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This Crypto Entrepreneur Plans To Disrupt the Cross-border Payments Industry Being an experienced fintech and cryptocurrency entrepreneur gives Jeffery Liu a better understanding of the market's potential and the best ways to develop XanPool

By Julian Lim

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Jeffery Liu

Established before the Internet, traditional cross-border infrastructure is no longer fit for purpose. The Internet is driving a sharp rise in connectivity and international trade, with global cross-border payments expected to hit $156 trillion in 2022.

Yet, payments are still routed through legacy transaction platforms like Visa and SWIFT. These tend to be slow, with transfers sometimes taking a week or more. They are also expensive, with poor exchange rates, fees and fixed charges. As a result, the issue has become a hot topic, especially since the G20 made cross-border payments a priority last year.

Even with solutions being developed, they are taking their time. However, innovative fintech businesses are reacting faster and are already disrupting the industry. One such company is XanPool and its platform XanPay.

Using cryptocurrency avoids the cumbersome legacy infrastructure

XanPool leverages the advantages afforded by cryptocurrencies to bypass traditional platforms entirely. Its CEO and co-founder is Jeffery Liu, a cryptocurrency entrepreneur and expert adept at spotting gaps in the fintech market. "We established XanPool to make buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency a lot easier," Liu explains.

"Cryptocurrency on and off-boarding typically involves counterparties, like P2P marketplaces and exchanges. Users give custody of their money to these counterparties and can only buy and sell on that platform. This is risky and comes with a lot of fees.

"What makes things worse is that for users to get their money onto the platform, they must deal with the traditional financial infrastructure, like credit cards or SWIFT, which adds yet more expense and slows down the process even further. Cryptocurrencies were invented to avoid legacy infrastructure, so it seemed crazy that buying some meant routing funds this way," Liu says.

"So, we set up XanPool. We merged fintech solutions like payment platforms and e-wallets with cryptocurrency and all the advantages that go with it. We created automated market-making software which allows buyers and sellers – liquidity providers – to easily make crypto transactions using e-wallets or bank accounts.

"XanPool has thousands of these liquidity providers running its software, and each one is essentially a fiat gateway. These individuals and businesses make up the XanPool Network. This structure bypasses traditional financial routes, meaning transactions are instant and cheaper."

SMEs have been left behind

This structure and network also led to the creation of a new payment platform called XanPay. Liu spotted that despite Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) accounting for 90 per cent of global businesses, there were no solutions for them to make cross-border payments.

"SMEs are already a huge part of any economy, but over the last couple of decades, there has been a further surge in growth," Liu says. "Thanks to the internet, businesses have been expanding operations to new international markets thanks to the internet. But we noticed that they were being left behind when it came to cross-border payment solutions.

Knowing the market, Liu knew the pain points facing smaller businesses. "There were plenty of P2P platforms, but most SMEs don't have enough transaction volume to use any B2B solutions. So, they are forced to go through traditional routes like SWIFT or the banks. This means fixed transaction costs, credit card fees, and unfavorable rates. There are also risks like chargeback fees, a lack of transparency, and slow processing times. These can be crippling to firms on tight margins."

This had given Liu an idea. "With XanPool, we already had cryptocurrency and a network of local currency liquidity providers for settling cross-border payments. So, we created a new platform called XanPay that integrates with local payment platforms and uses our cryptocurrency network to bypass traditional infrastructure. Like on and off-boarding to crypto with XanPool, this is cheaper, safer, and faster for the merchants and their customers."

The new approaches to cross-border transactions are getting a lot of attention

"As a fintech entrepreneur, I've always sought to find problems people are facing and then find a solution. That was what drove the evolution of XanPool and XanPay," Liu says. "Using cryptocurrency solves a lot of issues that were left over from before the internet. Traditional methods for international transfers are no longer good enough. In the next decade, we are going to see a lot of disruption to traditional finance."

XanPool and XanPay are both focused on the Asia Pacific region, but they are growing rapidly as others see the advantages of using crypto and are rushing to invest. XanPool recently raised $27 million in Series A funding, led by Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures. Other investors include CMT Digital and Taavet Hinrikus, the co-founder of Wise.

Being an experienced fintech and cryptocurrency entrepreneur gives Liu a better understanding of the market's potential and the best ways to develop XanPool. "We are still expanding, and the extra funding allows us to develop our platform and our offerings," he says.

"Our approach has proved popular, and in just three years, we are already the largest decentralized market maker in Asia. With hundreds of millions in liquidity and half a million users in 13 countries. We have also partnered with over 150 cryptocurrency platforms."

Liu adds, "By leveraging our decentralized liquidity pool, we have also been able to provide a service that allows merchants to operate and receive payments across borders. This is all made possible by our infrastructure, the XanPool network, and crypto negating the need to go through traditional platforms."

Eventually, Liu envisions something like the SWIFT network, but one that is fully compatible with e-wallets and cryptocurrency. It will also be considerably cheaper and instantaneous. "XanPool's structure and use of crypto mean there is massive potential for what we can do. Cryptocurrency is shaking up the industry, and that will continue. So expect a lot more innovation in the near future."

Note: Investment in cryptocurrency is subject to risk and readers should do their own due diligence. Entrepreneur Media does not endorse any such investment.

Julian Lim

Tech entrepreneur, researcher and editor at Startup Fortune

Julian Lim is a technology entrepreneur and researcher. Julian has graduated from NUS in intelligent systems and started his career pursuing data analytics and research. He’s also an editor and senior writer at Startup Fortune, covering technology, startups, AI, blockchain and entrepreneurship.
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