No matter what the Silicon valley people will tell you, Europe has better crypto regulations at the moment. The EU recognizes crypto as a currency, (I’m not a lawyer, I’m probably wrong about all of this) which means there are vastly different regulations applied. Unlike the USA, which is a collection of state governments bound together under one federal governemnt, the EU is a coalition of federal systems bound under collective agreements for trade, banking, immigration, etc. The whole goal is to open borders and allow for the free flow of capital between nations.
One of the bigger issues though was the inability of individuals to invest into financial products across borders, and also to have third parties manage those assets. Traditionally, banks and or other major financial institutions controlled access to these channels and profited greatly. If you wanted to pay a merchant, you had to utilize your own home country bank, which controlled the costs of the transaction and did not allow for any competition.
Recently though, a major change to banking laws has opened up the possibility for Third Party Providers (TPPs) to compete against banks. This law known as PSD2 is an evolution of current regulations and provides the “legal foundation for the further development of a better integrated internet market for electronic payments within EU.” This means that, for example, Spanish citizens could use a German banking application to manage their finances, uniting all of their bank accounts into one system. The opening of this space will mean that TPPs will now be able to compete for trillions of capital flows
There is something special about decentralization, which touches on our evolving desire to establish incorruptible, open, competitive systems. I’ve always held that governments are inefficient beasts, born out of a need to coalesce from chaos. Their growth, especially in Europe and the US, over the past 100 years is frightening. Federal systems now dominate every sphere of business, culture, and human activity. Local power has been lost to bureaucrats who have the interests of major corporations and those with money at heart rather than the people. Radical decentralization, which could happen in the future, will only be possible if each individual retains the power over their finances, movement, and self.
But enough of waxing lyrical for some never to be had fantasy, the true goal is to integrate into existing systems, changing views through good business practices. Look how free information flow of the internet has allowed ideology to flourish across the globe, felling governments, dictators and those who would malign the rights of the less powerful. The next evolution, which we are in now, is the growth of free flowing capital, no longer controlled by centralized banks and other institutions. We’ve already seen this in the past few years, with hundreds of financial startups appearing across the EU providing a variety of services. More so, with ICO’s thrown into the mix, the financial services landscape has grown even more. I’ve got 15 different apps on my phone and almost none of them are actually connected.
This is where ORCA wants to make its mark, by using the new PSD2 rules to build a one stop integration platform for all consumer financial needs. Their platform integrates all of your existing bank accounts, as well as providing access to various financial products and also offering different payment options with crypto. For example, there are over 20 different crypto debit cards on the market, (TenX, STK, Monaco) with ORCA I would be able to easily control them all from one application and load or transfer funds between each of them from a single app. At its heart ORCA is an open banking platform built for EU customers.
There are competitors to ORCA, but none that are cryptocurrency focused, they only work towards integration of traditional financial accounts, services and instruments. ORCA sets itself apart by starting crypto focused and then working the other systems into it. At first, the main integration will be into centralized and decentralized exchanges, as well as introduction of DApps to their App Center. The later will give retail customers access to various services such as copy trading, trading algos (bots), lending services (such as SALT), and crypto cards as mentioned above. Their goal is to make it extremely easy and user friendly to access these services.
Their token has been designed to act as a general use token for the app platform. Using the Bancor protocol, the ORCA token will give “one-for-all” access to the above stated DApps, negating the need for the user to ever hold or individually purchase the tokens/coins themselves. This reduces the complexity of the app interface and will make it simpler and easier for non-crypto people to be onboarded. It’s a great use case. Period. We need generalized tokens for specialized blockchains, not the other way around.
Make sure you check out this ICO and read the whitepaper.