CTO of Stellar (XLM) Powered Money Transfer Firm Tempo: ‘Crypto Is a Swiss Bank Account for Every Person’

Siamak Masnavi

In a recent interview with Finance Magnates published on 27 August 2018, Anthony Barker, the chief technology officer (CTO) of Stellar (XLM) powered Paris-based international money transfer firm Tempo, explained the advantages of using the Stellar network for cross-border payments, and said that crypto is "sort of like a Swiss bank account for every person."

Tempo Money Transfer (or "Tempo" for short) is an EU-licensed, electronic payment services provider, headquartered in Paris, France. It was founded in 2014 by Jeffrey M Phaneuf (currently, the President), Suren Hayriyan, and Anthony Barker (currently, the CTO). 

In order to reduce costs, increase speed and reliability, Tempo partnered with the Stellar Development Foundation. Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payments systems, and people. The Stellar protocol is supported by the non-profit organization Stellar Development Foundation. Currently, Tempo is the main EU anchor connecting with Stellar to many other payout payers.

Barker started by talking about the focus of his company:

"[Tempo’s] original focus was remittance and international payments, and it’s since sort of switched to small value payments, the stuff that banks don’t handle well."

He then explained because traditional solutions to cross-border payments were slow, expensive, and unreliable, Tempo decide to use blockchain technology. Tempo looked at both Stellar and Ripple, and decided that Stellar was "sort of a natural fit." One of the main reasons for choosing Stellar was because of its non-profit and open-source status:

“My gut reaction was that [Ripple] is not so good for community building... [It’s] much more like a Visa/Mastercard. “I have a strong belief that open systems win in the long run. For example, Stellar has a development challenge [where] they basically give a lot of Lumens away to software developers who are making open-source projects.”

He went to explain how Stellar's flexibility had helped them:

“We worked with Jed McCaleb [Stellar.org co-founder and CTO] and his developers, and we added compliance, so it’s integrated into Stellar as a standard 2nd-layer protocol... so we know how to send first name, last name, and date of birth across... They added that really quickly simply because they’re really focused on this global remittance use case."

At this point is worth saying a few words about Jed McCaleb: prior to co-founding the Stellar Development Foundation with Joyce Kim and working with her to develop the Stellar protocol, he co-founded (with Chris Larsen) Ripple and served as its CTO until 2013. He is also known for creating the ill-fated Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.

Barker also talked about why it was important to integrate blockchain technology in such a seamless way that customers do not even realize that behind the scenes a blockchain is handling their payments:

“Our clients are traditional remittance people. They come in with cash and they send their money–they don’t even know in a lot of cases that there’s blockchain behind it, so it’s sort of seamless for the users... [Tempo] looks more like an Asimo or a WorldRemit–much close to that than if you’re using Coinbase or something else, because you don’t have to know about private/public keys; you don’t have to know about losing your keys or any of these things that drive people crazy…all these things that are kind of hard for users are kind of hidden in our service."

Finally, although Barker does not think that crypto will completely replace fiat any time soon, he believes that crypto will play an important role in the future:

"I think [crypto] will pay an important role in the future of the global financial sphere... If you live in a country with inflation, or in a country [where the government] wants to steal your money, it’s sort of like a Swiss bank account for every person.”


Featured Image Courtesy of Tempo

'Bitcoin Type' Privacy Enhancing UTXO Transactions Now Available on EOS

Omar Faridi

The developers of pEOS, a project focused on enabling private and “untraceable” transactions on EOS, one of the largest platforms for building decentralized applications (dApps), have noted that they intend to provide tools which will allow users to conduct efficient token transfer transactions while maintaining their financial privacy.

“Accelerating Any Aspect of EOS” in Direction of Providing Greater Privacy

As explained in pEOS team’s Medium blog post, published on May 16, 2019, the privacy-enhancing crypto project is "much larger than just delivering pEOS.” The development team wrote:

We consider part of our mission to help educate, provide support, provide tools, and accelerate any aspect of the EOS blockchain in the direction of providing privacy enabled features and technologies. We strongly believe in the multiplicative effect this can have to every aspect of the EOS ecosystem.

Bitcoin Type UTXOs for EOS

In order to add more functionality to the EOS blockchain, while promoting economic privacy, the developers of pEOS have introduced a new smart contract which “implements bitcoin type” unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) for EOS-based tokens.

As mentioned in pEOS team’s blog, UTXO was first used by the developers of the Bitcoin protocol, and it is “one type of output which can be either unspent (UTXO) or spent.” The outstanding balance of a UTXO-enabled wallet can be calculated by adding up all its spendable UTXOs, pEOS’ blog noted.

A UTXO Needs to Be Spent “as a Whole”

Transactions are processed by spending a certain number of UTXOs while producing new UTXOs for the recipient (of a transfer) and for any change that is returned to the sender, pEOS’ blog explained. The pEOS team clarified that “amounts in UTXOs don’t mutate.” This means users cannot “spend only some part of a UTXO.” In order to conduct such transactions, users must spend the UTXO “as a whole.”

According to pEOS’ team, these “constraints on what a UTXO is and how it is immutable, is what allows for privacy algorithms to be built on top of them.” For instance, the privacy-centric CoinJoin algorithm can be used with the smart contract-based UTXO code released for EOS, pEOS’ developers revealed.

On May 17, 2019, Block.one, the Cayman Islands-registered developer of EOS, released new software development kits (SDKs) for both Swift and Java developers. The latest SDKs for EOS aim to provide more support for native smartphone applications in order to offer “richer, more engaging experiences.”