Featured Project: STK – Real-Time Cryptocurrency Retail Transactions - Crush Crypto

Featured Project: STK – Real-Time Cryptocurrency Retail Transactions

Summary

  • Project name: STK Global Payments
  • Token symbol: STK
  • Website: https://stktoken.com/
  • White paper: https://stktoken.com/STK_whitepaper_en.pdf
  • Hard cap: $17M for 55% of total token supply pegged at ETH = $689 / Community Airdrop is 1.25 million STK tokens (0.25% total supply)
  • Conversion rate: 1ETH = 6,890 STK
  • Maximum market cap at ICO on a fully diluted basis: $31 million
  • ERC-20 Token: Yes
  • Timeline: Token sale sold out in presale, community airdrop: January 31, 2018
  • Token distribution date: By January 31, 2018
Video summary (video is 9:00 long):

Project Overview

What does the company/project do?

STK Global Payments aims to create a platform for people to use any currency (fiat and crypto) for retail point of sale (POS) transactions on a real-time, day-to-day basis. They plan to do this through the use of an STK State Channel via STK Token and STACK, their mobile wallet application.

STK’s major partner to facilitate its global payments is MasterCard, and can be compared to other “Prepaid Crypto Debit Card” type projects such as Monaco, TenX, and Tokencard.

The diagram below explains the STK platform in a nutshell:

STK diagram

Here are the core components of the STK platform:

  • STK State Channel is an off-chain process between two parties which allow transactions to occur almost instantaneously and without fees while the state channel remains open. The two parties will eventually have to pay a fee when the state channel is closed and settled on the blockchain.
  • STACK is a mobile wallet app that allows its users save, share, and spend money at up to 39 million merchant locations globally (any POS that accepts MasterCard) with real-time conversion from crypto to local fiat currencies. It offers tap-to-pay functionality, social sharing elements on STACK World Stream, and a physical Chip-and-PIN EMV Card. 
  • Users of STACK are also able to withdraw cash from any ATM. STACK offers customizable personal finance goals and metrics, with tools and tips to help users reach their goals. It also offers in-app card freezes and pin resets, with Anti-Money Laundering, KYC, and other fraud monitoring processes.

Here is a demo of STACK for a payment transaction (video is 1:29 long):

How advanced is the project?

STK has secured a direct partnership with MasterCard, and will likely be the first cryptocurrency debit card service available in North America because of this. The team has been delivering on time with its roadmap and mentioned that they were able to start development a month early due to reaching their funding hard cap in presale.

STK’s digital local currency account is a gateway to widespread cryptocurrency adoption, pairing it with access to mainstream financial services and smart new features on a user-friendly platform. STACK is currently in private beta with a waiting list of 20,000 people. Mobile tap-to-pay functionality has been built in.

Here is a summary of their roadmap:

Q1 & Q2 2018

  • Beta of crypto wallet in Canada 
  • Commercial launch in U.S. with fiat 
  • Beta of crypto wallet in U.S.

Q3 & Q4 2018

  • Commercial launch of crypto wallet in Canada and USA 
  • European and international launch of crypto wallet
What are the tokens used for and how can token value appreciate?

STK Tokens are used to open up State Channels that facilitate the real time payments between a customer and a POS. When using STK tokens as the cryptocurrency that gets converted to fiat for these transactions, STK will waive and refund any and all gas fees, allowing for completely feeless transactions.

Token value should appreciate as more people use STACK on a daily basis to buy smaller goods such as coffee, lunch, and other small day-to-day purchases. As more people use the wallet, more STK State Channels will need to be created, which in turn requires more STK to be held.

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Team

Miro Pavletic, CEO – Previously Program Head in Foreign Exchange at CIBC, one of the Big 5 banks in Canada, also worked for a startup that created digital wallets that was eventually acquired by MasterCard.

Nicolas Dinh, COO – 5 years of experience at MasterCard, where he was a Business Leader in Product Development as well as Vice President in Digital Payments in Canada.

Chad Leger, CFO – Interim CFO at Freshly, as well as Vice President of Finance for Rubicon Project.

STK’s advisors include Ethan Wilding, Co-Founder of Ledger Labs and a founding member of Ethereum, Richard Kastelein, Founder of Blockchain News, Co-Founder at CryptoAsset Design Group, and Benn Godenzi, Director of Marketing at AION.


Opportunities

  • The team has extensive experience working in large financial institutions and MasterCard, and is able to leverage their connections to a direct signed contract with Mastercard. This sets it apart from its competitors.
  • Unlike most of its competitors, STK project’s scope is more than just a prepaid debit card and cryptocurrency wallet. The STACK app has rich features with elements of social media/network, which is icing on the cake, but if successful, it would lead to substantial potential and increased customer stickiness.
  • The CEO handled the AMA sessions and addressed all the questions very well, which demonstrates his knowledge in the industry and that he has a clear vision of the project.
  • Many of STK’s competitors that issue Visa card are suffering from Visa’s change in stance towards cryptocurrency, and are either scrambling to find a new issuer or at risk of having their services terminated. As a result, STK is in a prime position to capture the market left behind by those competitors.
  • On January 4, 2018, WaveCrest, card issuer which is working with Visa, closed all the cards that are backed by cryptocurrency after Visa said that WaveCrest violated the operating regulations in Europe. Firms including Bitwala, Cryptopay, Wirex, Tokencard, and TenX are affected.
  • On January 17, 2018, Alfred Kelly, CEO of Visa, has stated that “we at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency based”. This puts the Visa card issuers that are not with WaveCrest at risk of having the cards terminated.
  • The target users are those who already own cryptocurrency, therefore little education is needed to get them to acquire and use STK tokens.

Concerns

  • The social media/network side of the app is unproven and may not attract enough users to gain the network effect necessary to maintain the ecosystem. Some users may not want to share their financial transactions for everyone to see.
  • The team’s expertise is clearly on the financial transaction side. However, STACK also has social media (STACK World Stream) and tools/advice to help users reach their financial goals, which may be too many different things for the team to handle.

Conclusion

Overall, we like the long-term potential for this project. We believe STK project’s scope and outlook, being likely the first cryptocurrency debit card in North America as well as a direct partnership with MasterCard, are better than its competitors.

Its competitors are currently trading at market capitalization in the range of $67 to $264 million (comparing to STK’s starting market cap of ~$26 million based on circulating supply).

Based on the information that we gather, here is a list of partnering issuers of different cryptocurrency prepaid debt card projects:

Visa:

TenX (WaveCrest), Monaco (Not WaveCrest), Tokencard (previously WaveCrest), BitPay (WaveCrest), Bitwala (WaveCrest), Cryptopay (WaveCrest), Wirex (WaveCrest).

MasterCard:

Centra, STK.


For more information about the project, please visit the following links:

* The information contained in this article is for education purpose only and not financial advice. Do your own research before making any investment decisions.

This article is contributed by Victor Lai with the help of our intern Richard Wang.

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