After a new round of financing, Bitstack, l’mobile application d’savings at Bitcoinaccelerates with a payment cardfrom new services, l’international and also the approval PSAN. Interview with his CEO, Alexandre Roubaud.
One million euros in May 2022, then a further two million last April. The founders of the mobile application dedicated to Bitcoin are humble, while continuing the development of Bitstack.
Their roadmap to 2023 looks particularly rich, as do their ambitions, sustained by earnings growth, despite the bear market and a certain crisis of confidence in cryptocurrencies.
Over 5 million euros saved in Bitcoin
In March 2023, nine months after the launch on the Google and Apple stores, Bitstack totalled more than 30,000 account openings for 5 million euros in Bitcoin savings processed on the platform. The app owes its success to a monthly growth rate of 20%, tells RoyalsBlue.com CEO, Alexandre Roubaud.
To explain bear market resistance, the executive cites “the Bitcoin craze”, a token that is more than resisting in 2023, but also “the Bitstack value proposition”.
We’ve managed to set ourselves apart, certainly by offering the simplest entry point on the market to start investing in Bitcoin, thanks in particular to the automatic rounding mechanic. This is our flagship product and what enables anyone to invest passively in Bitcoin and ultimately painlessly”, he explains.
Through this loss leader, the company believes it has truly democratized Bitcoin. Bitcoinand, in doing so, hit a target that remained largely aloof from digital assets.
A base of crypto-curious 25-35 year-olds
The target audience was not “the crypto enthusiasts. They already have accounts in multiple exchange platforms”.
Over 50% of our customer base are making their first Bitcoin purchase through Bitstack.”
Users have other characteristics. According to information obtained by RoyalsBlue.comMost of them are from young professionals (aged 25 to 35)i.e., people with the ability to save by BTC.
Nevertheless, Alexandre Roubaud is delighted to be reaching a wider audience at the same time, with a user population ranging from 18 to over 70.
In his opinion, this distribution reflects the ease with which the application can be used. “We have a lot of students, 18-25 year olds, but also 35-50 year olds,” notes the manager.
What these different segments have in common, he says, is that they are ” crypto curious “But for various reasons, they haven’t yet taken the first step. On average, these 95% French crypto-curious save 100 euros a month in Bitcoin. First-time users, however, have the option of performing advanced tasks such as connecting their own wallet to withdraw their cryptocurrency.
In order to enrich its value proposition, Bitstack has also signed a partnership with Waltio. “Tax returns remain a complex subject for most users, crypto or not”. With one click, bitcoiners can (with a 10% discount) generate a downloadable file on Waltio to benefit from their tax return.
A Bitstack current account and bank card by the end of 2023
Other developments announced for 2023 include launch of a Bitstack bank card. Until now, users have had to enter a bank-issued card or bank details to activate automatic rounding. The application wants to return to the center of the game in order to continue the democratization of Bitcoin.
But the CEO also makes some observations, not least the constraining attitude of banks towards cryptocurrency-related activities. Customers would like Bitstack to become their main account. A way for the app to disintermediate banking players. This translates into the creation of “an experience of crypto-friendly neo-banking by enabling our customers to have a current account with us in euros”.
By the end of 2023, Bitstack will be offering open a current accountin addition to the Bitcoin savings account. This current account will be backed by a bank card. But the arrival of this card will also enable the introduction of additional services. In addition to rounding, the editor will offer cashback in BTC.
Thanks to this card, users will be able to spend euros and acquire Bitcoin painlessly. And it couldn’t be more painless, since the user won’t even have to pay for this Bitcoin. It will be earned free of charge”, says Alexandre Roubaud.
Bitstack wants to reinvent cashback with Bitcoin
We’re coming to compete with an Amex card, very clearly. We’re going to provide cashback in Bitcoin, which unlike miles has a price associated with it. What’s more, the Amex ecosystem is closed, whereas Bitcoin is based on an open protocol. We think we can disrupt the rewards market via the Bitstack card.”
The application’s ambition is that of a transition from savings account to main accounta feature also announced for 2023, which can be used to spend, save and transfer money (BTC or fiat) between friends.
To provide the bank account and card, Bitstack is calling on technology partners whose names cannot be disclosed at this time.
For cashback, a partnership program with participating retailers, “from major French retailers “is currently under development. By the end of 2023, the editor will share the list of partner brands – which will be expanded with new offers.
Bitcoin’s super-app ambition
From savings to payments. Another application, popular with a young target audience at the outset, had taken a similar, yet opposite path: Lydia. Initially, its core product was payments between friends.
Since then, the application has been greatly enriched, including by offering investment in tokens (through an agreement with BitPanda). This model is that of the super-app. Bitstack also has this scenario in mind.
“A new entrant has an interest in having the simplest, clearest proposition possible. This is the winning strategy for differentiation and understanding among target customers. Rounding, although a niche, was our calling card”, says the CEO, explaining the company’s foundations. These foundations now open up the possibility of building the next stage.
Savings will end up being one brick among others (…) Tomorrow, our ambition is to make Bitstack the super-app for Bitcoin”, announces the co-founder.
Bringing together traditional finance and the Bitcoin network in a single app
Despite the gradual addition of new products and services, the company intends to preserve its original DNA, enriching itself only with solutions described as ” Bitcoin natives “. This means they will all revolve around Bitcoin.
Revolut, Lydia, these platforms include cashback, payment, savings, etc. services. Bitstack adopts this model to offer Bitcoin products within a single ecosystem. In this way, the application keeps the user in its own world – whereas selling BTC for euros currently results in funds being disbursed to a bank account.
For the manager, stage two therefore represents a gain in terms of autonomy (vis-à-vis third parties) and flexibility.
Our goal is to connect the Bitcoin network to existing financial protocols, such as SEPA. We want to bring the two worlds, Bitcoin and traditional finance, together in the same App.”
This combination enables new use cases, such as the automatic conversion of part of your salary into Bitcoin. The user can set a rate in the Bitstack application. When the salary is received on the current account, part of it will be converted into BTC on the associated savings account.
Get ready for MiCA as soon as possible to go international
Developing this new experience is one of the French startup’s priorities for 2023, in addition to recruitment, growth financing and accreditation. PSAN. This step will enable us to rapidly obtain a MiCA license and thus open up the European market.
We take a proactive approach to compliance. It’s no surprise to say that our ambition is to be PSAN certified tomorrow, and then to obtain the MiCA equivalent”, announces Bitstack’s CEO.
However, Bitstack will not be taking advantage of the grace period (until 2026) enjoyed by registered PSANs. “Our strategy is not to submit to regulation”, insists Alexandre Roubaud. Bitstack therefore intends to apply for approval.
I think Bitstack is one of a small number of players in a position to obtain accreditation because it is fairly well capitalized and has a culture of compliance.”
With the AMF’s PSAN approval, the publisher also expects to reduce the effort and time required to obtain its MiCA equivalent from the end of 2024.
The idea is to benefit from a faster go to market so we can internationalize our services to the rest of the EU.”
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