Where Does The Polis Go? An Investigation

We’re not in a world (yet?) where merchants are willing to accept Polis in exchange for goods. At some point the Polis will be converted to fiat. How does it happen?

The developers haven’t been fully clear about this. This makes sense – I’m part of a beta, things will likely change. There may also be confidentiality agreements involved, and there are parts of it they probably still want to test. I’ve found the Polis team strikes a good balance between professionalism and transparency – and this is what they’re doing here.

But the beauty of Polis’ public blockchain is the tantalizing clues on offer about how things are processed.

This is what the blockchain says about the address associated with my PolisPay card:

(Note: I’ve avoided posting my PolisPay address in the past because of concerns about scary internet people doing alarming things to my life. But Polis is designed so that posting your public address is risk-less, so I’ve decided to share it. You can look at the address here.)

As I posted here I deposited 100 Polis to my card. You’ll see here that I only spent 4.5 of it. But the explorer above shows that it was all moved out about 13 hours after I deposited it.

This is in line with what the wallet shows – it only shows the USD amount on my debit card, not the Polis amount. This further suggests that the Polis is no longer there:

What’s nice though is that the wallet doesn’t get into that complexity. It only shows the amount of money on my card, independent of shifts in the Polis blockchain. This is presumably the same experience for other currencies supported by the app such as BTC and DASH. The thought given to building a user experience that is simple and suitable for the masses is clear.

The money I deposited to my Polis account seems to have gone to this address.

From there it’s bounced to a couple more addresses, and most of it ends up here, where it continues to sit:

I’m certainly not an expert but it doesn’t look like any of the addresses the Polis is going to belongs to any of the major exchanges. If we see Polis from PolisPay build up on that final address it probably means that Polis has some special arrangement with a public or private exchange, and this address belongs to that exchange. Or we’ll see it move eventually and where it goes will give us clues about the exchange that’s being used to convert Polis into fiat.

There is also a small amount of Polis “leakage” between each address. Not all of the Polis ends up at the final address above. That’s probably evidence of the Polis fees that users are paying when they make payments through PolisPay.

All in all this is great news for Polis. The system brings crypto to the masses by simplifying the experience. The Polis doesn’t look like it’s being immediately traded. Eventually it’ll be exchanged for fiat because that’s what merchants accept. But that’s ultimately how crypto adoption will spread. People realizing that Crypto payments need not be feared and deciding to hold onto it.

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