Interview with Raj Bagadi, Scallop Founder & CEO
We spoke to the founder and CEO of Scallop – “The World’s First DeFi Neo-banking app”. Raj Bagadi answered all the questions we had about him and the project that he and his team are building.
Welcome Raj, it’s our pleasure to have you here today. The project that you’ve created and are building looks very exciting and on the very frontier of the next generation of crypto.
Before we get into the project, firstly, I’d love to hear more about your background and what brought you into crypto, and how Scallop came to be?
Thank you very much, I’m extremely happy to be here.
A quick rundown of my background: I did my Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and my Master’s in Aerospace Technology. I worked as an engineer for around 8 years, starting my career at Ford and later on, working on large-scale projects in the aviation industry for Airbus.
After this I went into the financial world. I did post-graduation in Business administration and management along with PGC in Oxford university in Economic growth. I worked in regulations and anti-money laundering for banks. Then Bitcoin emerged and I was incredibly interested in the underlying blockchain technology, so I went to work for a blockchain development agency to understand the technology more and then started to advise fintech startups that were using blockchain.
Decentralised finance had become prominent at this time and I spotted a gap in the market for a banking platform combined with DeFi products. There existed, and still does exist, a lot of friction between moving money from your bank account into DeFi protocols, so we created a one-stop solution to house banking and DeFi needs under one roof – which is Scallop!
Coinpedia: Yes, please tell us more about this point. Why did you build and create Scallop?
Raj Bagadi: We identified a few problems in the space. In banking; there’s no seamless interface between fiat and DeFi and as such most people are limited to only accessing low interest rates on their savings from traditional banks instead of the higher yields available on DeFi platforms. In crypto; people are unable to spend their tokens as they do their fiat, which we feel greatly hinders mainstream adoption. And overall; a platform to seamlessly perform crypto and fiat operations seamlessly doesn’t exist – which creates a disconnection in between these two types of money.
Our solution for this was to address each of these “pain points”. For banking; we built the Scallop Banking Accounts, which will be available at first to 747m users in Europe and the UK. These accounts will be able to directly interact with DeFi protocols allowing users to earn high yields of around 4-15% on their savings! To address the crypto problem, we built Scallop Pay – which will allow users to purchase any good or service, at any store – online or physical – using cryptocurrencies for the very first time. This is a truly groundbreaking feature which we think will be a prominent tool for mainstream crypto adoption. Overall then; the entire Scallop ecosystem bridges the fiat and crypto worlds with a single seamless interface.
Coinpedia: That sounds very intriguing. But is there anyone else doing this, or are you the first? What makes you stand out from your competitors?
Raj Bagadi:No, there is nobody else doing what we’re doing! We have competitors on the banking side and the crypto/DeFi side separately, but not a direct competitor who has created a one-stop solution for both world’s under a single roof.
On the banking side, we are competing with other neobanks. They were part of the technology and cultural/generational shift to online banking and they’ve done well so far to take market share from the traditional banks. However, another shift is occurring now, with the movement from online to digital; and it’s on that front that we think we are superior to than them and can surpass them. The few neobanks that do offer crypto at the moment, don’t allow users custody of their tokens – meaning they don’t really own them. You also can’t transfer or receive tokens on their platforms because there are no wallets. On Scallop, however, you get the benefits of both in one place. We have digital and hardware wallets, which offer choice and security, that allow users to send/receive tokens as well as own their digital assets themselves. They can trade them on the Scallop Exchange seamlessly with low fees too. We offer the full crypto experience, which our neobank competitors do not.
On the crypto side; there are some platforms, apps, and exchanges that offer the crypto experience. You can buy, sell, send and receive tokens using them. However, if you want to use your crypto in the real world, it’s still a long-winded process to convert your fiat into crypto and vice versa. There are long wait times for deposits to and from your bank account and there are high fees involved. This time lag and costly expense make it difficult and expensive to use crypto in the real world. So these platforms are lacking what we have created with our banking products, to seamlessly interchange between fiat and crypto, in one place, with low fees.
Coinpedia: Thank you for that insight. It definitely seems like you have the competition well scoped out and know what sets you apart. As a cryptocurrency-focused publication, I need to ask where will you be building the crypto side?
Raj Bagadi: We’ve chosen the Ethereum network for its scalability and high level of security. These two factors are extremely important for us to grow. Our token (SCLP) will therefore be an ERC-20 utility token and it will empower the entire Scallop ecosystem. Users will be able to pay transaction and exchange fees with it, receive a trading bonus in SCLP, and stake SCLP to open a Scallop Elite Account – which has some amazing perks! So there will be many use cases for the token, hence we are Defi first.
Coinpedia: As an ERC20, the token will be available globally then; will the banking products be available as widely too?
Raj Bagadi: Yes, anyone around the world will be able to buy SCLP and trade it or hold it. Initially, we are launching in the EU and the UK in September of this year. By Q1 2022, we will be expanding the business into Asia.
Coinpedia: That’s very exciting news. Expansion across two continents is a fantastic feat. Is that the end goal for Scallop, or is there more? Where do you see Scallop in the future?
Raj bagadi: No, that’s definitely not the end goal. We want to be in every country in the world, across all continents. Our mission is to accelerate the transition to a more equitable and decentralized financial system. That is what we believe a better world would look like so that’s what we want to offer people anywhere around the globe. Globally, many people face great financial challenges and a digital neo-banking platform like Scallop can help their situations. Thanks to technology we are able to reach them and offer them solutions to make their day-to-day lives easier. This is what I want to see from Scallop in the future. I would be proud if we can make a positive impact on many lives in the world.
Coinpedia: That’s fantastic! It’s always great to hear companies in the crypto space that are thinking that way and have the ambition that you clearly do. It sounds like you’ve laid some solid foundations for the future.
Unfortunately, that’s all we have time for today though but we sure look forward to what we’ll see from you and the team in the future!
Raj Bagadi: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time today. Hopefully, we can do another interview together further down the road – it’d be great. I’ve really enjoyed being here today. Thank you for inviting me.