Christophe Lassuyt on the Seamless Web3 Payments Experience – Request Finance (Episode 302)
Christophe Lassuyt joins us to discuss the Seamless Web3 Payments Experience – Request Finance.
Co-founder at Request Network since 2017, Christophe is one of the most successful leaders in decentralized finance. His background as a CFO in more traditional structures and his experience at the Y combinator, allowed him to better understand the challenges posed by the web3.
He’s an ordinary person, a proud dad from the French countryside, currently living in Singapore and working in the web3 industry since 2014. He’s been living and working in more than 8 countries, on 3 continents. He can say it’s an exciting adventure every day.
At 23, he was a CFO in Geneva, Switzerland, at a fast-growing IT startup. 4 years later, in 2014, he took the risk of quitting his job to build on the blockchain with his first startup.
In this adventure, he went through 3 accelerators, including YCombinator. That’s where he and his colleagues realized that the cross-border money transfer industry only existed due to an inefficient and financially exclusive banking system.
Building a fair alternative with their own hands, along with an army of open source developers was natural. It is about being a rebel with fair chances of success. It is about changing the world for the sake of financial inclusion. He loves the people in the industry who are there to fight for humanity’s freedom from the capitalistic tyranny of centralized institutions. Together, we help usher a financial revolution by depriving the big banks of their power over the masses. The point is, currencies, technologies, and protocols should be controlled by everyone.
That’s why the Request Network makes sense to Christophe, they interconnect isolated financial systems to create more efficient and inclusive economies. They are accomplishing this by building a decentralized and open network for payment requests, in other words, a ledger of payment requests, connected to all blockchains, with shared accesses and interoperability.
He is a risk-friendly builder and a hodler. The core team members are builders, together with the REQ community since 2017. They believe that the long-term approach is the one that will bear the most fruits. Long-term means decades, not weeks.
Request Network users, community members, entrepreneurs, partners, and team members are builders of a whole ecosystem. The first successful application of this ecosystem is Request Finance, a crypto-friendly invoicing application serving more than 900 companies, DAOs, and freelancers of the Metaverse, DAO, NFT, and crypto industries, such as The Sandbox, Aave, and The Graph.
We are lucky to be in this place and to be interconnecting millions of businesses, regardless of their country or currency.
CEO of Request Finance – https://www.request.finance/
Christophe’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/lassuytchristop?lang=en
Christophe’s LinkedIn – https://sg.linkedin.com/in/christophel1310
Want more resources around this podcast? Keep up to date on the latest articles here.
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:04:29 – 00:00:39:18
Thank you for joining us for another episode of Cryptocurrency. Just one quick reminder. Cryptocurrency is a cryptocurrency and blockchain education platform that’s bridging the gap between the curious newcomers who are just discovering the space and the thought leaders who are shaping its future. All opinions expressed by Richard Carthon , the crypto current team, and their guests on this show are exclusively their own opinions. You should not treat any opinion expressed by Richard, the team and their guests as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or to follow his financial advice. This show and any other crypto current production is exclusively for informational purposes.
00:01:19:09 – 00:01:39:12
Richard Carthon: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here, Richard Carthon . And today we have a very special guest that is working on a really interesting project that I think we all could use a lot more help with between crypto invoicing, payroll expenses, etc.. I’m really excited to have Christoph with Request Finance with me today. How are you doing today?
00:01:40:05 – 00:01:44:22
Christophe Lassuyt: Hi, Richard, how are you? I’m excited to be here as well and thank you for welcoming me.
00:01:45:18 – 00:01:54:11
Richard Carthon: Of course, we’re excited to dive into everything you have going on with request finance. Before we do, we’d like to spend some time learning a little bit more about you. Can you give us some background on yourself?
00:01:55:08 – 00:02:33:29
Christophe Lassuyt: Yeah, a little bit of background. I was actually a CFO finance person in Switzerland. I did that for a few years and then I jumped into the crypto space at the end of 2014, and since then I’ve been building crypto projects, so it’s been doing money transfers with crypto. Then the Quest Network and now together Quest Talk is still working quite well and the Quest Finance that is a brand new project for a bit less than two years, particularly helping CFOs.
00:02:34:16 – 00:02:49:10
Richard Carthon: Yeah, that’s really cool. And you know, being able to work with CFOs, chief financial officers, our chief finance officers, what was that transition from web to the Web 3.0? Like what made you want to come over and to the crypto space?
00:02:50:06 – 00:03:20:12
Christophe Lassuyt: Oh yeah. So that’s actually an interesting topic. I think I got bored and had at least a little bit about the banking system and so that when I discovered that there’s a new system, so I’m especially interested in the technology and I understood there’s a new system that works pretty well where you can send money from a country to another in a few seconds for just a little fees. It’s actually got me really interested, and that’s where I started.
00:03:20:14 – 00:03:49:15
Christophe Lassuyt: I started really to build in the space and then especially for CFO. So CFO, that’s true a lot when it comes to conciliate payments. So basically they have a list of payments on the right and they have a list of invoices on the list and they don’t know how to match them to each other, especially you. You do the same amount. So with the blockchain it actually becomes much more powerful and it saves a lot of time, especially for finance pieces.
00:03:50:17 – 00:04:24:00
Richard Carthon: Got it. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And it’s interesting that that was your path into crypto and web3 that that was mine as well. What really piqued my curiosity is when I learned about a friend who was converting their money in the Philippines and sending it back to the U.S. and it took minutes and only cost a couple dollars. Like, I was like, I’m so I’m hooked. So. So you’re looking into this. You start to learn more about how you can transition from being in Web 2.0 over to a 3.0.
00:04:24:06 – 00:04:38:05
Richard Carthon: And you come up with the premise around or get to a point where you start to work with a couple different companies and you eventually get to work with request, request, finance. Tell us a little bit about that journey and then how was request finance created?
00:04:39:00 – 00:05:26:09
Christophe Lassuyt: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been in the space for many years and they’ve been playing the role of a CFO as well. I realized that even though the technology is awesome and is the technology of the future, there are still CFOs, including myself at the time, who are spending way too much time doing and managing payments. So we had we had built request network. We’re still building it, actually a technology for payments request. And we understood that using this technology to build request phones is actually super useful, especially because request funds helping CFOs with salary payments in crypto, with invoice payments in crypto and very soon with expense payments.
00:05:27:05 – 00:06:01:24
Christophe Lassuyt: So it’s actually all kind of payments that the this is state payments request. And then if you look at it, you’ve got, for example, a CFO, two very big companies. You take the top 20 on the Coingecko and then we we’ve got most of them as clients. And they basically, instead of spending 10 to 30 hours a month, they’re managing payments, making payments with their wallets, and then trying to figure out which payment questions, which invoice they now save of to 30 hours a month.
00:06:02:09 – 00:06:22:07
Christophe Lassuyt: So it’s, uh, it’s what really is interesting. And so I’m solving my own problem, but it feels especially good when there are many others. They can threads of other finance people who are sitting time. So that’s basically what we sell today is you want to save time and you are a famous person in the crypto world, then we definitely can have.
00:06:23:24 – 00:06:47:24
Richard Carthon: Definitely. And to your point with that, with a lot of the things and crypto all being on a public ledger, you’re able to go and get a lot of this information and helping to decipher a lot of where all the money is moving, where things are coming from, and being able to help speed up that process. Like you said, 30 hours is a lot of time. That’s a lot of billable hours. That is helping the.
00:06:47:29 – 00:06:57:19
Christophe Lassuyt: Time before it is expensive. Right. So that’s a little part of it. There are like quite smart people and they should not be doing repetitive tasks. It’s so cumbersome.
00:06:59:14 – 00:07:31:03
Christophe Lassuyt: Yeah, I guess so. You can use the blockchain to save money. It makes sense, especially compared to Swift too. You will save a lot of money. You should do international transfers, but you can also use it to save time and basically to sit around manual work. If you should do anything that is manual, you just should be focusing on how to do things in a smarter way. And there are some products that are built to help, like sequence finance, of course.
00:07:32:01 – 00:08:02:20
Richard Carthon: Right. And I mean, this expands to your target audience. Could be, you know, daos, freelancers, people who are just working in the crypto space in general. But the cool piece about this is the ability to be able to pay people and a lot of these altcoins. So on the website, it talks about how there’s 150 cryptos and stablecoins that you can work with and 18 different blockchains, ecosystems. I mean, that’s that’s pretty robust. Keep talk through that a little bit more.
00:08:04:03 – 00:08:35:20
Christophe Lassuyt: So we actually we add new networks like Polygon Network or Fantom network of a neo protocol. We add them when we go to clients who really needs this network, and then we add the cryptocurrencies. When I have friends who need the cryptocurrency. So that’s why if you look at the different currencies, most of the people are actually paying either in the crypto native token. So the sandbox that they invest is in center and also in Stablecoins.
00:08:36:01 – 00:09:02:18
Christophe Lassuyt: So that’s why we ended up with 150 cryptocurrencies on more than 15 different payment networks. So we connect with those networks, which means that if you make a payment on Polygon or if you make a payment on Ethereum, we’re going to tell you exactly what invoice corresponds to this payment. That’s where you save a lot of time. And then you just like you upload to a
00:09:04:13 – 00:09:14:12
Christophe Lassuyt: traditional bookkeeping software and you upload the information that is easy to read by the bookkeeping software. So this figure that we have with.
00:09:15:25 – 00:09:42:24
Richard Carthon: Right, I’m sure trying to deal with all these different off boarding softwares, whether it be QuickBooks or some of the other popular ones out there. It’s its own can of worms. But something else that’s important for a lot of people is the non-custodial part of it, right? You want things to be safe and secure. If you’re going to be spending money, you want to make sure that it’s going to safely get there or you’re not somehow susceptible to being hacked yourself. What are some things that you all put in place to make sure that everything is secure?
00:09:43:26 – 00:10:08:27
Christophe Lassuyt: So we take safety extremely seriously. So we are we are making huge efforts to help the issuers to receive money on their wallet and that they use to pay with many funds. So today you can say with more than 150 wallets. So, for example, if you have 15 invoices to pay, you pay 15 devices in one click if you have any of those 151,
00:10:10:12 – 00:10:47:01
Christophe Lassuyt: which means actually we are being non-custodial. Exactly like you explained. So you can receive money on almost all wallets out there. We speaking about hundreds, if not thousands of wallets. And you can pay with 150. But we don’t provide the wallets. We just add that to yours. And I think Web3 is right about interoperability. And being non-custodial is actually a way to show that we want interoperability with most other wallets. So with most of the startups and the companies or dapps in the ecosystem, that’s one of the promise.
00:10:47:11 – 00:11:22:14
Christophe Lassuyt: We are already building a request fence on top of a few defi technologies and the and basically it’s just the beginning. If you look at everything that’s popping up these days, i want hear the market gets there. There is many builders like what we are seeing at conferences like the FCC. You see that there are many, many builders and it’s getting faster and faster. So we want to build together with other systems. So a lot of interactivity between the and being non-custodial and that’s very good for security.
00:11:22:16 – 00:11:57:22
Christophe Lassuyt: So of course, we always audit of contracts before releasing them. We always make things through fee. We pay bounties. If people manage to find anything, we bet. And so help our customers. So sometimes our customer, they are web to finance people and they end up in the web three worlds. They see they can passionate about it. And so we help them to avoid double payments. They know if you use a metamask, for example, once see the way you’re going to make a double payment, that’s when you make a double payment to a provider and to your service fee.
00:11:57:25 – 00:12:15:09
Christophe Lassuyt: Sometimes how to get the money back. So we have that. And so it’s a very good surprise for our users today when they realize that we help them because we noticed that they might be paying twice for an invoice. So there are many things that we help with in terms of security, very important for us.
00:12:16:18 – 00:12:50:26
Richard Carthon: It’s essential. And I think one of the other pieces that you. We’re speaking on is how important interoperability is, as well as the builders keep coming. There’s more and more ecosystems that are going to be here in being able to support each of them on their own native chains. And working with that is very important. And it also just helps with building really good community and it helps with be able to provide easy access for a CFO that just comes from Web 2.0 immediately going to this new Web 3.0, I was still trying to figure out everything, and now they’re having to figure out how all of these different ecosystems work.
00:12:50:28 – 00:13:01:15
Richard Carthon: I’m sure it can feel very overwhelming. What are some of the ways that you are going about trying to help transition these CFOs from Web 2.0 over into Web 3.0?
00:13:01:28 – 00:13:32:15
Christophe Lassuyt: Yeah. So we we are very close to our customers and people using the product. So we have a customer support 24 hour, almost seven days a week because we are in the many different continents and I think we, the people in the team are in 14 different countries. So that helps to be close to customers. But more than that and more than just talking with them, making calls and explaining what the best solution for them.
00:13:32:17 – 00:13:41:29
Christophe Lassuyt: So sometimes you just need to help them understand what’s the best solution to them, even if it’s not quite finance in the short term.
00:13:44:13 – 00:14:18:26
Richard Carthon: And there’s something that helps, especially. Well, it’s a club that we’ve launched. Currently, like bit more than 50 surfers, 50 surfers are fed up with three companies, most of them being whips for unicorns. It’s called whip three CFO. That’s correct. So this group with pressure for the firm, is actually a group where people work together to share with each other their challenges and the ability you end up having and then the run to to the crypto space, especially for CFOs.
00:14:20:06 – 00:15:03:11
Richard Carthon: What is really great that you’re creating this community. And we learned through working through each other, right, working through challenges and then saying like, hey, I’m I don’t understand how to do this as anyone and faced this or encountered this and being just have someone be like, yes, actually solved this last week. Here’s some steps you can take is extremely powerful. How have you seen Web 3.0 CFOs be able to come together to help make not just their own community stronger, but help each other be stronger? Like how how are you seeing the communities basically just from like the comparison from Web 2.0, the Web 3.0, would you say that it is more welcoming what you say, it’s more free flowing of information? Like how would you describe that?
00:15:03:21 – 00:15:35:01
The more open, more welcoming? So you see sheer force of project which could seem competitors. I think competition does not treaty exist the same way in web to first so those. Those people building in the web3 space, they see themselves as building something the open way. And the open way means they are able to share about what they need and their needs and their challenges.
00:15:35:18 – 00:16:08:27
With three CFOs have challenges that are not easy because there’s not millions of staff within the Web three space yet. And so so they help each other. They get knowledge from many different countries and they are able to help each other, even if there seems to be some competition with a I’d like to emphasize. But competition in that in the with the web3 space, we speak a lot about decentralization. I think decentralization means being against centralization.
00:16:09:12 – 00:16:41:23
And it’s not a need. I mean, sometimes centralization might be needed. However, with three for sure is about interoperability. So that the biggest potential of the web3 industry. And so it’s not only technically so yes it happens technically there is in temporary bittersweet the mindset of people. That’s what we see between the different companies, the different finance persons, where they cooperate with each other. And we can talk about the cooperative competition that plays in favor of the users.
00:16:41:25 – 00:16:58:07
So in favor of the clients. So basically, where user experience is king, if especially if the Web three companies help each other. And then the Web3 market is going to grow fast and aspire even more from the web to a market.
00:16:59:06 – 00:17:30:02
Richard Carthon: Definitely. I would say just overall, the weather community is way more open, wants you to be successful and even though competition is healthy, we are all building in the same direction. And something I think is cool about what you’re creating with request, finance and being able to do all these different ways, people. Forget how important it is to keep your books in line, to keep your accounting in check. To be able to send people money and pay people in money. Because we live in a.
00:17:31:08 – 00:17:59:08
Richard Carthon: Decentralized world in a lot of ways, where a lot of people are working and have workers all across the world, and now you have a way to be able to pay them directly in the cryptocurrency of their choice or even fiat, if you want. And now you have a path to getting that done. So for someone that’s listening to this and whether they’re their own business owner, they’re a freelancer that’s hoping that they can start getting paid in crypto. Walk us through what does that process look like for being able to use request finance?
00:18:02:05 – 00:18:02:21
Richard Carthon: So.
00:18:06:16 – 00:18:07:23
Richard Carthon: Quite simple, actually.
00:18:09:11 – 00:18:26:08
Richard Carthon: You’ve got two situations. Either you are issuing invoices and you want to get paid in capital. Actually it works as well for salaries. So you could be like requesting a salary payment or you are paying invoices in crypto and it works the same for paying salaries.
00:18:27:23 – 00:19:09:12
Christophe Lassuyt: So basically in the first case, you want to get paid, you just sign up to on the request that finance the website and in a few clicks you end up sending an invoice that’s encrypted but still on the blockchain and then the person is going to receive it and in one click and paste. So I let you imagine how fast you are getting paid when you’re using a product like sports fans. Then the second case is you are paying invoices, so like the sandbox or Fantom or Polygon team, basically they pay hundreds of invoices and if you are paying invoices, just send a link to the invoice issuer.
00:19:09:14 – 00:19:33:16
Christophe Lassuyt: So all your providers or your freelancers and the independent people working for the project, you ask them to follow this link to create an invoice. Once they do, you have a dashboard with all your invoices in one place and you just one click away from paying all of them and having a sweeper and three accounting but for your invoices. So based on each invoice, the invoices
00:19:35:07 – 00:20:06:19
Christophe Lassuyt: comes from the blockchain. It’s marked as paid. So you have the reconciliation with the payment, so have the link of the payment in there. So it’s a very, very, very good user experience. And and then also you feel good because as a companion there, I think if you have an invoice for every payment that you have, it’s much better than sending it to scan the links or putting good scan links. So basically the accountants tend to be very afraid if you do that.
00:20:06:29 – 00:20:23:14
Christophe Lassuyt: And now that you have invoices, you just feel great because you are using the most compliance solution that makes you a compliant company. So your accountant is happy, is receiving information the same way he’s used to receiving information or details are happy. Authorities are happy. It’s actually quite, uh,
00:20:25:03 – 00:20:26:03
Christophe Lassuyt: quite a good feeling.
00:20:27:16 – 00:20:51:23
Christophe Lassuyt: Definitely. And it it makes everything more legitimized. It does in the most compliant way, and it’s more efficient as well. So I appreciate you explaining a couple of different scenarios of how people would use this. And, you know, for people who are looking to learn more about this, you can, of course, go to request finance to get more information on that. But what are some other ways that people would be able to learn more and be able to connect?
00:20:52:21 – 00:21:08:10
Christophe Lassuyt: So, of course, the website requires that fans of Web three CFO Club for Cifas and other than that, Twitter, I’m trying to be active on Twitter myself, request finance as well, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
00:21:09:12 – 00:21:35:20
Christophe Lassuyt: Perfect. And Nick Kristof, as we wrap up here, men always like to finish with a couple of fun questions. And the first one I like to come up with is you’ve now been in the space for eight years. A lot of people are entering it for the first time. I’ve never experienced a bear market. They’re now going through it for the first time. You have been through several for people who are just entering this space, what like if you could give yourself some one or two pieces of advice when you first got started back in 2014, what wisdom would you impart to yourself?
00:21:38:00 – 00:22:10:13
Christophe Lassuyt: So I’m not saying I did things very well. I’m perfectly myself. But I realize that the best decisions. Especially the trading decisions, but also like which to you that I use. Many things come from thinking and not from media attention. So basically a marketing communication, basically a buzz on the Twitter and social media are good for the project, but they are not good for your own thinking.
00:22:10:20 – 00:22:43:06
Christophe Lassuyt: So try it. So I would say that it’s so important to try to think your own way and have your own decision framework to even prepare how you’re going to make the decision and then get the information to make the decision. And then you make the decision so you can apply this to and to investments. You can apply this to which application you’re going to use for your the payment of your invoice is going to play this for many different things. But if you have a decision framework first, it’s really going to help.
00:22:43:19 – 00:23:03:19
Christophe Lassuyt: And that’s why people make better decision in the bear market. But in the bear market, people are a little bit afraid and that’s when you are rational in this emotional environment that you make good decisions. So again, I’m not inciting anyone to invest, trade or do anything. I’m just saying that thinking is best before I think.
00:23:04:16 – 00:23:14:00
Christophe Lassuyt: Absolutely. I think that is a great gem. A great reminder. Come up with your own thesis. Don’t follow the hype train. Make sure that you have done your own research before you.
00:23:15:18 – 00:23:20:20
Richard Carthon: But Christophe, I appreciate that. What is the final thought that you want to leave with everyone here today?
00:23:22:23 – 00:23:45:09
Christophe Lassuyt: Maybe one thought. It’s a great opportunity to be when when we are in the bear market. And I hope the bear market is going to stay for a short while so that we we can focus on building. It’s really now that things are starting to happen. I mean, even worldwide, there’s a downturn and it’s a huge opportunity for the builders. So don’t hesitate.
00:23:46:24 – 00:24:04:06
Christophe Lassuyt: This is the time. So builders keep building. You heard it from Christoph himself. Thank you so much for spending time with us. Everyone listening, make sure you go check out request finance and that’s at request that finance. And again, appreciate you spending some time with us. And for everyone listening, make sure you stay current.
Crypto Current will be guiding all of you who are new to the cryptocurrency world to becoming a cryptocurrency and blockchain expert. Crypto Current was founded to give access to information to everyone on current events occurring in cryptocurrency and blockchain in a digestible way. Since its creation, we have created content that impacted thousands of people through its podcast, blog, and social media.