As part of the Digital Currency Council’s Continuing Education partnership with Inside Bitcoins, DCC interviewed thought leaders who will be speaking at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in San Diego on December 14-16, 2015. Today, we share an interview with Gary Lewis Evans the Founder, President, and CEO of Paymency Inc.
Tell us about how and why you got involved in the digital currency industry.
Unlike most Inside Bitcoins San Diego convention participants, my involvement in digital currency has been evolutionarily over 40+ years. I have worked on various forms of payments and currency since my early days in banking in the 1970s. Paymency is building a Near-Bank, digital currency and a new form of mobile payments.
When I began my banking career, cash was indispensable and everyone had to go to the bank weekly. Even today 40% of purchase transactions are cash. I was fortunate to be very involved with the launch of direct deposit, ATM’s, debit cards and credit cards that I classify as the first steps toward digital currency. Technology and the free market is ready for the rollout of digital currency and the Federal Reserve is preparing for it with initiatives like “The Faster Payment Task Force”.
What led to the genesis of Paymency Near-Bank? What makes Paymency Near-Bank unique?
The opportunity to disrupt banking and payments is the inspiration for Paymency Network. About 70% of bank customers are not profitable, 50% of adults are considered underbanked and the USA has the highest merchant card fees in the world. I have a history of creating innovative changes to traditional banks. Paymency Near-Bank is the newest innovation. Since founding Bank of Internet (NASD BofI) in the late 1990s, regulatory requirements have added additional pain and cost to banking’s already high costs. An Internet bank or any other bank charter isn’t the answer to fixing today’s banking and payment problems. Non-bank financial technology is changing the banking model and we are part of that change.
In addition to our Near-Bank and GroovyPay mobile payment network, the most unique product in our first release is our City Digital Currency. Unlike current alternatives, we will be free to consumers and low cost to all merchants. We will power any city, into a very user friendly “Non-Bank”.
What are you most excited about in digital currencies and BlockChain technology right now?
It is inevitable that digital currency will become the norm in the USA. Bitcoin is creating a global Buzz and is gaining acceptance in many communities. It is exciting to influence and be part of this change. I believe that the US dollar will be the legal digital tender in the USA. We don’t need a new US currency.
Having been part of a very rigid banking environment for many years the concept of a decentralized network is very exciting and Blockchain will be an important part of our Paymency network.
What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the industry?
Regulation is the biggest threat to any digital currency that has a consumer interface. Regulation is followed by Federal Reserve and Treasury acceptance of a given digital currency.
The IRS defining Bitcoin as an asset is the first challenge to Bitcoin being accepted as a currency in the USA. It is unreasonable to expect people to book a gain or loss on every cup of coffee that they purchase with Bitcoin.
From a design and build perspective, the free market will resolve all design and use issues.
What’s on the horizon for you? And what are you looking forward to hearing about at Inside Bitcoins San Diego?
Paymency network will launch in 2016. This will include our Near-Bank, GroovyPay mobile payment network and our City Digital Currency. Our first product will give any merchant a Starbucks-like mobile payment product with no capital investment and only minutes to enroll and start taking payments.
The Inside Bitcoins Conference will be the best opportunity for attendees to status the industry and get a glimpse of the future of Bitcoin and Blockchain.