Blockchain.com CEO: Focus On Wealthy Individuals As Institutional Influx Not “Anytime Soon”
Peter Smith, the CEO of London-based crypto wallet Blockchain.com, has said that the firm will continue to focus on high-value individuals to drive its crypto business.
At the same time, Smith says that banks or other major institutional investors won’t be plunging into crypto “anytime soon.”
In an interview with The Block, the Blockchain.com exec “pulled back the curtain” to reveal something about the secretive crypto firm’s future clientele.
The firm, which has grown into a major cryptocurrency service provider, has seen developments take its business into ICO treasury management, custody, and research. However, its core project remains the free wallet service, with around 32 million accounts.
‘High-net-worth’ individuals and crypto firms, not institutions
For much of 2018, sentiment in the crypto space was that “institutional money” would soon flood into the industry. It did not happen, and the trend is that 2019 could be the year.
That might happen, but according to Blockchain.com’s CEO, none of the major banks or investment funds will enter the crypto market “anytime soon.” They could, but as Smith said, that will only come when the market picks its next bull run.
As such, Blockchain.com wants to target wealthy individuals and firms that are already into the crypto idea. The company will also continue to focus on the retail market “even after the first wave of institutions join,” Smith said during the interview.
In focusing on the wealthy, the world’s largest wallet service has its eyes on crypto companies, large family offices, and high-net-worth individuals.
Blockchain.com will now compete for the same market with Coinbase, whose focus on Wall Street is being revised. But Smith appears not to be worried at this prospect, saying that “focuses will now [only] overlap.”
Where the average user is young, and clueless…Blockchain.com is
A majority of the wallet provider’s users are young- and novices who “do not understand crypto when they sign up,” Smith said.
And it appears the firm has taken steps to ensure this does not indirectly harm the users. Blockchain.com (formerly Blockchain.info) has built a team of experts whose task is to provide all the necessary assistance those who do not understand crypto may need as they sign up.
Many of these “young and clueless” investors likely are lured by the numerous “airdrops” for free tokens that the platform facilitates. In 2018, the firm ‘airdropped’ XLM tokens worth $125 million, for which over one million people registered within the first 72 hours.
Most of these users make up what is the “savvy middle class” group entering the crypto market. However, they aren’t wealthy as Smith notes:
“If you care about $25 of free crypto, you’re not a wealthy consumer.”
30 to 40 percent of the wallet provider’s user base comes from the emerging market- with customers spread across countries like India, Philippines, Indonesia, and Kenya.
Users from some regions sign up for a crypto account not “because they’re technically interested,” but due to some economic crisis that has “broken” the country- think of Venezuela and Ukraine.
Smith also revealed that Blockchain targets “mostly millennial” customers because the group knows about the global financial crisis and its effects. However, it is mainly because the group is “young and technology focused.”
The platform is also focused on getting the best talent in the crypto space, recruiting 11 individuals during the 2017 bull run.
Notably, too, the firm has been on some relentless march in sealing mergers and acquisitions (M&A). At the moment, there are potentially three global M&A deals, all likely to see it acquire new C-suite talent.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.