What do you think about Binance’s acquisition of Coinmarketcap? How will this affect the perception of this website?
Honestly – negative. Coinmarketcap, as our direct competitor in its mission, was to be an independent portal, stand in the middle as a judge and report on exchange volumes. How he has performed in this role over the last few years, I leave it for independent assessment by each reader. As of today, Coinmarketcap is not even theoretically able to fulfill this role. The recent changes to the stock exchange ranking system speak for themselves. One stock exchange is leading. It’s a bit like asking Tim Cook to prepare a ranking of the best phones, or Mark Zuckerberg to recommend a platform for Social Media.
What was your start with cryptocurrencies? How was your path to Coinpaprika?
Before starting work on Coinpaprika, I co-created several other popular internet projects and managed a company from the cybersecurity industry. It was in this company that for the first time I seriously encountered the problems and challenges that occur in the world of cryptocurrencies. The main catalyst for greater involvement in this world were my partners Michał Grzybkowski and Tomek Drożdżyński, who were deeply privy to the problems of the industry (Michał to the extent that he even wrote a book). Together, we came to the conclusion that there are many problems faced by digital assets: low adoption, lack of trust, abuse, crime, lack of reliable information, lack of regulation, and artificial pumping of the value of some projects. Therefore, having experience in combating cyber crimes and abuses, we decided to focus on the foundations – that is, collecting reliable and truthful information about markets and exchanges. We have made a technological effort and integrated ourselves with most exchanges in order to extract the most up-to-date data, but also to detect manipulations (intentional and unintentional). Thanks to this approach and the publication of additional indexes defining the quality of exchanges and projects, we were quickly appreciated among the community around the world and currently we are the 4th most popular site in the world that publishes such information.
In the meantime, we noticed another problem faced by cryptocurrency users on a daily basis – the lack of a friendly, secure tool for holding cryptocurrencies. That is why we focused on the next necessary foundation – i.e. a wallet for many cryptocurrencies – the COINS application. This project is still at a very early stage (iOS version from January, Android from June), but we are already seeing a lot of interest and high ratings from Coins users.
The cryptocurrency market has experienced many ups and downs over the past few years. How do you think digital assets perform during this first decade? How did you feel these changes yourself?
For me, one of the more interesting things was to change the perception of raising capital for projects (ICO and derivatives). Suddenly it turned out that not only do powerful VC funds have priority in making investments, but it is also possible to obtain funding from a dispersed group of project enthusiasts. Of course, we had to deal with a huge number of abuses, but this resulted in a situation in which much more emphasis was placed on security issues.
How has the technological environment of the cryptocurrency market changed from your perspective?
The new ICOs are not as impressive as they used to be. However, there are new, functional applications that are to facilitate the use of crypto. What can be said for sure is that the cryptocurrency market is maturing. It is a laborious and continuous process, so we will not see any breakthroughs here. However, if we took a “screenshot” of how the market looked and functioned a few years ago and then compared it with the current state, we can see several distinguishing features. As of today, the ICO market is practically non-existent, but other forms of financing have taken its place. At the beginning of the year, all kinds of Security Tokens, the famous STO, were in the lead. Today, however, the boom is on the broadly understood DeFi with the Compound and Maker Dao project at the front. In addition, the approach to the recipient has also changed. Blockchain technology itself is not as impressive as it was a few years ago, and therefore companies need to spend more time on how the user “experiences” cryptocurrencies. Users, especially new ones, are often not interested in advanced stock interfaces or the technical jargon of the blockchain world. They would like to be close, investing several dozen zlotys a month, while not spending dozens of hours on analysis and education. That is why more and more applications are created that allow you to start your adventure with the world of crypto in the easiest way possible. And this is, in my opinion, the clearest trend over the past few years.
What functionalities need to be further developed to attract users to the industry? As Coinpaprika, you are very active in this field.
Here we have to stop for a moment and try to differentiate crypto users at least a little. In a very simplified way, we can see the three most numerous groups. They are, as we call them – Hard Players, Casual Investors and Newcomers. Hard Users are users who have been in the industry for a long time, often play on exchanges and keep cryptocurrencies on their traders. We actually develop Coinpaprike for such users. We strive to keep the data as reliable as possible. We screen coins in terms of the depth of the markets or analyze the factors affecting the trust for a given exchange. All this so that these users can make the most informed investment decisions. Newcomers, i.e. people who are just entering the market, are people for whom the difficulty in understanding technology is often the biggest barrier. And here comes COINS, which has been designed for those who are starting their adventure with crypto. The third group, Casual Investors, are people in between. For such people, the combination of Coinpaprika (analysis) + COINS (wallet) seems to be the most optimal.
Cryptocurrency wallets are an important part of the market. The COINS application you are creating is a good example of innovation that went in the right direction. What do you think is the most important in this area – from the perspective of the user and developers creating such solutions?
If we are talking about cryptocurrency wallets, in my opinion these are two things. Safety and ease of use. Security for obvious reasons. If we are to be our own bank, we must handle our funds safely. At COINS, we place great emphasis on the security of your funds. Our wallet is independent, i.e. we as a company do not have access to the funds that the user has. Thanks to this, the user can always be sure that his money will not leave the phone without his knowledge. The other hand is ease of use. I cannot imagine a situation in which you have funds, but you cannot use them. As bizarre as it may sound, we have sometimes received messages on Coinpapryce that the user was unable to withdraw their funds from some exchange, or a “native” wallet of some coin in which they invested. This is the second most important pillar of COINS as a portfolio. COINS is to be, above all, an intuitive application.
McAfee’s bet will end in six months’ time, assuming that Bitcoin will reach USD 1,000,000. This prospect seems unrealistic after 3 years. Question – what then can we expect in the second half of 2020? What will change the market in terms of price, technology and law?
From what I can remember, McAfee has recently backed off these words, and he doesn’t believe in such great growth anymore. In my opinion, we will not see any spectacular increases in the Bitcoin price until the end of the year. Personally, I think that around 10,000 will stay with us for some time. When it comes to technology, a lot is going to happen here. As I mentioned earlier about the DeFi boom, I would say that this trend will continue and that there will be a lot more to be presented to us by the end of the year.
Recently, it has become loud in Poland because of the Superwizjer’s material about the Bitbay exchange and Sylwester Suszek. Do you think Poland needs to change its attitude towards cryptocurrencies? Or maybe the industry itself should influence risk reduction and the perception of this market?
Due to the fact that we come from a company that dealt with cybersecurity (protection of internet applications, e-shops, public administration), our DNA includes very high standards regarding information security. That is why I can confidently say that we are a security-driven company. When it comes to other products / companies – it can be different, not everyone is so focused on security and risk reduction. However, I have the impression that it is getting better and more professional companies are emerging that take care of these aspects in a similar way to analog banks known to us. When choosing partners for our projects, we always make an in-depth analysis of the quality of a given partner and select only the best solutions. In my opinion, there is still a lot to be done in terms of risk reduction and it is the responsibility of every company operating in the cryptocurrency industry. When it comes to exchanges – the first basic risk limiting factor is not to keep resources there, but in a safe wallet, such as COINS.
What are the plans for the development of Coinpaprika? What can we expect in the next versions of the COINS application?
The plans are quite extensive to be honest. When it comes to Coinpapryke, a quite significant change that will come in the near future will be the possibility of creating accounts on our website. What exactly can you do with this? Let’s leave it for another conversation. All I can say is that the users will not be disappointed for sure. When it comes to COINS, first of all, we will want to provide price alerts that are currently in the testing phase and support for more and more currencies (currently over 1500 for Android and iOS). We also want to work on communication in the application itself and translate the applications into a few missing languages. This is the plan for the next few versions.
Do you provide support for the Lightning Network in the next installments of the application?
In the near future, support for the Lighting Network is not high on our list of priorities.
Is there anything COINS will surprise users in the future? Can you tell readers something about this?
I’m more than sure. Our plans, as I have already mentioned, are extensive, what I mentioned above is the plan for the next 2-3 months, and looking at the long-distance view, we have several solutions in the backlog that are currently not on the market, and we would like them to appear in COINS. Also, there is nothing else for me to do but ask to follow our social media in order to be as informed as possible about upcoming functionalities.