“Our Year So Far”
A Letter From Our President
President of Netcoins
It is often said when we look back on our lives, we’re able to connect the dots. This rings true as I reflect on what we’ve accomplished at Netcoins in just the first six months of what has proven to be a challenging year for all. Before I get into our key accomplishments from January to June 2020, I’d like to share with you part of the journey that has helped get us to this exciting inflection point.
When I became President of Netcoins a year ago, we had just been acquired and pivoted our business model, amongst other things (more on that here). I knew from the beginning we had our work cut out to bring the platform up to speed. With hours of brainstorming sessions on the whiteboards of our meeting rooms, we put our heads down and focused on getting the work done.
Fast forward to December, our last company “All-Hands” meeting of 2019 (we host these monthly so the teams have full visibility into every aspect of Netcoins). I was blown away by the amount of work and the velocity with which we accomplished everything. All the work done by our developers, customer success, and marketing teams was paying off and the best part? Our customers were experiencing the rewards first hand.
What followed at the start of 2020 were countless coffees (personal tip: adding turmeric and pepper has added health benefits), meetings, slack messages, long walks, and early mornings trying to set a vision for the new year. It took weeks of strategizing, creating a roadmap, and running at break speed trying to trigger lightbulb moments, but the effort paid off as now more than halfway through 2020 we’re seeing the rewards and hitting key milestones for our business. Below are a few of the highlights I’d like to share with you.
Let’s start with our Product.
We added new ways for customers to fund their Netcoins account. For example, with Automatic e-Transfers customers can fund their account via Interac e-Transfers and have access to their funds within minutes. With Online Bill Payments, customers can add Netcoins Inc. as a payee to their online banking to directly fund their Netcoins account. In both cases, our customers do not need to give us their banking details. That type of personal information stays with them.
Given we added new ways to fund, we also expanded our coin offerings and gave our customers the ability to hold both U.S. Dollars and Canadian Dollars in their Netcoins accounts (and toggle between both currencies). We also offer Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP to trade and this year we added stablecoins, QCAD and Tether.
With 7 cryptocurrencies available to trade, we thought it was important to show better visibility into the transactions made. Our team redesigned our Confirmation Screens and Transaction History to include a full breakdown of the price, fees, and order status by linking to the blockchain explorer when applicable. Full transparency, right away.
A great part of being a lean team, is that we’re able to collaborate not just between the different departments internally, but also with our customers. A lot of the work we do is based on customer feedback that acts as our guiding light.
This is how Price Alerts and Limit Orders came to be.
Price Alerts notify customers of crypto price changes through text messages and/or emails. This is pre-set by a user, and they get to decide what kind of “milestones” they want to get updated on – whether Bitcoin reached $10,000 or there was a 5% change in the price of Ethereum.
Limit Orders has been something that our users, both beginners and savvy have asked for. It allows customers to buy or sell at a certain price. For example, customers can set a limit order that goes something like this “Buy $100 when Bitcoin reaches $9,000.” It’s a helpful way to stack sats and build up crypto wealth at a rate that feels comfortable. Not everyone loves staring at the price all day, so the automated execution of limit orders helps minimize any fear of missing out. The goal is to equip our users with the tools to buy and sell effortlessly, stress-free.
I think of these new features as working together to allow our customers to:
- have immediate access to their funds. We don’t believe in holding your funds for hours or days (in fact we’re adamantly opposed to that) and;
- have real-time updates on the change in the price of crypto for better investing decisions.
Overall, with the new features and the subtle but effective UI/UX changes, I think our customers will find that the Netcoins experience is much smoother, seamless, and more user-friendly than before. After all, it was built to make trading easy for Canadians.
In addition to features, we built out a Referral Program where customers can now refer their friends and family. If the referee trades $100 worth of crypto, each party (referrer and referee) will get $10 CAD.
On top of building out these new features, we added Two Factor Authentication to help secure customers’ accounts when withdrawing funds – and more generally protect them against bad actors. We also added live dynamic prices and launched a Help Center within our Netcoins App.
Now moving onto Design and Marketing.
Being that we pivoted our business model towards the end of 2019, it was important for our brand to reflect those changes. After dozens of design iterations, we finally settled on a logo we felt spoke loudest about who we are at our core – serious about crypto and safety, yet warm and approachable. It took a while to strike that balance but I’m happy to say “we got there.”
Of course, our new logo provided a new opportunity to redesign our brand but before delving into that project, we asked ourselves:
“How can we make cryptocurrencies less mysterious, intimidating and complicated for Canadians?”
Our marketing team conducted interviews to delve into our customers’ pain points, and completely redesigned our website and social media channels to help address these points. You’ll find that our new homepage now also includes information about our story, our team, our features, and our coin offerings.
Together with our website, our blog and amazing bite-sized social media posts, help to educate Canadians about our money system and how cryptocurrencies play within and outside that model. Brilliant effort in advancing the education of cryptocurrencies.
Personally, one of my favourite marketing projects was the introduction of Bitto, our Bitcoin mascot, during Valentine’s day. Bitto walked out on the streets of downtown Vancouver handing out over 500 roses, hugs, high fives, even breaking out in dance moves. We loved seeing all the photos and videos posted online by Vancouverites posing with Bitto.
It’s been a lot of work to ramp up our platform in terms of robustness, design and security. But it’s also been fun to work on this mission with the small, talented and dedicated team we have at Netcoins. Together we’re enjoying surprising and serving our community of customers, who place so much trust and support in us.
As I write this blog, there are many new parties entering the world of crypto (from Paypal, Mastercard, Wealthsimple etc). While I think this is great for the overall adoption of crypto, I urge everyone to remember Trace Meyer’s important lesson: “Not your keys, not your coins.” I hope Canadians will remember to do their own research, trade safely and always be in full control of their own crypto.
Our mission at Netcoins is to make crypto easy for Canadians to understand and invest in. We are seeing a record number of sign ups, active users, funding and transactions made. It’s a trend that reflects today’s reality: more and more Canadians are investing in crypto and our numbers show that. We’re seeing fiat money being challenged and the value of Bitcoin being exposed, and I think this is great for the economic future of Canada.
Finally, I want to thank our customers for trusting us when it comes to crypto trading. We have poured so much time and effort, dedication and doggedness into building a platform that serves Canadians. Thank you for committing to us from our early days to now. We have a lot in store for the rest of 2020 and we’re excited for what’s to come.
President of Netcoins