Nimiq Makes Fiat Currencies Blockchain Compatible

When opportunity turns into groundbreaking innovation

Team Nimiq is thrilled to announce that we are developing a new and potentially disruptive Crypto-to-Fiat bridge in collaboration with the German WEG Bank AG and Swiss-Maltese non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange Agora.Trade. Today we would like to introduce a high-level description of what this solution means, how this next big step in Nimiq’s journey came about and what’s been happening behind the scenes.

This innovative approach focuses on making the Euro (USD, etc) directly behave as if it was a token on the blockchain, by providing a smart and unique way of connecting the traditional banking network with crypto exchanges. It could disrupt existing stablecoins, over-the-counter (OTC) and crypto payment processing markets by enabling an open, simple and fast way to exchange value between crypto and fiat systems. Challenging the crypto payment processors could have a profound impact on online merchants in the space and eliminate unnecessary middlemen.

Connecting the dots

In October 2018, Nimiq came in contact with Matthias von Hauff, the progressively thinking Founder and CEO of the WEG Bank AG. The fruitful initial conversations between Nimiq co-founder Elion Chin and Matthias von Hauff called for a more extensive get-together in person. The opportunity to brainstorm and bring Nimiq together with a traditional bank proprietor that is uniquely open to crypto made sense in every way. While the meeting was swiftly scheduled for November 2018 during Nimiq’s hackathon in Costa Rica, the growing relationship with Agora Trade triggered the idea to also invite its founding partners Reto Trinkler and Andrea Castiglione to expand the brainstorming into a roundtable triangle of boundless creative potential:

  • Payment protocol: Nimiq, the browser-first blockchain that leads with ease-of-use, represented by Philipp von Styp-Rekowsky, Pascal Berrang, Marvin Wissfeld, Elion Chin and counsel Mauricio Lara.
  • Financial institution: German WEG Bank AG and its ‘can do’ crypto-revolution-friendly owner Matthias von Hauff.
  • Exchange: Non-custodial, browser-based exchange Agora Trade and its visionary founders Reto Trinkler and Andrea Castiglione.

Making magic happen

In just three days the group went from sharing their respective views regarding technological solutions and practical needs, to Philipp, Pascal and Marvin drafting a groundbreaking scheme blueprint for Crypto ⟷ Euro (USD, etc) transactions: an approach that establishes the Euro itself as the programmable counterparty to a non-custodial cross-chain transaction. In simple terms, it means that in a transaction to buy or sell Crypto, the counterparty could now be a Euro account holder,

  • Without a single, centralized intermediary ever controlling the two assets that are being exchanged, and
  • Without the owner of each asset giving up custody until the conditions for the settlement are verifiably fulfilled.

One of the beauties of the solution is, that it works without issuing or acting through a stablecoin, by enabling the Euro directly to behave as if it was a token on a blockchain.

Introducing Nimiq OASIS

Nimiq has set out to develop Nimiq OASIS (Open Asset Swap Interaction Scheme), the middle layer that powers Fiat / Crypto trades as described above. Following additional engineering meetings with Fiducia GAD IT AG, one of Germany’s largest financial institution API providers, Nimiq has recently finalized the specification of this layer. NIM ⟷ Euro trades will be triggered on the Agora Trade platform and supported by the WEG Bank AG. The general potential of Nimiq OASIS goes far, as following an introductory period, it will be non-exclusive and empower other banks, exchanges and blockchains to tie in and allow decentralization and adoption in ways that reflect the spirit of blockchain technology.

Matthias von Hauff, Founder and CEO of WEG Bank AG:

“For the past 12 months, we have been looking at various ways to expand our core banking activities into the blockchain community. With Nimiq, we have a team to develop not only a landmark payment interface which has the potential to revolutionize the way we deal with cryptocurrencies, but also an innovative and powerful partnership.”

Reto Trinkler, Co-Founder of Agora Trade, Forbes ’30 Under 30’ list maker:

“Overregulation and lack of innovation lead to the development of custodial exchanges and financial intermediaries such as stablecoins. By combining an easy­-to-­use payment token, a non­custodial exchange and an innovative fiat bank we go back to the heart of what blockchain is all about; Self­-sovereignty and removing unnecessary middlemen.”

What is the disruptive potential?

A Crypto-to-Fiat bridge powered by Nimiq OASIS could significantly change the landscape of the following markets:

  • Over-the-counter market: This is built on matching and executing large scale crypto-to-fiat transactions. The vision is to enable the solution to scale through strategic partnerships and bring increasing amounts of liquidity. This could have deep ramifications for those drawn to more conventional OTC markets. Quite simply, these entities and individuals could sooner or later have a much quicker, easier and cheaper alternative to move value between the two ecosystems.
  • Stablecoin market: The recent rise and popularity for alternative stablecoins to Tether has demonstrated the demand amongst crypto investors for a convenient way to hedge against the volatility of cryptocurrency markets. Nimiq OASIS could provide these users with an alternative and could be set to eat into the market share by allowing the non-custodial transfer of value between crypto and fiat.
  • Online crypto payment processing: In short, this market acts as a middleman to transfer funds between crypto markets and the traditional banking system. By tying directly into decentralized exchanges, this solution has the potential to eliminate the need for 3rd party custodial processors and has the potential to disrupt the business models of industry leaders. It can also make it easier and cheaper for platforms to accept crypto deposits and for merchants to adopt crypto payment methods.

How NIM and the Nimiq Ecosystem can benefit

While this significant contribution to the cryptocurrency universe is intended as open source, there are some direct benefits to the Nimiq project and community.

  1. Marketing: Nimiq brands and looks to license this technology — leveraging the power of this scheme to work as a form of native marketing.
  2. Fee percentage: WEG Bank AG recognizes Nimiq’s critical contribution to their venture and grants the project a percentage of the fees they might collect. Nimiq intends to use this potential source of income to further promote the project and its adoption.
  3. Zero fee trade: Agora Trade is committed to listing NIM as first coin for cross-chain trades with ETH and BTC. In recognition of Nimiq’s contribution, Agora Trade will not charge fees for any NIM related exchange services, which creates a strong and unique incentive to use and trade NIM.

Nimiq, WEG Bank AG and Agora Trade have already started implementing these plans and are targeting going live with first non-custodial NIM|BTC|ETH to Euro trades by Q4 2019. A post with more technical details on Nimiq OASIS will follow.

The Nimiq team would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our amazing community that shares the passion in our hearts. We are more committed than ever to revolutionizing money.

Pura Vida

Team Nimiq

DISCLAIMER: None of the statements must be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation for Nimiq, any cryptocurrency, or investment product. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained herein constitutes a solicitation or offer by the creators or participants to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.