Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU) Chief Executive Officer Tony Fabrizi and SatoshiPay Founder Meinhard Benn caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss SatoshiPay’s new partner Stellar Development Foundation (SDF)
Q1: We saw this morning an update from Blue Star, the announcement sounds very positive. Meinhard, can you explain for us in simple terms what this achieves for SatoshiPay?
A1: Yes, so at the very core we have ledger technologies and we use Bitcoin so far, Bitcoin isn’t really usable for our use case anymore, so we are now happy to have a stable, mature technology in Stellar that allows us to do fast settlements, it only takes about 5 seconds now for us to settle a payment.
Also, we got a marketing support grant of about £1 million, depending on the current exchange rate to the Stellar currency because the Stellar Foundation paid us in the Stellar currency, Lumens, which is going to be a great great help for us to focus on sales and reach out to publishers.
Q2: The announcement doesn’t mention your relationship with IOTA, does this mean that you’re no longer working with them?
A2: Yes, we wanted to make this announcement all about Stellar because they gave us this big grant and we’ve focussed on what we would do with them in the announcement but also in a blog post that we published at the weekend we laid out what the future corporation with IOTA would be like.
So, we have successfully finished the stage 2 of the PoC with IOTA and we will work with them in the future, of course, we’re not quitting the partnership, some people talked about it on Twitter but that’s not the case at all. So, for the web widget project that we have we chose Stellar, but we will have other products in the future and we will continue to evaluate IOTA for these products i.e. in the IoT space.
Q3: So, when can we expect to see some larger customers deploying the system?
A3: So, as you can imagine, the whole ledger change has distracted a little bit from the sales efforts, we had to delay them a little bit but on December 7th in Berlin and December 11th in London we will have launch events where we’ll introduce some content partnerships.
Throughout 2018, we expect big brands to sign up with ongoing conversation but with bigger news organisations it always has long lead times. The Stellar grant will help a lot actually in convincing customers because they’re sort of a guaranteed income for them because with Stellar lumens that our users have need to be spent on something.
Q4: Tony, what does this mean for Blue Star Capital?
A4: Well, I think the feed from today’s share price reaction that the market has seen is very good news and obviously, we’re delighted with the news from the company today.
Blue Star Capital remain highly committed to our investment in SatoshiPay, it’s a significant part of our portfolio, in fact the team from an early stage and everything they’ve done in the last 6 months has been highly credible.
It’s obviously a rapidly-changing market and the guys have responded really well to what’s been going on, the IOTA initial development with those guys and now moving onto Stellar I think has been a sensible reaction.
I’d also like to thank Meinhard and his team, they’re doing a great job and also just to put on record, our thanks to Smaller Company Capital who actually introduced the deal to us in the first place, the investment in SatoshiPay, and have been extremely supportive ever since then so we’re really grateful to those guys.