SORA Card AMA #2

On Thursday 17th of August, an AMA with Dr Makoto Takemiya, Beno Van Gansen and the SORA community was held on Telegram to answer questions about SORA Card

Thu, Aug 17, 2023

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Hello, Dear community! Welcome to the SORA Card Launch AMA! We are joined by Beno and Makoto Takemiya. First, we will answer the pre-submitted questions and then will have a short live Q&A.

Beno: Hi everyone :-) Thank you for all your questions! We will try to answer most of them today.

Makoto: Hello everybody. I am happy to answer all your questions ^_^

Let’s start by getting to know you: Can you introduce yourselves to the old and the new community?

Beno: I am Beno, director of SORA Biome, delivering SORA Card to the world. I have a background in Law and Technology services. I bought my first BTC in 2014 and have been rather a passive investor until I heard and read about SORA in the summer of 2020. For the first time I felt the real drive to contribute actively to a blockchain/crypto related project. I started my journey as a SORA ambassador and translator for the SORA applications, all the way to releasing SORA Card sign ups last week. We are just getting started really, I am very excited about the road ahead of us.Beno

Makoto: I am Makoto Takemiya, the CEO and co-founder of a blockchain company called SORAMITSU. I have been active in the blockchain space since 2013. I also had the honor of attending one of the early Polkadot events in 2017 and have been a big proponent of the Polkadot ecosystem and Polkaswap. My company also works with numerous central banks on their central bank digital currency systems and we are a major contributor to Hyperledger Iroha.

1. Will projects funded by the Polkadot & Kusama Treasuries have the option to manage their $DOT and $KSM via SORA card for Businesses and ADAR?

Beno: ADAR and SORA Card bring excellent solutions to help treasury and payments management for businesses, including Polkadot and Kusama treasury grant beneficiaries. We look forward to demoing this to teams once SORA Card business accounts are enabled, the Polkadot parachain is secured, and more tokens are enabled on ADAR.

Makoto: I think SORA Card will revolutionize the way businesses, especially multinational businesses like SORAMITSU, manage their treasury and perform cross-border payments. Once this is linked to ADAR, payroll management between crypto and IBANs can become seamless.

2. Will there be a referral program to earn money by referring your friends to sign up for a SORA card?

Beno: Absolutely! We expect this to launch with virtual cards and the crypto-to-fiat exchange. Word of mouth and referrals are the best way to grow our user base.

3. Will the utility of XOR increase with the implementation of the SORA Card? If yes, what are the reasons?

Beno: At launch, users who want to buy or sell crypto need XOR to exchange for EUR or vice versa. Next, SORA Card integrated Polkaswap, where you need XOR for every transaction. Furthermore, users need a minimum of €100 worth of XOR on their account to apply for a free card. SORA Card will generally attract new users to all applications and strengthen the SORA brand.

Makoto: SORA Card greatly increases the utility of XOR and is an important step along our plan to creating a new world economic order.

4. How does the implementation of SORA Card affect the Sora Ecosystem? What benefits does the implementation of SORA Card bring into the SORA Ecosystem? Will it accelerate/attract the deployment of new / 3rd party DeFi projects?

Beno: SORA Card will allow users to manage all their assets in one place. Your crypto and traditional finances can be managed in one app, and users do not need to exit liquidity from the SORA ecosystem. Furthermore, it will attract liquidity and transactions from people who want to off-ramp their funds from other chains to their SORA Card account. The user will have his crypto in self-ownership until the last step of exchanging crypto for euro. Vice versa, the SORA Card user has his crypto in full ownership as soon he purchases the assets with euro through the application. SORA Card offers more than just another crypto card to spend your crypto assets. It allows you to manage all your assets in one place and buy/sell/trade/earn without leaving the apps you are in - currently, and SORA Wallet, soon Fearless Wallet and more to come.

Makoto: SORA Card integration into Polkaswap is particularly exciting. It really breaks down the barriers between DeFi and CeFi and makes the experience even better than centralized exchanges, since you get the beauty and freedom of Polkaswap with the fiat transfer and exchange capabilities that traditionally only centralized exchanges had (and that Binance doesn’t even have now). And you get all this without giving up control of your tokens to others, so you can keep your wallet safe and not have to worry about the CEX stealing your money or failing, like Mt GOX or FTX or any other the other countless examples.

5. Can citizens of unsupported countries residing in the supported country apply for Sora Card? ex/ UAE citizen residing in Belgium

Beno: In general: Yes. The final decision is at the discretion of the bank. There is no final black-and-white list of which situations are allowed and which ones are not.

6. Why aren’t crypto-friendly countries like the UAE and Thailand not supported for registration? How can my future Thai wife whom I will get in the next bull market use SORA Card?

Beno: Thailand residents will be supported to apply shortly. Certain countries are being discussed, and we aim to enable it for residents of the UAE (no promises).

7. Can you tell us if the team has had obstacles or limitations in developing SORA CARD? If so, how have you been able to face them and continue developing to fulfil the mission/vision of your RoadMap?

Beno: Like with any innovative multi-partner project, we did face challenges and obstacles. The biggest challenge has probably been expectations and workflow management between the different contributors.

Guaranteeing our vision and values are understood by every contributor along every part of the process and solution, is also a continuors part of the process.

On top of this, we are bringing a new solution to the decentralized crypto world with very active engaged communities who want to know everything instantly, while working with highly regulated partners who apply strict protocols.

Makoto: Anything meaningful and worth doing is going to take a lot of effort and there will always be many obstacles to overcome. However, keeping your eye on the goal and the end destination will guide you through the difficulties you encounter. If you keep working towards realizing your vision, then you will succeed in the end. With SORA Card, we are pushing against the increasing global trends towards centralization and control and instead are trying to empower people who value freedom, by giving them the maximum control over their own assets. Property rights are basic human rights and giving people the ability to manage their assets, whether they be in the traditional banking system or in DeFi, is the most ethical and right thing we can do. And so we press on, and continue working towards our dream of creating a new world economic system that empowers humanity, no matter what the challenges are.

8. When are SORA fees charged? Is it only when you transfer or swap to XOR to your associated crypto account and not when using the card?

Beno: The card and IBAN fees charged are the most significant part for the banking partner. SORA fees were kept low and are existing to grow a self-sustainable business and product over time and generate revenue that goes back to the SORA community. As mentioned, Other SORA fees come from the crypto exchange <> fiat. Trading and network fees for crypto <> crypto exchanges are entirely untouched as they currently are for Polkaswap and the SORA Network.

9. What will happen to XOR exchanged for EUR, and who will hold that XOR? If someone keeps selling XOR to EUR, will the price of XOR decline? Why can’t XOR be exchanged for EUR in the first place?

Beno: This is an excellent question, what happens in the background: XOR is sent to the liquidity wallet on an integrated custodial exchange, consequently their EUR account will update your SORA IBAN balance. The XOR is held by the custodial exchange. Multiple people need to dump XOR to EUR to dump the price since daily limits are applied per account. We enabled XOR <> EUR trading by creating a trading pair on the custodial exchange. This whole flow will be automated so your self-custodial SORA wallet and IBAN balance will be updated within seconds.

10. Wen Japan?

Beno: We enabled the applications for people around the world earlier this week. We are working on adding more countries to enable more people to apply. Please remember that the banking partner always has the last word, and enabled countries do not guarantee approval of individual applications.

Makoto: I have one friend in Japan who already succeeded in being accepted, so feel free to apply if you are in Japan and want a SORA Card.

11. Wen card delivery? Is there any ETA?

Beno: As soon as we are ready. This is a priority to us as well. The virtual and physical card will likely be shipped together with the in-app crypto <> euro exchange. We can not give timelines at the moment. We will communicate it as soon as we have clarity.

Please note, due to strict protocol at our highly regulated partners, we can not freely communitate everything until every last person and instance has given their green light.

12. Can we cash our crypto straight to our bank account through the SORA card?

Beno: You can cash out crypto to your SORA IBAN and from there, spend it with SORA Card or send it to any other IBAN.

13. What bank judges the KYC validity, and how do they store/protect our personally-identifying info?

Beno: The banking partner is Unlimit. They are regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus so they follow the same standards as other European banks. This also means all your assets are shared across OECD, so you cannot hide from taxes. But the bank doesn’t know your crypto account directly and they don’t understand what SORA is. This is completely separated.

14. When we apply with our wallet connected, can the SORA address be changed later, or is the KYC done consistently with the connected account?

Beno: Yes, the login to your SORA Card account differs from your crypto account's.

15. In case of non-delivery, do you have a plan for your customers to reorder the card for an extra charge?

Beno: We added the option to order a replacement card. If you order this one, the initial card will be cancelled, and the new one of the same type is ordered.

16. What CEX will be used for $XOR to Euro conversions?

Beno: This is not public information yet.

17. Does this mean a whole new CEX listing is coming for XOR? What about hiring a market maker?

Beno: A new listing is coming, but this liquidity will not be publicly traded. We also do not need a market maker. The custodial exchange will do this.

18. Where is the liquidity going to come from?

Beno: This will be requested to the SORA Community, just like it happened for previous listings.

19. Will you share data on the number of signs up?

Beno: Maybe later, once we achieve certain milestones, but not every week.

20. Is there a restriction between the delivery address and the origin of documents used for KYC? E.g. using documents from the UK, but delivering the card in Dubai.

Beno: In the upcoming app, entering an address to deliver the card which is different from the KYC documents will be possible.

21. What crypto can I hold on to, just XOR and EUR? Or any tokens?

Beno: On you can hold all listed tokens and swap to XOR to exchange for EUR. The same goes for SORA Wallet and Fearless Wallet, which have the Polkaswap DEX enabled in-app.

Your debit card is linked to an IBAN generated after completing the application. You do not directly spend crypto. You only spend euro for now. You can use this IBAN with XOR or fiat via SEPA or credit/debit card.

Other cryptos to top up your IBAN or to buy directly with euro will be enabled in the future. We are building SORA Card for the multi-chain multi-currency future and want to enable you financial freedom.

Makoto: SORA Card is built around the concept to value freedom. So of course it is natural that people get to hold any tokens they want.

We will now open the floor for community questions! Use the #SORACARDAMA tag to submit your questions. Our guests will pick and answer five questions.

I heard there would also be an option to have SORA Card for Kids, is this planned in the short term, or is there development involved?

In the future, family accounts will be enabled. You can have multiple people with an individual card connected to a single IBAN. This way, you can have a card for the parent and a card for the kid accessing the same funds. The parent can set individual limits on the kid's card.

What will happen with the revenue stream of the SORA card?

A significant part will always go back to the SORA community. The rest will be used to grow SORA Card: more features, more users, more business and growth, which of course again benefits the SORA community.

Will both Swift and SEPA transfers be enabled?

SEPA and SEPA direct will be enabled for in-and-outgoing payments. Swift will be enabled for incoming payments only.

Will the SORA card be available on Apple and Google Pay?


Thank you very much for submitting your interesting questions, and special thanks to Beno and Makoto for answering! We look forward to seeing you in another AMA! To our guests, do you have anything to tell the community before we wrap up?

Beno: For SORA Card specific questions, we invite everyone to join

Makoto: Thanks to everyone who participated in asking questions. I thought the contents of this AMA were very interesting and I hope everyone who joined found it informative. Now let’s get back to work!

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