Sebastián Serrano

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Sebastián Serrano
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Born (1981-04-04) April 4, 1981 (age 40)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nationality Argentina
Education National University of La Plata
Occupation entrepreneur and software developer
Known for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency specialist, CEO and co-founder of Ripio

Sebastián Serrano (Buenos Aires, April 4, 1981) is an Argentinian entrepreneur and software developer, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency specialist and CEO and Co-Founder of Ripio, a fintech company based in Blockchain technology. Ripio is one of the earliest and largest crypto-companies in Latin America and currently has over 300,000 users.[1][2]

Career

Sebastián Serrano was born in Buenos Aires, but soon after his family moved to Choele Choel,[3] a city located in Río Negro province, in the region of Patagonia.[4] During his teens, he learnt software programming and helped to develop the first Internet service provider in his hometown.[5][6][7] Then, he studied Computer Science[8] at the National University of La Plata.[4][9]

Sebastian played major roles in several fintech startups such as PayMentez, Moni[10] and MetaTiendas.[11] He also served as a network security administrator at the Ministry of Economy of the Province of Buenos Aires[12] and as the CTO at Internet Winds AG S.A.[13]

In 2007 he founded devsAr, a web and mobile software development company for startups across Latin America based in Argentina.[4]

He was considered one of the top 20 fintech influencers of Argentina by Techfoliance.[14]

BitPagos

In 2012 he became interested in the potential of cryptocurrencies and created BitPagos, the first bitcoin payment processor in Latin America.[15]

BitPagos was developed under the foreign currency controls established in Argentina during the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, where it was difficult to exchange Argentina pesos to American dollars.[16] The app allowed people in Argentina to do international transactions through cryptocurrencies instead of local currency and avoid the restrictions of the Argentine economy.[7] In the other hand, BitPagos allowed to keep savings in Bitcoin and hence avoid losing the value of money in a rapidly depreciating money like the Argentine peso, where the inflation rate is high.[17][18]

Ripio

In 2014, Sebastian and part of his former team at BitPagos launched Ripio, a web and mobile app that offers several Blockchain-based services, such as a digital wallet, fiat-to-crypto brokerage and credit and payments solutions.[19][20][21][22][23][24]

In late 2015, the company acquired Unisend -at the time, the only peso-to-bitcoin exchange in Argentina-[7] and in mid 2016, Ripio became the first crypto wallet to extend online loans, offering 30-day payments and installment plans to make online purchases without the need of a credit card or a bank account.[15]

In 2017 Ripio launched a project called Ripio Credit Network (RCN),[25] which was conceived as an Ethereum-based peer-to-peer credit protocol that connects lenders and borrowers anywhere in the world and on any currency through smart contracts.[25][26][27] A token sale associated with the RCN project raised $37 million worth of cryptocurrencies.[22][1][28]

In 2018 Ripio was the sole Argentine company included in the Fintech100 list, a ranking conducted by KPMG that selects the most innovative startups of the year.[29]

In 2019, Ripio was selected by Visa for their startup acceleration program in Brazil and by Google for the Launchpad Accelerator program in Mexico.[30][31]

Ripio has been funded by Silicon Valley investors[4] like Tim Draper,[32][33] Pantera Capital,[34] Medici Ventures,[35] Digital Finance Group and Digital Currency Group,[36] and has raised over $6 million in several investment rounds.[37]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Fenech, Gerald. "Interview: A Journey From Poverty To Banking The Unbanked in Argentina" (in en). https://www.forbes.com/sites/geraldfenech/2018/12/24/interview-a-journey-from-poverty-to-banking-the-unbanked-in-argentina/. 
  2. "Ripio Is Launching a Crypto Exchange for 3 Latin American Nations" (in en-US). https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ripio-launching-crypto-exchange-3-150011097.html. 
  3. "BitPagos, now Ripio, lands $1.9M to promote financial inclusion in South America using bitcoin" (in en-US). http://social.techcrunch.com/2017/01/03/bitpagos-ripio-series-a/. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "La billetera virtual que viajó de Choele a los Estados Unidos" (in es-ES). 2017-08-18. https://www.rionegro.com.ar/la-billetera-virtual-que-viajo-de-choele-a-los-estados-unidos-YL3379670/. 
  5. Casabona, Pablo (2014-09-10). "Sebastián Serrano: El argentino que decidió apostar todo al mundo bitcoin" (in es). https://latamnoticias.com/sebastian-serrano-el-argentino-que-decidio-apostar-todo-al-mundo-bitcoin/. 
  6. "Los argentinos que ya están en el Blockchain" (in es). https://www.clarin.com/economia/argentinos-blockchain_0_rJhSUST_f.html. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Sebastián Serrano: "Bitcoin y las criptomonedas son el dinero conviertiéndose en software"" (in es-ES). https://www.infobae.com/cripto247/mercados/2018/06/03/sebastian-serrano-bitcoin-y-las-criptomonedas-es-el-dinero-conviertiendose-en-software/. 
  8. "Historia de un "criptorromance ": la Argentina y la moneda digital" (in es). 2017-08-06. https://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/historia-de-un-criptorromance-la-argentina-y-la-moneda-digital-nid2050198. 
  9. "Gurúes digitales argentinos quieren crear un mundo "econo-friendly"" (in es-AR). 2017-12-01. https://www.airedesantafe.com.ar/ocio/gurues-argentinos-quieren-mundo-econo-friendly/. 
  10. "Ripio (RCN)". https://picoloresearch.com/upload/attachment/21202.pdf. 
  11. "Bitpagos, el primer sistema de pago que opera con bitcoins para América Latina" (in es-ES). 2013-05-15. https://pulsosocial.com/2013/05/15/bitpagos-el-primer-sistema-de-pago-que-opera-con-bitcoins-para-america-latina/. 
  12. "Ripio Credit Network is Sinking: Past-ICO Review" (in en-US). U.Today. 2018-07-18. https://u.today/ripio-credit-network-is-sinking-past-ico-review. 
  13. "Impact on Developing World | SXSW 2015 Event Schedule". https://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP42739. 
  14. "Mapping of the 20 must-know Fintech Influencers in Argentina" (in en-GB). 2017-09-20. https://insights.invyo.io/latam/fintech-corner/mapping-of-the-20-must-know-fintech-influencers-in-argentina/. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "BitPagos uses the blockchain to enable credit for online payments in emerging markets" (in en-US). http://social.techcrunch.com/2016/05/10/bitpagos-uses-the-blockchain-to-enable-credit-for-online-payments-in-emerging-markets/. 
  16. "Argentina tightens dollar exchange controls". BBC. 1 November 2011. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160927000108/http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-15532101. Retrieved 14 October 2019. 
  17. Popper, Nathaniel (2016). Digital gold : Bitcoin and the inside story of the misfits and millionaires trying to reinvent money (First ed.). New York, NY: HarperCollins. pp. 278. ISBN 9780062362490. OCLC 903213020. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/903213020. 
  18. Vigna, Paul (2016). The age of cryptocurrency : how bitcoin and the blockchain are challenging the global economic order (First ed.). New York, N.Y.: Picador. ISBN 9781250081551. OCLC 905685686. https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/905685686. 
  19. "Ripio, la billetera digital, recibió nueva capitalización" (in es-AR). https://www.roadshow.com.ar/ripio-la-billetera-digital-recibio-nueva-capitalizacion/. 
  20. Higgins, Stan (2017-01-03). "BitPagos Raises $1.9 Million in Funding, Rebrands as Ripio" (in en-US). https://www.coindesk.com/ripio-2-3-million-series-a-bitcoin. 
  21. "Presentan Ripio, un sistema para comprar Bitcoins en los kioscos argentinos" (in Spanish). 2014-08-13. http://www.redusers.com/noticias/presentan-ripio-un-sistema-para-comprar-bitcoins-en-los-kioscos/. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Cuen, Leigh (2018-09-05). "Ripio Rolls Out Crypto-Powered Loans Across Latin America" (in en-US). https://www.coindesk.com/ripio-rolls-out-crypto-powered-loans-across-latin-america. 
  23. "Los argentinos que ya están en el Blockchain" (in es). https://www.clarin.com/economia/argentinos-blockchain_0_rJhSUST_f.html. 
  24. "Loan processing service utilizing a distributed ledger digital asset as collateral. United States Patent Application: 0180075421". http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=bitpagos&OS=bitpagos&RS=bitpagos. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Ripio Credit Network launches, aiming to attack bank loan fees in emerging markets" (in en-US). http://social.techcrunch.com/2017/09/20/ripio-credit-network-launches-aiming-to-attack-bank-loan-fees-in-emerging-markets/. 
  26. Template:Cite patent
  27. "Loan processing service utilizing a distributed ledger digital asset. United States Patent Application: 0160371771". http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=bitpagos&OS=bitpagos&RS=bitpagos. 
  28. "Potencia argentina para un universo virtual" (in es). 2018-09-20. https://www.cronista.com/negocios/Potencia-argentina-para-un-universo-virtual-20180919-0073.html. 
  29. "Ripio fue seleccionado entre los cien proyectos fintech más innovadores del mundo" (in es-ES). https://www.infobae.com/cripto247/mercados/2018/11/05/ripio-fue-seleccionado-entre-los-cien-proyectos-fintech-mas-innovadores-del-mundo/. 
  30. "Visa do Brasil e Google vão acelerar fintech de Bitcoin e criptomoedas" (in pt-BR). 2019-04-18. https://www.criptofacil.com/visa-do-brasil-e-google-investirao-em-fintech-de-bitcoin-e-criptomoedas/. 
  31. Quirós, Fernando (2019-04-17). "Ripio fue elegida entre las startups que impulsa Google con Launchpad Accelerator en México" (in es). https://es.cointelegraph.com/news/ripio-was-chosen-to-participate-in-launchpad-accelerator-in-mexico. 
  32. "Por el cepo, creó una app para pagar cuentas con bitcoin" (in es). 2018-03-21. https://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/por-el-cepo-cambiario-creo-una-billetera-virtual-que-ya-usan-200000-personas-nid2118662. 
  33. "Tim Draper: "Los países tendrán que competir por los mejores ciudadanos "" (in es). 2017-12-20. https://www.lanacion.com.ar/economia/tim-draper-los-paises-tendran-que-competir-por-el-capital-y-por-los-mejores-ciudadanos-nid2093833. 
  34. "Pantera Capital Already Raises Over $70 Million for Its Third Crypto Fund" (in en-US). 2018-08-16. https://news.bitcoin.com/pantera-capital-already-raises-over-70-million-for-its-third-crypto-fund/. 
  35. "Medici Ventures invests in Ripio to bring bitcoin to the unbanked in Latin America". 2017-05-04. https://impactalpha.com/medici-ventures-invests-in-ripio-to-bring-bitcoin-to-the-unbanked-in-latin-america-c376227fa37b/. 
  36. "Criptocrédito: Ripio permite solicitar préstamos en pesos" (in es-ES). https://www.infobae.com/cripto247/mercados/2018/09/07/criptocredito-ripio-permite-solicitar-prestamos-en-pesos/. 
  37. "Ripio Credit Network (RCN): Beginners Guide | What You Need to Know" (in en). 2019-04-03. https://www.coinbureau.com/review/ripio-credit-network-rcn/. 

External links