It is normally a given that if a new technology takes off folks rush into the room to build everything under the sun, and natural selection kicks in and the truly useful remain. For example, chatbots became cool this past year and we immediately started to see chatbots for climate, film recommendations, private finance, etc.. A few of these are helpful, but until natural language processing improves you're probably better simply doing the task yourself.
However, there are a couple exceptions, with one specifically being chatbots intended for the use of creating a very intricate topic or job approachable to the ordinary person.
Much like cryptocurrencies.
Ben is really a chatbot which enables anyone to become familiar with cryptocurrencies by means of a familiar chat interface.
By talking with "Ben", consumers may do things such as take lessons and find out about cryptocurrency, read the latest industry news, not to mention purchase and sell Bitcoin. By focusing on an underserved market (i.e folks who have no clue what Bitcoin is or how to purchase it) Ben has the unique benefit of not needing to go head to head with recognized crypto titans such as Coinbase or Circle.
The startup is part of Y Combinator’s Winter ’18 batch and previously raised a $580K pre-seed from Third Kind Venture Capital and various angel investors.
After completing a KYC check (which is also done via chat) consumers in 21 states can purchase and sell Bitcoin, together with different states and service for Ethereum, Ripple, and also Bitcoin Cash rolling from the forthcoming months. The startup fees 1% for buys and sells, that will be in line or lesser than many major exchanges.
The program also has a social attribute where you can link with friends to see their returns (only on a percentage basis) to see who's a better investor.
User's cryptocurrency is stored in the cloud but their private keys dwell just on their own private device, which is not as protected as complete cold storage but will not ensure your bitcoin cannot be spent without somebody having access to a phone. Ben also gives new customers a copy seed to write down in case they lose their mobile phone.
However, Ben is not necessarily meant to support an experienced crypto user that has a high-value portfolio and needs advanced features and safety.
Instead, the startup's objective is to produce getting and learning about cryptocurrency available to anybody, particularly those without the technical knowledge or desire to spend the time studying the way the market world. As natural language technology evolves Ben is going to be able to answer a growing number of questions over time, which makes it an ideal on-ramp for men and women who need a little more hand-holding before they open their pocket and trade their (real) benjamins for a string of ones and zeros.