I left my job at Envoy without any specific plans in mind. I wanted time off to take care of personal stuff and then figure what to do next.
As you start to walk out on the path, the path appears. // Rumi
Without planning it, I launched AnclaX as an experiment on creating a Stellar anchor in Colombia. People started to sign-up and they were trading with their Colombian Pesos (COP) and Lumens (XLM).
After giving it a lot of thought and considering some legal stuff, I decided to discard the original idea of building an anchor to give access to people to the Stellar distributed exchange.
A problem that has been in my mind for a long time is how to create a financial system which is more inclusive, it’s expensive to be poor1. Making it easy for people to speculate, is not going to help that poor person in Colombia paying over 300% in interest rate to loan sharks.
So what’s next? And what is AnclaX? I’m still discovering the answer to those questions. For now I have some hypothesis which I’m validating against the market.
The @StellarOrg bio on twitter says:
Stellar is a free, open-source network that lets anyone build low-cost financial products for their community.
AnclaX is a layer of top of Stellar. I’ve been building infrastructure and software to make it easier for companies, communities, co-ops and SMBs to take advantage of what Stellar offers without having to worry about the technical details.
I believe that if I can build products and infrastructure which are affordable, I’ll be able to pass that benefit to the end user and ultimately help more people start building their financial footprint.
Until this week I was in negotiations with two “big” co-ops in Colombia, one with over 1M associates and the other one with over 10K associates, but unfortunately we couldn’t make things work2. The fact that I got to a late stage in both processes, gives me some hope and is a signal that I might be onto something.
I still don’t know exactly what is next, but I’ll continue experimenting until I run out of money3 or decide that maybe this isn’t a good idea, after all I need to find a model where I can make a living and can afford to pay others.
1 The Economist: It’s expensive to be poor
2 This is the first time I build something for the Colombian market, a friend used to say that it was horrible to sell a B2B SaaS in Colombia, I’m starting to understand why, but that’s material for a post on its own.
3 I have some savings which help me go without requiring external funding and then thanks to the Stellar Build Challenge I got a price which is helping to pay for lawyers and some contractors.