Updated: Dec 31, 2020
As founders of Air Protocol, we have the mission to leverage public blockchains and their cryptocurrencies to unlock the commercial potential of the internet. We aspire to enable anyone anywhere to have access to the services they need as well as allow them to exchange their goods and services in an open and efficient global marketplace.
We are witnesses to the importance of making markets open and giving opportunity to all people. We live in Latin America, and we have a large number of friends experiencing the crisis in Venezuela and Argentina. We have traveled to those countries and seen first hand the terrible situation they are experiencing. Furthermore, our families lived through difficult times due to the economic crisis that occurred when the Mexican peso devalued in 1994, and we have watched the peso lose purchasing power against the US dollar every year. We believe that we could soon be in a similar situation again in Mexico.
From our experience working with peer-to-peer platforms in the past couple of years, we were able to get up close to several cases of people, especially in Venezuela, where this type of platform has changed lives. It is known by all, that bolivars devalue every second and life in Venezuela is increasingly difficult. Venezuelans have become accustomed to food shortages, to recurring power cuts that last for several hours, and to being subjected to constant government control.
A case that symbolizes a person our app will impact is that of our archetype, Ana María. The story of Ana María is as follows. She is a professional and mother of 2 children, who in the past had the resources to pay her family for vacations to Europe and lived comfortably but without luxuries.
“We were never millionaires, but we ate. You took an arepa and put ham and cheese. Today that is a luxury. I have a job, but no salary is good enough to deal with inflation.”
It took three years for Ana María to finish all her savings, she saw how the expenses consumed her.
“That was in 2014 and I knew that Venezuela was getting worse. Venezuelans do not migrate because we do not like the country, or because we do not like Venezuelans, we do it because we have no option.”
It was then, her husband left his job and went to live in another country. In addition to Ana María’s salary, her family today lives on what her husband sends every two weeks using a peer-to-peer platform, where their money can be kept in a currency other than bolivars.
Like Ana María’s case there are thousands more. These people inspired us to create Air Protocol.
Our team recently had the opportunity to participate in Celo Camp, where we worked on integrating Celo to Air Protocol, and we were able to finish developing our first app, Syklo. This app is one example of what other developers and entrepreneurs can achieve by using Celo and Air Protocol. Air Protocol provides the infrastructure to create decentralized P2P markets and Celo provides the blockchain to exchange and store the crypto assets safely.
We are very excited to have finished this first implementation, as this application will be the first direct contact between end users and Air Protocol, and people will be able to start sending remittances safely at a very low cost. This means that very soon we will be able to see other cases such as Ana María’s, where Air Protocol will be fulfilling its mission.
Visit https://www.airprotocol.org for more information.
Author: The Air Protocol team