/ Analysis

Pundi X Review

Bringing Crypto to Mainstream South-East Asia, China & Beyond

Estimated time to read: 6 minutes

Introduction

Despite launching into the grim January market conditions, Pundi X sold out their initial coin offering in less than 90 minutes with the promise of becoming the ‘Walmart of blockchain’. Now, Pundi X are confident they can become the biggest decentralised offline cryptocurrency sales network and capture the next generation of crypto speculators and traders with the heightened convenience of their mobile wallet and Point of Sale (‘POS’) devices. Ease of access is the name of the game for Pundi X, and if successful, then we will enjoy a world where “buying cryptocurrency should be as easy as buying a bottled water.”

Technology and Use Case

Pundi X has emerged in response to the harsh difficulty curve for those entering the crypto markets. With the exception of Coinbase and the soon-to-be-released Robinhood app, most exchanges lack the intuitive functionality needed to ease new users in. Further, the reality of juggling multiple personal wallets, keys, and authenticators can leave even veterans struggling to properly manage their funds. Pundi X offer a solution with three interplaying pieces of technology: The Pundi X Platform, mobile wallets, and card payment.

A novel feature about the Pundi X tech is that devices are integrated into both the Ethereum and NEM blockchain—the latter being a popular software in the Asian sphere that is employed by various various financial institutions.

The Platform

The Pundi X POS device will be available in various retailers and allow a customer to either purchase cryptocurrency or pay for goods with cryptocurrency already stored on a wallet. Pundi X claim this service is superior to Bitcoin ATMs because these have lower costs, more services, and are a more compact size (roughly the size of a current PayWave device). The Pundi X token will play a role in supplying gas for transactions and advertisements, as well as qualifying customers for discounts.

These devices will be prolific. Pundi X pledged to distribute 100,000 devices (compared to Bitcoin’s alleged global total of 1,500) within the next three years if they met their $35 million ICO hard-cap—which they did. The team will initially be focusing on Indonesia, the largest country in South-East Asia with a population of 250 million, before spreading out to other markets.[Edit: The PundiX team has reached out and let us know they are now expanding into China and one other unnamed country]

While it’s promising to see the team is on track to distribute their platform, it’s difficult to imagine the feature of crypto being purchased from a POS device while waiting for a coffee taking off anytime soon.

Mobile Wallet

The mobile wallet makes sure individuals don’t have to manage their public and private keys and instead can use a password system that is familiar to any bank process—a feature expected to aid crypto adoption, but may also deter users who have been in the space for several years and find comfort in extensive security. The wallet can store multiple cryptocurrencies as well as fiat.

Card Payment

The Pundi X card can be used in conjunction with the mobile app to pay with funds from crypto wallets or traditional mobile wallets, so long as a POS device is available. Before purchasing, customers should be able to see the current crypto market prices on the POS device’s interface and pay with the currency most practicable for them.

The ability to pay directly with crypto is viewed by Pundi X as ascribing real value to cryptocurrency. It is opined in the Whitepaper that “most cryptocurrencies can only be used to buy other cryptocurrencies (and this) reduces the relevance of them to almost zero for most people.”

Altogether, Pundi X has created a symbiotic technology network that has the potential to normalise cryptocurrency on a global scale. While their proposal is sound, it will be entirely dependent on the swift distribution of POS devices and marketing for their adoption in the next three years.

Our rating: ★★★★☆

Team

The Pundi X team appears to be a talented cohort poised to distribute their technology in the South-East Asia market.

The management team largely consists ex-computer engineers turned serial entrepreneurs. Pundi X’s President Advisor, Constantin Papadimitriou, has had a long history in the financial tech space, founding two of Indonesia's largest Fintech companies—Infinetworks and E2Pay. With Papadimitriou’s extended history of scaling financial technology businesses, Pundi X is positioned to capitalise on the Indonesian crypto market and make good on the team’s promise of installing atleast 100,000 POS devices within three years .

While there are some examples of the Pundi X C-suite demonstrating a history of scaling technology projects, CEO Zac Cheah oddly seems lacking in this area, where his most recent venture is building HTML games. While not ideal, Cheah will undoubtedly have strong guidance from Papadimitriou and other key members in the oncoming months.

The Pundi X research and development team operates out of Shenzhen with 14 employees (made up largely of engineers), whereas the management and operations team have offices in Jakarta and Indonesia. This is the core team that launched Pundi-Pundi at the beginning of 2017, their 'MVP' cashless payments system. Reported in September, the Pundi-Pundi project has generated over 100,000 downloads with over 500 merchants, a figure which can only have grown since. The developers will now be spending most of their time building hardware integrations and working towards to roll out their Pundi X offline payments machine throughout South-East Asia over the next months.

Our rating: ★★★☆☆

Partnerships

If you only needed one solid reason to take a long-term position on Pundi X, then you would look no further than the partnerships they have locked down.

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The most significant collaboration announced by Pundi X is with NEM. Every Pundi X POS device will be built upon the Ethereum and NEM blockchain to allow consumers to purchase a range of cryptocurrencies (specifically BTC, ETH, XEM, LTC, PXS, QTUM, XLM, ACT tokens) and fiat currencies. This collaboration is critical to Pundi X’s value proposition, and Cheah explains that the NEM blockchain allows Pundi X to “confirm transactions instantly, which enables us to lower the exchange risk and provide a better user experience.” This is perhaps the core reason why consumers will adopt Pundi X over other offline channels to exchange and transact. Without the NEM collaboration, transaction times would be far too long and costly for consumers to engage with the product.

In the last 6 months, it has become obvious that Pundi X values the market position of being an active corporate leader in the ecosystem. The management team have spent their time establishing associations with big players such as the XPOS Consortium and Indonesian Blockchain Association in an attempt to create stronger dialogue around the democratisation of cryptocurrencies. They are also key members of the Singapore Fintech Association, Fintech Association of Hong Kong, ACCESS, and Swiss Finance and Fintech Association. Further, Pundi X have worked tirelessly to partner with other blockchain-based businesses. Partnerships with Aditus, Appsolutely, and Retainly are perfect examples of Pundi X attempting to maximise their value proposition to both the consumer and merchant by increasing engagement and adoption with third party offerings.

Overall, Pundi X has prioritised partnerships as a key business development tool. Their efforts in this area should ease the roll out their POS throughout South-East Asia and beyond.

Our rating: ★★★★★

Conclusion

Pundi X have taken on the ambitious task of bringing cryptocurrency to the everyday person and giving major digital currencies a real-world use-case. Fortunately, the tech seems appropriate for their endeavour and members sitting on the team have ample experience in the South-East Asia financial technology space. Having met their ICO hard-cap, eyes will be glued to their progress over the next three years to see whether or not they can capture the Indonesian market, and from there, the rest of the world.

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Pundi X Review
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