Plutus — A Look Back At The Achievements From 2018
A Successful Year Behind Us
2018 has been an exciting year for Plutus and the company has seen some real progression, we are proud to be one of the few crypto companies to go from a white paper to a functioning product. This article will cover our year’s achievements, blockers and developments.
Before delving into the positives accomplished this year, let’s go through the challenges faced by the team and how these have been overcome.
At the start of this year, our MasterCard services were available to the general public and customers were able to seamlessly spend their converted crypto. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond the control of Plutus, we were forced to terminate the cards issued to our customers as a result of policy changes by third-party service providers. The news was a disappointing setback and stunted Plutus’ progress, the rest of the payments sector within the cryptocurrency sector experienced similar setbacks as a result of constantly changing corporate opinions on cryptocurrencies.
The team shifted their focus towards releasing the new Plutus cards, and have since prepared to release them in early 2019 by re-building the appropriate partnerships and by acquiring new service providers.
Since Plutus taps into the legacy payment infrastructure it faces similar legal challenges experienced by any regulated financial institution, especially by the FCA in the United Kingdom. Having forecasted future regulations, we have taken every precaution necessary from the inception of our token sale. It requires extensive due diligence of the token model (Pluton), the application workflow, and the business model in the interest of the company’s longevity. We have achieved this with the continuous help of our legal partners Bird & Bird. You can read more about the legal standpoint of Pluton here.
The team have dedicated a lot of hours to bring you the most proficient and secure payments platform possible that works with crypto. We have built from the ground up, a non-custodial way to convert crypto to fiat via our PlutusDEX and a mobile Plutus Tap & Pay app for payments. There has been a lot ongoing behind the scenes to put us in the position we are at today, here are some of the most notable highlights…
After the unavoidable red tape mentioned earlier, arrangements were immediately put in place to acquire a new card provider. This year we developed a new and improved partnership with an award-winning payment solutions provider to deliver the soon arriving Plutus debit cards in Q1 2019, they will also be facilitating the in-store fiat transactions from Pound Sterling and Euro accounts.
However, this is not the only partnership that’s been put in place. There are further unmentioned partnerships with services that will prove hugely advantageous for the future of Plutus, these developments will greatly speed up Plutus’ progress towards a worldwide payment service and it extends the potentials far beyond that.
This relationship has also enabled us to integrate Europe’s fastest payment processing system, SEPA, an advance that offers real usability to our customers. The new cross-border Euro bank transfer format is used in 34 different countries and guarantees payments are received in full, on time, and without bank deductions. Users can withdraw their converted crypto into their personal bank account balance in minutes as a result. Our platform is potentially the fastest way to get from cryptocurrencies to a bank account balance.
Plutus Tap & Pay App
This September we successfully released the BETA version of our ‘Plutus Tap & Pay’ app. The mobile app enables users to exchange their crypto into a virtual fiat balance which can instantly be withdrawn, the team are preparing additional payment functionalities that will be arriving in early 2019. We are seeing an increasing number of app users daily with 7,000+ downloads so far. The application is available on both Android and iOS and can be downloaded here.
We also successfully launched a live BETA version of our PlutusDEX platform, a decentralised P2P exchange necessary for converting crypto to EUR/GBP for the soon arriving Plutus payment features. Pluton became instantly and securely tradeable across the platform and this was expanded soon after to facilitate Bitcoin and Ether transactions also; you can now trade all three cryptocurrencies using the service. These two core functionalities, the buying and selling of crypto, are offered with zero fees attached whilst in BETA. To experience fee-free trading, please visit: PlutusDEX
Our loyalty reward system is now set up and ready to deploy, as soon as fees are attached to our service we will implement our rewards programme, expected to be released in our next major update in Q1 2019.
Users will receive up to 3% of their crypto deposits back in the form of Pluton (PLU) which can instantly be exchanged to fiat and withdrawn using our service, or utilized for spending. We have by far the most rewarding structure in place out of any payments platform that works with crypto.
In order to improve every aspect of our app and deliver an unrivalled service, we sent out a user experience survey this October. We take user satisfaction very seriously and the results highlighted some major product design changes to be incorporated into our next app version. The developers have been working on significant improvements in preparation for a 2019 release which we are incredibly excited about.
Hacker Bounty Programme
We have additionally been running a hacker bounty programme throughout the year where we reward security researchers who identify any bugs or security issues with our service. The programme aims to assist in delivering an incredibly secure trading platform. Security is of paramount importance which is the primary reason we opted for a decentralized P2P exchange in the first place, this bounty process has helped us deliver on that. In total, our bounty hunters have contributed 30 successful improvements that have been approved and implemented, in return, we have awarded over $6,000 worth of PLU for their efforts.
Despite the significant decline in value across the entire cryptocurrency market that has driven layoffs and even closures for a large number of crypto-based projects, Plutus maintains a strong financial position and is even expanding.
Some key hires have been made to elevate Plutus’ position and accommodate the company’s growth.
As recently announced, Patryk Rzadzinski has joined the team as our new CTO. Patryk has nearly 20 years of technology leadership experience and previously worked as Director of IT Operations for MoneyGram International.
With launch date approaching we have invested in an extremely experienced Product Owner, Minyi Soon, to oversee the direction of our platform. She carries an impressive work background building tech products across various sectors and is an alumna of the Blockchain Strategy Programme at Oxford University.
Newly appointed Head of Marketing, Peter Panayi, possesses more than 15 years’ experience in that area and has successfully launched award-winning products in Business Intelligence and Media.
Our progress has also spawned the need for a Customer Service Manager. Alexandru Rotaru previously ran one of the largest communication outlets in the UK and is now tasked with developing and implementing a customer support system, as well as maintaining strong customer relationships.
David Morrison who possesses excellent relationship management skills was hired to assist in customer service related roles.
We also ran an internship programme for graduates in the autumn of this year and successfully secured the services of a talented marketer and writer, Marcus Soulsby, to join our team.
As we enter the new year we hope to continually expand our workforce, hiring only the most talented individuals to contribute to our project.
The marketing team have focused on evergreen content and organic editorial coverage this year until a fully functioning working product is available in order to conserve budgets. In the build-up to a complete product launch, there will be an increase in activities such as various press events, speaker events, corporate sponsorship programmes and sponsored content with bloggers/influencers to increase awareness.
This year, Plutus has featured in multiple high-profile news stories across a range of media outlets from crypto magazines to Bloomberg, a notoriously difficult feat for cryptocurrency projects which are often treated as an untouched taboo.
Below is a list of some of the more notable Plutus mentions…
- Global Finance & Marketing Review
- Sunday Express
- Bitcoin Magazine
…and many more. You can find out more on our press page here.
Despite some major setbacks experienced at the beginning of the year relating to our old card-providers, our follower base has continued to grow through content marketing campaigns and tier one editorial media coverage. We look forward to the surge from our upcoming card release and marketing activities arriving in the new year.
In order to maintain and amplify our image throughout product development, Plutus has attended several relevant events.
This year, Plutus was the proud sponsor of Consensus NYC 2018, the largest annual blockchain technology summit. With over 8,500 attendees, we received an overwhelmingly high level of inquiries from the general public and organisations. We were also able to meet some great contacts from leading exchanges and global banking partners.
As our platform is targeted at European users initially, we attended Europe’s largest FinTech event, Money20/20, selected as one of Europe’s top 20 FinTech Start-ups, sponsored by MasterCard. We educated and demoed our products across the three-day event, and shared our vision for the future of money to more than 5,000 attendees and 1,500 other companies across the global financial spectrum.
At Finovate Europe 2018 in London, we were again able to present a live demo of our Plutus Tap & Pay app and PlutusDEX platform. You can take a look at our former CTO’s Plutus presentation here.
We have some game-changing developments to be released early next year, the Plutus 2.0 platform will have multiple additional features, as well as an intuitive user interface, for ease of use on both the app and desktop. More details on these updates and the complete list of features will be announced in the coming month.
We would like to give a warm thank you to everyone involved in the Plutus project.
Our Media partners have done a great job and we are truly humbled by the positive media responses we have received. We thank the security researchers for their assistance in fortifying the strength of our platform and we are also incredibly grateful to the community, both the veterans and the newbies, for their continued support of our project. We could not be able to work without knowing there is a loyal user base excited to use our services.
To stay up to date with the latest Plutus news, please follow us across our social media platforms. If you would like to interact with our staff or community directly then join our growing Telegram channel.
All new announcements will be made on our Medium page first, we have some hugely innovative platform alterations in the pipeline to be made public very shortly so please stay tuned.
For all other platforms, please see below.
We believe it will be a great 2019 for Plutus, we a have a talented team and a unique product. These are exciting times for us and crypto in general, we can’t wait to see you next year.