In conversation 02.12.2023
NOAH – The Money App Saving The World From A ‘Currency Flood.’
NOAH, the bitcoin and stablecoin-powered money app, is on a mission to bring financial freedom to billions worldwide and “save the world from a flood of worthless
currency.” It is currently attracting between 5,000 and 10,000 new users each week, all eager to join the revolution.
At the heart of NOAH’s success is its visionary approach to financial services, designed to make them accessible, global, and frictionless. We spoke with the company’s founder, Shah Ramezani, who shared his insights on the challenges and opportunities in the crypto space and the story behind NOAH’s unique approach.
How is NOAH different from other crypto apps?
The financial crisis gave rise to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as an alternative to the flawed legacy system. At NOAH, we saw a different opportunity two years ago. We noticed that many companies were focusing on the speculative aspect of Bitcoin instead of its true potential. So, we took on the challenge to build a money app that would use cryptocurrency using the same seamless and frictionless approach as the traditional neo-banks of today.
Our mission was clear: to create a money app of the future that operates on bitcoin. We saw the need for a solution that would make it easy for people to save, spend, and send money using cryptocurrency, all while bringing a cutting-edge user experience to the table.
NOAH stands out from other crypto apps because we focus on building a neo-bank that utilizes the full potential of cryptocurrency. We aim to make bitcoin a viable and accessible option for everyday financial services. The hot fads in crypto don’t interest us much — if Bitcoin is to succeed, which we’re confident it will, our goal is to focus on making bitcoin easy to use for billions of users worldwide.
You’re gaining impressive traction in emerging markets – why is that?
In the West, the current financial system still functions well enough for most individuals, so there’s no pressing need for another solution like bitcoin. Bitcoin acts more as an investment vehicle, so it’s not necessarily a direct alternative to the existing financial system. However, in emerging markets, this is not the case. In these regions, the local currency is often so unreliable that individuals cannot access alternative investments or other currencies. This leads to a vast humanitarian problem where people can’t save or even send money abroad.
Fortunately, with Bitcoin, we have a technology that can meet the needs of the 1.4 billion people who have never had access to a bank. NOAH aims to make this a reality through a simple WhatsApp-style platform that is accessible to both the richest and poorest individuals. This platform will give people the basic human right to spend, send, save, and receive money.
Unsurprisingly, we’re seeing remarkable growth in emerging markets, with up to 5,000 sign-ups per week from countries like Vietnam, Nigeria, the Philippines, and India. Young individuals in these countries want to secure their future and aspire to a better standard of living. They have the cash and the desire to invest in a better future.
What is the thinking behind the name?
At NOAH, we see the immense value of a name that elicits instant recall and familiarity in the hearts and minds of consumers. That’s why we selected the name, NOAH, drawing inspiration from the timeless and universal tale of Noah’s Ark. This story, with its ability to transcend race and religion, serves as a symbol of unity for all humankind. Our mission is to shine as a beacon of hope in the midst of the tumultuous seas of government-created monetary chaos, much like Noah’s Ark provided a haven during the great flood.
Choosing NOAH as our brand name imbues us with instant recognizability and aligns with our goal of providing a secure and reliable financial solution for all. The simplicity and universality of the name make it a distinctive choice in an increasingly competitive market, and we are confident that it will leave a lasting impression on those we serve.
You’re a global app. How does regulation come into play?
At NOAH, we leverage the power of the Bitcoin network to provide a non-custodial money app for our users. While building our app, we made the conscious decision to operate in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. This ensures the safety and security of our customers’ funds and provides them with the peace of mind that comes with using a regulated financial service. It’s the best of both worlds. Complete control with protection.
Our goal is to give our users as many options as possible, all within the NOAH app. From buying and holding Bitcoin to spending and saving, we are committed to providing a comprehensive financial solution for our customers. By operating in a regulated environment, we can offer even more options and greater flexibility for our users, while maintaining the highest standards of security and compliance.
How are you creating awareness and getting the app into the hands of people around the world?
At NOAH, we believe in the power of word of mouth and referral marketing to drive awareness and adoption of our app. Our initial growth was driven by a robust referral program, where users could earn rewards for referring friends to join the NOAH community. This helped us quickly build a waitlist of over 400,000 users and provided a strong foundation for future growth.
We started implementing an ambassador model to amplify our reach further, leveraging local influencers to spread the word about NOAH in their communities. Our aim is to broaden the scope of this program, directing our efforts toward burgeoning markets where we see a wealth of untapped growth opportunities.
In addition, we have launched our NOAH Rewards system, which incentivizes users to earn points by referring friends and family to the app. NOAH Points can be redeemed for bitcoin, creating a viral effect and encouraging users to spread the word about our app. We aim to create a self-sustaining growth cycle powered by user referrals and word of mouth.
Finally, we have also been actively participating in conferences and events to promote NOAH and build relationships with key stakeholders in the industry. Combining our referral marketing, influencer partnerships, and industry engagement will help us get NOAH into as many hands as possible.
You’re integrating a dollar checking account into NOAH – how and why are you doing this?
The concept of a dollar checking account is actually a stablecoin account because stablecoins are pegged to the dollar — they do the same job. We plan to focus on bitcoin and stablecoins because the dollar is crucial in emerging markets, as it gives people a non-volatile, globally strong currency to hold their money. However, access to dollars isn’t always easy in these countries. For example, in Nigeria, there is a limit to how many dollars you can hold. But with NOAH, because dollars are held in stablecoins on crypto rails, there is no limit to how much you can hold.
In the short term, we anticipate a higher adoption rate for our global dollar (backed by stablecoin) checking account than for our bitcoin account due to its well-established reputation and stability. However, it is essential to note that over time, as the use and stability of bitcoin increase, we expect to see a shift in the preference towards it. While bitcoin may seem highly volatile in Western markets, it may still provide more stability compared to local currencies in other parts of the world. For instance, the local currency in Ghana experienced a significant decline against the dollar, falling by 70% last year. Currency transitions happen gradually, then suddenly, and we expect the same trajectory for bitcoin. In the meantime, we’re going to make that transition as smooth as possible because we believe bitcoin is the best currency on the planet.
How do you think the adoption of Bitcoin will evolve in the next ten years?
As a constantly evolving technology, it is no surprise that Bitcoin is surrounded by excitement and skepticism. Despite its current limitations, it is essential to consider the potential impact it can have on the financial landscape.
One of the primary concerns with Bitcoin is its volatility, which results from its relatively small market size compared to traditional foreign exchange markets. However, as its market share grows, network effects will likely stabilize its value, making it a more attractive option for financial transactions. In other words, as more people adopt and use Bitcoin, its value will become increasingly robust.
So, what does the future of finance look like with bitcoin at the forefront? No one knows for sure, but one thing is certain: as the technology continues to evolve, so too will the opportunities and challenges it presents. We have this top of mind at all times and use it as our guiding light to build the best money app on the planet.