I am Shamir Karkal, co-founder of Simple Bank and Current CEO at Sila, the Payments API. Ask me anything 06/11/19 @Noon PST

I am Shamir Karkal

I co-founded Simple Bank, back when digital banking wasn’t a thing in 2009. It got acquired by BBVA in 2017 for $117 million and I went on to serve as head of API at BBVA.

My quest as an entrepreneur has always been to disrupt traditional finance, and allow money and financial instruments to work better for the people, and not just the banks. I understood the potential of blockchain and bitcoin from an early stage during my time at Simple, but now it has the infrastructure to truly disrupt finance. And therefore I created Sila, a developer API toolkit to enable the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow to bring fintech apps to market in a matter of weeks.

I will be answering your questions live on June 11th at 12:00 PM PST. Very excited that we are doing this here on Hacker Noon’s Community. I heard it’s pretty great. :ear:

Feel free to add this to your calendar or ask a question below. Talk soon!


Hey @Shamir_K thanks for taking the time to answer a couple community questions. I have a question about “Simple.” It’s such a clean brand name. Your past company was able to acquire the domain (Simple.com) and the twitter handle (@Simple). I’d bet this added tremendous legitimacy in a time when digital banking was less trusted. So, how much did the Simple domain and twitter handle cost?? And how did you and your team determine that it was the right way to spend your limited startup marketing budget?


Hello Shamir,
It’s rumored that Facebook will launch its own crypto Libra (or GlobalCoin - we don’t know about it yet) in June 18th. The difference between Facebook’s crypto and other crypto currencies is that Libra is a stablecoin, which means we will not see any fluctuation in prices like the others. What, do you think, are the advantages and challenges Facebook will face launching Libra?


Hi @Shamir_K,

I think you touched based on a very good point with how the banks have been functioning, as the one-sided market. What do you think is the most important factor for current banks to be very frightened by decentralization? Do you see any alternatives to transform the way the banks currently function?

Thank you,


Hi Shamir,
What are some of the companies you keep in your radar in fintech industry?
Thank you so much


Hi Shamir, an article on MarketWatch mentions that Bitcoin is en route to $20,000 in March 2021. What are your thoughts on the price of bitcoin influencing adoption of some of the crypto solutions?


Hi @Shamir_K. Thank you for doing this for the Hacker Noon community.

From the perspective of Banking and Finance, which Blockchain is head and shoulders above the rest from amongst Ripple, Stellar, Quorum, and Multichain?

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Hey @Shamir_K

When it comes to finance and banking sectors, where do you think that we need to draw the line between decentralization and scalability? Is there such a thing as too decentralized in blockchain-based banking forays?


Hi @Shamir_K

Can anonymity and banking co-exist in the longer run and outside the shadow banking channels/illegal institutions?


Hi Shamir, thank you for taking the time to do an AMA! I love that you’re trying to make banking systems more accessible to developers! In the past, I’ve found myself wishing that my bank had a proper API. What’s the coolest use case you’ve seen so far with Sila? What’s the coolest use case you hope to support in the future?


Hi Shamir! With your experience in fintech, would you say that there are some countries that are more prone to adopt new technologies for finance? Do you think that North American countries are slower in adopting change because of too many regulations?


Hi Shamir! As a marketer working to engage more developers in the blockchain space, I know that is sometimes a tricky audience. What are some marketing strategies you use to engage with blockchain developers?

What are they most excited about when it comes to Sila?

Hey Shamir, thank you for doing this AMA.

Do you guys have any social initiatives you are involved with or would like to get involved?

What do you think are some realistic options for helping the populations of unbanked or refugees?

Thank you for answering our questions! I am wondering- What do you think the biggest DeFi trends for 2019 will be? And where will that leave us for 2020?

Hi Shamir! Do you think blockchain will be an integral part of financial services, even in banks in the next couple of years?

Hi Shamir! Which blockchain networks your developer tools work with? Also, do you think that all blockchains are fit for steady financial use or have a preference for some? Which ones?

Appreciate you taking the time for this AMA!

Hey Shamir, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. If in the future we adopt cryptocurrency for daily trading instead of traditional money what potential challenges do you see?
Thank you,

Hi Shamir, you mentioned problems in payment systems in the US and how hard it is to get licenses. How did you manage to get yours?
Thank you very much for sharing your experience ~

Hi Shamir, I am curious on the ways payment system works in the US. It seems like everyone is trying to overcomplicate it and use fancy words. Since you are not like this, could you give me a quick boil-down? thanks a lot!