Do you think this approach will have an effect on XMR prices? Who could be the merchants Riccardo is talking about? Speculate in the comments below!