CHARLOTTE, NC—Hoard is a new app that lets users convert cryptocurrency to dollars or euros—and back again—without a fee.
Before creating Hoard, CEO Jason Davis was a senior UX designer at Wells Fargo, where he developed an interest in blockchain technologies and bitcoin. He dove right into learning as much as he could about the space. Prior to Wells Fargo, he worked as a VP of product for LegalHub.
“In the current market, we’re not seeing the opportunity to seamlessly integrate payments and investments across crypto and fiat currencies,” said Davis. “Many consumers are afraid to enter the crypto space because of a lack of knowledge and steep learning curves. After working at Wells Fargo, I was inspired to launch Hoard to make crypto investment so easy that even your grandmother can understand and participate in it.”
Hoard is not working with any hotel companies at the moment, but Davis firmly believes that cryptocurrency is an upcoming foundation for transactions of all types and can work with or alongside traditional currencies.
“Like any emerging technology, ongoing adoption is dependent on consumer and business interest to establish a marketplace of users,” he said. “Once significant demand occurs, more retailers and companies will start to embrace it, especially as cryptocurrency doesn’t have extensive fees like credit cards. I believe that retail, hospitality and foodservice will be the biggest industries to move into the crypto market, and right now, if you look across the global landscape, many merchants are starting to offer payment by cryptocurrency. This trend will just continue to grow in the coming months, and we expect hotel companies to adapt soon.”
Davis breaks down how it all works:
“Essentially, the current system of integrating crypto and fiat currencies has many issues and roadblocks, some of which impact the user because they are on the front-end,” he said. “For example, finding a numerical address where if you mistype anything, your money is gone forever. On the back-end, some elements of both decentralized and centralized methods of monetary exchange are weak in security and liquidity. When a user goes to a bank, they don’t have to consider how any of this works; they deposit or withdraw funds.”
Hoard is designed to give users a similar experience and feeling where they don’t have to understand how it all works, but they can feel confident in the fact that it works, he noted.
“We’re focused on offering a better user experience for peer-to-peer transactions, merchant services, portfolio growth and financial management with cash, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology,” he said. “Our mission is to empower anyone, anywhere in the world to hold, track, transfer and transact with any digital asset from their mobile device, privately and instantly. Hoard is a peer-to-peer payment app where you can easily send funds to contacts through @usernames on Hoard, or through their email addresses or phone numbers even if they don’t have a crypto wallet.”
So, how do users trust the system? As with all emerging technologies, new trends and industry changes, Davis says it all starts with curiosity. People must be able to explore it.
“We believe that education is a key part of any new product or news—especially in the financial industry,” he said. “Recently, I read about ARPANET, the precursor to the modern internet, and the post I read highlighted how online banking was introduced and presented to consumers in the 1990s. Looking back, those initial payment systems were hard for consumers to use, and today, we are seeing many similarities with blockchain, crypto and payment technologies. At Hoard, our goal is to help consumers learn and explore, but also feel safe doing so.”
According to Davis, this form of currency conversion has the ability to positively impact the travel industry today and in the future.
“We’re looking ahead to the future of payments for a wide array of industries, especially the hospitality industry,” he said. “By combining the best of both worlds into a single unified experience, consumers and retailers can transact directly at the speed of WiFi for a fraction of the cost.”