The Cryptocurrencycard.org C-Suite Series interviews leaders in the crypto space driving real-world adoption. In this interview, we speak with Danial Daychopan, the CEO & Founder of Plutus. Plutus gives users the ability to instantly swap crypto assets on the Plutus Dex within their mobile app, while also allowing users to top-up their Plutus Card. Users have full control and never have to trust a 3rd party with possession of their assets ever again.
1. Tell us about your background. What got you interested in cryptocurrency?
I first heard about magic internet money at the start of the last decade and I was finally forced to buy my first bunch of Bitcoin for $7 each in 2012 when I had to send survival money to a friend who was stranded abroad in a third world country with limited bank access. The on-boarding process was quite strenuous back then but I very quickly understood the potential of the underlying technology once the transaction had gone through almost instantly and at no cost. With a background in payments and an ambition to join the future pioneers that helped make crypto easier for everyday lives, it seemed like a no-brainer to devote all my time to developing tools that make crypto more accessible.
As well as launching one of the first licensed crypto exchanges in the UK, I have also previously ran a merchant Bitcoin solution called LazyPay which was operational at brick and mortar stores across the country. Due to the low merchant adoption caused by friction between the legacy system and Bitcoin in the earlier days of crypto, I was led to create Plutus in 2015, in order to bridge the gap and enable crypto payments at over 60 million retail merchants across the world that accept Visa.
2. Do you have any hobbies? What do you do outside of work?
I would consider Crypto my true hobby. While I am not working on my desk, I will be online either learning about new technologies in the space, writing crypto-related content or even going for a daily workout; and the meal after is not possible without a good crypto podcast in the background.
Currently, however, work takes up the vast majority of my time and it’s something I find hard to take time away from. Crypto is an industry that never sleeps, and we have a number of major announcements about to come to light that myself and the team are focused on.
3. When and Why did you decide to start a company in the crypto space?
Back in 2013, I quickly became enraptured by cryptocurrencies and the inherent potential they had like many other crypto enthusiasts. It became clear early on that the lack of retail adoption was going to be a major obstacle for the tight-knit community and I wanted to actively contribute to overcoming this.
Building a product that adds genuine value to the crypto community and helps organically grow the ecosystem has always been a far greater motivator than money which is why we’ve always made sure the barrier to entry of our product is so low and the rewards aspect so high.
4. Did you learn anything valuable in the first 60-90 days of running your company?
It is important to have a good team that you can trust and learn from. A company is not run by one person, it is a team effort and it is one of the most important ingredients of a successful company which is something I learnt pretty early on in my career. It takes a lot of trial and error but once you get it, you are then able to grow the company as we have at Plutus.
One of the benefits of having a great team is that it enables you to build a company with a democratic approach where multiple planning sessions and positive debates can take place. All of this gives us a clear understanding of a roadmap from which we can deliver beyond expectations and mostly on time.
5. How do you deal with competition? What sets your company apart from others?
Back in 2016, Plutus was one of the very first crowd sales on the Ethereum blockchain and an innovation leader. Since then, there has been a huge boom in similar products, but I think a lot of these newcomers have placed an overemphasis on the marketing without creating a product with substance first.
We are focusing on longevity and a sustainable business model which I believe will set us apart from the others in the long run. On top of this, by placing greater attention on our product and the market-fit, we have developed some highly innovative USPs that are unmatched. The card is non-custodial, we have a custom-built DEX, and a highly appealing rewards programme too.
And if others copy like they have done in the past, we don’t mind; we simply look to continue innovating to ensure our position as a market leader in this field.
6. What do you look for when hiring people at your company?
We are very selective during the hiring process, but we look for people who are instinctively clever, proactive, with leadership qualities and an innate interest in contributing to the success of a revolutionary product.
These traits ensure that the team can think holistically about any issues at hand and proficiently resolve them. This agility is incredibly important when it comes to an industry such as crypto and neo-banking which is constantly evolving.
7. What is the one thing you wish your customers knew when signing up for your card?
The behind-the-scenes technology that we have created to make it possible.
For many users, it may just be a nice-looking crypto plastic addition to their wallet. For us, it is truly at the cutting-edge of what is possible – a bridge between non-custodial crypto and our legacy financial systems. Creating a seamless non-custodial solution is incredibly difficult which is why very few have attempted it and we are proud to have emerged with something that appears this simple on the front-end.
8. What does 2020-21 have in store?
Despite the recent worldwide events, 2020 is shaping up to be our best year yet. Now that our fully functioning product is out in public, we can focus more on user acquisition; new and innovative app features; and even more use-cases for the Pluton token.
We have some very ambitious announcements about to emerge regarding our future roadmap so if you are interested in finding out more, follow us on Medium where all our news arrives first: https://medium.com/plutus-it
Likewise, you can speak directly with other team members or our welcoming community by joining our Discord channel: https://discord.gg/JRzs7YQ
9. How has Plutus done since launch and how have you achieved this?
The company has seen a strong and consistent week-on-week growth of over 5% which we are confident we can continue with. This is largely through organic traffic which we are very proud of. So far, almost the entirety of our acquisition has come through word-of-mouth exposure which we believe highlights the strength of the product.
We expect to continue gaining traction and the team is excited for what lies ahead, great things are en route!
Thank you Danial for answering our questions! You can visit Plutus at https://plutus.it/ and learn about the Plutus Card at https://plutus.it/card. You can follow Daniel on Twitter. Also, read our review on the Plutus Card.