Vlad Centea, Senior Manager and Cofounder of Morfin, scheduled a session of interviews with clients to gauge their needs. It allowed the startup to take the temperature of the community and make sure the product fits well with their needs. This has led to some insights about how users see cryptocurrencies.
by: Silicon Luxembourg
photo: Serge Deuces
featured: Vlad Centea
“It got me really excited to see people are still eager to see crypto products. Developers especially are working around the clock with Blockchain and are missing a platform that allows them to implement IoT tokens in a compliant way. Crypto is still a big deal, even though the price slumped over the past year. It’s just relevant in a different way than before. Speculating on the price was replaced by huge investments (of time and money) in the technology. And there is still an amazing opportunity in that”, Centea explains. “The one hour-long interviews were insightful, but most people first wanted to know what we were working on and what we were all about.”
“I feel that crypto in general is at a new stage of adoption, one that is very challenging. That’s compliance.”
What is your startup about?
Morfin.io is about inclusiveness and usability. Most of us already use mobile wallets and banking apps. They are actually very comfortable to use. We wanted to bring this usability feature into crypto for everyone. We created a compliant digital bank for the Blockchain community.
We came out with a mobile application allowing users to buy, sell and transfer cryptocurrencies directly from their bank account. As simple as bridging these two financial worlds may sound, it’s actually quite a complex task. You need to create a compliance firewall on crypto transactions to avoid creating an automated money laundering or terrorist financing mechanism. AML on the Blockchain is still the challenge for all players in this space and a roadblock for adoption.
I feel that crypto in general is at a new stage of adoption, one that is very challenging. That’s compliance. I personally hope that compliance will support users, developers and the price of crypto overall. Let’s face it, adding the compliance feature solves some of the grittiest issues in our industry – trust, security, and convenience.
“The technology is still interesting. There is still an interest in integrating Blockchain with IoT and smart contracts.”
Do you think it’s the right time for a crypto-product now that the price is down?
A lot of the questions revolved around the price of cryptocurrencies today. People still want to talk about the price and miss the good, great and nerve-wrecking trading days.
On a formal level, it’s really hard to speculate on what the market will look a year from now. I think people were mistaken when they thought a high price will bring mass adoption. Services and institutional integration drive better mass adoption than any 10x ROI. Yes, we are going through a nuclear winter in that area, but I am surprised so many people ignored the legislative void and the lack of services for so long. It was supposed to be more of a hot topic two years ago, before it caught up to knock the price down. But let’s face it, the technology is still interesting. There is still an interest in integrating Blockchain with IoT and smart contracts. I talked to some of the top developers inside the industry. How would they feature IoT without a blockchain token? They wouldn’t. Do we want that token on a public Blockchain? Of course. These are the relevant questions right now. This is what stands a real chance to drive the price up.
Do you have crypto?
Users often get close and personal and want to hear about how involved we are in the industry. To me, this question means “how much is our involvement into the market worth?”
The answer is very involved. I had crypto for a long time and dipped my toes into some speculation at the right time. I still have a cold wallet and some of the coins that showed promise. We all have them and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have come with the idea of a crypto compliant bank.
We are part of this community so we faced the same problems as the others. But until we met Dimitri – an innovative banker – we did not imagine that you could actually build a bank from smaller SaaS building blocks. Then we spent many months working on the model and created Morfin’s blueprints. It was a combination of our own experience with tools and services in this space with the discovery that we actually can do it.
“Our offer is quite simple: a mobile bank for the blockchain generation.”
What am I getting with Morfin? What is the actual product? What can you do for me?
Our offer is quite simple: a mobile bank for the blockchain generation. For people familiar with N26, or Revolut, or Monzo, we’ll provide a similar user experience but adding crypto services for the crypto community. We’ll be a one-stop-shop for banking with crypto in a compliant and safe way. In other words, you get the extra level of compliance to crypto. Does the market need that? I think so, otherwise I wouldn’t have spent so much time tackling the issue. Most users I talked to had problems with undue suspicions and frozen accounts. Crypto, by default, tripped all the wires when conversing with banks.
Most importantly, the banking system took over the market. They get to set the trends. What do users get accustomed to when working with a mobile wallet? The kind of layout they use in the beginning will probably shape their expectations. Usability means familiarity in so many ways! So we want our mobile app to take all the good features out there and mash them into something that is easy to use.
You do your KYC in 5 minutes and can choose between basic or premium accounts. You can choose to have virtual debit cards on your phone for contactless payments and online shopping. You can choose a physical card delivered. Most importantly, you can use a new IBAN, virtual card and cryptocurrency wallet. The customers can choose between a free subscription and small transaction fees and a paid subscription without any other fees.
What are the next steps in your development? What stage are you at?
We announced the subscriptions for the BETA program. This closed BETA program will include a limited number of people invited to try our product and to help us prepare it for the wider community. The people involved in the BETA program will be rewarded and they will become the ambassadors of our product. Then there will be the public release and, in agreement with the community, we’ll add more features one by one, such as a peer-to-peer marketplace, peer-to peer exchange, peer-to-peer ATM, business accounts for SMEs and others. Our plan is to keep a close touch with the community throughout the entire process. Every time we scale up, we want to make sure we still make the time to take the temperature of the market.