BeInCrypto held an AMA session with Bit2Me in our public Telegram channel on August 25, 2021.
Bit2Me saw the light in 2014, when Leif Ferriera (CEO), Andrei Manuel (COO), and Pablo Casadio (CFO) set out on the long path of developing this exchange.
After its foundation as a small exchange application, the company has made a name for itself through its products for people with little experience in the cryptocurrency world, facilitating their entry into the world of cryptocurrencies.
Full details on the project can be found here.
(This AMA has been edited for clarity.)
BeInCrypto (BIC): Hi Everyone! Welcome to another Be In Crypto AMA.
Today we have Koh Onozawa from the Bit2Me team.
Here is how this will work. We’ll ask them 10 questions, after answering all of the questions, they will then pick five out of the questions you guys dropped here before the AMA.
BIC: I would like to ask you something general to kick things off, so please provide some personal background as well as some references you guys looked at before creating Bit2Me.
Koh: My name is Koh Onozawa, partner at Bit2me where I’m looking over our expansion alongside our cofounders Leif and Andrei. Combined since 2012, we have been entrepreneurs in pretty much all of our adult lives with past exits under our belts and have built and launched tech and crypto businesses in Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, UK, and the US.
Both Leif and Andrei are from Spain (You can guess from my name where I’m from I think). Back then, most of the crypto literature and adoption tools were/are predominantly in English.
So Leif and Andrei decided to do something about it. Dedicate the past decade with one main focus: education and adoption of cryptocurrency in the Spanish-speaking world.
We have been doing this by creating the bit2me academy which is virtually the largest crypto academy in the Spanish-speaking world, and the Bit2Me digital assets suite where we’ve created tools for newbies to learn, buy, sell, swap, and pay in crypto, and many more soon. Cant wait to tell you all about it.
BIC: Cool, thanks for this intro! So you basically offer a complete suite with around 20 services including wallet, trading resources, academy, and app. That’s huge! What key points can you point to us about each one of these mentioned tools? Which other services do you think it’s equally important?
Koh: Yeah! We started with the Academy and a simple tool to buy, sell and swap crypto back in 2014. Fast forward to today, we have 20 different adoption tools in our different lines of business (B2C, B2B, B2B2C).
They’re all important — it’s equally important here to understand who we are creating these tools for.
We’ve built Bit2Me so that can best serve and educate newbie users in the crypto space. Those who want to learn more, buy, and sell some, swap, spend, send crypto to their friends, or even hold crypto.
The concept of a newbie user is ever-changing, and we’re creating tools for this focus target. Crypto may be dominating the headlines, but we still have a lot of work to do to get this integrated into our lives/mainstream adoption.
Our company and its directors have also been recognized by over 15 different awards by Forbes, Visa, Deloitte, Forbes 30u30, and as a bonus, we’ve welcomed on board experienced directors in the industry to help us with our growth, ie. Zeeshan is the ex-CEO of Coinbase UK and EU, as well as Raul who was a director at Kraken Europe.
The family and team is growing!
BIC: Well, It looks like Bit2Me is a giant when it comes to blockchain-related services in Spanish. Please give us some numbers then (i.e. how many customers do you currently have on your wallet, how many students are subscribed to your academy courses, etc). I’m sure we all will get surprised here.
Koh: Yes! Was really excited to share some of our numbers:
- 2 Billion+ euros total transactions/euro deposits on our wallet alone (not trading platform).
- 1,200% more in 2020 vs 2019.
- 1.7 Million+ alumni in Bit2Me Academy in 2020, and 1.8M new alumni in 2021 as of July this year. These students are broken down between Latin America, Spain, and southern Europe —our target demographic.
- 300K users and counting.
- Over 13Million wallets.
How can I forget the Bit2Me family: we’re over 80 people now and counting. Many of whom are here with us in this AMA, responsible for the successes of the years!
BIC: Great. I suppose one of the reasons that make you a unique project is a fact that you provide lots of services in one single place. However, what other aspects make Bit2Me different from others – including eventual competitors (if there are any).
Koh: Great question! Having all these crypto education and adoption tools in one place is undoubtedly a massive value-add because we continue to design and create tools for our existing customer profiles.
However, one thing that we credit our success to as well is our focus on our target demographic: the Hispanic and southern European community. Where we service our customers with telephone support 24/7, proactively help them, do community reach outs like this, etc.
Through this strategy of building trust and easy-to-use products, it has cemented our position as the leader in Spain and Portugal. One we are proud to have done self-funded with the help of our strong community that continues to grow.
These competitors one can think about like Coinbase and Binance (the big elephants in the room) are (1) targeting a different customer profile, ie. more advanced users, and (2) a different demographic like the English speaking world.
Our laser focus on our customers and demographic has helped us carve a niche to become the dominant player in the Spanish-speaking world.
BIC: Bit2Me provides courses on different topics like Bitcoin, DeFi, Tokenization, and NFTs. How do you see the importance of educating people basically from zero? Is that an important part of your overall strategy?
Koh: Very very important. Like anything “new”, it’s easy to throw shade at a topic that is new and that is not as easy to understand.
Educating people and ourselves from zero or one is a pillar in our business, and believe this ought to be a pillar in our industry. And to do this for a specific group in our native style and language is key to really digest all the information.
In terms of this in our overall strategy: In the short term, our education tools and bit2me TV shows help us become a trusted voice in the industry.
And in the long term, this helps us and the crypto community as a whole grow.
Once we understand things better, positive things happen.
BIC: We can note you have a solid ground/basis on Spain but what about other countries? What’s your strategy to reach out to users from all over the world? Could you tell us what countries are currently supported?
Koh: Yes, Spain and Portugal are our main markets to date in terms of our transaction volumes. In Latin America, we have over a million alumni in our Academy learning about Crypto with us which is why we are excited to announce that we have launched in new countries in LATAM just this year! Mind if I share the full list?
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Guyana Francesa
- Puerto Rico
- República Dominicana
That being said, we have clients in over 100 countries, with the main focus in LATAM and Southern Europe.
BIC: Awesome. Moving forward, we can present the B2M token to our community now. Could you tell us about tokenomics and its usage within the Bit2Me ecosystem? What do you have in mind for it?
Koh: B2M, Bit2Me’s utility token, is a reward token on the Ethereum blockchain (ERC20). Holders of the token can enjoy up to a 90% discount on fees associated with Bit2Me’s exchange services, including Bit2Me Wallet and Bit2Me Trade, as well as fiat deposits and withdrawals.
Going beyond this: we’re allowing the new token to be used as rewards for holders who lend other digital assets to the platform’s users. If those lenders accept their interest in B2M, they will receive a higher payout.
Bit2Me is also considering including a governance feature within B2M’s framework which will allow holders to vote on the platform’s product offering and additional features.
These could potentially include new cryptocurrency listings, new decentralized finance (DeFi) features (such as staking), and even the publication of new material for Bit2Me Academy. Access to any new product may also be prioritized for B2M holders.
In a nutshell, it will be the utility token at the center of our 20 different services and products used by millions of people in over 100 countries.
It’s not so often one sees a token being launched at this stage of the company where we have solid traction. We waited for the right time to do this where the token can actually give real value to our users and community. Now is the time. I can see why our ICO is so highly anticipated after being around for a while.
BIC: Nice. The good news is that you’re about to launch a Public Sale I (ICO) on September 6th, right? The stage is yours to share some important info regarding such an event like how people can join the whitelist, what the ICO price will be, etc.
Koh: Yes, allow me to share a screenshot with all the details from our token page here:
With the link above, it’ll lead you to everything you will need to know about the token and a call to action button to join the whitelist.
It’s filling up real fast, and so we’re recommending everyone now to please make sure you:
- sign up to the whitelist
- create a bit2me account and pass through K YC (this will take minutes)
- deposit euros into your account as soon as your account is verified, so that by the time the ICO starts, your purchase can be triggered quickly!
Above you can also see the different token sale rounds with their respective discounts. The sooner you sign up and get your bit2me account set up and topped up, the most likely you can book your spot in the earlier rounds.
After the ICO, we will be listing on CEX and DEXs, ie. Bittrex, Uniswap, Sushiswap, etc.
Super exciting. Post ICO, you can see here new important product launches and some surprise partnership announcements too!
BIC: I bet most of our members are excited about that. Shifting gears, I suppose you still have much more to deploy/integrate in terms of both development and marketing push. What can investors/enthusiasts expect from a mid-term strategy? We already had a roadmap spoiler above.
Koh: It’s difficult to answer this question without giving too much away. But we can assure you that in the short and mid-term, we are pulling all the stops to live up to the expectation of this being the largest and most highly anticipated ICO in Spain.
This goes not only for our marketing and communication plans but also for our product launches and strategic partnerships with some branded names. This will add further trust in our mission, and more resources in the spaceship.
If there’s one thing our 6-year history has taught us in Bit2Me, it’s that we can self-fund our way with our community from zero to Iberia’s leading crypto company. Now, with more help from the ICO community coming in, we’re going to be faster and better than ever.
BIC: That’s it, I’m quite sure we’ve covered the main topics today. Could you please share all the links to your Social Media channels so that our community can get to know Bit2Me a little better? Do you have a different group focused on the token, right?
Koh: Yes! We have two different main groups. For English and Spanish.
Please join our chat groups and official announcement channels if you wanna reach out to any of us. We’re excited to speak more there!
Questions from the community
Community: There have been cases where regulators in some of the countries are restricting exchanges from offering financial products, e.g., Binance. How are you planning to manage such regulatory risk?
Koh: Great question – we take this very seriously. Our in-house team on compliance managers are ex-BBV, Citibank, Santander, etc. who are making sure our company and its users are full KYC and AML compliant under European law.
Our current license we operate under is the e-money license of the European Union granted by the bank of Spain.
The relationships we’ve built throughout the years in this industry have also helped us be ahead of the game in terms of compliance reform.
This is the reason why, if you have a Bit2Me account, you can see that we have many ways for you to deposit euros to buy crypto (cash in over 250 physical stores in Spain and Portugal), credit/debit card with local payment provider partners depending on the country, and numerous bank accounts in the EU and UK.
Community: Is there an Andriod/iOS app available for the platform? How can we download it? What features are you most proud of from your app?
Koh: Yes, we’re on iOS, Android, and we have a web app.
KYC is straightforward and self-service, to get your accounts verified and eligible for this ICO. I’d highly recommend you download the mobile app and get started as the whitelist fills up fast.
Community: I see that you focus on Spain, it can be seen from the language in marketing that you use during promotions. But not everyone understands Spanish. So how will you target the market from non-Spanish speaking countries? Do you have a community established for non-Spanish users?
Koh: I’m glad this question was answered in the AMA just now. Our communities are really divided into 1) Spanish/Portuguese speaking community, and 2) International Community (English).
Please come join the conversation here:
Community: Regarding the level of security and regulation, is Bit2me security system is it safe enough from hacker attacks? Can you explain what security features are provided by Bit2me? And how is the regulation of Bit2Me in each country, have taken these platforms very seriously. What’s your take on this?
Koh: Let’s be real: no one is excepted from hacker attacks, but we’d be out of business in no time if ever these attacks weren’t guarded by the best of class cybersecurity team and software. We’ve never been hacked since exception.
Also, as a team, you can see our faces and names everywhere, and our track record can demonstrate that we are and will continue to be your most trusted crypto partner in our market.
Community: Many projects rug pulled an exit scam recently. Why should investors trust your project not to do the same?
I’d invite you all to look us up on the Bit2Me token and see who were and what we’ve done, what we’re about. Not only is our cybersecurity best in class, our whole team is there for you to see who we are and why you can make the first step to trusting us.