Sam Abbassi is the founder and CEO of Hoseki. In this interview, we discuss the growing demand for proof of reserves. Whilst the use case for businesses is clear, there is also an increasing retail need: it enables individuals to use Bitcoin as collateral, but also validates financial credentials. It is another means for assimilating Bitcoin into the fiat-dominated world.
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The hodl mantra has been a vital behaviour within the Bitcoin community. It was emblematic of the transition from the current credit-based paradigm into a low-time preference mindset that reasserts storing of value. It has also been technically important in supporting the price. However, up until recently, hodling was akin to storing gold in a box or cash under a mattress. It was inward-looking.
As Bitcoin matures and its volatility declines, the value that can be ascribed to an individual by their Bitcoin holding becomes more important and useful. For a growing cohort, Bitcoin’s utility requires an outward engagement with the fiat world.
As society increasingly seeks to store value in Bitcoin, it is increasingly going to become some people’s main source of wealth. Therefore, reintegrating Bitcoin’s store of value into the arena of working capital is becoming more acceptable; there are growing opportunities to use that Bitcoin to access working capital for things such as mortgages and other loans requiring collateral.
Bitcoin can also be used to support residency applications and other activities requiring validation of financial security. It is likely that the purposes for which we need to provide proof of our Bitcoin holdings is going to increase. However, without proof of property Bitcoin has no utility beyond its resale value. How does one prove to a third party proof of property in a still nascent digital asset?
This is where Hoseki comes in. They are seeking to provide a much-needed service in the market to produce independent and trustworthy proof of Bitcoin reserves, opening up Bitcoin’s value. Being developed by Bitcoiners means that the basic principles of privacy and security are top of mind in terms of their product development. It also means they are in lockstep with the Bitcoin philosophy.