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While not an official announcement, Cronje's disclosure of the project he's building came in response to a remark from Curve Finance CEO and founder Michael Egorov about neobank Revolut's lack of crypto support.
"Learned recently on practice that @RevolutApp is not crypto-friendly. Have been their customer since 2016, but they closed my personal and business accounts once they got information (from me showing) that source of funds is crypto. They are not the future :-(" Egorov tweeted.
In his reply, Cronje wrote, "Need a card, or just payments infrastructure? If the latter, I can add you to our closed beta. If card, that will be available by end of 2023, crypto-friendly bank available to public within this year.”
Need a card, or just payments infra? If the latter, I can add you to our closed beta. If card, that will be available by end of 2023, crypto friendly bank available to public within this year.— Andre Cronje (@AndreCronjeTech) April 21, 2023
When asked if the crypto-friendly bank will be available the US, Cronje said, "legally we can, but given the USA’s stance, we probably won’t accept US citizens.”
Legally we can, but given the USA's stance, we probably won't accept US citizens.— Andre Cronje (@AndreCronjeTech) April 22, 2023
One Twitter user asked "Will these be non-KYC? Need the ability to make payments without doxxing individual users of a DAO" to which Cronje replied, "no, it’s a standard banking license, we can’t avoid KYC.”
No, it's a standard banking license, we can't avoid KYC.— Andre Cronje (@AndreCronjeTech) April 22, 2023
Little else is known about Cronje's upcoming crypto bank but his legacy and reputation in the space inspire confidence that the project could be a formidable one.
The bank would also fill a much-needed void in the crypto industry. Access to banking has been a major hurdle for the cryptocurrency industry, with traditional banks often reluctant to provide services due to strict know-your-customer and anti-money laundering rules. The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has further eroded banking access for many crypto firms.
Cronje, who left and returned to Fantom, is now the director of the blockchain platform. Those familiar with the name will attest that Cronje’s involvement with the project adds immeasurable value.
Described as a “prolific coder and legendary DeFi founder” by Crypto Briefing, Cronje’s credentials include Yearn.Finance Founder, DeFi architect behind curve.finance, and a number of other prominent DeFi projects.
Cronje is also set to Airdrop his ve(3,3) DeFi project updates on the Fantom blockchain. The South African developer described the project as an “emission based token that could balance ecosystem participants”.
In November, Cronje revealed Fantom has over three decades of funds. With a salary burn rate of US$7,000,000 per year, Fantom has around 30 years left without having to touch FTM.
Cronje, who had previously left and returned to Fantom late in 2022, clearly has a long-term vision for the space. However, the crypto guru is not sold on AI. Cornje believes that AI is not ready to be integrated with Blockchain technology in its current form, despite OpenAI's ChatGPT leading to an increase in AI-related cryptocurrency projects in 2023.
“There is no integration. An AI can’t live inside a blockchain,” Cronje explained. “AI’s are also black box and mutable, blockchains are transparent and immutable."
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