Photo: UC Berkeley co-founders and other alumni: Aaron Bai (CEO) and Sahil Phadnis (CTO)

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For a very long time, banks have been tasked with helping people save, spend and transfer money without competition, allowing them to set their own rules to the detriment of consumer confidence. While open/digital banking and similar approaches have made banking services more transparent and accessible, 65% of bank users have “some” or “very little” self-confidence according to Gallup. Now a new crypto startup is looking to change that and launch what it calls “The Money Revolution”: meet Pebble.

Pebble is a financial product promising its users a new way to save, spend and transact with their money while enjoying better benefits than those offered by traditional banks. Powered by blockchain technology, the platform uses only USDC, a stablecoin with reserves managed by BlackRock, to support all the incentives it offers. USDC has remained firmly entrenched due to strict requirements from Circle and Coinbase (creators of USDC) to maintain an equivalent of one dollar in reserve for every USDC in existence. Additionally, USDC’s historical reliability can be attributed to passing each of Grant Tronton’s monthly audits of their reserves.

By bringing the best of traditional finance and cryptocurrencies, Pebble aims to create a truly innovative financial product.

After raising over $6.2 million from some of the biggest names in VC, the startup has just announced the launch of its platform. Using the platform, users can expect to earn 5% APY rewards and 5% cashback when interacting with over 56 partner merchants. The list includes Uber, Amazon, Chipotle, Airbnb, Adidas and many more with rewards deposited directly to the user’s account in the form of US Dollars.

When interacting with Pebble, users only see and deal with US dollars. This is the part of the company’s plan to bring a new wave of non-crypto natives into the blockchain space. Unlike its competitors, Pebble never puts user funds into DeFi — which remains a relatively new and immature technology for building trust with uncryptic users. Instead, Behind the scenes, Pebble works with regulated institutions to receive payments on all USDC deposited into accounts by lending them with a 150% guarantee. These earnings are then used to provide users with APY rewards on all deposits and rewards generated using the platform.

With crypto growing in popularity despite the bear market, Pebble is also looking to capitalize on traders’ interest. To achieve this, Pebble offers an easier way to accept payments from merchants instead of taking a cut when accepting cards. By cutting out the middleman, merchants are able to generate more profits while reaching more consumers, who also benefit from the rewards.

The result of this approach is a complete leap over the legacy banking structure, creating an ecosystem in which cryptocurrencies can play a role in everyday life. This is important for mass adoption, as crypto has been seen primarily as an investment tool rather than a financial tool with day-to-day applications.

Mastercard has also worked with Pebble to provide its users with debit cards that they can use every day. When combined with expense and budgeting control features, as well as payroll connections, Pebble becomes a tool that can be used to control all financial needs.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, it’s easy to see why investors love Y Combinator, Lightshed Ventures, Soma Capital, LD Capital, Cadenza Capital, East Ventures, Eniac Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Odell Beckham Jr. and Matthew Bellamy have chosen to fund the company. While cryptocurrency-based financial platforms have been around for a while, Pebble’s approach seems to differ both in range, security, and quality.

Cryptocurrency has shown the world that people are ready to take control of their finances without relying on a outdated financial system. Now, it’s up to platforms like Pebble to make that vision a reality by empowering crypto users, non-crypto users, and merchants.

This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investment advice.