3air weekly AMA, March 1, 2023 - Weekly update and Q&A
AMAs & Spaces

3air weekly AMA, March 1, 2023 - Weekly update and Q&A

Table Of Contents

Sandi Bitenc, CEO of 3air Joins the AMA:
Updates about the roadmap:
How do you come up with ideas, Sandi?
3air update:
How about the funding for this additional step, how much additional funding is necessary?
Is 3air on track to launch the platform in Q1 and onboard the existing customers in Sierra Leone?
How will this funding work in combination with 3air tokens?
Market update:
Any news about replacing of BUSD on 3air platform?
Any special plans in Egypt?

This is a transcript from our weekly YouTube live AMA:

SPEAKERS: Anita Mlakar and Sandi Bitenc.

About AMA: On this AMA, we are giving you 3air update and Q&A

AMA Duration: 31:25


Anita Mlakar: 00:23

Hello, everybody, and welcome to 3air’s AMA. Anita Mlakar is my name, and I’m the host of this AMA. I’m sorry for a little delay, we will explain why we had it, in a minute. But I am happy that you are here with us, of course taking the opportunity to ask questions, because this is what AMA is all about. About your questions and your chance to get the answers. Because every time we have also the CEO of 3air with us, Sandi Bitenc, and He will be with us in a couple of seconds.


Let’s do a short introduction of the project. And this time, I promise I will be talking a little slower. Because we seem to have a problem when I’m talking too fast with our connection. And maybe this time it will be different, we will see. My aim is that you understand me and that you understand what the project is all about. So, let’s do this short introduction:


To connect Africa’s cities with a fast and stable internet connection and become the first fully decentralized telecom platform in the world is the goal of 3air. We are actually connecting the unconnected and we are talking about this all the time. Once people have an internet connection, we can of course provide them with digital identities, then we can bank the unbanked and we are giving them a wallet all through blockchain.


The next step is providing financial services. We have Fiat onboarding and off boarding ramp. A peer-to-peer crash crypto onboarding, we have DeFi, and we are working on micro loans and get yield farming. And that is not all. Our outside partners will provide additional digital revenue streams. And once we put people through all those steps, they will be or they are connected, banked and empowered. And there is another goal. Namely all this time, we are educating people because we believe that that is the real empowerment. And of course, plans are getting even bigger.


Let’s introduce and invite our CEO Sandi Bitenc, CEO of 3air to be with us.

Sandi Bitenc, CEO of 3air Joins the AMA:

Anita Mlakar: 02:42

Hello, Sandi.

Sandi Bitenc: 02:44

Hi. Hi, Anita. Hi, everyone.

Anita Mlakar: 02:46

Hello, Sandi. Now let’s explain. I see that you have managed to enter the room?

Sandi Bitenc: 02:52

Yes, I did.

Anita Mlakar: 02:55

What happened?

Sandi Bitenc: 02:56

In the middle of your introduction. So, we were locked out of our room. So, nothing worked. And then they send somebody to repair the door and it didn’t work. Then they sent somebody else. So, we were waiting for a few minutes in front of our hotel room. We’re in Alexandria right now and it’s took us over one hour of driving to drive eight kilometers, like eight and a half kilometers. Yeah, crazy!

Anita Mlakar: 03:42

I can’t believe that. But you are here. We are happy to have you here. Because I was already afraid that you won’t be able to join us. But we said let’s start and let’s see what happens in front of the door. And later on, in the room. So, Sandi, thank you. Thank you for doing that and being with us.

Sandi Bitenc: 04:00

I am without my laptop right now because I was standing outside the laptop is in the room somewhere. So just not switching right now. I wanted to show a bit of what we are working on but I’ll probably just send it later on in the Telegram group.

Anita Mlakar: 04:22

Okay, now this AMA is we’re doing it every two weeks. And this is the opportunity of course for everybody who is with us to ask questions. We also received some questions in our channels, please do be a part of our channels on Telegram, on Twitter and on Discord. We are still there and of course connecting with you. And there were some questions also there but Sandi we do pick a subject every week and we are talking about it. And for some time now we were talking about a new roadmap and you said that today you will be explaining something more about that.

Updates about the roadmap:

Sandi Bitenc: 04:57

Yeah, for sure. So, it is a work in progress. It’s something that we are kind of pulling a bit forward just because we have a setback in DRC, currently. So we are, as I said, already looking at some global opportunities, and we do want to enter the mobile space and just to provide some services to everyone actually. So, in plan, what we have in plan is actually to do a global SIM card that would allow you to have one SIM card and travel wherever you go, and have actually really good rates for the majority, actual local rates. And if not local rates, then at least really good roaming rates. So, this is kind of the idea that we’re starting. But it’s not only about that. So, this is actually called something like a virtual mobile operator. So, we actually want to tokenize that and put it on the blockchain.


In our first white paper actually said that, we’ll be building out our layer one. So, this is actually where the layer one comes into play because once we have the virtual operator up, we can start doing work on tokenization of bandwidth data, kind of, or mobile minutes, and so on. So, this is actually in plan. And there is always a question, when you do start a layer one it is really necessary.


So yeah, what we’re trying to do, for sure, it’s necessary, because just if you think about it, it’s going to be a specialized layer one, you need to have a layer one if you want to tokenize, the actual, the actual bandwidth, you do need to be able to issue tokens and also burn them when they’re used, right? When you when you use your data, and then those tokens need to be burned and that needs to be seamlessly. So, it’s a special operation that should not require gas fees, and so on. We’ve been looking a bit of around and we just didn’t find anything similar.


We are also thinking about how to how to get some value to our existing token holders from that. The economy, we’re still finalizing and working it out but yeah, the idea is to really get the global SIM card, it’ll be an e-sim, and then starting to put everything on the blockchain. And also allowing other projects and communities actually to build something on top of that. So that’s kind of the idea.


The white paper is in the works. We also have some soft commitments for the funding part and once this is finished, I think this can be a big step in what 3air is actually trying to achieve. This doesn’t mean that we’re stopping through here, as what we were doing up until now. It’s just in a different or an additional team has been forming around that idea. Now, it was in my head for a long time. So, since the beginning, actually, so I met a few people that are actually doing something similar, had been doing something similar in the past, but not on the blockchain part and they think it’s a great idea. So, this is why a separate team will be actually doing this. The previous team is still working on what we have been working on until now.

How do you come up with ideas, Sandi?

Anita Mlakar: 09:05

Okay, Sandi and I were just about to ask that how do you come up with such ideas? Where do they grow? And then who do you discuss it with? So, it is actually with the people who have let’s say similar ideas? Or are thinking like you. This is great Sandi, in the meantime, so the team is up and you are doing what you want to do.

Sandi Bitenc: 09:32

Yeah. So how do I come up with ideas? I don’t know I read a lot; I educate myself a lot. I actually like to think new ways of solving some problems and there for sure are some problems with the current system. I can already say for myself, every time I learn something and I fly I have a lot around, right? The first thing that I need to do is, go and buy a SIM card. A local SIM card, because the roaming charges are just crazy. And I need a lot of internet and while traveling, because I’m always also working. So, for me, it’s just impossible to go with roaming.


For instance, when we landed here in Egypt, we were waiting in line for a SIM card for about an hour and that’s just time lost. It’s a lot of hustles. Every time you need to identify yourself, they are taking your personal data, copying your passports and everything. It’s always a privacy risk. It’s always a security risk, you usually give your phone to somebody who installs in the SIM card and just needs to do some configuration or anything like that. Sometimes you don’t, sometimes you do. It’s a hustle. It’s not something that I really like.


I know a few people from the industry, I just don’t understand why we have so high roaming costs, because technically, things should work with normal cost, maybe a bit of additional cost just because somebody will want to take a margin or something like that. So that’s one thing.


The other thing is what I really don’t like is buying packages for mobile and then you buy 100 gigabytes, and then you use 30 and 70 goes to waste, right? Or you have like 1000 minutes that you know you won’t be using. It makes no sense. It’s just where the telcos make the most money but we do have that technology right now to actually charge for what you’re using. The pricing model is really hard not only for the end users, it’s also really hard discover the right price for the telcos and secondary markets can be really good in determining the price, the market will determine the price. And usually, it’s the best option between making a profit for the telcos and also, you know, getting the best service or let’s say the best value service for the end user, it could also take out a bit the problems with the spikes in usage, is every provider actually has a spike of usage at certain peak times in the day. In the other days, they just nobody is usually using internet really hard during the night, right? Or their phones and calling. But they’re limited by their peak times. So, the bandwidth and everything how many people they can serve, it’s actually limited by the peak times. And then during downtime, low times and it’s a waste of resources at that point in time. So secondary markets can also help a bit there.


Also, the other thing is, there’s really high acquisition costs for telcos right now to acquire new users, everyone knows about it. So, it’s more or less like stealing the users from one to the other in a sense. I think we have a really good idea how to how to sort this out, and how to actually get the services branded to every micro community and then micro manage that.


These kind of the things that I know that there are problems and then I just start thinking about them and sometimes I come up with some good ideas, I think.

3air update:

Anita Mlakar: 14:31

Wow, you know what? I was just thinking, like the way I see you, you are a man of solutions, or let’s say solution person. There are so many people just complaining on the things that are not working or they’re not satisfied with and you are the one who goes out says, “This is the problem and I’m gonna find the solution” and I really like that. This is a good way to do it.

Sandi Bitenc: 14:58

Sometimes it’s an idea and it’s sometimes it’s really hard to put into place and to actually do it. Lately, we haven’t been really the best one in execution but unfortunately right now it’s out of our hands. I know there were a lot of questions being asked also, where 3air currently stands and so on and it’s quite hard right now. So when we started out, we actually didn’t get the full raise in so we couldn’t start multiple countries. Also, we weren’t able to really self-fund a whole country. So, we went with another investor and that was for DRC and things are locked in right now there. We just need to get the license and things will start moving again.

Anita Mlakar: 16:02

Sandi, regarding to what you were saying, introducing this idea. There’s a question from Miran. But is this new layer one going to be centralized?

Sandi Bitenc: 16:12

No, it should not be centralized. The idea is to have a decentralized node. There’ll be nodes as validators and everyone can actually become a validator. We are looking into decentralizing. This is also, if you think about it, our internet is in a hand of a few really big companies, like literally in the hands of a few really big companies. Well hopefully, we can get a bit more decentralization in that space and this should also provide some additional safety for everyone involved. Just imagine if those guys kind of come together and just say, “Okay, tomorrow, we’ll shut down the internet.” Of course, then they’re losing their business. So, but it could literally happen, it’s not so farfetched that it’s just impossible.

How about the funding for this additional step, how much additional funding is necessary?

Anita Mlakar: 17:14

Okay, Richard has another question regarding that, how about the funding for this additional step, how much additional funding is necessary?

Sandi Bitenc: 17:21

So right now, we are fundraising for another million to get to a stage where we have the SIM cards out so that we can actually have a product for everyone. And also, there should be the first version of the nodes, the validators ready to go online. This is we’re looking for. We have 350k Soft commitments currently. So, soft commitment actually means that we have some investors that are ready to invest if we can get the full million in so.

Is 3air on track to launch the platform in Q1 and onboard the existing customers in Sierra Leone?

Anita Mlakar: 18:08

Okay. We have another question in this AMA from the Thebigdid. Are you on track to launch the platform in Q1 and onboard existing customers in Sierra Leone?

Sandi Bitenc: 18:25

No, we will not be doing that. So, the first option that we have is actually when once DRC is ready.

How will this funding work in combination with 3air tokens?

Anita Mlakar: 18:34

Okay. This is another one from Richard, how will this additional funding work in combination with 3air tokens?

Sandi Bitenc: 18:49

I don’t want to give anything out right now, because I’m not 100% sure how it will work. But we are working on something, if we cannot do 3air as the main token for the layer one, then we’ll create some options to actually exchange it. There are some ideas. It’s going to take probably another couple of weeks, up to three weeks to actually get the exactly, how this will work together. But we are looking into providing really good value to the existing token holders.

Anita Mlakar: 19:37

So, Sandi, if we just put this in a short, 3air is still doing the project in Africa still trying to connect the unconnected and everything that we were saying. But in the meantime, while this is of course, taking a little longer regarding all the circumstances, 3air is looking to some other project or going global, right?

Sandi Bitenc: 19:57

Yes, exactly.

Market update:

Anita Mlakar: 19:59

Okay. It’s nice to hear that. We don’t have any other questions right now. Maybe just Sandi, we’re so used to your market update, is something new going on? Are there any changes?

Sandi Bitenc: 20:17

Nothing really in particular. So, we have seen a bit bad numbers on the inflation sides. So, the markets got a bit spooked. The other thing is, there’s a lot of fuds around that the US is actually cracking down on crypto. But on the other side, what’s actually happening is that Europe, UK and China are actually opening up to crypto. So, it’s really nice to see that. It’s the new tech frontier. So, if you take a parallel from what was happening with the tech sector there in 2000, it’s right now, I guess, happening with crypto. And those are actually the companies that were created at that point in time. Those are the Googles, the Apple, and those big tech giants, Amazon, they’re now the biggest companies in the world. I think blockchain and crypto is going kind of the same route. But it’s far more disruptive I guess, and for the governments. So there is always a bit of, let’s kill them or something like that.


On the other side, then other countries are actually coming up and embracing it because they just want to have the advantages from it and it’s really funny to just hear the articles that the banks or the regulators are coming up that we need to stop crypto because it can disrupt the financial system and so on. We have such an old financial system already and it’s so outdated. If blockchain wouldn’t be a better technology and a better alternative, why would they actually be afraid of it and now they want to just shut it down to protect the old technology that’s being used to so much manipulation and control over regular people. So sometimes it’s really- I’m just like, “Yeah, it’s gonna disrupt it because it’s part of our better” right? The people in power want to clean shown on their power, but it’s slowly eroding. I think what I’m really looking forward to is, I think, first of June is when Hong Kong is actually allowing and legalizing kind of crypto so and Hong Kong will be probably the way for China to get on board with crypto again, because in China, crypto is banned for quite some time. Also, here in Egypt is actually a ban on it. So, I cannot use any crypto services actually without using a VPN.

Any news about replacing of BUSD on 3air platform?

Anita Mlakar: 23:46

Okay, interesting. Sandi, Richard is saying that questions will come up once the roadmap and white paper is published. But in the meantime, Miran has another question. Any news about replacing of BUSD on 3air platform?

Sandi Bitenc: 24:03

Yeah, we are working on that. So that will be replaced. I don’t think it’s really right now, in danger and something. But yeah, we’ll be replacing it with probably with USDT. I don’t like USDC too much but it’s hard to make a choice between USDT and USDC and I don’t see any other stable coin right now on the Binance Smart Chain that could be used. USDT has, I think, four times more liquidity. It is offshore. It has a lot of fud around it. But because it’s offshore. It’s also harder for the US to actually kind of go after them. There are still options but it’s harder. USDC is a US company. So, if they take away BUSDT from Paxos, that’s also a US company, why shouldn’t they do the same with USDC? So, I don’t know, it’s so hard to say. But it looks like that the US just wants to push out their own digital currency, their own CBDC that will replace the stable coins. Right now, they’re saying, “Yeah, stable coins are securities,” and they’ll just probably come up with some stupid exit plan and explanation why it is. Hopefully, somebody will go and sue these, the SEC. And because I don’t think that a stablecoin will be failing the Howey Test and become a security. So, let’s see how that goes. But if they just managed to scare everyone away in the meantime, and then push their CBDCs on to everyone, then this is something that I’m a bit afraid of, because the CBDCs, how they’re doing it right now, the government’s, they’ll actually allow to control how much you’re spending and on what. And now there’s also a lot of talk about the personal credit score, carbon scores coming out, and so on. So just imagine what can happen. You’ll be just creating too much carbon and releasing it into the air and they’ll just say, okay, for now, you cannot, I don’t know, fly anymore. You cannot spend your money for flight tickets. So, they’ll tell you what you can spend it for. And if you don’t spend it, then they’ll just take it away, or something like that. So, it’s not really the best future if we get the CBDs pushed on us. That’s my opinion.


China has tried it. So, they issued their own CBDC already, but they’re just not getting the adoption. Also, Nigeria issue there eNaira. Also not getting the adoption. So, this is actually a good thing, I guess. So, people are not really jumping on it straight forward without doing their own due diligence. But I think if you have money, it’s your money, you’re the owner of it, and nobody should be telling you what you can use it for or what you should not be using it for.

Any special plans in Egypt?

Anita Mlakar: 27:39

Sandi, thank you. Thank you very much also for taking time being with us, of course. Do you have any special plans in Egypt?

Sandi Bitenc: 27:50

Yeah, since I was a kid, I was really fond of the pyramids, I always wanted to see them. So, the purpose of the trip was actually a conference that should be from the 2nd till the fifth of March but it got postponed. And it’s from 16 till 19. So, but because we had flight tickets already booked, we are just now using it to see first Alexandria. Alexandria is really an interesting city and I never looked so deeply into it. But it’s the City of Knowledge. So, in the ancient times, they had the biggest library here. And their idea of how to get the power into the city, to become the most powerful city was with attracting a lot of knowledge. So, they were just going around copying all the books they could and storing it there for the at that point in time, it was like the papyrus scrolls. And they were attracting a lot of scientists, mathematicians, and so on. And they became really powerful. But then, there was again, fire for power and they don’t know exactly, I heard already three stories, why the libraries were burned down in the past, but recently they rebuilt a big library here. And it’s really amazing. And they’re doing a lot of really good stuff, putting a lot of things online for free. So, you can literally go and see all the really old books and also the new books and they have a huge server there where they are digitizing all the books that they have and just giving it out for people to access for free. So, it was really amazing. Yeah. And then tomorrow we are going to see the pyramids.

Anita Mlakar: 30:07

I like pyramids too. I must say, when I had my first company, I was around 20 years old. I was trying something it was called Swinge. I do have some connection, but you would never get me inside because I’m really claustrophobic and I’m sorry for that. But I cannot go inside, but they’re looking amazing from the outside. Enjoy tomorrow.

Sandi Bitenc: 30:29

I’ll tell you if they’re really so small. I think that the tombs could be really big still.

Anita Mlakar: 30:38

Okay, I heard that there are some really small and I’m not feeling very good about that. But maybe there are some that I can really go into and enjoy. I hope so. So, do find out okay, Sandi? You have a mission. Thanks again for being with us. Thanks everybody, all of you who are here and of course, stay connected. Stay tuned. Do subscribe to our YouTube channel if you’re not subscribed yet. And do stay also in our channels on Twitter, on Telegram and on Discord. We are happy to have you there and we will be back in two weeks. Right, Sandi?

Sandi Bitenc: 31:18

Yes, we will.

Anita Mlakar: 31:19

In live AMA. Enjoy. Thank you!

Sandi Bitenc: 31:23

Thank you! Bye.

Anita Mlakar: 31:24




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3air is the world's first blockchain platform that helps individuals and businesses thrive on WEB3 with broadband internet. We're on a mission to bring blockchain and banking to the next billion.

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