Request is a startup project co-founded in 2014 by Christophe Lassuyt and Etienne Tatur. The initial idea was to facilitate money transfers between individuals abroad. Their expatriate experience showed them that this routine operation was made difficult by the lack of interoperability of traditional banking applications.
A visit to several incubators and start-up accelerators allowed them to pivot to define a project intended for professionals and companies.
In October 2017, Request Network, just graduated from the program then incubated by Y-Combinator, carried out an ICO of its REQ token and raised 100,000 ETH or $ 32.9 million at the time.
Their value proposition is to make it easier to edit invoices and make it possible to request cryptocurrency payments in a decentralized ecosystem.
The advantages highlighted by Request are:
- Lower transaction fees for international payments
- Simplified editing of crypto invoices and one-click payment on the client side
- The assurance that the peer-to-peer transaction will arrive in the right portfolio without going through an intermediary entity
- Accounting is made easier because all transaction requests are grouped together in one place
All data is stored on a decentralized storage solution namely InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and consensus is reached on an Ethereum smart contract through a hash of the IPFS data.
Storing only hashes on Ethereum cuts costs while keeping proof secure. Having no request data on Ethereum allows full request encryption.
Only those involved in a transaction can access the data.
Using IPFS greatly improves scalability. Request can perform a greater number of transactions for a much lower cost than on the Ethereum blockchain itself.
Ready to get started? Follow the guide.
Registration is very simple and does not require identity verification.
Note that the current version of Request is optimized only for desktops.
First, go to the site and click on the “Sign up for free” button.
Then, fill out the form and validate your email address.
Access to your account is via a subdomain https://invoicing.request.network/. Save this URL in your bookmarks to connect directly.
When you first log in, a short two-step questionnaire will ask you what you want to do with the platform and to specify your business profile.
At the end, you can get to the heart of the matter by creating an invoice and adding a customer.
From your dashboard, click on “My clients” in the left menu, then on the blue “Add a client” button at the top right.
You will then have to fill in the information about your customer on the form that appears. Only email is required but it is preferable to complete all fields in order to meet accounting and tax requirements.
Finally, click on the “Create client” button to save your entry.
Click on the “Create an invoice” button in the left menu. The draft invoice is displayed. You can start to edit it.
Choose the currency that will appear on your invoice by clicking on “Your invoice’s currency” at the top right. Note that if you opt for Fiat, you can request to receive a stablecoin, a little further down the form.
Select or create a new customer in the “Billed to” field.
Then choose the currency you want to receive. Request offers more than twenty different cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether but also AAVE, aDai, or even Maker.
Note that Request can add other tokens on request.
If you prefer to receive euros or any other fiat currency, payment by bank transfer or through your Stripe account is possible.
Add the different elements of your services by adjusting the VAT percentage if necessary.
When you are ready, click on the “Create & send” button at the top right. The recipient will receive by email a link to view the invoice on the Request site and pay it.
The process of creating and sending the invoice is very fast, in the order of a few minutes, or even less if your customer is already registered.
When the network has detected the payment, the invoice status will be updated automatically.
To view all of your invoices, go to your dashboard and the “My invoices” section.
The Maker Foundation also uses the Request solution to manage its invoicing and financial flows.
It is a utility token that is used to pay transaction fees on the Request network.
These charges are proportional to the size of the data. A minimum charge of $ 0.10 is required per network update, to a maximum of 10KB (approximate invoice size), and $ 0.03 for an additional 10KB.
It is listed on Binance, Uniswap, Kucoin, Huobi, and Bitfinex.
Recently, Coinbase Custody, which is dedicated to businesses and institutions, accepts deposits and withdrawals in $ REQ.
To conclude, Request is a very advantageous alternative to platforms that offer cryptocurrency payment solutions to professionals.
Most of them give you Fiat or, at a pinch, a stablecoin but no BTC or the like… The use of the service is very fluid. Being able to receive cryptos without having to juggle between the different blockchains brings a certain comfort in the management of a business.