What is Shasta? The mysterious app approved by the Sudeban
On June 9, through a note published in El Universal, it was announced that the Venezuelan Superintendence of Banking Institutions (Sudeban) had authorized the installation and operations of the Shasta application, which mainly allows the handling of foreign currencies such as the Euro and the US dollar. After the project, the Spanish Alex Sicart and the Venezuelan Leonardo Montbrun.
After the exit of Zelle’s services for Wells Fargo customers domiciled in the country from the Venezuelan market, there has been a wave of new fintech applications that seek to capture this gap. In the case of Shasta, it has permission to be a compensator, according to one of its co-founders.
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Sicart is a young man who has had an accelerated career in the world of startups in Spain, developing applications from a very young age. Montbrun is the main figure of an investment group with his last name, defined as a „Venezuelan entrepreneur„, who also, like the Catalan, has studies „in blockchain“. He created a Bitcoin Loophole application to trade gold, although there are no further details.
It should be noted that, despite this experience of both co-founders, the application does not implement this technology or crypto coins. We are talking about an eminently Fintech „solution“ for the Spanish and now for the Venezuelans.
The application has been in development since 2018, according to the press release, however, at that time it was a tool linked to the exchange of electricity. The launch of the new payment app did not take place until the end of 2019.
According to the note, one of the main attractions of this application is the possibility of managing multiple currencies and at the same time being able to apply for an „international Visa or Master card“.
Venezuelan users will have to pay 3% for deposits, according to the Terms and Conditions. The company providing this card service is Pecunia Cards, which will also receive the user’s funds, in case the card is issued. Shasta does not guarantee refunds.
The company’s version
CoinTelegraph en Español contacted Leonardo Montbrun, co-founder of the company, for details on the launch. According to Montbrun, the company has a registered branch in Venezuela that has a permit to operate, equal to Credicard’s, as a clearinghouse. According to him, the app has „more than 15 thousand downloads in Europe, and 20 thousand downloads in Venezuela in the last 24 hours.
„We presented the project to the Sudeban Superintendence through our lawyers, and after a few months we were approved. It is important to emphasize that our authorization is the same that Credicard and other clearing companies have. We are only innovating with one app“, he explained.
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With Sudeban’s permission, they can also issue the cards. „With it you can pay both in dollars and euros, and now in a few weeks with bolivars. To obtain it, you only have to make a deposit of 20 dollars in the account (which can be used at any time) and wait a maximum of three weeks to receive it,“ Montbrun stressed.
As for security, Montbrun said that „when we talk about 256-bit security,“ they are referring to a form of encryption, even though the word is not mentioned. In addition, he dismissed any implementation of crypto-currency or blockchain in the application.
„For the time being, it is not in our plans, we believe that the solution is that society can have easy access to dollars and euros, and that crypto-currencies serve more as an investment instrument than as a payment method,“ he said.