Decentralized Futures - Project Moby

Hello Polkadot friends,

My name is James and I am currently building a mobile wallet for first-time stablecoin users to seamlessly transact USDT/USDC on Polkadot AssetHub.

Project Overview

Project-Moby is a “self-custody stablecoin mobile wallet without friction” designed for anyone to start using USDT/USDC without needing to own additional cryptos or understand the need for another native token to cover transaction fees. Project-Moby will also serve as a platform to onboard first-time stablecoin users straight into the Polkadot ecosystem by slowly introducing various use cases built on Polkadot via seamless integration.

My Background

I graduated with a BFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. During school, I enjoyed combining different technologies to explore the possibilities of creating new solutions to enhance existing customer experiences. For example, I worked on a project that scraped the Whitney Museum of American Art’s entire collection to create an immersive digital museum visiting experience for people who weren’t able to physically visit the Whitney (digiMuseum 🖼️ | James Shih).

After college, I worked as a smart contract and full-stack engineer at several startups in New York, building an early version of a multi-sig wallet to hold and transact ERC-20 tokens, blockchain activity analytic tools, and crypto taxation tools for internal use. Later, I joined my family’s fund during the pandemic as a research analyst, primarily evaluating secondary equities investments in semiconductor, FinTech, and AdTech, and keeping in touch with other family funds.

Problem

An interesting fact that I noticed during my conversations with other family funds in Southeast Asia is that some families also run businesses remotely in Southeast Asia. The family may be based in Singapore or Taiwan, but the businesses are based in Vietnam and Indonesia. Some employees were interested in receiving payments in stablecoins, and business owners had been sending USDT via Binance Smart Chain to their employees. Both the business owners and their employees complained about the need to have BNB tokens in their wallets just to transact their USDT and were looking for a self-custody solution that could transact USDT/USDC seamlessly.

Solution

I believe this is where Project-Moby, built on top of Polkadot, could be useful, as “paying transaction fees with sufficient tokens” is built into Polkadot Asset Hub, allowing anyone to transact USDC and USDT without needing to own additional cryptos or understand the need for another native token to cover transaction fees. Although Account Abstraction on Ethereum could achieve the same thing, most Account Abstraction paymaster setups that let you pay transaction fees with custom tokens are centralized. Some are moving towards or have already claimed to be decentralized, but rely heavily on running a separate consensus that is not or loosely tied with Ethereum mainnet itself. By utilizing Polkadot, we can create a truly self-custody stablecoin mobile wallet without friction for anyone to transact stablecoins with ease while ensuring the fundamental infrastructure is decentralized and secured.

I am interested in applying for the Decentralized Futures Grant to bring this project to reality.
Regarding the current state of Project-Moby, I am currently building it using the new PAPI (Polkadot-API) library. It is changing rapidly as PAPI is aiming to officially release in Q2 2024. Hopefully, we can get our first release of Project-Moby in Q3 2024.

6 Likes

This is a great use case for AssetHub, which doesn’t seem to have had much attention since launch followed by the great decentralization. The ability to send money cross-border with low fees WITHOUT the need for another gas token is a pretty amazing real world use case. Especially with the robustness of Polkadot’s network compared to other more centralized chains. I believe this needs to be paired with a stellar simple mobile UX, and with that it could be a shining example of what Polkadot can enable.

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This is a great use case for AssetHub. This would need to have a very simple mobile UX/UI.

This is perfect, it removes a lot of the friction.

Agree, this would be great to have and would showcase some advantages of what’s possible on Polkadot.

I wholeheartedly support this initiative. First and foremost because this is going to solve a real-life problem in a way that AFAIK can only be done on Polkadot.

The second reason is that I really think that @jameshih is fully capable of delivering. He started using Polkadot-API on his own, without any help, at a moment when the library didn’t have any docs, just by looking at the examples and experiments folders of the mono-repo. After he had been trying the library for a while he reached out to us, and since then we have stablished a nice symbiotic relationship: he provides great feedback, while we help him use Polkadot-API despite its rapidly changing status.

What I’m trying to say is that IMHO @jameshih is not only trying to solve a real-life problem, he is also trying to solve it in the best possible way, while at the same time helping improve the Polkadot ecosystem with his feedback and proactive attitude.

1 Like