It’s All About Prioritizing Nexo’s Many Goals – February AMA with Antoni Trenchev
Last week we hosted the first edition of our new series of monthly Ask-Antoni-Anythings with Nexo Co-founder and Managing Partner Antoni Trenchev. Thank you to those of you who got involved – we hope to have quenched your curiosity.
On Friday, Antoni covered questions about the Nexo Card, the Kraken flash crash, gas fees, the congestion of the Ethereum network, our community’s newest #when – #whenNexopiggybank, and much more.
To find out all our exciting Nexo news, watch the full AMA or read the summarized answers below.
When will the Nexo Card be available?
The Nexo Card is a difficult product. We have already rolled out 1,000 cards to clients for testing and we are on the verge of a full release, which should happen in the next three months. Most of the delays with the Nexo Card have been on account of our partners, so to avoid similar оccurrences, we are diversifying our approach and are now working with multiple card providers.
Recent transactions through Nexo were delayed or failed to show up. Is this problem resolved?
At Nexo, your crypto is your crypto and this will remain so until you decide to part with your assets. Unfortunately, Nexo does not have control over miners, nor can we do anything should the Bitcoin network slow down. Your funds are safe and will be processed as soon as possible depending on the chain’s congestion. Rest assured that what depended on us has been done.
What measures is Nexo taking to alleviate user concerns around lack of transparency?
This ask-me-anything session is the first step in ensuring better transparency. We are in the process of auditing Nexo financials, so the long-term plan is to have more transparency on the financials and communication side of things. This includes more information on how we structure our products.
What causes delays in withdrawals on the platform, is the issue fully solved?
Yes, any problems on our side have been resolved fully.
Did Nexo incur any losses after refunding clients affected by the Kraken flash crash, or did the event not result in real liquidation of assets?
Nexo has not lost any money as a result of the momentary crash of one of our partners. Kraken acknowledged their mistake and refunded us. We, in turn, passed these funds onto the clients that were affected.
What’s the current status of acquiring banking licenses in Europe and the US. Is this expected to happen in 2021?
We do expect it to happen in 2021. We’ve made incredible progress with the bank we are looking at in Europe. However, we cannot reveal more information for legal reasons. The situation is quite similar in the US – we are in advanced talks with various entities. Currently, the landscape is becoming more crypto-friendly when it comes to regulators in the US and with Biden’s new administration. This will, hopefully, yield good results for our bank acquisition in the US.
Are there changes planned to the dividend distribution policy?
We made a commitment that the dividends will be paid out at least once a year. We will not be making changes to this policy at this stage. Currently our focus is on Nexonomics and giving our token greater utility. The market has so far reflected the popularity of our Nexonomics series of upgrades and features through the increased value of the NEXO Token.
Could you provide quarterly results like listed companies do?
Nexo is not a listed company in the traditional sense, meaning we are in no way obligated to share financials publicly. At this stage, however, quarterly results and the prep they require are counterproductive for the team. That said, we are currently undergoing an audit so we can share our financials in future, regardless of the fact that we are privately owned. We see this as a gesture of transparency towards our community.
Are you planning to implement the option to transfer tokens via chains other than Ethereum in order to save on gas costs?
Yes we are, our dev team is already looking into it. We need to properly assess what makes the most sense in terms of sustainability. Up until now we have covered all gas costs, we don’t want to pass these onto our clients, so we are trying to find a middle ground. What we have right now is an interim solution that will serve until we figure out how to make transactions on the platform faster, cheaper and more sustainable.
How is Nexo ahead or behind its competition?
The blockchain space will profit from more mutual respect from competing companies and protocols because we are ultimately all in this together. For example, one or our competitors, BlockFi, have pivoted in a completely different direction from us, so we don’t view them as competitors. They were initially more focused on the institutional side of their business and currently have completely different goals from us.
Nexo was initially focused on retail clients, but we’ve expanded to cater to institutional clients too. We are all about catering to the needs of all kinds of individuals and businesses, and are now focusing as much on retail as on expanding our offering for institutions and the larger actors that will take crypto to the next level.
Will you implement withdrawal address whitelisting and IP change confirmation?
Yes, of course we are. While we already have the necessary tools to make sure that nobody parts unwillingly with their crypto, we are working on enabling a whitelisting feature on the platform. IP change confirmation will also be implemented. We don’t have an ETA at present as we are currently working on improving our gas fee situation. Launching our whitelisting and further security tools is ultimately about getting through our list of priorities, so bear with us.
What are you personally excited about most when it comes to changes and developments that are on the horizon at Nexo?
I’m super excited about the bank acquisition and Nexo’s plans of becoming a publicly traded company because I’m overseeing the legal and compliance stuff. Other things that excite me is the corporate API, the development of the prime brokerage suite, and the rapid growth of the team – Nexo is about 160 people now and keeps growing.
What is your target price for the NEXO Token by 2030?
Double digits. There's no reason we shouldn’t be in the mid-double digit range, it’s definitely possible.
When will I be able to send my salary straight to my Nexo account and leave behind my dinosaur bank account?
Very very soon. There is one license that we are about to secure which will allow us to do exactly that – to have third party payments which means you’ll be able to transfer directly from your Nexo account. The opposite will be possible as well, third parties will be able to send your salary and any other funds and payments directly to your Nexo account.
What is Nexo’s strategy for the corporate market? Will Nexo have special products to attract clients other than traditional retail?
We have been shifting our focus to the institutional side of the business. Among our plans for the coming months is the development of a prime brokerage suite. We have a team working precisely on that. This will be a whole lineup of products specially designed for corporate clients that will definitely attract new business.
US Nexonians are missing out on higher Earn rates via the NEXO Token. Could Nexo offer higher rates through new Loyalty tiers higher than the Platinum level?
Yes, there are some restrictions with regards to the Nexo Token in the US, but that’s because we strive to always comply with local restrictions and regulations. When it comes to higher Earn rates, there is something that is changing and it’s coming very very soon. It’s connected to fixed-term interest accounts which will give you the ability to earn higher rates. This will also give users in parts of the world that were previously not able to access our highest rates the ability to do so. About the Loyalty Program – we are not planning on introducing new tiers in the foreseeable future.
When are you planning to add the new coins we are voting for?
As soon as we can. Anything that generates good business is something we are working on and, again, it’s just a matter of getting to everything on our list of priorities. In general, if it’s an ERC-20 token, it’s very easy to implement, we just have to make sure there is enough liquidity on exchanges. We will add new coins as soon as we can and as soon as we deem them sufficiently widely traded and safe for you.
How did you get into crypto, what’s your story?
I heard about Bitcoin for the first time in 2011 from a guy called Bob Prechter. The price was about 6 cents then, but I only really got into it later. By 2016, when we were planning Nexo, I was hooked.
Any plans to lower minimum fiat deposits and allow clients to choose interest paid out in kind or in NEXO for each coin rather than globally for all assets in your Nexo account?
Fiat transactions are as low as our banking partners will allow – these minimums are imposed by our fiat providers, and while we are always looking to lower them, it does ultimately depend on our partners. As soon as we have full banking capabilities we will be in a position to make our own decisions. As for earning in kind or in NEXO, the vast majority of the people are loving this functionality as it currently is, so we will be prioritizing new features. Unless this climbs quite high on our community’s wishlist, it will be further in the future.
What is going to happen to the NEXO Token if the company does an IPO or if the company is sold?
Going public through an IPO is not suitable for Nexo. We plan to go public through another route. There is also no company sale on the horizon. Generally, even if we did sell the company, those who acquire the business will want happy clients and investors, so rapid, radical shifts in the principles of the company go against Nexo’s interests regardless of who owns it.
With the increase of the token price, what has changed in terms of the buyback strategy? Can we expect more buyback programs in the future?
The Buyback Program has played a role in the price appreciation of the NEXO Token, but it was not the main driver of our token’s value. At present, we have used up no more than $5 million of the $12 million Buyback Program. Buybacks are a general principle for businesses like ours and we expect our Buyback Program to be a continuous endeavour. Its size will depend on the overall condition of Nexo.
In which countries do you hold financial licences? Where is your head office located?
Different countries operate with licenses in different ways, so we have separate licenses depending on each of the 200+ jurisdictions we serve. For example, we are part of a self-regulatory organization in Switzerland, which is how we comply with their financial regulators. We also have pending authorizations from the FCA in the UK, a Payment Institution license in Ireland, as well as multiple lending licenses in the US, across a few different states. The list is very long.
As for our head office: we were in the process of relocating to London and then COVID-19 happened and London was hit hard. So a large portion of the team now works remotely, many of them are in Bulgaria where we have an incredibly talented dev team.
Are you planning to offer internships for crypto enthusiasts who want to help shape the future of Nexo?
This is definitely going to happen, maybe even as early as the next quarter.
How about that piggybank next to you? We all want one, #WhenNexoPiggybank?
Our team is looking into how we can best bring our merchandise to mass production. We are stocking up on various items, so you will soon be able to get Nexo merch, including – hopefully – the piggybank, which my fiancé made for me
That’s all we were able to fit into one session. We’re certain you have many more questions to ask, so keep an eye out for next month’s Ask-Antoni-Anything!