Key features of SORA Card
SORA Card differentiates itself from other crypto cards and wallets by being a unique self-custodial crypto wallet with a DEX in the same app as your IBAN and debit card, while ensuring the highest privacy and security standards. SORA Card is specifically designed for the interoperable future by bridging multiple EVM based ecosystems and Polkadot’s Substrate networks into one solution. All of this will be made possible while it has the standard features you can expect from a debit card and banking wallet.
Now, what does all of this mean?
What is a self-custodial wallet?
SORA Card integrates with the self-custodial SORA Wallet and will later integrate with Fearless Wallet, the DeFI wallet for the Dotsama ecosystem. Other crypto cards like crypto.com and Binance Card are connected to custodial wallets.
In a self-custodial solution, the customer retains full custody (possession) of their cryptoassets at all times. The wallet (SORA or Fearless Wallet) is merely an interface to conveniently manage your assets, and it connects directly to the blockchain without intermediaries. In the custodial solution, you trust the possession of your assets to the wallet provider and cannot transact directly on the blockchain.
How do I know if I’m using a self-custodial wallet?
All self-custodial crypto wallets enable you—and only you—to possess the private key associated with your public address. This private key takes the form of either a file or a “mnemonic phrase” consisting of 12-24 randomly generated words. If your wallet does not have this option, it is a custodial wallet and you are not in full control of your crypto assets!
What is a DEX?
Decentralized exchanges, also known as DEXs, are peer-to-peer marketplaces where cryptocurrency traders make transactions directly on-chain without handing over management of their funds to an intermediary or custodian. Polkaswap.io is a great example of a well-designed and efficient DEX. Executing transactions directly with a blockchain makes DEXs the ultimate solution for financial freedom and privacy. These transactions are facilitated through the use of self-executing agreements written in code called smart contracts.
Because DEXs allow users to trade directly from their wallets by interacting with the blockchain, users must guard their funds and are responsible for losing them if they make mistakes such as losing their private keys or sending funds to the wrong addresses.
On the other hand, centralized exchanges (CEXs) are managed by a centralized organization such as a bank or exchange (e.g. Binance), that are involved in financial services looking to make a profit, and they can also become insolvent and lose all customer funds. High regulation of centralized exchanges often makes them harder to onboard, as many questions and personal information must be acquired before users can trade.
SORA Card strives to offer the ease-of-use and self-custodial empowerment that users of Polkaswap and the SORA network expect, with links to the global financial system that traditionally was the purview of centralized exchanges.
How does SORA Card ensure the highest privacy and security standards?
On a DEX or self-custodial wallet, users can immediately access their crypto balances after connecting with their private key. They will not be required to submit any personal information like names and addresses. This is great for individuals who value their privacy and personal sovereignty over their own assets.
When registering an IBAN account, KYC is required because this is linked to the TradFi world. To safeguard your privacy as much as possible even when setting up an IBAN, the integrated KYC happens directly at the IBAN provider and none of your personal data is ever stored on the SORA network, or the SORA Wallet. Furthermore, the IBAN provider does not have insight into the transactions of your crypto wallet. In this way, your crypto wallet remains self-custodial, anonymous, and decentralized, while your fiat wallet abides by regulations and gives you access to the TradFi global financial system.
For transactions converting between EUR and XOR, a regulated centralized exchange is used, so your funds will be moved for 6-8 seconds to this integrated CEX before your IBAN or decentralized crypto account balance is updated.
Having fiat-to-crypto payments on centralized exchanges has its advantages. However, users are still faced with the challenge of owning their private keys. Once a user buys crypto on a centralized exchange, they own the crypto but technically do not have it under their control. In case the centralized exchange is hacked or goes bankrupt, the users could lose their assets. Consequently, many crypto users are switching to non-custodial exchanges and wallets to have more control over their assets. However, joining the DeFi (decentralized finance) ecosystem is a challenge as most platforms only accept cryptocurrency deposits. This creates a barrier for users who only have fiat money, effectively preventing them from joining the DeFi ecosystem.
On Polkaswap, the solution until now was a fiat on-off ramp via MoonPay, which requires you to buy ETH at significant conversion fees, bridge the ETH from your Ethereum wallet (like MetaMask) to your SORA account, and pay the bridge fees on the Ethereum network, before it is accessible in your SORA Wallet. As you can tell, this leads to a suboptimal user experience. Regulation does not allow for fiat currencies (EUR, USD, etc.) to be directly available on decentralized exchanges, but the SORA Card approach of having a clear segregation between TradFi and DeFi wallets allows users to get the best of both the TradFi and DeFi worlds.
Another distinct privacy feature of the SORA Card is the way that transaction data is made available - or rather unavailable to third parties. By default, a SORA Card user's transaction data is only available to the IBAN issuer and Mastercard®. This data is not available to third parties like other banks nor to the public, allowing for discrete spending behavior.
Designed for the interoperable future
A final distinctive feature of SORA Card is that it brings multiple ecosystems and economies together, and allows you to transact between them in one application. It has always been Polkaswap’s intention to be the Decentralized Exchange for the interoperable future. As well as connecting all Substrate networks to the Ethereum network and other EVM compatible networks, like Binance Smart Chain, Energy Web Chain, OKC network, and Klaytn, the SORA Card will soon bridge the gap between these crypto currency economies and fiat currency economies. Adding a Bitcoin bridge, as well as other bridges in the future such as the ones connecting the SORA Kusama and upcoming SORA Polkadot parachains, the SORA community envisions all your assets in one place, realised in a decentralized and self-custodial fashion, which is acceptable within regulatory frameworks. Next to bridging crypto economies and fiat currency economies, we are also working hard to bridge multiple fiat currency economies.
You can expect the EUR-based debit card service soon, followed by a GBP and USD debit card implementation. Furthermore, another +20 local currencies will be available within the wallet in the upcoming months. This will allow for an optimal user experience for non-EU/non-US/non-UK residents to bridge their local finances to the crypto/EUR/USD/GBP economies.
All the banking features you can expect
On top of the unique features mentioned before, SORA Card has all the features one has come to expect from a banking wallet and debit card. To name a few:
- Domestic and international cash withdrawal
- Payments at +90 million merchants globally
- SEPA transfers
- SWIFT transactions
- Apple Pay & Google Pay compatibility
- Card top-up with your own and 3rd party debit/credit card
- Online payments
- Foreign Exchange
- And more.
For more information, visit soracard.com.
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