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First Move with Julia Chatterley
White House: U.S. to Release 50M Barrels from Oil Reserves; Full National Lockdown Underway in Austria; AstraZeneca's High Hopes for New R&D Center; Portugal Bans Bosses from Contacting Employees Outside Working Hours; Crypto Startup MoonPay Valued at $3.4 Billion; Brazil's Ebanx Forecasts Strong Growth in Latin America; Rivian and Ford No Longer Working Together on an EV. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired November 23, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is "FIRST MOVE." And here's your need to know.
Reserves released. President Biden leads a global effort to lower oil prices.
Rivian's reverse. The EV truck maker no longer working with big investor Ford, the stocks slumps.
And block the boss. Portugal's labor minister on making it illegal to contact workers out of hours.
It's Tuesday. Let's make a move.
A warm welcome to "FIRST MOVE."
Once again, plenty of news to try and explain, including Fed Chair Powell poised for a further four-year reign. Perhaps rate hikes so, he's vowed to
ease the pricing pain. The White House announcing a deal to make energy cost less insane.
And in EV land, as I mentioned Rivian stock price rise looking tougher to maintain.
Here's the global stock market picture with futures reflecting yesterday's struggle. The initial U.S. stock market rally yesterday, I think. A
response to reduce uncertainty over the role of the next Fed chair, then came the caution with tech stocks falling well over 1 percent. With the
decision out of the way, Jay Powell now has arguably pre-reign to react to thorn issues like inflation and suddenly, bond markets are pricing two rate
hikes in the first half of next year.
The key question is whether rate hikes can even help with this, most importantly perhaps. And secondly, whether the energy price rises, and the
supply chain kinks are perhaps already easing.
JPMorgan thinks that may be the case for iPhones at least with Apple's shares rising to records on their reports, but in real news today is in the
energy markets. Oil pretty choppy actually after the U.S. administration confirmed it will release some 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic
Petroleum Reserve. 32 million barrels of that will be exchanged over the next several months.
So, there is a timing key here. The hope is that it will help ease energy costs for U.S. consumers and beyond. Because it's expected to be a part of
a coordinated effort with other non-OPEC plus nations. And that's where we begin the drivers.
Christine Romans joins us now.
Christine, you have an idea of where I'm going to take this conversation. But let's first talk about the release of some of those strategic reserves.
President Biden had been under serious pressure to do something about high energy costs.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. The optics of high gas prices really tough in this country. I mean even as - the reason -
- one of the reasons why gas prices are high is because we've come out of the near standstill of the COVID shutdowns last year.
Remember when oil prices briefly went negative, right? Because you had to pay someone to take your oil off your hands. And now, this year, the
opposite. You don't have enough supply to meet roaring demand in the U.S. and around the world. And you've got the supply chain hiccups. You have
OPEC plus, a powerful cartel that isn't raising its production targets as much as oil consuming nations would like. So, you got a little bit of
Petropolitics happening here as well.
In the U.S. though, this a president and a White House that knows keenly that the American people do not like to pay $15 more for a gallon of gas --
a tankful of gas rather this year than last year. And so, that just trajectory, that daily, weekly reminder of higher prices is something
that's hurting confidence in this country even when we know the U.S. GDP is back to pre-pandemic levels, jobs are starting to come in yet. The gas
price thing is a real - it's a real optics problem for this White House. So how they handle it is critical.
CHATTERLEY: There's a smorgasbord of information in there and it's tough to choose what to do. I love the idea of Petropolitics. It's complicated.
CHATTERLEY: If you are a nation, at the very least, trying to target either supply or targeting prices, you are asking for all sorts of trouble based
on what we see in terms of history trying to achieve this. But I guess I would tie some of the stories together here.
The idea of JPMorgan saying some of the supply chain kinks perhaps for Apple at least are coming out. Here is some of the data suggesting that
maybe we've seen the peak, perhaps.
CHATTERLEY: Even in energy prices. And I just wonder whether what we are seeing here in terms of a strategic oil release comes at a time when we're
already on the downward trend for many of these issues, or an improving trend, let's call it that.
ROMANS: And that would be some luck for the Biden administration, wouldn't it? Because they have for weeks, we've been talking to these other players.
We know China, South Korea, and the UK, and India, and Japan, who they say will have coordinated releases with them. Still waiting to see the details
from each of those countries over the fact that it is a coordinated SPR release is important.
It shows that they've got some - they've got some other - other folks on board here and makes it a little bit more bang for your buck. But we have
also been hearing from people inside the White House that they have been watching sort of the - the through traffic from ports and rails and trucks
and they're starting to see that mess kind of work itself out.
We that know some of the big retailers have just bypassed the traditional system themselves and have bought their own container ships and trucking
routes and the likes, so they could make sure that their products are on the store shelves.
So, it might be that the worst of that supply chain mess is behind us. And maybe the peak is in for oil for the year. Then you put this political
effort by the - you know, international political efforts you know spearheaded by the White House on top of things. Maybe they'll get a little
bit of credit for trying to do more on inflation.
Because there was a time in the past few weeks when there are those who were -- especially people who were opponents of this administration who are
trying say that the White House was tone deaf on the daily and weekly suffering of American families in terms of inflation.
So, this is a - this is a -- maybe symbolic but certainly an important move here.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah, and the timing could be a stroke of luck or a stroke of genius. You decide.
Christine Romans, thank you so much as always.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
CHATTERLEY: To Europe now, where temperatures are plunging and COVID cases are on the rise, the French prime minister has tested positive despite
being fully vaccinated while Austria's chancellor has stern words as the country's lockdown enters day two.
Salma Abdelaziz is in Vienna once again for us.
Salma, I think I saw the labor minister talking this morning about the likely impact, perhaps on jobs, on businesses, particularly in the busy
run-up to the holiday, the Christmas period, in particular, to have lockdowns like this. What are we talking in terms of economic impact? Can
you give us any sense of what people there are saying or at least worried about?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely, Julia. There is definitely a sense of despondence. I mean this is the second holiday season that
businesses are missing out on. I mean we were in a Christmas market when they are literally shutting their doors. They'd only just opened of course
a few days before. And now, shuddered, unsure if they're going to even open to take advantage of the Christmas season.
This is a city iconic for its Christmas. Its beautiful museums. You've got the ski slopes which are all shut down. If you go on the tourism website
there, it says we are closed for business.
Julia, you are talking about potentially 400,000 people in this country that could need government subsidies, local media reporting. You could see
over a billion dollars in losses, that could increase, depending on how long this period of lockdown goes. It's about 20 days now. But it could be
extended if the crisis continues.
But the Austrian chancellor was absolutely unequivocal. He needs to see more people vaccinated before this country reopens. Remember it is only 66
percent of the population that is fully immunized.
Let's take a listen to what he had to say on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDER SCHALLENBERG, AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR: That's the thing that saddens me most. We have enough vaccines. We have science gave us the possibly, the
exit ticket out of this vicious circle of virus waves and lockdown discussions. Simply not enough people are using this possibility and taking
this exit ticket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Now, the chancellor has, of course, announced that Austria will be the first country in Europe to mandate vaccines, Julia, by February 1st.
Everyone in this country has to be immunized otherwise they could face fines.
And if you ask some of the doctors and nurses in this country, these vaccine mandates, these restrictions against the unvaccinated, they are
working. I will give you one example on November 19th, Vienna, this city right here, saw a record number of people getting their shots. More people
getting immunized than in a 24-hour period at any point in this pandemic. The healthcare system say they are on the brink and they absolutely need
these restrictions in place to try to stave off these infection rates, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. Salma, stay safe, please. And thank you for joining us on that.
Salma Abdelaziz in Vienna there.
OK. Let's move on. 1-billion-pound booster, AstraZeneca cutting the ribbon today on a costly new research in development center in Cambridge England.
The COVID vaccine maker are hoping the facility will help drive the next wave of medical innovation.
Anna Stewart is there for us. And Anna, I believe you're caught up with the CEO too. What did he have to say about this investment?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, of course, he's very keen to show off this fancy new building. It costs $1.3 billion. And actually, his Royal
Highness Prince Charles is in there right now unveiling it officially.
This is where new medicines will be developed particularly for cancer, cardiovascular, rare diseases. These are the real growth areas for
AstraZeneca. Of course, we're always interested to hear a lot about their COVID-19 vaccine that is being critical, of course, to the world. And that
is where we really started our discussion.
And I asked him, how it has been going over the last year-and-a-half given all of the negative headlines that had been about this vaccine, despite its
relative success. And he has some interesting thoughts, particularly he said that perhaps his vaccine, he suggested, could have a more durable
immune response in terms of T-cells compared to mRNA vaccines such as the Pfizer one without of course the data though, at this stage to back it up.
But given the fourth wave of COVID cases sweeping across Europe, as you're speaking to Salma Abdelaziz just there, he had this advice for governments
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PASCAL SORIOT, CEO ASTRAZENECA: Vaccine their people and they're doing it. And of course, when appropriate continue to use masks. I think it is
important people don't give up the masks too quickly. So, of course, we can't spend our entire life with masks. But we should get into a habit of
wearing them where necessary and - and not elsewhere. But the vaccinations are really the first line of defense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: They are also -- or they have also developed an antibody cocktail jab that they hope will be authorized, perhaps in the U.S. Although their
COVID-19 vaccine still hasn't been authorized there. And it's been quite interesting that such a great feat to develop a successful vaccine,
But actually, this vaccine has generated so many negative headlines for AstraZeneca rather implored its many ways, whether it was the delayed
shipments to Europe, who launched legal proceedings against them, whether it was that rare side effects related to blood clotting which limited its
use by some countries, or of course the fact that their efficacy rates and those initial phase three trials that came in slightly lower than mRNA
vaccines. So, he is certainly trying to boost confidence about the COVID-19 vaccine.
It's important, I think, to remember at this stage, you know AstraZeneca have been making this at cost. They have not been profiting from the
vaccine unlike many of their rivals. And we know that COVID-19 vaccines have actually created eight or nine new billionaires due to the rising
share prices of some of the pharmaceutical companies out there.
AstraZeneca is now going to charge more for their vaccines for those countries that can afford it. How much more? He wouldn't say. Julia?
CHATTERLEY: Yes. But it was good that you asked. But your point is well about the T-cell response to this vaccine as well relative to the mRNA
vaccine. So, of course, we didn't test for T-cell response on that form of immunity. Very, very interesting. But again, as you quite rightly said, we
need the data.
You can hear the full interview with the AstraZeneca CEO on tonight's "Quest Means Business."
Good job, Anna. Thank you very much for joining us on that.
We're back after this. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
The right to rest. Portugal has just made it illegal for bosses to contact employees outside of working hours. The goal, a better work-life balance of
people working from home.
Isa Soares explains how for the Portuguese the world of work is changing.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The Portuguese Parliament here behind me has approved one of the most employee-friendly labor laws in an
attempt really to preserve the work-life balance as people continue to work from home.
Now, under this new law, bosses are not allowed to contact employees outside of working hours. And that basically means no phone calls, no text
messages and no e-mails, or else they'll be fined.
(voice-over): The new law says employees must also pay working from home expenses, such as increased electricity, gas and internet bills. On the
streets of Lisbon, many told me this law was essential.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): But working from home, there was an extension of our working hours and unfortunately some bosses could have
had a tendency to abuse us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I know what my colleagues and I went through and a lack of regard for working hours, because they're not
respected. People nowadays have to be available 24 hours a day because they have a company cell phone or a work computer. People have to have their own
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think there should be some sort of regulation in regard to questions working from home. I'm not sure that
just because it's been written in law that it will be effective enough for it to be respected.
SOARES: Portugal's ruling socialist party is hoping the new labor law will attract digital nomads to their shores.
ANA MENDES GODINHO, PORTUGUESE MINISTER OF LABOR AND SOCIAL SECURITY: This gives power to workers that can choose the best place to live and to work
to any parts of the world. Of course, it also gives a huge opportunity to companies that can have the best talent in the world no matter where the
SOARES (on camera): It is perhaps a bit too soon to tell how exactly this law will be implemented. But it was one of the last measures taken by
parliament before it was dissolved ahead of a snap election next year, where jobs and the economy are likely to be the main issues.
Isa Soares, CNN, Lisbon, Portugal.
CHATTERLEY: Now for more on this, Portugal's labor solidarity and social security minister, Ana Mendes Godinho joins us now. It's fantastic to have
you with us. And we just gave of you as a teaser of you there in that little - that little package.
Minister, let's talk about this. The world of work is evolving. Through the pandemic, after the pandemic. I think what you are saying is, and someone
said it there, people's time needs to be respected. How are you going to ensure that with this piece of the law specifically, workers and are left
alone by their employers?
GODINHO: Well, first of all, hello to everyone from Portugal, hoping to have you here and to have you experiencing what's working in Portugal
because we are also promoting Portugal has the best country to live and to work in a remote way. So, this is one of the pieces that we are working on
And yes, I agree with you. The pandemic showed us all that we have to have a better work-life balance between work, family, personal life. And this is
what we try to include in the discussion in Portugal, discussing what the future of work must be. The future that it's not future.
The pandemic showed how much present it is at a time and we all know how teleworking or remote working in a massive way showed us all that we have
to have some clarification of some rules to guarantee that we have a better work-life balance and that also work takes part of our life in a balanced
So, this is the purpose of the amendment that was made by the parliament in Portugal, trying exactly to clarify the law, of course, it was just
approved recently. So, let see how it will be then implemented.
But the main focus is to have some clarification in some of the rules. Namely, as you said, the right to disconnect, but also in terms for example
for parents to guarantee that parents that have children up to eight-years- old, they can choose to work in a remote work or teleworking.
So, guaranteeing that they have a better way of managing their lives with children, with family, because also with pandemic, I think it showed how
much we must guarantee that the social dimension is part and it's the basis of our common life.
CHATTERLEY: Minister, I still understand. And I think a lot of people I think will be identifying if they're working from home or have been working
from home. What you are trying to do here.
How are you going to enforce it, though? And are there - but wait, are there the ability for or is there the ability for an employer to say to a
worker, look, sign this piece of paper and that means you sign away your right not to be contacted. Because there are jobs that require perhaps
being contacted. Can you sign the right way as an employee?
GODINHO: Well, the rule that was approved state that it is the right of the worker and that the employer can only contact the worker if it is an urgent
subject or is necessary. So, the law also foresees the situations where there is a need in fact to contact, but the rule is to guarantee that there
is this separation between the work life and the family life.
Of course. These does not include as you can imagine some areas where you have special responsibilities and that you have not a defined timetable
schedule. So, this is for workers who have a schedule, a concrete schedule that have to comply.
CHATTERLEY: And small business is excluded I believe as well if you have less than 10 employees.
GODINHO: Yes, they are excluded.
CHATTERLEY: Because this is an important aspect, too.
CHATTERLEY: You know, I've spoken to a couple of lawyers about this and they say, bottom line if are you a company, expect higher costs as a result
of the plans that you've now put into place. Is that a part of the deal? And your messages look, companies in Portugal, you can wear the cost here.
You have enough money.
GODINHO: No, well, the main purpose of this law as I was telling you is to guarantee that we have a clarification and that we have more life balance
between work and the personal life. And the main idea is to guarantee, of course, that teleworking or remote working does not mean an increase of
costs for workers. So, the idea is exactly to guarantee that the cost of this type of work is not increased for the worker, but it's assumed -
CHATTERLEY: Yes. It's borne by the employer. It's borne by the companies, not the worker.
GODINHO: Then, when there is an increase of cost due to this type of worker -- for the worker, so this is only that case when you have an increase of
costs. For example, because you have to be - you have to have more access to Internet, whatever. In that case, the cost must be supported by the
But I have to say, as we all know, the telework and remote work do open a huge opportunity to work the relations. Employers can find the best worker
wherever he is in the world. At the same time, the worker can also find the employer -- the best employer for his competencies.
So, the main idea here is first to have a law with clarified rules so that people don't have doubts during the pandemic. There were many situations
that people didn't know what to do or what the rules were. So, we're trying to clarify so that things, the rules are clear. And at the same time, as I
was saying, to promote a more balanced life between work and personal life and to guarantee, to balance the different interests in the - in the --
this type of situation.
CHATTERLEY: I want to talk about one of the other policies that I saw, which was a 5,000 Euro payout. As you have alluded to, you want to promote
Portugal as a great place for digital nomads, a 5,000 Euro payout I believe if a Portuguese citizen or a foreigner wants to come and live in rural
parts of Portugal and work for at least a year. How many people do you think are going to take up that 5,000 Euro promise? How many people are you
expecting to move to rural Portugal?
GODINHO: Well, I think the price is not what will motivate necessarily people. What we saw during the pandemic was that many people decided to
move to rural areas exactly because of safety, quality of life and because with the pandemic, it was obvious that you can work from any part of the
world to any part of the world.
As I don't have to explain you, but Portugal does have huge advantages in terms of climate, in terms of safety, in terms of quality of life. So, we
decided to take up this moment, to take up the advantages of remote working, to promote Portugal as this place for workers who want to work to
any place in the world in a very profitable country.
And that's why we decided to launch this program. Initially it was only for Portuguese citizens and residents. But we decided to open this to foreign -
- foreigners because we do want and do welcome anyone who wants to come to rural areas in Portugal, taking the advantage of this future of work - type
of work who can allow you to be here in a very pleasant country, welcoming country, but positioning ourselves as this country who is also creating a
special program to help people who want to move to Portugal with this purpose, not only with this allowance to help to the settlement. But also
helping in terms of finding houses, finding a place to stay.
GODINHO: So, this is the idea.
CHATTERLEY: We were just showing some really beautiful pictures of Portugal. I have to say, 11 hours interrupted sleep a night, rural
Portugal. I'm solved.
GODINHO: So, I am --
CHATTERLEY: I have to - I have to wrap you up there. It has been great to talk to you. Come back and talk to us soon please.
GODINHO: OK. I hope you are here.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. I am going to take it as an invite.
Portugal's Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho. Minister, fantastic to chat.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you.
The market open is next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And the U.S. markets are up and running this Tuesday. Enthusiastic applause there at the New York Stock Exchange but it is a cautious Wall Street open
after Monday's more than 1 percent tech slide.
The Nasdaq pulling back from records on fears that richly valued tech names will perhaps become less attractive as the Fed cuts back on economic
support in order to battle things like inflation.
Turkey's economic crisis meanwhile still raging with the lira falling to a fresh record low today. The dollar currently up more than 8 percent against
the Turkish lira. And that's what you can see there.
President Erdogan hinting that he won't allow the country's Central Bank to reverse recent rate cuts despite soaring inflation. Cash fleeing the
Turkish lira but still finding a home in alternative assets like digital currencies. Bitcoin, for example, edging a bit higher today. Recent trading
has been relatively choppy with prices still below that $60,000 a level. The bitcoin still up some 100 percent so far this year. Context always key.
Now, to one giant leap for crypto start-up MoonPay today, less than three years after it was founded. MoonPay's valuation has shot up to $3.4
billion. That according to its first fundraising round. The company's software allows users to buy crypto currencies using traditional payment
methods such as bank transfers and credit cards. It's just raised over a half a billion dollars from investors.
And joining us now is Ivan Soto-Wright. He is co-founder and CEO of MoonPay. Congratulations on that funding round and that valuation Ivan.
Explain the MoonPay mission.
IVAN SOTO-WRIGHT, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, MOONPAY: Yes. So, we think crypto is 100 percent the future. We think it's the biggest innovation since the
Internet. The Internet was about making communication easier for people all around the world. We think crypto is about making exchange of value easier
for everyone in the world.
MoonPay is connecting the traditional finance system to this new crypto economy and enabling millions of people around the world to access it with
their favorite payment methods, whether be done on debit credit cards or their back account.
CHATTERLEY: You called it crypto is service. Is it literally that basic, transferring digital currencies, like bitcoin, for example, into fiat or
SOTO-WRIGHT: Exactly. So, you can kind of think of it as your passport. We do something called KYC which is, know-your-customer, which is in
compliance with the local rules and regulations. So, we have to do KYC first and then we can process your payment using your debit and credit card
or using your bank accounts. And then we seamlessly convert that into crypto currency. And we can do that across a whole range of platforms. We
are an infrastructure partner to some of the leading websites like bitcoin.com, we partner places like OpenSea, which is one of the largest
NFT marketplaces. But in all these places, we are making that journey simpler for users.
CHATTERLEY: The know-your-customer part of this, I think, is vitally important for people to understand as well. What about transaction costs?
What is it going to cost me to transfer from my bank card, traditional fiat currency into the equivalent in bitcoin, for example?
SOTO-WRIGHT: So, for bank transfers, it's a cheaper payment method than done with debit and credit cards when they pay. We can do that for 1
percent. And we're always trying to reduce our transaction costs as we scale.
The businesses have been bootstrapped to this point. And you know, part of the reason that we are raising a series A is to make our costs even more
competitive than they are today. We really had to optimize our business to stay to have runway and to be profitable, kind of going forward, we really
want to position the business for growth and enable more and more people to enter the crypto economy.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. I mean this is quite fascinating. I mentioned you have been profitable since you launched just in 2019. I did read you are seeing
35 times growth in transaction volume in just a space of two years. Is that right? Talk to me. Can you give me more numbers about the kind of growth
transaction volume that you are seeing?
SOTO-WRIGHT: Yeah. I mean we've had a phenomenal run. I think the pandemic was of last one event. Obviously, really tough for people all around the
world. But what I think it also did was it shifted people to understanding that the future of the economy would be digital.
And we saw an explosion of growth across a number of different crypto currency wallets, one of the really beautiful things about crypto currency
and all these digital assets is they trade 24/7. And so, for us I think, with the pandemic, we just saw an explosion of activity across all of these
CHATTERLEY: Numbers. What kind of growth are you seeing?
SOTO-WRIGHT: Numbers. Yeah. Well - well, I think for us we have been consistently growing month on month about 30 percent and kind of looking at
you know inception of the business. We've done over $2 billion of transaction volume on debit and credit cards. And we planned over the next
year to continue to grow at this rapid pace.
CHATTERLEY: Wow! And for how long? How sustainable do you think this is? And that comes down to where we are in the growth phase I think of people
understanding to some degree crypto, investing in crypto, utilizing crypto in many different forms. As you said, you do this for a number of different
platforms and different users.
SOTO-WRIGHT: Yeah. So, you know I think ultimately, what we are trying to solve here, if you think about it, the best analogy I can use is telecoms,
So, you remember it was very expensive to do a long-distance phone call. And then what you had -- you had all these different systems in different
parts of the world that then communicate with one another. And then you had the Avon, or something called voice over IP or voice over the Internet
Protocol. So, the Internet really brought you know the cost of long- distance phone calls down and we saw innovation from applications like Skype and today, to applications like Zoom. We're using voice over IP
I think the exact same thing is going to happen to financial services. So, you essentially have all these different systems in the world that don't
communicate with one another. And because of that, you have high transaction costs.
A lot of these technologies were built before the Internet. I see the block chain as money over the Internet Protocol and eventually getting to a place
where transaction costs become closer to zero. And it becomes faster, more efficient, and more secure for people to move value all around the world.
And so, I would say where we are now is, we're kind of in the dial-up phase. You know we're still determining what is the blockchain that
ultimately everyone is going to use. But over time, you know, we expect to be positioned to connect to whatever blockchain the market ultimately
decides is the winner.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. So, you think we're not even sure about where and who the winner is going to be. What about other financial services? Is that what
you also hope to provide in the future?
SOTO-WRIGHT: Right now, we're squarely focused on making this passport into crypto and out of crypto simple. I think that's kind of our square focus.
And for us, it's about connecting every single payment method across every geography where we can legally do so. And really focusing on best-in-class
conversion. And so, we want to start that journey. We want to make it as simple and intuitive as possible.
CHATTERLEY: Who is your biggest competition in this space?
SOTO-WRIGHT: Yeah, well, I think you know we are doing things quite unique. Where you know we believe in this called non-custodial. Which means we
think that in time the user experience is going to improve, and customers are going to be able to hold on to their private keys.
And what that means is they can unlock this whole new economy of web free. There's all these applications where you need to link and connect to your
We think what we are doing is quite unique in that respect. Some people compare us to PayPal. But you know in the concept of pace pal, it's a wild
garden. You know you can only have your crypto inside of PayPal, you can't interact with this wide ride of applications. So, we think what we are
doing is unique.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. Interesting. What do you make of your valuation by the way, $3.4 billion, began the company in 2019?
SOTO-WRIGHT: Yup. For us, it's been obviously a phenomenal journey, especially (AUDIO GAP) business.
CHATTERLEY: You are very calm about that. That's a very calm response.
SOTO-WRIGHT: We have a few transitions for the business. We're you know in our respect we think we are just getting started. It's still the very
beginning of this crypto economy. And for us it's about enabling as many positive use cases for people to actually have crypto impact them in
CHATTERLEY: I feel that when the - I come with switches off, you're going to turn around and jump around about that valuation. Is that a real space
helmet by the way over your right shoulder?
SOTO-WRIGHT: Yeah. So, there is a funny story behind that space helmet. Obviously, we're MoonPay. So, we're really into kind of space themed
concepts. I actually had - and this might be a little bit of a surprise, but we had Buzz Aldrin wear that helmet. Where we're doing something very
cool with Buzz, which we will share in the coming weeks and you'll see more of that helmet.
CHATTERLEY: Wow! But Buzz actually wore that helmet. Now that is very cool.
SOTO-WRIGHT: He wore that helmet which is super cool.
CHATTERLEY: It's very cool.
SOTO-WRIGHT: That's why I have - yeah, it's my inspiration.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. That's the biggest smile I've seen you give.
Come back, please. And talk to us about that announcement. And we'll talk more about the business.
Great to have you with us and congratulations.
SOTO-WRIGHT: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Ivan Soto-Wright, co-founder and CEO of MoonPay. Great to have with you us. Thank you.
SOTO-WRIGHT: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: OK. Coming up. No presents? No problem. A Brazilian unicorn helps international giants do business in Latin America. We speak with the
founder and CEO, next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
You might think that global giants like Amazon and Alibaba have a strong presence everywhere. They operate, not necessarily. Sometimes it's a lot
easier to have someone local facilitate your services and their Ebanx.
A Brazilian unicorn that gives foreign retailers access to Latin America without multiple foreign currency exposure or the language barriers.
Ebanx processed $3.5 billion worth of transactions in 2020. And its newly released annual study shows there is plenty more growth to come in their
Joining us now is a co-founder and CEO of Ebanx, Joao Del Valle.
Joao, fantastic to have you on the show.
You are actually calling LatAm a hypergrowth market for e-commerce and digital payments. What does that mean in practice? Can you give us the
JOAO DEL VALLE, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, EBANX: Sure, Julia. Thanks for having me.
I think this is - this is the moment for LatAm. It's really in the best two years, the region has been accelerating. It's says to be - it's said to be
the region that has the highest growth in e-commerce in the world. So, the region to grow the most.
And for the next years until 2025, the whole region is still expected to grow more than 30 percent per year. So that means almost tripling up until
2025. So really fantastic opportunity for consumers and for merchants and global companies to really connect and take advantage of this new digital
CHATTERLEY: And this is not just about Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the obvious countries that you think about. This is also happening in Central
America as well.
DEL VALLE: Exactly. Yeah, the region as a whole is going to grow about like 30 percent a year. Amazing growth. But there are specific regions like
Central America, Paraguay, Peru, which are growing even more, like more than 50 percent or sometimes even 80 percent per year. Because these
regions, this country they are sometimes in the early stages of the digital commerce age. So, we can expect much more acceleration there. So, a lot to
happen in terms of growth really.
CHATTERLEY: And how much of this is being done by mobile phones versus desktops? Because it's a confluence of factors here. It is sort of digital
penetration and the penetration of broadband access, mobile phone access that's facilitating this. I believe it's around two-thirds done on mobile
phones. Is that - is that right?
DEL VALLE: Yeah. That gap has been crossed. Like that balance between desktop and mobile with the acceleration caused by the pandemic.
But also, I think what happened in the pandemic is digital inclusion and financial inclusion.
DEL VALLE: Some people have more access. They have more access to smart phones and also on digital payment means. So, they are all included in the
digital space now. So, they can join the big world of global commerce.
CHATTERLEY: OK. I'm going to try and ask. I didn't get -- what this means for retailers. I mean, if we take, for example, in Brazil, MercadoLibre is
still I guess the biggest in terms of e-retailer. In established markets, you know we often talk about the simplicity of payments. We talk about get
the product that I just bought online to me as soon as possible.
Are we starting to see that push from consumers as well? They're so expecting more from their retailers. And what does that mean for some of
the external competitors? The Walmarts, the Amazons, for example, that you are dealing with and are pushing into this space?
DEL VALLE: Yeah. I think we are living - we are living exactly in an age that we call the age of instant gratification, right? People want
everything right now, instantly. They use TikTok, they use Reels, Instagram, everything. So, they want to have those 15 seconds, 30 seconds
of everything. And in e-commerce is the same thing.
So, people really want to buy instantly. They want to pay instantly. Even if they don't have a credit card. Now they can have instant payments, and
that's -- there are initiatives for that all over LatAm. And instant deliveries like some things that were maybe more common in the U.S. or more
Now, it's getting -- we're getting a lot of demand from the Latin American consumers as well to get same day delivery. Even 20 minutes delivery. 30
minutes delivery. So, yeah, there's a lot of push for service quality and instant gratification.
CHATTERLEY: It's great to be a consumer. It's great to be in your business, too. I want to talk about that.
But first, you need to explain to me what what Pix - P-I-X is that operates in Brazil. Because 12 months ago, I hadn't even heard from this and I read
in your report that over half the population of Brazil now us this. What is Pix?
DEL VALLE: Yeah. That was a fantastic thing that was designed and built by the Central Bank of Brazil. And all the banks and payment institutions
participated. And one is that an instant payment method that you can do bank transfers in 10 seconds, and under 10 seconds. So, it's instantaneous.
It's free. So, if a person is going to do a transfer to another person that's free, free of charge. And it's widely available.
And every person that has a smartphone can have a bank account or payments account and they will join the Pix ecosystem. So, it's instantaneous,
widely available and free.
So, that created a huge boom. So, in 12 months since it was launched, and now half of the population of Brazil use it. So more than 100 million
people are using Pix. So, and the young generation but also the older people, my mother, my father-in-law. They all do Pix because it's so
simple. And it's really reducing the need for users of cash.
And now everybody is really on the financial including doing bank transfers for all purposes. So, really amazing system and all the banks joined this.
So, a good thing is happening.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. All the Central Banks should be looking at this. You know when I introduced you, I mentioned that you processed in 2020, I believe,
$3 billion worth, a volume, the banner across the bottom there just said you can see it processing $7 billion plus transactions this year.
So, that gives my viewers a sense of the growth that Ebanx personally is sealing. Just walk us through the scale of growth that you are seeing, the
expansion into different parts of Latin America that you're seeing. And then you can tell me whether or not you plan an IPO in the early part of
DEL VALLE: Yeah. Our mission, Julia, has been to connect Latin Americans to global commerce. And that's a clear mission. Connect Latin Americans to
global commerce. Whatever they're buying - if they're buying digital goods or online streaming, anything, we're going to do that.
So, and we have been paving the way and building a lot of infrastructure for that in terms of payments, in terms of people. We have more than 1,000
people working with us and building products for the people we work with.
And for the future, we are excited to connect even more people, so enabling banks and all the big merchants of the world are in the big digital
companies of the world.
So, imagine this, the region is growing a lot. It's tripling up. And this digital companies that we work with are also growing a lot. So, these are
the fastest growing companies of the planet. So, we can expect a huge explosion of growth in Latin America in the digital space.
And we at Ebanx, we're paving the way for that in the means especially of payments.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah. Markets growing, retailers, and those who are accessing the market are growing and you're capturing both. IPO, Joao? IPO.
DEL VALLE: Yeah, I cannot discuss that right now. But when if I can, you will be the first one to know.
CHATTERLEY: He says -- smiling broadly and looking out the window. We shall see. Come back and talk to us soon please. Thank you.
Early next year, perhaps.
DEL VALLE: OK. Thank you too.
CHATTERLEY: Joao Del Valle, great to have you on the show. Co-founder and CEO of Ebanx.
DEL VALLE: Thank you. Appreciate it.
CHATTERLEY: More after this. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And to a shock in the EV market. Rivian and Ford saying they are no longer working together on an electric vehicle. The stocks fell 17 percent at one
point on Monday's trading session. It closed down 8 percent is now up, some two percent but follows.
Our Paul La Monica joins me now.
Firstly, the bumper gains I think makes everybody nervous. At these lofty heights but there had been talk that Ford and Rivian would work together.
Ford also a huge investor, which perhaps also played into the price action we saw yesterday. What do you think?
PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNN REPORTER: Yeah. I think, Julia, that there should be legitimate concerns about Rivian losing this Ford partnership. Especially
when you factor in that Rivian doesn't have - forget about profits. It doesn't even have any revenue yet.
It's just all of just a dream and a whole pin a wing in a prayer. They do have that relationship with Amazon which is plunging to buy electric
vehicles. And Amazon also owns a very large stake in Rivian. So, I think that's supporting the stock price a bit and as we pointed out, Rivian still
as a market value that's higher than Ford because 2021, why the heck not.
CHATTERLETY: Yeah. I mean, Ford has got proof of actually being able to manufacture, get costs out there. Service those cars. It's got legacy but
it also has a competitive situation with Rivian too. I mean that Ford 150 lightning vehicle is going to hit the market or they're going to begin
deliveries next year.
So, in terms of the competition, for me, it makes sense that the relationship breaks down. the bigger is or at least they don't work
together anymore because they are going competition.
Do they continue to remain a shareholder in Rivian, which is perhaps the bigger question?
LA MONICA: Yeah.
CHATTERLEY: And I think your point -
LA MONICA: Yeah, you do have to work (AUDIO GAP) come from.
CHATTERLEY: Do you think that's a possibility?
LA MONICA: I think it's possible. I mean, when you look at this environment that we're in right now in the electric vehicle market. I mean, Tesla is
clearly the king and I think everyone else is scrambling to try and gain market share. And that's happening both with the legacy auto companies.
Your GMs, Fords, Toyotas, Volkswagens of the world.
But now, all of these upstarts. You have not just Rivian, Julia, but Lucid which recently went public as well through a SPAC deal and they have you
know stock that has been soaring also. So, I think there is this investor enthusiasm for all things electric right now. And it might be just a little
ahead of itself.
CHATTERLEY: Yeah, the frostiness is perhaps the biggest story here in terms of the short-term stock prices. But apologies for interrupting you. Amazon
is the key here. And I talked to the CEO of Rivian about this, about whether that was a concrete agreement to buy Rivian trucks. And he would
not confirm nor deny. But I think that's the key to the share price above all.
Paul, great to have you with us.
LA MONICA: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Paul La Monica, thank you so much as always.
And finally, on "FIRST MOVE," you shall not pass.
Lawyers representing the estate of "The Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien have taken action against the developers of a cryptocurrency that
called itself J.R.R. Token. Lawyers accused the product of infringing the author's trademark and if not recovered the domain names associated with
We end the show on this story for you. Just think of it as our token of appreciation. Yes. I tried.
That's it for the show. Stay safe. "Connect the World with Becky Anderson" is next. And I'll see you tomorrow.