Meet the Founder – Exclusive Interview with Crypterium COO and Co-Founder Gleb Markov

crypterium COO Gleb Markov interview

Crypterium is a decentralized crypto-banking platform available to anyone.

The platform is built to offer the same financial services of banks and institutions but with a focus on cryptocurrencies instead.

Deeming itself as a leading cryptobank for the cryptoeconomy, Crypterium’s goal is to provide a fully integrated platform that takes and implements the best ideas from blockchain visionaries in the industry.

A unique feature of Crypterium is that it will provide instant processing for both cryptocurrency and fiat transactions; this is a relief for consumers as many of the current cryptocurrency processing platforms charge high fees and can have low limits to new users.

With Crypterium, there are zero transaction limits and commission charges are set at an all time low which will allow users to pay with cryptocurrencies for regular goods and services globally.

Unlike many startups, Crypterium already has over 15,000 token holders from 112 countries which shows the unlimited potential of the platform.

We recently sat down with Gleb Markov, the COO of Crypterium to have a chat with him about the project as well as finding out his thoughts and insights.

Could you tell us how the idea of Crypterium appeared?

Crypterium Cryptocurrency digital blockchainOur team is involved in what could be called experimental fintech and we’ve always been innovators; the awards we received for our previous projects speak for themselves. We analyze trends, determine market needs and develop technologies to satisfy those needs. This is the seed that started Crypterium.

Although Bitcoin has been around for 8 years, cryptocurrencies only gained substantial momentum over the past 2 years. We were compelled to develop our own vision and to create a blockchain-related solution. This is what our lifestyle and professional image obliged us to do: we wouldn’t have been ourselves otherwise. We are constantly experimenting: first with contactless payments (NFC, QR), now with cryptocurrencies. This is our market role so we started to develop a product aimed at satisfying a particular need of the audience: the stores’ need to be able to accept not only fiat money but also cryptocurrencies (in various forms, i.e. fiat-crypto, crypto-fiat and crypto-crypto). We focused on the legal and organizational aspects of those schemes first, and later on the technological ones.

Gradually, the product started to turn into something bigger. Focus-group testing showed a remarkable interest towards our ideas and encouraged us to develop them even further. It all started with cryptoacquiring and then turned into the idea of a cryptobank that fully reflected our view of banking in the era of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

That’s how Crypterium was brought to life: it is our answer to the demands of the market in the era of new digital assets.

First off, why did you decide to use the blockchain in building Crypterium? What can the blockchain do that other technologies cannot?

Let’s look at it this way: we are innovators, and we now have our own attitude towards the fiat world. The blockchain technology allows us to be decentralized to the highest degree. We feel shocked when we are asked which country our cryptobank is registered in or where we have our license. The new era is here! One has to be open-minded and understand that a blockchain-based product cannot be linked to a particular country. What’s the point of setting up a legal entity when everything – the revenue, the wages – is in cryptocurrency, and all agreements are made in digital form (e.g. smart contracts)?

Focus-group testing showed a remarkable interest towards our ideas

Crypterium could do with no legal entity whatsoever. Even if all companies in the world closed down, Crypterium would remain. It would just cease to perform any fiat-related functions – but it would retain all of its cryptocurrency-related aspects. If we wanted, we could be the first cryptobank to be registered on the Moon or on Mars. That’s the kind of universal jurisdiction we desire. But of course, at the moment we still have to set up legal entities: they matter at the “fiat-cryptocurrency” intersection.

Cryptocurrencies should go hand-in-hand with governmental policies. In certain countries, the legal status of cryptocurrencies is still undefined. In some countries, like in Singapore, everything is fine; in others, like in China, it is not. But I don’t actually think it’s a problem for us. It’s technically impossible to deanonymize cryptocurrencies, and banning them altogether would be a very poor decision in the long run. Within the blockchain, nobody can rollback a transaction, identify a user or block a wallet. Everything is decentralized, anonymous and permanent – and we think it is a wonderful universe to live in.

crypterium COO Gleb Markov interview

Did you face a problem within the financial services industry, or did you find a gap in the market for Crypterium to fill? What do you think is the main obstacle Crypterium might face in the future, and what are the possible solutions?

Our project’s risks are within those typical of innovative start-ups. There is always a risk of stumbling upon some difficulty and ending up paving the way for someone else’s project of the same kind.
Some risks have to do with cryptocurrency in general: it is a new concept after all. At the same time, everything we’ve ever done up to this point has been innovative and previously unheard of.
Right now, we’ve got a chance to become pioneers in the new market. There are many similar projects, but all of them are more or less on the same level. In the cryptocurrency market, there’s nobody like JP Morgan yet; Crypterium has a chance to become the market leader. We should be compared to other cryptobanks, but that segment is currently pretty much empty.

What makes Crypterium stand out from from the rest?

Since there are many similar projects and no clear-cut leader, everyone is watching each other closely and trying to learn from the others’ experience. At the same time, there are no technologies that couldn’t be replicated by someone else. Thus, none of the existing differences are set in stone, so to say.

Right now, there are 100-200 similar projects. In a month, this number might be over 500. Most of them might have one or two competitive advantages similar to ours, yet none will have the whole set of features Crypterium can boast.

The key to success is taking over the market segment as quickly as possible. As soon as people start to associate the name of a particular project with the term “cryptobank”, nothing else will matter anymore. We’ve got all the chances to become such a project.

We’ve got the most experienced team that has been working in fintech for over a decade and has a vast, readily available portfolio of completed projects. This is one of our fundamental advantages, and it greatly boosts our chances of success regardless of any technologies we (or someone else) might possess.

Crypterium Cryptocurrency digital blockchain

What about your technological advantages?

For one, we work with all kinds of cryptocurrencies and even accept ICO tokens of other projects. As long as they are traded on the Token market, they are good enough.

Now let me explain in detail.

First of all, unlike many other projects that only have a payment service ecosystem, we have two ecosystems: one for payment services and the other for our own outlets. The former is readily accessible to anyone. The latter is unique, accessible only to ourselves and to our partners; moreover, we can further develop and expand that ecosystem.

This is familiar territory to us: for instance, PayQR (another project by Crypterium’s team) was based on its own ecosystem. We know how to build up ecosystems, and now we’re going to do it on a global scale, specifically for Crypterium.

The second advantage is our independence from banks’ payment services. The third one is our impressive commercial flexibility, increased marginality and optimized user scenarios which are more convenient for the customer and cheaper to handle for the outlet.

Moreover, our ecosystem’s exclusive feature is that it allows unique payment schemes: crypto-crypto (when the outlet is willing to accept cryptocurrency) and fiat-crypto (when the customer pays in fiat money and the outlet receives cryptocurrency).

Crypterium Cryptocurrency digital blockchain

Now, a few words about payment service infrastructure. Most similar projects work with physical cards. We’d like to steer away from that and to work only with virtual cards. Our virtual cards can be linked to various payment services – Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay. As soon as the card is linked to a payment service, it can be immediately used offline: all you need to pay is your smartphone. Or you can withdraw cash from a machine. There will be no problems, as our payment card will be issued according to the regulations of a particular payment service. This scenario also has a nice bonus: you can immediately use our virtual card to pay in offline outlets, while with physical cards you have to wait.

Many services use identified cards which have their own downsides, probably the main one being that quite severe limits are imposed upon the user. Crypterium provides a solution: as soon as you reach the limit, we issue a new card, so that you could immediately link it and continue using our services. It allows us to get rid of artificial limitations, and it’s perfectly legal.

With credit or debit card payments, it’s important for the seller and the buyer to ensure that the transaction is instantly processed.
In Bitcoin and Ethereum, it is not possible yet for transactions to be verified instantly (under a second), although solutions are currently being developed.
How will this affect Crypterium’s transaction speed? How do you plan to overcome this issue?

It’s an artificial problem. The transaction speed is the same as with a regular bank card. For the ATM, nothing changes when working with Crypterium. The customer makes the payment, and if there are any problems, the bank will just refuse the transaction. The only time-stalling issues may come from the services themselves, but they are all working as fast as possible.

Is Crypterium working with any well-known companies yet? Are any future partnerships being discussed?

It’s too early to say, partly for confidentiality reasons. I mean, we are in no hurry. We are currently in talks with potential partners, and when the time comes, we’ll make the relevant announcements.

Editors Pick: Crypterium ICO

Tell me more about Crypterium’s monthly loyalty program. What was the reasoning behind your decision to reward tokenholders, and will it affect your finances or business model in any way?

We pay the so-called loyalty awards for certain actions. There are two types of awards: for regular transactions and for partner transactions. They are calculated differently.

Partner transactions are, in fact, purchases. For instance, we can tell the user to follow our link to AliExpress and make a purchase in order to get a 5% cashback. If the user follows the link and makes the purchase, he will get the award – even if he paid in cash.

Our loyalty awards are always paid in our tokens that we purchase on the market.

Cashback rate for regular transactions is calculated according to a certain formula specified by a smart contract. The process is a bit more complicated here, but ultimately it still boils down to user activity. To get more loyalty awards, the user should make more transactions and be a part of the user group that we spend the most money on.

Loyalty awards for transactions are paid on a monthly basis via a special fund. First, we amass the fund by contributing a substantial part of transactional income to it. The money is then returned to the users via promo mechanics; for that purpose, the users are divided into 4 groups based on the amount of tokens in their possession. The money is divided unequally, with the most part going to the group that holds the largest amount of tokens.

crypterium COO Gleb Markov interview

Tell us more about the credit subtoken. How is it related to CRPT and acquiring tokens on the platform?

The credit subtoken is not related to CRPT ICO. It’s an independent product with its own ecosystem; it’s a subproject of our cryptobank.

Let’s say a small business owner wants to accept cryptocurrency at his retail store. What will the process be like if he chooses to work with Crypterium? Are you going to help business owners with this integration?

The main point is that the business owner becomes a part of our ecosystem.
First of all, we determine if the “crypto-fiat” scheme suits him. For retail stores, it’s currently safer and more convenient to let customers pay in cryptocurrency and to accept the payments in fiat money. This way, stores don’t have to deal with cryptocurrency taxation and other tricky accounting aspects.
Next, we determine the commercial terms. Those are definitely more profitable than accepting bank cards.
Finally, we determine the interface the owner would like to accept payments through. It can be QR codes or something more complex. For instance, the seller may scan the customer’s QR code himself. In this case, the sum of the purchase may be either transferred automatically or entered manually, and we have to determine whether we should integrate with the seller’s software or not. If not, we will send payment notifications via SMS, messenger apps or personal account history.
To sum up, there are 3 steps to complete: organizing and choosing commercial terms; working out legal and accounting details; working out technological and informational aspects.

What is your own opinion on the blockchain? Positive or negative, we would love to hear it

The blockchain is definitely awesome. It is the technology of the future!

That concludes our Interview with Gleb Markov

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