PayPal Alums Launch Decentralized Payment Network that Connects Fiat and Digital Currencies

Peer-to-peer system leverages blockchain technology to quicken transfers using stablecoins

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Six Clovers co-founder Jim Nguyen

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key takeaways

  • New firm Six Clovers seeks to enable organizations to instantly move and transact digital currencies.
  • More companies to use blockchain technology for more than just buying and selling digital assets, CEO says.

Two former PayPal leaders have launched the first international payment network that uses regulated stablecoins to power global transfers between banks, merchants and payment providers.

Six Clovers, founded by Jim Nguyen and Nas Kavian, connects fiat and digital currencies built on the Algorand blockchain. It allows organizations to integrate and enable instant payments using digital currencies across borders.

The new company looks to offer an alternative to the widely used SWIFT protocol, which the firm said relies on transfers between several intermediaries that can take a few days. 

“A lot of the infrastructure that we are using today was built during the 1970s and ’80s…and for a lot of folks who are maybe born in that generation, it’s OK,” Nguyen, the firm’s CEO, told Blockworks. “But the internet native folks are now in the workforce and they’re like, I get my email in real-time, I can refresh my webpage in real-time, why does my money have to take a couple days to get there?”

Six Clovers’ RAPID decentralized network uses stablecoins such as USDC to represent fiat on-chain, and enables immediate transfers between a sender and receiver. The network can support about 46,000 transactions per second and can confirm a transaction’s completion in a few seconds.

Six Clovers is backed by lead investor Borderless Capital, as well as BCW Group, a fintech-focused strategy consulting firm, and Argentina bank Grupo Supervielle.

“Fueling cross-border transactions with regulated stablecoins to represent fiat on-chain has never been done before,” David Garcia, CEO and Managing Partner at Borderless Capital, said in a statement, “and is going to unleash a wave of mass blockchain adoption across banks, merchants and payment providers as they see the need to embrace the digital future.” 

Modernizing payments on the chain

Nguyen and Kavian in 2009 co-founded RubyCoins, which PayPal, an online payment system used as an alternative to checks and money orders, later acquired in 2011. 

Nguyen worked for about five years at PayPal as head of digital business development before joining crypto exchange OKcoin. Kavian was a software architect and a lead product manager during his seven-year stint with the company before spending a year as head of engineering at a cannabis retail platform called Greenbits, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is Six Clovers’ chief technology officer.

The two reunited to solve the problem of slow payments, Nguyen said. The recent confluence of blockchain technology and stablecoins, as well as the increasing awareness of these innovations, offered a chance to build a new payment system, he added.

Six Clovers’ key differentiation from other payment stacks like PayPal, Visa and Mastercard is that it exists on a blockchain. While people can send cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin or ether, the new firm allows for capabilities such as refunds, which Nguyen said was not available on the blockchain.

“Sending is not enough,” the co-founder said. For a merchant or an enterprise to use it, you have to have send, receive, web hooks and all these other capabilities that’s required in a payment stack. …We really tore down and really rebuilt payments from scratch, and really adapted for the blockchain.”

The use of stablecoins solves the problem of sending a cryptocurrency with a fluctuating value, Nguyen added.

While the early days of cryptocurrency have been about buying and selling digital assets, the CEO said he expects the next phase in the space will nbe using blockchain technology itself to improve existing businesses and build new ones.

“We’re probably one of the first to really use blockchain as a pure technology and not [just for] trading tokens,” he said. “I think that you’re going to see a lot more enterprises and companies using blockchain as a technology moving forward.”

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