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RockWallet’s rock solid customer experience leads to ‘best month ever’

RockWallet’s self-custodial digital asset wallet is enjoying unprecedented success in 2024, thanks to an expanding array of transaction options and its ‘rock solid’ commitment to a great customer experience.

Last month, RockWallet received a money transmitter license (MTL) in the U.S. state of New Mexico, offering residents the ability to not only store digital assets in their RockWallet but also buy/sell/swap a variety of tokens, including BSVBTCBCHETHUSDC, and USDT.

Co-founder/president Steve Bailey told CoinGeek that the plan is to obtain the remaining state approvals by the end of this year. Bailey said RockWallet gets inquiries “everyday” from customers in those states asking ‘when are you going to be ready?’ And RockWallet is all about making customers happy.

Last year closed on an optimistic note for RockWallet, with Bailey reporting a “massive spike” in both volume and revenue in the month of December. That momentum continued into January/February 2024, but Bailey said March was RockWallet’s “best month ever,” with both volume and revenue exceeding January and February’s tallies combined. Bailey added that “the floor that we had pre-Christmas and after the spikes is now a new floor, and after the March spike, we’re seeing a new floor in April.”

While this surge is partially due to the public’s renewed interest in digital assets, RockWallet received an added boost from the early-March launch of RockWallet PRO, which introduced centralized exchange functions and advanced trading options for BSV pairs to the RockWallet app.

Due to regulatory restrictions, PRO’s extra features are currently available only to customers outside the U.S. and Canada. Despite the (temporary) geographical limitations, Bailey said the response from customers has been dramatic.

“Over the first couple days, the volumes were over US$2 million. We weren’t expecting that at all.” Even better, while Bailey expected PRO customers to “come and trade then pull their assets out, they’re leaving the assets in there because they’re continually trading. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think we’d earned the right to do that so early.” Bailey said an “enhanced version” of PRO will be released soon.

RockWallet is also dealing with an influx of new customers from the digital payment platform Wyre, which shut down in June 2023. In February, RockWallet announced that it had acquired Wyre’s customer accounts and had begun reaching out to these customers with the pitch of being able to open RockWallets without the need to redo the whole KYC (know your customer) process.

Bailey told CoinGeek there was “a lot of synergy between how Wyre conducted themselves and how we want to and do conduct ourselves.” Wyre had “millions of active, highly-motivated, crypto-savvy customers and our ability to reach them is one of the good problems that we currently have.”

Bailey said RockWallet was emailing Wyre customers on a segment-by-segment basis, “depending on how active they were in the past, how trade-eligible they are.” These overtures have been “well-received,” particularly once Wyre customers discover RockWallet’s fiat on-/off-ramps, which Bailey calls “one of our key differentiators.”

Build your house upon a rock

RockWallet’s success was anything but assured, given that the company launched in December 2022 in the absolute teeth of the ‘crypto winter’ that followed the demise of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange and a host of other high-profile ‘crypto’ failures/scandals.

Bailey said the shakeout of ‘crypto’ crooks didn’t negatively impact RockWallet, in part because it embraces regulatory oversight. “There’s a reason we’re called RockWallet—rock solid, rock confident. We want to put our crypto where our mouth is, to provide the best possible service that we can and instill that confidence. One of the ways to do that is to be regulated.”

RockWallet was embraced by the BSV community, which suffered from a paucity of trading options following the anti-competitive delisting of the BSV token from many prominent exchanges in 2019. But the adoption of RockWallet by the wider digital asset community speaks volumes as to both the quality of its product and its unwavering commitment to the customer experience.

From the start, Bailey said RockWallet’s customers “felt supported and when they weren’t supported we doubled down and made sure they were happy because it’s really important that the customer has the best experience. The customer experience is as important or even more important than the technology.”

While RockWallet had its own internal targets, Bailey said the first year of its existence was all about building a product on which customers could rely.

“We wanted to avoid all the fancy bells and whistles, that’s later on. The ability for our customers to send, store, receive, buy, swap, and sell every single time they want to do it, each of those trades facilitated as best as we possibly can, that’s what we focused on.”

Still, managing customer expectations remains a challenge, given what Bailey called “a lack of knowledge/understanding in the market around how crypto actually works. If a customer trades something, they quite rightly want to know ‘why isn’t it in my wallet straightaway, why wasn’t it executed?’ It really is down to the blockchain and the protocol that’s being used.”

“This is one of the good things about BSV. Zero-confirmations, bang, it’s done. Low fees, done. Other coins like BTC, ETH, once it’s on the blockchain, it takes a while. Some are faster than others and dependent on the fees the customer wants to pay in terms of prioritizing the trade. Sometimes trades can be on the blockchain for far too long, unacceptable. So I think educational content is one of the things we’re going to focus on this year.”

Customers are always keen on expanding the list of available token options, but this is one area in which RockWallet’s commitment to its customers must (regrettably) take a back seat to regulatory pragmatism. “Certainly, in the U.S., we want to avoid listing thousands of coins. The key ones are 99.9% of the volume anyway, and it keeps us on the good side of the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Development pipeline

Bailey likened the current state of RockWallet to the DeLorean in Back to the Future: “It’s basically a car with stuff bolted on it, and it works, but it doesn’t look very slick, and Doc Brown’s the only one who knows how to operate it.” The next release of the product will bring “a revamped customer experience, much slicker.”

Bailey says one constant goal is “to get customers through funnels as quick as possible,” making them trade-eligible with the least possible friction. “You can create a wallet and all you can do is send/store/receive until you go through some form of KYC process. We have Express Verification, a very minimal-touch way to send/store/receive/buy/swap. Then you go through the full KYC process and you have access to the entire gamut of functions,” including “drastically increased” trade limits.

Another item high on customers’ wishlists is a web-based RockWallet for both desktop and mobile browsers, something Bailey also wants as a “mitigation strategy.” App stores will remain one of RockWallet’s key routes to market, but Bailey notes that those platforms’ gatekeepers can be “very stringent about uploading new versions of apps. At times, it has delayed our development cycle. We just can’t have that risk to our business.”

This web-wallet is currently in beta mode and will initially resemble the international RockWallet app, which is limited to send/store/receive functions. (International users can now access other features via PRO.) The ultimate goal is to achieve functional parity across all apps and jurisdictions, with the web-wallet offering the same full functionality as the apps.

There are also plans to improve RockWallet’s already robust redundancy, increase the number of payment options, and boost scalability.

“We built the system to cope with X amount of transactions and we’re way below that threshold. But if we’re as successful as I think we’re going to be, we need to continue to iterate to ensure we can bring in more and more customers, particularly with the Wyre deal as well.”

Longer term goals

Among the items on RockWallet’s longer-term horizon are remittances, something Bailey calls “one of the key things you’re going to see from us this year.” Bailey cited jurisdictions such as the Philippines, Nigeria, South Africa, and India as likely target markets, and BSV is expected to play a major role due to its reputation for being “fast and very cost-effective.”

Bailey is also keen on exploring decentralized apps (dApps) as a way to “open the wallet up to more functionality. This is one of the things customers ask us about; the ability to use your assets based on the idea of how crypto was originally designed. It’s really not a ‘store of wealth,’ it’s to facilitate transactions.”

In geographic terms, RockWallet hopes to make more use of its Lithuanian license by increasing its visibility in European markets. “That’s not just a ‘turn on the switch’ action, unfortunately,” but “that will happen this year, absolutely.”

Here to stay

CoinGeek closed our talk with Bailey by noting a previous interview in which he claimed to be learning something new everyday. So we asked him what he’d learned this day.

As it turns out, Bailey had just done a ‘mystery shopper’ exercise with RockWallet’s online chat. “The answers were good, but they weren’t good enough. And I don’t like that, and I know the people involved won’t like that either. So what I learned today is that we have work to do in terms of our ability to communicate with our customers.”

“I sound like a broken record, but I mean this in my bones; we genuinely want the customer to have a good crypto experience because a happy customer will come back time and time again. That, ultimately, is RockWallet’s business model.”

“We’re still a relatively new company, but we’re here to stay. We know how to run a business, and we are slowly growing that business, both from a tech perspective and a revenue/volume business. I just want the customers to be able to own their assets and use/trade their own assets. I think people are looking for that. And it’s really underpinned by a rock-solid experience.”

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