Strategic expansion of the mobile payment and cashback system wee with digital currency
The public sale for the weeNexx AG utility tokens (WMA) begins in the course of the IEO on 25 January 2020, and capitalises on the future prospect of the European market development being carried out by wee.
As a digital method of payment, a cryptocurrency only gains in attractiveness and value in the long term if a sufficient number of acceptance points are available for the increasing use of this digital currency. For the large part, capital investors do not care about this; they are purely interested in rising prices. This is contrasted by the motivation of stationary retailers, who operate acceptance points for the digital currency: after all, these require stable prices! In this respect, it is necessary to differentiate between investors and retailers! It is precisely this aspect that forms the nucleus of the crypto initial exchange offering by Swiss weeNexx AG, whose parent company is Swiss Fintec Invest AG (SFI), which is also based in Kreuzlingen.
Dr. Leo Schrutt, well-versed international financial expert, CEO of weeNexx AG and simultaneously also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SFI, expounds on the announced unique strategic position amongst the competition: “Most cryptocurrencies focus exclusively on a utility token, which is volatile, meaning that it is partly subject to significant price fluctuations. As with classic shares that are traded on conventional stock exchanges, the market value is a result of the purchases and sales.”
Increased attractiveness for retailers and investors with wee coins and tokens
Alongside the price-dependent weeMarketplaceAccessToken (WMA), the utility token that is based on the Ethereum ERC20 token platform, the Swiss strategists have therefore also created an additional weePayCoin (WPC). With this coin, according to the former top manager of the Swiss UBS bank, “we are implementing the next phase in our mobile payment strategy. For we are developing our own blockchain via which all payment procedures and monetary transactions will be carried out in future. This WPC…”, the elder statesman of the wee Group explains convincingly, “is linked one-to-one with the euro and is thus not affected by price fluctuations. For stationary retailers who have joined forces with us and are available to us as an acceptance point for our mobile payment using this digital currency, this provides the certainty of carrying out the most cost-effective payment transactions via the weeBlockchain with a stable cryptocurrency that is coupled with a stablecoin.”
This makes it possible to realise peer-to-peer payment transactions, which enable retailers to profit, within fractions of a second: after all, transactions between smartphones or between tablets allow the retailer to save a considerable amount in fees in contrast to conventional monetary transactions. “It all works straightforwardly via our weeApp, which every retailer and customer is already using anyway”, the wee strategist sums up. Mobile payment with wee guarantees the use of an e-money licence in compliance with all regulatory criteria.
Strategic networking of the market development of mobile payment and cashback with digital currency by wee
Since up until now, cryptocurrencies have largely been viewed as a financial investment, none of them will be able to catch on as a payment currency and become established in the wider market in the long term, according to Schrutt and many experts. A counterexample to this is represented by the established business model of weeConomy AG, with its innovative mobile payment and cashback system that digitalises stationary retail trade and networks it with similarly digitalised arenas as well as with e-commerce under wee.com. As part of the currently ongoing development of the European market, a minimum of 25 further regions – with additional stadiums and at least 100,000 new stationary retailers as well as 7.5 million consumers – will be additionally integrated into the technological infrastructure of wee, in order to be able to use the weeApp or weeCard to collect discounts and pay via mobile phone. What this means, in contrast to Bitcoin & co., is: there are already plenty of acceptance points and users, and this number is growing continuously!
A representative survey carried out by the ING bank revealed that the majority of consumers in Europe has not yet warmed up to the idea of Bitcoin or Libra as an official method of payment. Less than a third of Europeans believe that it will soon be possible to buy things regularly using cryptocurrencies. On the flip side, however, this means: a good 30 percent still believe that digital currencies will become established, despite the fact that so far, these have only been used by absolute insiders. This, in turn, is equivalent to the opinions regarding credit cards in the 60s of the past century! The majority of those questioned tend to stay away from digital currencies, since they do not understand how Bitcoin & co. work.
Digital currencies work without the trust of the established banks
Having said this, the younger generation is more open-minded towards digital money. Looking at the results of the study, this is not necessarily due to a greater level of trust in new technologies. The fact is that younger people are simply more open to digital money than the older generation. Germans and Austrians have the most reservations when it comes to dealing with digital money.
The starting point for the birth of the Bitcoin was the financial crisis in 2009, with the goal of developing an alternative to the conventional form of money. In contrast to the conventional system, where money creation and payment transactions are carried out by commercial banks and controlled by central banks, cryptocurrencies are created in a decentralised manner. They are mined on thousands of computers all networked with one another. The aim of this decentralised organisation is to make digital currencies independent of the trust invested in banks.
When we now observe Bitcoin, it becomes evident that a gold rush mentality still prevails among many new investors, comparable in part with the triumph of credit cards. The first “real” credit card as we know it today only came into existence in 1950, issued by Diners Club. In Germany, it began its triumphant advance in the year 1958, as the very first plastic card. The first MasterCard was issued by the Franklin Bank in New York in 1951; the credit cards of present-day market leaders American Express and VISA were created in 1958.
Digital currencies promise more power than credit cards
In the year 2018, the turnover from credit cards in Germany amounted to roughly 10.6 billion euros. Visa Inc., with its headquarters in San Francisco, does not issue any credit cards itself. By granting so-called issuing licences to banks and credit institutes, the company generated a worldwide turnover of approx. 20.6 billion USD in the year 2018. It was able to record a profit of around 10.3 billion USD thereof. Accordingly, Visa currently has an estimated company value of approx. 178 billion USD.
At present, the market capitalisation of Bitcoin – there are an alleged 18 million units in circulation, and the current price of a single Bitcoin lies at around 7,300 USD – is approximately 130 billion USD. To put this sum in perspective: each year, the USA currently exports goods to China with a value equivalent to this amount. And: the Chinese recorded around 149 million trips abroad in 2018 – during which they spent roughly 130 million USD.
In the matter of money laundering laws, the times are becoming harder for many Bitcoin companies in the European Union. When it comes to the regulation of cryptocurrencies, KYC – Know Your Customer – now definitely also applies to crypto exchanges. Several of them have already left the EU and are now active in regulatory havens. The listing of new coins – without an extensive background and unique story – on the stock exchanges is becoming more difficult due to the stricter regulations being instated, and more expensive too, since the compliance costs generated by each coin are also rising. This tighter regulation could – going one step further – lead to a weeding out process in the cryptocurrency trade.
For retail trade, there is no alternative to the use of digital currencies
And what about the hopeful prospect of the Facebook Libra, which seems to carry the potential of shaking up the established banking and payment system? The supervisory bodies and regulatory authorities view the Libra as a product that is only halfway developed – going hand to hand in close combat with the central banks. Against this backdrop, government inspectors are concerned about the financial stability and consumer protection. The problem seems to be a stablecoin that is yet to be created, one that uses the advantages of the blockchain, while at the same time also conforming to the governmental wish for control.
The great advantage of cryptocurrencies is that they do not require banks and the associated cost-intensive platforms to make payment transactions. This saves the users, i.e. retailers and customers, an enormous amount in costs and fees. In the year 2018, for a good 500 billion euros in revenue (stationary and online), the German retail trade industry spent around 6.9 billion euros in bank charges alone. When you add the costs of payment terminals and services, this sum is equivalent to roughly two percent of the revenue that the retail trade industry has to spend in monetary transactions in total. When using cryptocurrencies, these costs are reduced to approx. 0.25 to 0.5 percent of the revenue. These savings in costs would mean a phenomenal increase in profit of 15-20 percent for the retail trade industry.
A good 40 million euros from family & friends programmes and the pre-sale from trust in the wee business model
With the consistent strategic expansion of the wee mobile payment and cashback system, under the leadership of Swiss Fintec Invest AG from Kreuzlingen, the Swiss weeGroup is now striking out in an entirely new direction: with the weeMarketplaceAccessToken (WMA), the group has created a utility token that is independent of the exchange rate and is based on the Ethereum ERC20 token platform.
The public sale, which had an original launch date of 15 January 2020 that, due to strategic reasons, was postponed by 10 days until 25 January, was preceded by a successful family & friends programme. Tobias Engelsberger, who as CSO is the head of sales for weeNexx AG, is proud of the sales revenues achieved so far: “This token has already been sold exclusively to friends of the company via our sales partners since November 2018. In this way, we were able to sell a good four million tokens via family & friends programmes and the recently started pre-sale, bringing issue proceeds of around 40 million euros into the company’s coffers. Now, weeNexx AG is launching the next phase of its capital market strategy as a token issuer: a decision will be published shortly as to which exchange platform will be used for the next round of token sales, i.e. the public sale.”
In this round, a further 3 billion tokens will be offered at the price of 0.01 euros (= 1 euro cent). The public sale means that for the first time, people outside of the circle of prospective buyers associated with the company can now also purchase the WMA token at the fixed issue price of 1 euro cent. This round of sales is scheduled for a maximum of three months.
Once the public sale ends, the next step is the listing. Listing means that the initial price formation of supply and demand for the token is created on the crypto exchange. Just as is customary for shares, this process is flanked by corresponding company news regarding the successful expansion, in order to highlight the attractiveness of this token. In turn, this increases interest in investing in the token while the price is still moderate.
Security for investors is the top priority
And what is the difference between an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO)? Engelsberger explains: “With the ICO, the first financing round for a digital currency takes place with the issuing of tokens against established cryptocurrencies or fiat money. In principle, this is comparable to the initial issuing of shares on the stock exchange. For the upcoming public sale, we decided on an IEO. The IEO represents the sale of tokens carried out not by the token provider itself, but rather via a regulated crypto exchange.”
“We want to offer the buyer the greatest possible security”, argues Engelsberger, “and this is the case with the IEO, since it takes place under the supervision of the crypto exchange.”
In Germany, the blockchain has been under the supervision of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) since the beginning of the year. Here, companies that offer services related to digital assets require a corresponding official permit. With the “Law on the Implementation of the Amending Directive on the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive”, according to legislature, the aim is for blockchain projects in Germany to be ruled by clear guidelines.
Visionary Cengiz Ehliz expands global business case
This sustainable business model is what makes wee unique and differentiates it from all other cryptocurrencies on the market. With wee, the cryptocurrency is transformed from a financial investment to a real payment currency. The idea, vision, strategy and global business model for wee are the lifelong work of Cengiz Ehliz, current Munich entrepreneur of the year and majority shareholder of wee.
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