‘Winter is coming’, they said. For Wirex, winter was only the beginning!
2018 has been a rollercoaster of a year for everyone in financial services. It was the year of GDPR, the Google advertising ban on cryptocurrencies and the rise and (seeming) fall of ICOs. This year saw cryptocurrencies start to find their way into the mainstream, with the regulation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain reaching different corners of the world.
This year was also a significant one for Wirex and as we reach the final days of 2018 I wanted to take this time to share with you some of our biggest achievements.
Early in December our user base had grown to over 2 million registered users. Despite the ride the markets took us on this year and the recent negative sentiment, cryptocurrency adoption is still going strong and we are humbled by the number of people that have been part of this journey. Cryptocurrencies are defined by the people and the communities. We saw this when the crypto communities were the ones that drove our Money 20/20 US racer, Max, to victory in the Payments Race.
Wirex Visa Card 2.0
It’s no secret that the Wavecrest-Visa event took a lot of big players in the crypto-payments scene down. I remember when the news came in January and I will admit that it was a curveball that we hadn’t seen coming. However, we still all believed in our product and the potential it had so we were not willing to give up easily. It took about three months but after a lot of hard work, Wirex was the first one to bounce back and, in fact, is still the only company in the EU to offer a Visa card that allows users to seamlessly use their cryptocurrencies across 40+ million merchants around the world.
I have always been an advocate for regulation and I always say that cryptocurrencies will pass their final hurdle for mass adoption once regulation is in place. The task of acquiring the FCA licence was something very important to me and it took approximately 1 year until we finally got the confirmation in August. Because digital currencies have not matured yet, crypto-native companies are finding it harder and harder to get licencing from established regulatory bodies. Wirex is one of the few crypto-native companies in the world to receive the FCA’s stamp of approval and at a time where the media still tend to villainise cryptocurrencies, it was definitely a good reason to take out the legal and compliance teams for a well-deserved drink. The e-money licence gave us the ability not only to build on our current product offering but to also provide our users with more cost-efficient solutions.
£120M+ in revenue
As a business, our mission is to bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and everyday spending. Many are arguing that the end of the massive crypto trend is exactly what cryptocurrencies need to stabilise and I also fall into that school of thought. Since trading and speculation was never part of our model, the price fluctuations never affected any part of our model, in fact, we achieved an amazing £120+ million in revenue.
A team of 300+
None of these achievements would even be possible without the fantastic teams that make up the Wirex family, and in 2018 our headcount tripled in size. The year began with just about 90 people and now we have a strong workforce of 320 people spread across London, Kiev, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto and Atlanta. I can only see these numbers continue to grow during 2019 as we formally expand our product and services to new regions. As a CEO and a Co-founder, there is something extraordinary about watching your teams grow and seeing like-minded people having as much passion and drive as you to make an idea succeed.
It’s only the beginning
2019 is shaping to be a year of global expansion for us, along with everything else we also spent a big part of the year securing fundamental banking relationships in APAC, the US, Canada and Japan in order to bring our product to those markets and as I write we have more than 700K clients on our waiting lists eagerly expecting their Wirex wallets and cards. In addition, we are planning to broaden our product line with new and exciting products which we are confident will be the first of their kind and will definitely create ripples in the market. I am proud that Wirex is maintaining its reputation as a trendsetter in the digital payments space and we will keep on innovating and creating the future of payments. Stay tuned!
Happy New Year everybody!