We had an opportunity to interview Tarusha Mittal, COO & Co Founder, OroPocket, and know about her vision and her company’s journey so far.
OroPocket is a universal investment platform on blockchain. Let’s dive into the interview question and answers we had with Tarusha Mittal, COO & Co Founder, OroPocket.
Please tell us about yourself and your journey in the crypto industry so far?
I have been working in the tech field for more than a decade now. The entrepreneurial bug bit me very early on and I’ve co-founded multiple tech ventures like Cloudrino, which is a cloud management and infra platform and Soul Machine Innovations, an artificial intelligence-driven customer and brand managing software. I have been working in the blockchain and crypto space for five years, since 2012. I was a part of ethx.co's founding team, which has now been rebranded as OroPocket. Further, OroPocket expanded to include Open DeFi, a decentralized finance protocol, and UniFarm, a unique group staking protocol, in its ecosystem.
OroPocket is a 100% asset banking on blockchain where I take care of Operations and Design. The idea behind OroPocket was a sheer wish to help more people invest without having their capital gains being impacted by inflation. At OroPocket, we aim to provide financial freedom to our users vis-a-vis their own money and facilitate their wealth augmentation through our offerings.
What is OroPocket?
Oropocket is a fintech platform that tokenizes real-world assets like gold, silver, and other precious metals and enables users to invest in them - as a safe hedge against inflation and for their day-to-day transactions via UPI and asset-backed cards. We have also launched our Aut-Invest Platform recently where users can invest in digital Gold and Silver in the form of Systematic Investment Plans (SIP) with a capital as low as INR 100/day and one tap liquidation via UPI. Founded in 2017, OroPocket runs on Tezos, Polygon and Etherium blockchain, and the tokenized assets, XTZGold and XTZSilver, are backed by physical gold and silver in a 1:1 ratio.
Additionally, our ecosystem includes Open DeFi, a decentralized finance protocol that tokenizes real-world assets and UniFarm, a unique group staking protocol that allows users to stake their tokens into a liquidity pool and get rewarded in all tokens present in the said pool.
When we already have various crypto assets to invest in, what is the point of tokenizing Gold and Silver?
Precious metals have been the key to assure financial security since the earliest times. Be it the old kingdoms that amassed gold to be the superpower or the present financial institutions focusing on increasing the gold reserve to balance liquidity, all know the power of precious metals like gold. Silver is reputable for its ornamental usage. As a rare and valuable precious metal, millennials use silver as money alongside gold for its intrinsic worth. Amidst a global pandemic and looming threats of a worse financial crisis lying ahead, Gold and Silver can be the right assets to tokenize as an alternative to volatile stocks.
Tokenization provides the facility to transgress the traditional limits of the precious metal market. The blockchain market is beginning to tokenize gold and silver due to its traditional value and high global market. Tokenizing Gold and Silver enables the investors that are sceptical of the quality, to acquire exposure to Gold and Silver in the form of digital units. When Gold and Silver is tokenized, it is considered as a token, a digital certificate of legal ownership. It can be instantly processed and transferred.
While the trust of precious metals as a safe hedge against inflation is combined with blockchain security, digital Gold and Silver are efficient solutions to invest in.
How different is it to invest in gold and silver in the traditional market, then through OroPocket?
Gold and silver are the investment favourites of the traditional market. But despite having the potential to neutralize the effects of high-risk investments like mutual funds and stocks, it comes with some challenges. Purchasing physical forms of Gold and Silver (in the form of coins and bars) is limited to its storage, maintenance and safety concerns. Again, in the case of jewellery, it comes with the making and wastage charges besides storage ones. As far as the precious metal ETFs are concerned, it needs a thorough understanding of the market and a trading Demat account to start investing.
We overcome all these challenges and allow the investors to buy and sell gold and silver without any hassles. OroPocket offers the virtual way of investing in gold and silver without worrying about the storage charges and gold quality. We further allow a person to invest as minimum as 0.01 USD and hold a fraction of virtual gold, which is not possible in physical gold, which is sold in grams or karat. The added advantage here is that users can independently track and verify their holdings, which removes the need for the tedious procedure of consulting a notary.
With our Open DeFi platform as well, we provide decentralized financial services and enable users to enter the defi ecosystem with their tokenized gold, silver, and other precious metals.
Additionally, with our Auto-Invest Launch, we would be providing our users with an option of slowly and steadily growing their wealth by starting with as low as INR 100/day. We also offer one tap liquidation via UPI which implies no lock-in period, therefore, this is a suitable option for investors looking to expand in the digital investment space.
Where is the physical Gold or Silver stored in which I am investing?
The Gold or Silver that users invest in is tokenized in the form of a digital token on the blockchain. The tokenized assets – "XTZGold'' and "XTZSilver'' – are supported by actual gold and silver assets in a 1:1 ratio. This is audited daily by third parties and stored in insured vaults in the UK, Switzerland, and Singapore on consumers' behalf. The users can capitalize as little as 0.01 USD to hold XTZGold or XTZSilver. All of the assets are entirely insured by Marsh Ltd., with Galmerly Ltd. as our appointed custodian.
Why did you choose Tezos? Any specific reason?
The use of Tezos blockchain protocol allows all shareholding information to be transparent, accurate, and thorough. One big reason for choosing Tezos is its on-chain governance system that eliminates the likelihood of forking. Forking happens when there is a blockchain split that creates two versions of the digital representation of assets on the network. Tezos network is a self-amending blockchain because of the way it is designed to evolve and update itself.
Another key factor for choosing Tezos is its low transaction fees. The comparatively low transaction fees Tezos charges aligns with our goal of ensuring financial inclusivity without the hefty transaction fees by traditional banks. This helps us offer users to send gold or silver across the globe just with the charge of 0.25% fee on all transactions without any insurance, hidden fees or storage.
Along with the same, Tezos also uses an environmentally friendly proof-of-stake model for producing new blocks and keeping the network protected. The smart contract language of Tezos (Michelson) is built for high-level security and aids in avoiding funds being lost or frozen because of code bugs.
What is the monetization model of your business?
By replacing exchanges and middlemen and utilising Smart Contracts instead, essentially we are able to guarantee Zero Price Slippage regardless of size of trade. We charge a transaction fee of 0.25%.
What demographics, you see as the most potential user for your platform?
The users in the age bracket of 20-55 who are looking for one place or app to diversify their investments are our most potential users.
Mostly, we see millennials who are a little sceptical of banks and are looking to diversify their investment portfolios to include the benefits of both centralized and decentralized platforms.
We are currently present in India, UK and a few countries in the South African subcontinent.
Who do you see as the competitor in the market?
We have witnessed an increased interest in the digital investment sector in India with other traditional fintech players like GlintPay and SafeGold also entering the space, which would make them our contemporaries in the market.
But with our diverse offerings, we aim to provide our users with a holistic investing option in the digital space and are directing efforts towards the same.
What are the future plans of the company?
Oropocket's growth strategy is two-pronged- by adding more asset classes (we are already managing an Assets Under Management of $350k) and adding financial services on top of these asset classes. We aim to expand our services and offerings to enable freedom of choice for our users and more options to create wealth. Auto-Invest by OroPocket is another step towards achieving that by providing low-cost and highly liquid investing options.
Through our Open Defi protocol, we hope to provide users with a one-stop defi platform that fulfils their investment requirements in the digital space. Open DeFi is projected to have $30 million in Assets Under Management (AUM) with a plethora of assets being tokenized and providing the users with various decentralized options to choose from.
Furthermore, with our unique group staking option, UniFarm we aim to launch several new features such as cross-chain farming, liquidity farming, NFT farming, etc, as well as onboard more chain specific farms.
Our goal with OroPocket is to make it a one-stop investing tool that bridges the gap between traditional and digital assets and provides financial freedom to our users. Our aim is to bring inclusivity, accessibility, and decentralization to investors in an efficient and reasonable way which is the primary inspiration behind our products and services.
DECODING MINDS – a brand new series of interviews by Digital Notice to give you an insight into the projects straight from the Founders and the Team. Each article explores the real-world experiences and expertise of our guests to discuss their unique perspective on the project use cases, its challenges, its changes, and its prospects in the fiercely competitive world of Crypto and Blockchain.