Catching up with GoCrypto
Our Head of Exchange Danish Chaudhry had the chance to sit down with the team of GoCrypto to learn more about their company and their future ambitions. Read for yourself what GoCrypto has planned for 2020 and ahead.
First of all, could you explain GoCrypto in a nutshell? What are you doing and what’s the big mission behind GoCrypto?
GoCrypto was created by enthusiasts who believe that crypto technology is ready for crypto to be spent in daily life. We have built an infrastructure for accepting direct crypto payments at local and online stores worldwide. GoCrypto is currently available in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
GoCrypto provides merchants with an easy-to-use cryptocurrency payment gateway through which their customers can pay with different crypto wallets. At the moment, it supports Elly and the Bitcoin.com Wallet, with more than 5 million users worldwide, while there are many more wallets coming up soon.
After a highly dynamic 2019, we have just reached a new milestone of 900 locations, and expect to increase this number significantly this year. We are very proud that GoCrypto is available at a very wide range of stores and service providers: there is a crypto golf course’, a ‘crypto driving school’, you can go to a spa, buy groceries, visit theatre performances or rent a car using crypto, to mention just a few activities. Cryptocurrencies were envisioned as the electronic cash of the future, and that future is pretty much here.
You’ve recently rebranded from EliPay to GoCrypto, what was the rationale for that?
The concept of Elipay was only the starting point and served to launch our payment technology. GoCrypto is much bigger in concept and in scale; it is an international scheme connecting crypto users, wallets, merchants and POS systems around the world to complete payments in cryptocurrencies.
Where does the elephant in your logo come from?/ What does he stand for? In a country like Slovenia, we imagine that there aren’t many elephants.
You’re right, there aren’t actually many elephants here. Well, if you count those pictured on our every location, then there are hundreds and hundreds. We’re building a payment network to help people get paid seamlessly. We strongly believe in building solutions where cryptocurrencies meet cash. Everyone gets the best of both worlds, and we take great care that this happens securely, instantly, and without hassle for any participant.
So in a way, we’re like the elephant in the room — in the good sense of the word. We’re building a payment network strong as an elephant, a payment solution friendly as an elephant, a business forthcoming and transparent as an elephant, and a company culture as open and grounded.
What are some of the questions you are most commonly asked by merchants?
In general, merchants are very interested in accepting crypto as an additional payment option. However, they can be unsure about the legalities of accepting crypto in their country, and are also concerned that it will require a lot of technical knowledge. GoCrypto strictly follows all the legal requirements in every country where it is available, and is simply integrated into the merchant’s existing payment system. Furthermore, merchants do not need to know anything about crypto because they receive the settlement in their local fiat currency (EUR, GBP, etc.).
How fast can a merchant start accepting crypto with your help?
The entire onboarding process takes place online; it is therefore very easy and super fast for merchants to create their GoCrypto account. After the verification, the merchant receives their credentials and instructions to use the web-based GoCrypto POS solution or activates GoCrypto in an already supported POS cashier system provider. In case of an online store, the merchant can install one of our many supported plug-ins for major online store platforms. Also, the installation and maintenance of GoCrypto are completely free.
What do you think needs to happen for crypto to be widely accepted and used?
Cryptocurrencies are already a part of daily life and business. Acquiring crypto has become much easier than in its early days, which makes its user base grow. Crypto wallets are no longer just places for storing crypto funds; they can be used for everyday purchases as well. This is due to solutions like GoCrypto, and we are very proud that it is present at a record number of physical locations worldwide.
In order for people to get familiar with the crypto payment option and start using it on a daily basis, there need to be locations offering that possibility. We are therefore working hard to expand the number of locations every day. The number of locations, meeting the consumer needs and simple integration are key for entering the mainstream.
Recently many central banks are openly contemplating the issuance of digital currencies. What’s your take on that? Would you support these CBDCs within your app?
GoCrypto’s vision is to support and facilitate payments with cryptocurrencies. Along the lines of the World Economic Forum Insight Report (CBDC Policy-Maker Toolkit), we see CBDC in the same way as the existing digital fiat currency that is currently issued by banks and e-money institutions although a different technology (DLT) will be used.
Nevertheless, if this value vehicle becomes the electronic cash of tomorrow with sufficient safety, decentralization, credibility and mainstream adoption, we will also integrate a CBDC payment option into GoCrypto.
Currently, users get GoC when purchasing something with crypto in your app and can later use it for other purchases. Will you be adding further functionality to the GoC token?
The GoC token is used for payments on the GoCrypto platform and in the scope of our loyalty program. Users of our Elly mobile wallet can use GoC for shopping at local and online stores, and receive up to a 2% tokenback reward for each purchase. We continue to broaden GoC’s utility by integrating it into B2B processes, merchant settlements and referral programs.
You’re partnering with Bitcoin.com one of the biggest wallet providers and are listed on the Bitcoin.com Exchange. What do you think makes this a great partnership?
We are extremely honoured to have attracted the interest of such eminent companies in the field of blockchain. Bitcoin.com shares our vision of transforming the world through the simplicity and speed of crypto technology and boasts years of development in this field.
The investment in 2019 by Bitcoin.com and the Pangea Blockchain Fund has enabled us to further the expansion to many other European countries. We’re also planning to enter South America, where we are working closely with local partners.
Last but not least, where would you like to see GoCrypto in a year from now?
We wish to contribute to a world where customers have many payment options at their fingertips, with mobile solutions like crypto wallets being amongst the most convenient.
Crypto is gradually becoming recognised in mainstream society. Mobile and online payments with cryptocurrencies are rapidly adopted in daily life and in our opinion, crypto is quickly becoming a payment option as common as credit cards.
The adoption rate in Slovenia has been truly outstanding, and as we are expanding internationally, we see similar interest — from consumers, small companies and big merchants. Recently, our GoCrypto merchant network has been joined by world-famous craft beer producer BrewDog in Hungary’s capital, Budapest; other such examples are Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana and Burger King in Slovenia. There is also an increasing number of GoCrypto locations in Lugano, Switzerland — ranging from amazing restaurants and car dealerships to a ferry service connecting people across Lake Lugano.