AMA with hi
On the 10th of September, 2021 at 14:00 UTC, Decentralized Club had the honor of hosting Sean Rach, Co-Founder of the hi project, for an Ask-Me-Anything session on their Telegram page with a community of over 30,000 people. It was hosted by DC Admin, May.
The session was divided into four segments. Introductions were made in Segment 1, questions from the Twitter and website community were answered in Segment 2 and 3 respectively, and live questions from the community members in attendance were answered in Segment 4.
If you missed this event and would like to know what hi is all about, you can find a recap of the interview here. Note that slight edits have been made for clarity, and links in this recap lead to images, documents, or other media.
Segment 1 - Introduction
Hi @MsMayMay. This is Sean from hi. Look forward to joining you all in a few minutes.
Hi Sean! We'll kick off in a bit. Good to have you.
Hello, 大家好, नमस्ते, Selamat!
My name is May and I'll be hosting the AMA with hi.
Today, we have with us a guest from the hi Team.
Happy Friday to the Decentralized Club. Thanks for welcoming me. Nice to connect @MsMayMay
You're welcome again and it's an honor to have you here.
Great to be here. Can’t wait to talk with you all. Please forgive my typos as I will try to answer your questions as completely and quickly as possible.
Alright! Looking forward to an insightful interview.
Could you quickly tell us more about yourself and your job description at hi?
Sure things. Thanks again. I am Sean Rach, co-founder of hi.
I had a career in the corporate world as a pioneer in digital marketing and working in financial services.
In 2017, I had the opportunity to be the first CMO of Crypto.com (then known as Monaco).
I had a great run for 2.5 years growing from 0 to 3 million customers.
By mid-2020, like many, COVID and WFH led to the realization that it was time for a break - my first break ever in my career and a chance to decide what to do next.
A bit of serendipity was at play and some discussions started which led to the creation of hi.
Amazing that you were part of Crypto.com's pioneer team! I'd grab an autograph if this AMA wasn't you know... virtual 😁
You are very kind. 🙏
Let's now take some project introductory questions!
Q1. Can you tell us the goals that birthed the idea of hi?
Happy to. This video may give you a sense of where we are coming from:
Okay, a minute for the community to view this.
My first bank account was with a credit union (US). I still am a member of one. The idea of a member-powered financial service has always made more sense to me.
In community banks/credit unions members get better rates on deposits and loans and the firm operates not for profits but for members.
Any surplus goes for better services (rates, benefits, etc.)
You may not know it but even insurance companies started with the same approach, that of “mutual aid.” People helping people.
The issue is that these organizations typically didn't scale (geographically or even employer limited)
We feel the current financial system is broken. Banks make money OFF their customers, not FOR them.
I agree, and it's sad.
It’s all about extracting profits from customers - the shareholder is the boss.
We think that we can leverage technology (blockchain and social media) to bring the concept of a credit union/community bank into the digital age.
Not-for-profit financial services where our members are our key stakeholders, never just “users.”
Our team looked at the problem and we were a bit frustrated that in 2021, it still wasn't as easy to send money as it is to send a text...
Something others had pointed out... and then nothing had happened for 3 years...
So, we said, let's do it.
It's great that hi is bringing change to these conventional systems.
Typically, people don't fix problems they profit from, but that's all about to change, right? 😁
That is the plan!
Q2. What innovative technology is hi bringing to topple traditional banking?
Maybe it isn’t the most innovative technology for those already in the crypto space but our principles start with the fact that there are 3.8B smartphones in the world.
With that in mind, the best way to provide advanced services is via the smartphone.
We offer seamless onboarding (2 seconds) via popular chat messengers (Telegram & WhatsApp so far) more to come.
So there is no app to download required to get started.
All you have to do is visit hi.com with an invite code - feel free to use mine hi.com/sean and select the channel you prefer.
We do have a web app (web.hi.com) and shortly we will release a similar native app for download on iOS and Android.
This is great, really!
Members are rewarded daily for saying “hi.”
Many are earning their very first crypto.
We are invite-only - and we offer generous rewards for inviting friends (you earn every day they say hi).
On top of that, we offer membership benefits - earning rates, lifestyle/travel benefits based on tiers
Crypto and fiat banking for the masses - we are taking the best of both worlds and creating the most intuitive user experience.
Hope that helps set the scene.
Earn daily rewards by just saying hi!
Use https://hi.com/Sean to start your journey 😊
Let me just pin that!
You know this is great because I have so many unreplied messages but I'm going to channel that energy into saying hi and making money daily 🤣
Goodbye, frens 😅
Haha. Invite them along and "get hi together"
You pick your nickname and then it is easy as "click on hi.com/nickname" and they are invited in.
I call dibs on my current username! 😁
I call dibs on my current username! 😁
I can help with that if no one has claimed it!
And in case you missed it you get 1 HI per day, and .5 HI for each day your friends say "hi" (answer a fun question).
Believe me, it adds up!
Q3. Can you tell us about the hi blockchain and your progress with it?
On to our blockchain - the hi Protocol.
Thanks for the question, we are seeking to build the best blockchain built to date.
Given our membership focus, desire for speed, security, and low costs (some of the key challenges of PoS and PoW), Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) seems worth pursuing and innovating.
The main advantages we see relate to speed and security:
- DPoS allows for block producers to validate transactions in seconds – providing faster transactions than PoS and PoW.
- Security: voters can immediately detect malice on the part of a delegate, and that delegate can then be voted out of the system.
- DPoS is even more energy-efficient than PoS and uses less hardware.
Building a blockchain is not a trivial task and especially when you are seeking to provide the next generation.
Our blockchain team has been formed and we are beginning to complete the specifications for what we are seeking to develop.
We look forward to providing our community updates as we progress.
Our hi Protocol Whitepaper is here:
Community, please check this out!
Don't forget to go say hi for 1 $Hi daily here:
Q4. Could you briefly talk about the hi Dollar and its utilities?
The hi Dollar is our membership token. So it is focused on utility.
It offers members tiered access to benefits and earning rates.
Our "Earnings" product is in final testing and will be rolled out this month.
Holding hi Dollars also entitles a member to various lifestyle benefits.
We are just about to share the first partner(s) later this month as well.
hi Dollars will also play a role in our Game Fi offering.
We just launched our first Play to Earn game - hi-Flyers yesterday.
A bit of fun and lots to learn and innovate in this space.
You play this game right from the Telegram bot.
Initially, an ERC 20 token, ultimately we will likely transition the token to our blockchain to power transactions and more.
We have chosen not to pre-mint the token but instead to mint weekly to match the growth of our membership base. This is reported on hi.com
I hope that provides an overview.
Can we get the link?
It is best to link from the bot as you need 1 HI to play to win.
50% of the played HI goes for the prize pool. The other 50% is burned.
Bear with us, the rewards tokens are not yet available to use in the game but will be soon.
Q5. What major news should we still look forward to from hi this year?
What a ride it has been. We launched May 10th, and have gained 1.3+ million members in just over 3 months (from 160+countries)
On our website and in our whitepaper, we have shared a Roadmap of planned development.
At this point, we have nearly completed Phase 1 of our Roadmap:
- hi on Chat (Whatsapp, TG),
- Hi Dollar officially launched, listed on Uniswap, and for sale on our WebApp (web.hi.com)
- We are completing Buy HI with Credit/Debit Card
We have made progress on Phase 2:
This month we plan to launch:
- Earnings: Earn yield on deposited crypto
- Our first Membership Benefits with Tiers
- Launch our native app on iOS and Android
Just after that will be taking our Crypto Services live:
Buy, sell, exchange, and sell all supported digital currencies with no markups.
We are working on Fiat services but this is always much slower as they don't work at "crypto speed!"🚀
Community, please check out this news post that was shared earlier 😎
The road map looks great!
Shoutout to the genius brain behind these stickers! They're really cool 😎
Our team had a blast making them!
Let's quickly take some questions from our Twitter community, shall we?
Indeed. Saw some really great ones!
We hope we picked the best.
Segment 2 - Twitter Questions
Q1. Hi recently announced that it reached 1 million users in the first 100 days of the launch of your private beta version. That's an incredible success! Based on this exponential growth you've had, how many active users on your platform do you expect to have by the end of 2021?
Twitter Username: @iracundito
Thanks, @iracundito! We are also excited about our initial growth and hope we can count on your support to continue to invite friends to join hi.
Our internal target is to shoot for at least 10 M members in the first year.
With the community’s support, we can shoot past this on our way to improving the lives of 1 Billion members!
That's 10 million minus one (me) now 😁
You're doing great!
Q2. You have a core team strength of just four members. Do you think this number is capable enough to handle the day-to-day task of overseeing the Hi project and blockchain and the many demands that come with it?
Twitter Username: @theyasflower
Thanks, @theyasflower for the question and this feedback.
Our team is not just the four people shown on the website currently - may be time for a bit of an update!
In fact, as we close this week our team is roughly 80 people.
With the tech team - app and blockchain devs and engineers, KYC/AML team members, product development, QA, HR, Finance, Creative, and Marketing.
We are aggressively hiring and have been blessed to have found so many passionate and committed team members.
We have posting for roles on our hi.com.
Whoa! It's time for that site update 🙂
I was just about to ask! Great!
"The cobbler's shoes..." Been too busy getting new products ready!
I can imagine!
Q3. Hi, Gabriel here, I have been following the project for a few months. My question is about the hi Protocol (hiP) which promises to deliver zero transaction fees. That's a really tempting promise and I would like to know how you guys would do it and how would this work. Thank you.
Twitter Username: @gabriel_dot_com
Hi @Gabriel_dot_com, for more on our thinking behind the hi Protocol (hiP) check out our whitepaper (posted above)
We like to push the edge. Unlike Ethereum, where gas fees are incurred by all users of blockchain, transactions will be free for a majority of end-users of applications built on hiP.
By staking hi Dollars, authorized members may access the distributed computing resources provided by nodes and execute smart contract functions on the network.
While the smart contract may charge fees or require a token stake from end-users, they are not required to pay additional transaction fees to the network.
For the network to be commercially viable, block producers will be compensated from a pool of hi Dollars that is derived from token inflation.
Hope we didn't lose anyone there but more information will be coming as we develop the hiP over the next year.
Really great questions!
Thank you for your detailed answers!
We have about seven more questions to go!
The next three are from our website community.
Ready to answer?
Wow. Great stuff! Let's do it!
Segment 3 - Website Questions
Q1. You say hi is priced at a substantial discount as it is based on market cap per holder. How is this different from other coins/tokens? Is this a substantially different pricing method and does this mean the price will remain lower because of this? (God I hope not!)
Hi nickname: Tomc878
Telegram Username: @Tomc878
Hi TomC, while we don’t comment on the price of the hi Dollar, I can tell you that we are early in our development (as we discussed with regards to the Roadmap).
We do feel the “network” of members is valuable and this MCPH metric from our website (www.hi.com/dollars) makes the point that many tokens are not held by many (limiting utility).
With our vision to reach 1B+ members this value will be seen over time.
Community please click, click, click 😎
Q2. According to hi's roadmap, hi estimates the development of debit and credit cards. What requirements must a customer meet to access both the debit and credit card? What reach would each of these cards have?
Telegram Username: @Lestmarisv13
Hi @Lestmarisv13, we are planning to offer a virtual debit card in due course.
Please note, (and based on my personal experience) the development of fiat services is quite complicated and much slower than crypto services.
That said, typically, members will need to share proof of address in addition to their identity verification.
In terms of reach, the process is slow as each jurisdiction requires a separate program.
Obviously, the EU/EEA offers many markets in one program.
After that, there are a number of regulatory requirements for each market.
This space has been developing significantly in recent years and we hope to offer them as soon as possible.
But, we are designing a utility in our platform that is not dependent on a method and form of payment that may not last this decade.
I personally don't really want another card... I am happy to have it on my phone 😅😁
Thank you for breaking that down!
Q3. I was reading an article where they compared the work done by HI with what the famous Robin Hood did. In fact, the article called you “The Robin Hood of Crypto”. Exactly why does this comparison arise? Do you “take from the rich to give to the poor”?
Telegram Username: @shitosan
Hi @Shitosan, though you are not wrong in questioning the author’s reference, I see it more as a reference to Robinhood, the stock trading platform,
that lowered stock trading fees to zero and thus opened the market to many more people.
The challenge is that to offer their services at zero commission, they sold their customers' data - their order flow - to subsidize their operations.👎
We have a different approach - as seen in the opening video - based on our membership token.
By buying hi Dollars, you get access to tiered levels of service. And if you no longer want to use the services, you have the option to sell your tokens.
We are not motivated to extract profits - we are motivated to build and grow membership value.
As a member, you will benefit from no added fees (covering costs due to partner requirements) and no markups.
Not quite taking from the rich... but hopefully making a much fairer alternative to the current system.
Thank you for clearing up the reference. I was confused for a bit 😅
This is a really great project that deserves to become a household name!
Love these thoughtful questions!
Been great spending time with you May and the Community.
Sure! Let's take some questions from our live audience now.
Will do my best!
A minute for the community to prepare their questions 😎
Thought it good to add my face to the conversation!
That's great! Good to "see" you Mr. Rach 🙂
1340 people with us. Hope you will all give us a try. hi.com/sean
In this 4th segment, I will open the group for some seconds for the live community to shoot you some pressing questions.
Please pick four original questions to answer.
Try to ignore generic, vague, and copy-paste questions 😊
Dear community, asides from the $10 rewards for the questions, the first 50 people to vote here https://t.me/decentralized_club/601074 will receive CashHashes.
These can be used to redeem 1 hi Dollar 🎉🎉🎉
Thank you hi Team for this!
Make sure you sign up to receive the Cashhash.
You just put it into the bot and zoom, it is yours!
The group will be unmuted in 10 seconds.
---Chat was then opened for the live community to send in their questions---
Segment 4 - Live Questions
Why do you consider that the emergence of blockchain technology is a momentous moment in the history of humanity, what is the impact of blockchain on society and how do the transparency and efficiency of the Internet and inclusive financial services influence a better society for all?
The impact has yet to be seen. With up to 200M people having crypto now, we are only at the equivalent of 1999-2000 in comparison to the internet. Our banking and finance system has evolved over centuries to become nearly solely focused on profit and extraction vs transparency and fairness. This is beginning to change.
Where can I find tutorials or detailed guides for all the hi functionalities?
Is your service available in all markets?
Please visit hi.com as well as our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/hiofficialYT for these.
But hopefully, we have done our job and it will be simple enough to use without instructions. If not, please give us feedback so that we can improve.
I am a professional vulnerability finder on the web, do you think Your system is secure enough from hackers? Does your project have a program that rewards individual vulnerability detection of the system?
Thanks for this. One thing we need to take live is our white hat program. We do have security researchers working for and with us but we all know that we must always be vigilant.
Why is it impossible to get the HI dollars I have earned out?? Why do I have to send money in to get it out??
Hi, the rewards that are earned are locked for one year and then released. Those that purchase HI with a 1 or 4-year lockup have a daily, proportional release.
We feel that the value of HI will increase as we build out our platform and attract more users. You are early. Invite more friends and enjoy!
You explain that your first service is the world's first universal cross-ecosystem mobile financial services and mobile payments platform. But why did you decide to start with a product like this? What other products do you plan to develop after this product is consolidated?
We think this is the key to driving real mass adoption. No one really wants to download another app... so make it already on 3.8 Billion smartphones thru chat apps. Onboarding is done in 2 secs.
Next, we already offer a WebApp web.hi.com and later this month we will release our first version of mobile apps (allowing richer features and advanced graphical interface).
Explain your plans on global expansion, is it only the market you are focusing All the time, And you focus on building or developing and getting customers and users, or partnerships?
We treat compliance as a core competence and while we would like to be open to all, we have to respect the various rules/regulations/sanctions, etc. Currently, we have 1.3 Million users from over 160 countries. As we develop, we will obtain the required licenses or partners as necessary to reach as many people as possible.
Some of these questions have been asked above or can be found on hi.com or in our whitepaper. Will try to answer more.
Honestly wanting to reach the one billion members in the hi ecosystem is a brutal figure, but how are they working
Day by day go on the way to those billion members, have they implemented or will implement any ambassador program worldwide or what mass marketing plan will they be executing and finally they already have planned according to their analysis so that approximate date they could be reaching this goal?
This is just the beginning. We know that Word of Mouth is the most effective way to drive awareness and trial. We explicitly would rather reward our members to invite friends than give more money to Mark Z or Google.
We have a few things cooking but if every member referred just one member a day for 10 days... we would be past 10Million users.... 10M leads to 100M and so on.
You say that the selling price of the HI will be adjusted from time to time, but could you specify a little bit more about this "from time to time"? Will you have a specific time frame to make these frequent adjustments? If so, how often will they be made?
Thanks for pointing this out. This should be removed from our materials. This was before our listing on Uniswap (a public price). Thanks again.
Checked with the team. This should have already been removed from the current version of the Whitepaper.
@MsMayMay I think I need to stop there! Great stuff but I am shattered!
You've done great!
I really enjoyed this AMA!
Thank you for gracing our community with your virtual presence
Any last remarks for our community?
Checked with the team. This should have already been removed from the current version of the Whitepaper.
Thank you all so much for this AMA.
It was great to share our vision with you.
We would love to have you join us and get hi!
We are all part of something very special. In 5-10 years, you will be glad you got into crypto before everyone else.
This is the truth!
We are humble but we are trying to make a dent in the universe with hi.
Thank you, Mr. Rach!
Thanks again and we look forward to the next time.
Dear community, please join:
Yes, and from there we have local language or market communities. You will find our website in many languages as well.
Our commitment to operating globally!
Thank you and have a great day!
The AMA with hi is now over.