Despite uncertainty and panic from crypto investors as the market reaches downturns not seen since July 2021, financial giants and VCs continue to make convicted bets in the best companies within the space. Crypto startup Pebble was one of the big winners as it allured investors with the promise of a crypto-based financial platform designed for daily use.
The launch of the platform comes after Pebble raised $6.2 million in seed funding from investors like Y Combinator, Lightshed Ventures, Soma Capital, Eniac Ventures, Global Founders Capital, LD Capital, Cadenza Capital, East Ventures, Odell Beckham Jr., Matthew Bellamy, and more. Some of these investors have helped companies like Coinbase, Opensea, and Compound get off the ground.
Most cryptocurrency financial platforms out there are known for acting as a wallet and/or exchange, with a few exceptions being designed for very specific use cases. Pebble promises to be a platform that consumers and merchants can use to pay, receive, and send money in an effective way. While using crypto, Pebble allows for extremely fast transactions that make it actually usable in a commercial manner.
Pebble seeks to differentiate itself by bringing additional financial offers to its users. Higher APY reward rates, cashback offers, off-chain crypto lending, debit card issuing, payroll connections, and point rewards are only some of such offers. In addition to these, Pebble won’t be charging its users any fees for its services.
If the catalog of features and services offered by Pebble makes it look more like a bank than a traditional crypto platform, it is because that’s part of the startup’s idea. Pebble’s announcement states their intention to “begin The Money Revolution” by replacing “the outdated system that holds us back”.
The announcement included that Pebble’s platform will only be involving USDC (a fully asset-backed stablecoin with the majority of its assets managed by BlackRock), and it is clear that this technology will play a central role. This is especially true when it comes to incentivizing merchants, customers, and partners alike while offering a service that can be used in everyday life. Despite all user funds and rewards being in USDC on the back, they are interacted with just as fiat dollars and can be used instantly to pay for bills, goods, and services.
Pebble’s approach could be the push that cryptocurrency needs to go mainstream and reach mass adoption. Until now, crypto has been seen as a means of investment more than a genuine financial alternative to traditional financial institutions. While exchanges and crypto startups have raced to offer crypto debit cards, they have failed to offer a comprehensive suite of services to truly be considered an option by the average user
Pebble promises that the launch of its platform is just the “just the first pebble dropped in the pond” as it plans not only to start servicing new locations around the world in the future but also to expand its offering of features. One of these key offerings to look out for may be its “loyalty points” called Pebbles. Although the company has not announced the use cases of Pebbles, users are told that “it pays to be early” and they can earn these points for participating in the Pebble ecosystem. Based on other material the company has released, these Pebbles likely fall into their vision of a massively adopted blockchain economy.
With the crypto space getting ready for another bull run once the funding of the previous quarter gives fruit, it is sensible to wonder if Pebble could become the go-to financial platform for crypto users in the near future.