Welcome to our comprehensive interview series — Humans of Blockchain ™ where we get the best in the business to answer diverse questions.
This series will clear the air of doubt in the blockchain space today by focusing on bringing more transparency to the readers.
Our guest, today, is Jeff Catalano, Founder of the Porte Token and Payment Porte Foundation. He answered all our questions with patience and detail.
He is a self-taught entrepreneur who has been successful in several domains including Apparel, Food, Manufacturing, Marketing and Blockchain.
His story will surely inspire you to become more open-minded over career selection while being brave enough to follow your heart.
Not wasting much time, let’s hear it out from Jeff Catalano himself.
1.We would love to know more about you Jeff. Your journey and experiences.
I am a serial entrepreneur, who has been blessed to have experienced so may different business sectors, and challenges in my life and career. I started out a self-taught fashion designer, building multiple apparel and accessory businesses from scratch. During that period I learned hands on about overseas manufacturing, importing, exporting, sales, marketing, and basically played many roles as a multi-hat juggling executive, owner and founder.
Then, I branched out into the restaurant business, successfully building and selling 2 popular brands in Panama, and after accepting the role of GM and executive chef for two restaurants in a high end resort. After this chapter, I learned about real estate and sold property and luxury villas in the same high end resort.
My quest for new challenges and sectors, had brought me to Blockchain, DLT and digital assets a few years ago, and after a year of due diligence, I decided to found Payment Porte and PORTE token in June 2018.
2.Can you tell us about Porte Token and Payment Porte Foundation in a layman’s language?
We envision a near future where PaymentPorte.com will be the fast, affordable, secure cross border payment gateway, for modernized stakeholders, forwarders, importers and exporters of global trade goods. We plan to disrupt the retro ways of the past, and bring “The NEW WAVE” of digital payment solutions, utilizing decentralized, Blockchain, and Distributed ledger technologies. Faster, less expensive, and smarter technology will allow businesses to create better profits, and create more time to enjoy their lifestyle, and families.
Payment Porte plans to put B2B, and P2P, transactions, storage, and the exchange of value, into the hands of the individuals.
3.How does Payment Porte Foundation integrate with Blockchain technology?
We are building our platform, integrated with the InterStellar Network protocol, which uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) and a decentralized, digital assets exchange (SDEX). Our utility token PORTE, is built on the Stellar network, which will be used on our platform, as a traded and exchange of value for our users. Customers will be able to buy PORTE and send Fiat transactions to Intl. bank accts, or transfer digital assets to digital wallets, super-fast, and at fractions of the costs of current SWIFT ACH, or money transfer services.
After transactions have settled using the purchased PORTE token, and triggered by a smart contract and closed escrow, we will have an app mechanism called Furnace, which will burn those token, rendering them unusable. This will slowly decrease the amount of tokens in circulating supply, and ultimately assist in price exploration.
4.Do you also plan to launch an ICO? If yes, can you also share the tokenomics with us?
We do not plan to launch an ICO in the past sense of the meaning, rather we are constructing a hybrid self-fundraise trail, built with initial bootstrap capital, then private angel investors, then onto a private Token Generation Event (TGE) for our utility token.
PORTE token is created by our Foundation Payment Porte, which will be used as a function in Payment Porte Inc.’s use case, of sending cross border payments on our online gateways. The PORTE token is not a security, and will not offer dividends or shares, or returns on investments.
By purchasing our tokens through private fundraise and TGE, our investors will see increased valuation in their investment naturally, as we build a strong economic business model, with Payment Porte Inc. We will transfer a great amount of value through the eco-space, and create the demand from our users, for more purchased PORTE tokens.
5.What should one qualify in to be able to work with Payment Porte Foundation?
Our goal is to make our payment Porte platform gateway accessible to all SME’s and P2P individuals, focused with an initial launch in open bank jurisdictions of; US, UK, EU, MX, CH, HK, AU, BR, PA
Individuals, or businesses who would like to volunteer time and or resources to the foundation, will be welcomed in the fields of community outreach, health, empowerment, and tech education, product donations, eco-planning and construction, sustainable energy and development, social media marketing, developers of open source technology and projects, designers, philanthropists, and loving human beings with a positive story or content to share.
Email all enquiries to: [email protected]
6.What advantages does being based in Panama offer for blockchain based businesses?
Panama is a beautiful and vibrant economy, that is still a chameleon in the global stage. Due to the Intl. support and demand of it’s huge, Ocean Import/Export and global cargo trade, Panama is a very healthy and open market. The government stays neutral when it comes to regulations in the digital asset space and blockchain/DLT.
The banking system here is just waking up to the demand of it’s citizens and global partners for such open mindset, and new technology. There have been many pioneer blockchain projects in Panama, since 2012, however, many were too early to the evolution.
7.What future do you see for ICOs and blockchain technology in general?
I see the speculative projects that launch ICO’s, gaining smaller adoption, every day. The Investment space has become more diligent and invests in projects that have real value, use case, and business models. That is our approach and strategy.
It is a doubled edged sword though, as many great thinkers, entrepreneurs do not have access to capital, and very much need community visibility, and investors project review and support. Blockchain, and distributed — decentralized ledgers are here to stay, and will change many industries for the better.
8.There’s an emerging market for Security Tokens, what views do you have for the STO market?
My feeling is that STO’s, are just another label for ICO’s, that are generally based on ERC-20 tokens/Eth network, and they are mostly products or platforms that are securities, that claim they will pay dividends to investors. In a way they are just shares, or equity, of that project, that will hopefully be more adopted by regulators and investors.
More institutional play here, and less true decentralized cryptocurrency idea, of having a new P2P system of exchange, that is in the hands of the people, like they were designed to accomplish.
9.What progress has blockchain technology made in Latin America? What is the current status?
Blockchain and the pioneers of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Dash, Etherium, was on the move fairly early in Panama, and many South American countries, but as mentioned many projects that were established as exchanges, and ATM’s were just too early for the general public to support. In 2018/2019 much more adoption is taking place, and we have some good exchanges, and a Bitcoin /crypto embassy here in Panama city.
There are a few startups that are building here, as well as a few large Bitcoin OTC players. The space is still very strong in countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, and Columbia, where residents truly appreciate the decentralized function of digital asset, P2P transactions.
10.What improvements do you feel are needed in the blockchain space?
I personally feel, we need more crossover from entrepreneurs like myself that come from brick-and-mortar business models, that were about raising capital the old fashioned way, then doing as much work as you could, with limited marketing/branding budgets, and the personal touch.
The technology is changing fast and so many industries are being disrupted by Blockchain, DLT, and Hedera Hashgraph, among others.
The tech geniuses, really need to partner up with creative minds from outside the Tech industry, to bring a fresh and other perspective to business models that will evolve and benefit from their use case.
We need a meshing of all industry veterans, sharing their experience and knowledge with the leaders of these technologies, that are changing the world right before our eyes.
Future tech, fused with the integrity and wherewithal from the previous generations of business sectors, will hopefully create the validity and confidence, for mass adoption worldwide. These technologies were created for the people, not just the financial service industry mega corporations.
“We need to always hold on to those principles, and allow the transformation of our future systems that best suit humanity!”