Disclaimer: This article was not sponsored. All content within should not be taken as financial advice. Exercise extreme caution when investing, particularly in cryptocurrencies, which can be extremely volatile.
You may not have heard of the VELO token yet with all that’s been going on in the past year with COVID-19, bull runs, and the sheer amount of content. And I wouldn’t blame you either. However, I promise it’ll be worth your time to take a read.
I sift through many cryptocurrencies on a daily basis. I’ve done so for years. Many companies boast similar goals, yet few can realistically reach them. Not many cryptocurrencies catch my eye, but, VELO is one I’d like to share more on due to its outright potential — financially, progressively, and technologically. I’ll try to keep this article simple and straightforward for reading ease.
Velo Labs and Lightnet are Singaporean/Thailand-based fintech “startups” that were founded in the last couple of years with some lofty goals in mind in the financial space. It launched on its first exchange KuCoin just last September 2020 and has been making impressive leaps since — all under the radar. I use the word “startup” lightly because of a few simple reasons:
- In 2020 Lightnet raised 1 billion Thai Baht ($31.2 million US Dollars) in its Series A funding. This was one of, if not the, largest raise in a Southeast Asian startup ever.
- One of the co-founders of both companies is Chatchaval Jiaravanon, of the Jiaravanon family which founded the Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) — again, a company you may not know of if you’re outside of Asia, but, I will introduce to you today shortly.
- Lightnet and Velo Labs received investments from, or are partnered with, some of the most prominent backers in the world, including: CP Group, Stellar (Yes, XLM), UOB, Uni-President, Seven Bank, Visa, Signum Capital, and many more.
- Velo Labs has very strong potential to be the first to connect centralized and decentralized finance (CeFI and DeFi).
What is Velo Labs trying to do?
Velo Labs is essentially building a global blockchain-powered network that potentially connects all countries by giving them the ability to work together on trading, remittances and settlements in all currencies. This is only the beginning too. Of course, the usual perks of blockchain are there: faster, cheaper, and trustless.
The VELO token is built on the Stellar network (super fast and cheap transfers!) and works within the Velo Protocol. Trusted Partners are carefully vetted by the team, then purchase and use VELO as a collateral to receive digital credits to use in their variety of businesses.
For example, a money exchange operator in Thailand can use the Velo Protocol to issue vTHB (Thai Baht) digitally and use it for remittances or settlements with other operators in other countries in whatever shape or form they need for their business. An immigrant worker Thailand could use the protocol to send money back home far cheaper and faster.
The next step may also to be conquering areas in finance, forex trading, loans and international/local payments.
Essentially, they offer the capabilities to digitize all currencies for all consumers or businesses around the world.
Your next thought is probably: Haven’t others been doing this for a while? My answer would be yes and no. While others have used a bottom-up approach of starting a cryptocurrency company first and then trying to approach large players to use their products, Velo Labs already has a very very strong infrastructure to plug their product into. On top of that, they have a huge head start on any competitor at this time.
Some people who’ve been in crypto for a while may automatically think Ripple (XRP) when mentioning cross-border payments or remittances — and rightfully so. So why is VELO better?
Why I think VELO will be one of 2021’s most successful cryptocurrencies
CP Group (What is it?)
The Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) is the largest private conglomerate in Thailand. It was founded in the 1920s (100 years ago!) by the Chearavanont (or Jiaravanon) family and got its humble start in the 1920s in food and agriculture, but, has since expanded into almost every business imaginable: real estate, retail, insurance, hotels, manufacturing, e-commerce, etc. You name it, they probably own it.
The company boasts over 360,000 employees worldwide and has its hands in almost every industry you can think of, particularly in Asia.
Chatchaval purchased Fortune Magazine for $150 million US Dollars and sits on the board of True Corporation (Thailand’s largest telecoms operator), amongst many other companies.
He recently went head first into fintech founding Lightnet and Velo Labs. And he’s been making quick strides on both fronts.
Read more about CP Group here (It’s a Wikipedia link, forgive me).
Team & Partners
It sounds cliché, but the team is still critical to the success of any company, cryptocurrencies or otherwise. Velo Labs was co-founded by Chatchaval Jiaravanon as I mentioned above of the CP Group. The entire team I’ve vetted carefully and it consists of elites in every field: technology, cryptocurrencies, legal, finance, marketing, etc. Take a look through their advisors alone and you’ll see a powerhouse of a team.
Their partners consist of some powerhouses mentioned above like: CP Group, Stellar, UOB, Uni-President, Seven Bank, Visa, Signum Capital, etc. The combined resources of many always help each business increase its resources and chances of success.
If you have been following VELO, you’ll often hear the “meme” $7.11 or 7-Eleven mentioned in chats. The reason is that the CP Group owns ALL the 7-Elevens in Thailand (over 15,000 locations). Talk about a potentially huge use case for VELO one day — all within the family.
Velo Labs also just partnered with MaiCoin in Taiwan, shortly after MaiCoin’s own partnership with 7-Eleven to allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies directly with fiat at ALL 7-Elevens in Taiwan (over 6K locations). I don’t know if Velo Labs will be doing the same, but it certainly seems likely.
Almost forgot to mention that Velo Labs had officially partnered with Visa last year to provide some type of card for MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises). The details of this card have not been released yet. But, I imagine it’s going to be some type of connection between MSME businesses and possibly getting credit or making payments.
For a company this early in its lifespan to be able to create a formal partnership with Visa is impressive.
NFT potential (non-fungible token)
NFTs are incredibly hot right now, particularly in arts and collectibles. Some examples: NBA Top Shot (a blockchain collectible and trading company) has blown up during the pandemic. Art such as Crypto Punks are selling for millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies. Beeple just sold a piece of art as an NFT for over $69 million dollars in auction. These few examples alone show some extreme bullishness in NFTs (if this trend will continue, who knows).
Now back to Velo Labs. If the team is smart, they should be realizing their potential to create financial products as trade-able NFTs. They’ve already got the Federated Credit Exchange network (FCX) all setup which brings together merchants, businesses, and users on an international scale. There’s very little barrier to entry for Velo Labs to expand into financial products such as bonds or loans.
If they do figure out a way to enter this arena, it could be incredibly valuable to $VELO as a token and Velo Labs as a company.
Top-down Approach (Why I think VELO is a XRP-killer)
Velo Labs has been slowly, but, surely utilizing a top-down approach by having the partners and infrastructure ready first, and introducing a new way of doing things more efficiently. In Block Journal’s interview with the Velo Labs team and they’ve clearly stated they are not looking to replace existing financial systems, but to improve upon them. I think this is key in today’s cryptocurrency business and many other technology startups — as many are biting off more than they can chew.
Sure, disruption can be a very good thing — look at AirBnB and Uber. But, most companies don’t succeed in replacing old systems entirely. By being direct and targeting existing problems, I think Velo Labs is looking to BUIDL first and replace later.
The partners and infrastructure that CP Group, Lightnet, and Velo Labs have in their resource pool is pretty astounding. There’s almost no need for a pitch. It’s straight from talk to use case.
Ripple and many other companies have to walk the long and arduous road of signing up partners, explaining their product, enduring negotiations, and passing regulator approval just to have a shot at survival. Have you ever asked yourself why would banks even use products like Ripple when they can make their own? Well, CP Group is doing just that.
Federated Credit Exchange Network (FCX)
A focal point of Velo Labs is their Federated Credit Exchange Network (what they call the FCX). I know they’ve spent significant amounts of time and effort building this FCX — which to me is honestly pretty impressive. What Velo Labs has built is an entire network of businesses and users that can issue digital credits and exchange them with one another all on the blockchain.
By starting off in Thailand and Southeast Asia (regions which they are already very familiar with), their strategy allows them to integrate and adopt very quickly whilst adapting to operational and technical issues simultaneously.
I’ve always thought in business: stick to what you know. And Velo Labs is doing just that. I think in a very short time they will be on their path to dominating fintech and cross-border remittances and settlements.
Not only have they made huge strides in tech and building their ecosystem, Velo Labs has also accomplished all this in a fully compliant manner. By working with governments and regulators, VELO is poised to hit the ground running very quickly with use. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years it’s used regularly amongst financial providers. Not many in the cryptocurrency space can say this.
Now to the good stuff. The VELO token officially went live for trading in mid-September of 2020. It started trading at approximately $0.05 USDT per VELO and has been on a up-and-down path for the last 5 to 6 months. At time of writing it’s approximately $1.18 USDT per VELO.
I’m not one for Technical Analysis (TA), so I’ll skip that. But, if what I’ve mentioned above regarding Velo Labs has been ignored, at least look at some key factors today.
- Stability: VELO has been relatively (loosely used term in crypto) steady as the market has been very turbulent. In this short period of time BTC has gone from $8,000 to $57,000 and back down to $49,000 at time of writing.
- Exchanges: It’s done all this on a limited number of exchanges, namely KuCoin, VCCE, and most recently OKEx.
- Mass-market is unaware of VELO still: This is a GREAT thing. I’ve always said, “The best time to invest is when nobody is talking about it”. Right now it’s already starting to pick up steam in discussions, but, it certainly hasn’t come close to its full potential yet.
- Trending upwards and trending fast: At time of writing, we are experiencing the largest crypto bull run of all time. And VELO has just had a 30% increase in the last 24 hours to $1.18. This almost reminds me of early 2017, except with actual use case, adoption, and institutional players in place (especially when it comes to the CP Group). By the time you read this it may have reached $2.00.
I spend hours on hours every day looking at projects, companies, and investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies. Like I said, this one has definitely caught my eye. With the mission, backers, team, and exponentially growing ecosystem, the future is very bright for VELO.
I think VELO is going to have an exceptional year for all the reasons listed above and more. I will certainly be keeping a very close eye on it.
Good luck trading!
“The best time to invest is always when nobody is talking about it.”