SCF #16
Award Completed

Blaze is an international payments app carefully crafted for digital nomads and expats

Budget request:

Project Stage



Defi & Wallets

Based in

United States of America

Team size


Active since

May, 2023
Products & Services

Blaze is an international peer to peer payments app meticulously crafted for digital nomads and expats. It will utilize Stellar and Soroban to deliver swift, secure, and cost-effective transactions no matter where and with no matter whom a traveler may find themselves transacting.

Conventional peer-to-peer providers such as Venmo excel in user experience, yet their functionality remains confined to their home country. Alternative solutions like PayPal, Wise and Revolut enable international payments, but can be cumbersome to use, overly expensive for simple transfers, or limited in their geographic accessibility. Blaze aspires to create an experience that merges the effortless and social user experience of Venmo with truly borderless accessibility made possible by the Stellar network's unique anchor ecosystem.

While it's powered by crypto, Blaze is carefully designed to hide all the associated complexities from the everyday user. By doing so, and by obsessively focusing our user experience towards the nomad and expat lifestyles, we hope to significantly widen the utilization and reach of the Stellar network.

Simultaneously Non-Custodial, User-Friendly, and Highly Recoverable

Blaze offers a payments experience centered around non-custodial wallets on Stellar without all the usual pitfalls. We will use Web3Auth to allow users to sign up and login using SMS, Email, and pin code. In the future, we may augment our Web3Auth system with a parallel SEP-30 implementation for added security and mitigation of counterparty risk.

People-centric Payments

One key feature of Venmo's success in North America is that it made the routine act of paying people into a social experience. Blaze will do the same for cross-border payments.

We will feature a privacy-conscious social feed, a native friend graph as well as an integration with Instagram. Users will be able to pay each other using everyday identifiers like phone number or instagram handle.

User-friendly Anchor Integrations

Blaze will initially focus on user-friendly SEP6/SEP12 integrations of anchors in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Europe. In North America, Blaze is working with a key strategic infrastructure partner to implement a custom ramp.

Send and Receive for Free in Dollars. Think in Pesos.

All in-app payments will happen in USDC, which reduces transaction costs, keeps the experience lightweight, and allows customers with volatile native currencies to benefit from holding dollars. We will use fee bumps and sponsored accounts to fully sponsor all in-app payments, keeping them free for users.

(Soroban) Give Back to the Communities You Visit

Inspired by previous SCF grant winner "CashAbroad", Blaze will implement a smart contract that can add a donation on top of any other peer to peer payment on the network. The smart contract will maintain a verified directory of beneficiaries, as well as facilitate the actual payment-plus-donation transactions.

The contract will be designed in such a way that any Soroban-connected project can make use of it, not just Blaze. For further details, please see the Additional Information section.

(Soroban) Account Specific Token Allowances

Certain advanced features require moving funds on behalf of a user. We aim to do this without compromising user self-custody. Allowances on the native Stellar Asset Contract enable this, but also expose a security threat. Through the allowances account, a hacker can steal large amounts of funds in one go.

We will create a custom account contract that allows for recipient scoped permissions. The allowances account will have permission to move funds only to specified recipients. That way a hacker would need to compromise both the allowance account and specified recipient accounts to steal money.

Many projects in the Soroban ecosystem will be able to benefit from this increase in security. For further details, please see the Additional Information section.

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Previous Project(s)
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Progress so far
To get there, we request a budget of  
Additional information

Please see the following document for more information on the Soroban contracts we will develop.

Also, we had to condense our list of deliverables in order to fit it into 25 rows. Please see this google sheet for a more fleshed out version of the deliverables chart:

Pitch deck
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First Deliverable

We completed the first deliverable exactly as specified in our original submission. We have completed an integration with Cybrid ( to allow North American users to onramp USDC into their Blaze wallet using a combination of Persona and Plaid.

The first step was to clarify the flow of funds, which we did by way of a diagram outlining that flow. This diagram is linked in the second question here.

The next step was to implement a combination of Plaid, Persona, and custom URL endpoints from the Cybrid API so that a user can add money to their Blaze wallet via those partners. In addition to the integrations with Plaid, Persona, and Cybrid, this also involved developing the relevant UI on the frontend.

How can a reviewer check you completed your first deliverable?

  1. They can view this demo video showing the onramp flow working for US/CA residents in the Dev environment.
  2. They can download the TestFlight prototype at this link and test the flow themselves.
  3. We also went ahead and added ankeliu to the GitHub repository for the iOS mobile app as well as our NodeJS backend. They can review the relevant code there as well.  The relevant frontend code will be in scenes/ramp. The majority of the relevant code on the backend is in the cybrid module. (src/modules/cybrid)
  4. For an overall understanding of how the flow works, they can review the Onramp flow diagram on this notion doc.
Blaze Payments, Inc.

Blaze is focused on offering peer to peer payment solutions for travelers and expats.


Faiyam Rahman (faiyam)

Co-founder & CEO

Faiyam is a full-stack engineer with a bachelors in mathematics from Duke and a masters of engineering from Cornell Tech. He is a cryptocurrency patent holder and has started multiple businesses prior to working on Blaze. He is a digital nomad himself, most recently having completed a 6 month tour of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bali and Portugal. He is an avid practitioner of yoga and meditation, and enjoys long walks, the spoken word, and playing the piano.

LinkedIn, Github

Luc Succès (l2succes)

Co-founder & CTO

Luc is a seasoned software engineering leader. He built his first startup after winning a business plan competition at New York University. He then founded 2 VC-backed startups, leading the engineering team at both. Moreover, he was a lead engineer on the recommendations engine team at Spotify. Luc started his digital nomad journey back in 2017 by moving to Bali and has since been to 48 countries. He is also passionate about music production, languages, anime and travel.

LinkedIn, Github

Igor Zagnieński (aigor#0381)

Co-founder & Head of Design

Igor is an experienced designer and creative director. He began his journey as an expat when he moved to Germany from his native Poland. There he honed his craft doing design for 7 years with various local startups. 5 years ago he picked up and moved to Vienna to join Bitpanda, where he worked as a senior product designer as they grew from a 40 person team to a 1700+ person unicorn. He is an ex adrenaline junkie who's put his skydiving ways behind him, turning to his running shoes and family when he's off from work.


Kieran Gillen (kieran_#0660)

Co-Founder & Lead Engineer

Kieran is a full-stack engineer with a focus on frontend development. Coming to engineering from an art background, he is especially talented at bridging technology and design. He became a mobile developer while working at Artsy. He has also built projects for iconic institutions such as Columbia University, Yale, The Shed and the Hirshhorn Museum while at a leading design studio in New York City. He is an American expat living in Berlin. In his off time, he enjoys art, techno, film, and the lakes surrounding Berlin.

LinkedIn, Github

Our team is set up for success because:

There are three main reasons we are set up for success.

The first is that we have a strong foundation of engineering and design skills within the team. From an engineering perspective, we have specialists in backend, architecture, and frontend engineering, ensuring every part of our system will be built at a high level. We believe branding and design is essential to win in a crowded space like peer to peer payments, and our Head of Design Igor will ensure we bring that to the table from day one.

The second is that we've seasoned ourselves through relevant work experience. Collectively, we've worked at tech industry leaders such as Spotify, Artsy and Bitpanda. We have team members who have bootstrapped businesses as well our CTO, Luc, who has co-founded multiple venture backed startups. So we know what it takes to build something from scratch. This team was also together for the last year working on a wallet app in the Solana ecosystem called Mango, so we have experience building in the crypto industry.

Lastly, we have the life experience needed to build the best user experience in the world for our target demographic, digital nomads and expats. Half of our founding team are digital nomads, and the other half are expats. We live the life of the people we seek to serve, so we intimately understand their needs. We can tailor our product for them with a degree of precision others would struggle to achieve. This makes us confident we can turn Blaze into the preferred international payments app for digital nomads and expats worldwide.