This Argentinian company offers simple methods of investing and using cryptocurrencies.
Marcelo Cavazzoli says that the millionaire proceeds will be used to triple the professional staff.
“A typical nerd” in love with technology. This is how Marcelo Cavazzoli describes his teenage version. Today, at 29 years old and leading one of the most promising startups in Argentina, Lemon’s CEO talked to CriptoNoticias in the framework of the DescentralizAR event. The conversation focused on the company he runs with Borja Martel Seward and the dream of bringing cryptocurrencies to everyday life in every home.
Graduated as a computer engineer from the University of Buenos Aires, Cavazzoli started developing websites and working as a developer for agencies and companies in the Argentine capital at a very young age. He also started up businesses with friends, but paradoxically he did not become interested in bitcoin
in 2010, when he met him, but a few years later.
Today, he and his team at Lemon work with a clear goal, “to build a product for the everyday person”, so that anyone can join the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The company founded in 2015 got off to a great start: it already has services that are consolidating, a clear roadmap and world-renowned investors supporting its growth.
A card to make friends with cryptocurrencies
Marcelo Cavazzoli is clear that a key factor to bring “ordinary” people and businesses closer to cryptocurrencies is usability. The other key concept, he says, is to “change the way we communicate and sell finance and cryptocurrencies, making it cool, fun and trendy”.
In this “very complex universe” of cryptocurrencies, Lemon proposes a “step-by-step” adoption and with products that people already know, such as a debit or credit card. “This gives the security that it is something tangible, something they know and can use,” he says.
To that end, Lemon Cash (Lemon’s mobile app) and Visa teamed up to launch a card that allows you to spend the balance deposited in your account, either in pesos or in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH) in those locales that accept them as a form of payment. As reported by CriptoNoticias, the card was well received
by users and there are already more than 60,000 people waiting to acquire it.
In the path traced by Lemon, this card is “a key product for usability,” says Cavazzoli, who says that in this way cryptocurrencies could be used in more than 60 million merchants worldwide. In addition, he anticipated that they will add “other functionalities still secret” that will allow users to “dump their economy 100% to cryptocurrencies and use their local currency only when necessary”.
<p>There is a witness case of this adoption of cryptocurrencies: San Martín de los Andes, a city in the Argentine Patagonia where Cavazzoli is from, was the site of a Lemon Cash experiment that gave good results. “We proved that by lowering the technological barrier, people started to adopt it. The market is ready to accept this new financial system,” he says proudly.
We believe in a crypto future and that the financial system is going to be completely displaced and we are going to live under a 100% decentralized and blockchain system.
A secure entry into decentralized finance
In addition to the Visa card, Lemon also offers the Earn feature on its platform. This allows you to generate interest from the cryptocurrencies deposited in your account. The methodology “is simple” and offers the user weekly earnings in cryptocurrencies.
However, as the saying goes, you can’t cover the sun with your hand. Cavazzoli is aware of the hacks that decentralized finance platforms (DeFi) suffered during the year. For this reason, he explains that Lemon “takes security as something fundamental” and uses protocols such as Aave and Compound. He also assures that they will add in the short term an insurance for USD 100 million “with a world-renowned company”.
Thanks to this feature of the platform, Lemon “facilitates access to DeFi protocols that generate interest by means of staking or lending and borrowingprotocols”. According to Cavazzoli, this potential is still little explored in the world because of the “technical complexity to operate and the security concepts that are needed”. “We take that out of the way and offer a solution to do it automatically,” he describes.
The road to mass adoption
The good reception of the public to this friendlier method with less technical requirements is what leads Lemon’s team “to consider an expansion to Argentina and Latin America”.
There is going to be a giant advance of the crypto revolution in Latin America.
With that carrot on the horizon, Lemon this year launched what ended up being the largest Series A funding round for an Argentine startup; they raised USD 16 million thanks to internationally renowned investors, such as the Draper Cygnus fund and the Coinbase exchange. “This is not a pressure, but a support for our growth,” says Cavazzoli, who also adds that these big companies that they admire so much give them “important advice”.
These funds already have a clear destination, which will be “to triple our team by adding developers, operations, HR and business people”. “We need exceptional talent,” says the company’s CEO.
In all this favorable context, Cavazzoli predicts an even more promising future: “There is going to be a turning point very soon; bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are going to be seen everywhere, even in places we couldn’t even imagine. For that, usability is key, and that’s where the platform comes in. Lemon to use it for more than just hoarding bitcoin. This stance, very characteristic of the first bitcoiners, contrasts with the current tendency to think that bitcoin will only be used as a store of value in the future.
“There is going to be a giant advance of the crypto revolution in Latin America,” he says confidently. More than a decade ago, when he heard about bitcoin, surely this “nerd” did not imagine being one of the makers of this incipient revolution.