Navigating Crypto Mass Adoption Hurdle: Exclusive Interview With Fintopio CEO Steve Milton

17 Apr 2024

In a recentHackerNoon interview, Coinspaid CMO Hugin Kuzin predicted that crypto payment would be commonplace in five years. Earlier this year, this prediction inched closer to reality after payment giant Visa launched crypto withdrawal services in 145 countries.

When it comes to crypto payments, achieving a seamless user experience is not only the gold standard but also a key ingredient for mass adoption. As this shared goal comes with different approaches, crypto payment experts forecast a significant surge with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.52%. In this interview, Steve Milton, the CEO of Fintopio, a Telegram-based crypto payment platform, offered valuable insights into the dynamics of the cryptocurrency payment industry.

Mr. Steve, can you briefly tell us about yourself and your route to Web3?

I have always been interested in disruptive technology - early eBay, e-commerce, micro-mobility in China, etc. In 2017, when I met many people in Bitcoin and blockchain, I began to realize that crypto can lead us to financial freedom. I then moved to Binance and BNB Chain to help us get closer to crypto’s mission.

Personally, I have always been independently-minded, and Web3 appeals to my values and philosophies in life. I have since made it my personal goal to help with the mass adoption of Web3 technology.

Do you share the view that one of Web3’s pain points is its UI/UX problems?

Complexity, complexity, complexity. There is an unnecessary mystique about crypto and blockchain. It creates a barrier to adoption. Imagine what online shopping would have been if Jeff Bezos hadn’t simplified online buying. As an industry, Web3 needs to do a better job of democratizing crypto and blockchain and making it accessible to more people.

For widespread adoption of crypto payments, what characteristics should a Web3 wallet's user interface ideally possess?

This is not rocket science. Using a mobile device is second nature - now, making payments is very commonplace, but there is still a further step available, which is sending money like a chat message but retaining the trust and security that exists in the banking sector today.

What factors are hindering the wider adoption of crypto payments by online merchants and businesses?

As mentioned, there is a lack of simplification by the Web3 industry as a whole. We have to demystify crypto. Apart from that, there are several massively-adopted platforms like Telegram that we can leverage today to help make mass adoption for Web3 a reality.

Think about it: Many of the biggest social media and messaging platforms have started forming their own payment solutions. There’s a huge opportunity we have by doing the same for crypto payments via a crypto wallet solution that works on major messaging apps like Telegram.

How does the current regulatory landscape affect Web3 wallet providers?

Regulation is important to protect users. This is the basis for trust and security. We see many jurisdictions working hard to make effective regulations that support both the user and the entrepreneurs. This is the sweet spot, in my opinion.

Where do you see crypto payments adoption going in the next 3-5 years?

Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed the rapid progress of crypto from a fintech novelty to a financial revolution with increasing mainstream acceptance despite several headwinds. I think we’ve entered a period in crypto that’s similar to the Internet in the mid-2000s, wherein we’ve rectified past issues, moved forward with rebuilding the ecosystem, and put ourselves close to the tipping point.

Hence, I think crypto in general, and crypto payment solutions in particular, will mirror the Internet’s five-year growth into an essential part of everyone’s lives. And Fintopio will be there to help facilitate the entry of millions more people into crypto.

Can you tell us about the founding of Fintopio?

There are several factors, one of which is that I have always wanted to start my own project. I’ve always believed payment solutions were the route to mass adoption for crypto. At Binance, I was lucky to meet and work with a tremendous cohort of experts who introduced me to like-minded founders.

As a non-technical founder, I needed to meet devs and was lucky to connect with people in Dubai who shared similar ambitions. Today, the Fintopio team is based in the Philippines and goes to Argentina via the UK, Spain, Dubai, Eastern Europe, and CiS markets.

How were you able to integrate with Telegram?

Telegram is a highly attractive platform. It has 900 million users, most of whom are Web3 savvy people who have deep roots in markets with high crypto adoption, so it was a great spot for what we wanted to build. We have been fortunate to have some good connections with the Telegram team, but we’re not part of Telegram in any sense. However, looking at Telegram’s growth and product roadmap, we are excited to be on a journey with the rest of the TON community.

Can you share your experience as CEO of Fintopio?

As a first-time CEO, I am learning every day. It’s highly invigorating. I’m a strong believer that people are the most important element of a team, even a product-led company like Fintopio. My job now is to be highly ambitious for the company. Our DeFi wallet is just the beginning. I believe there is huge potential in Web3 payments infrastructure. I want to see Fintopio be both the front-end and backbone of a new payment era.

Any parting words?

We invite users to try our Fintopio DeFi Wallet, now available in its beta version via Telegram bot and web app, with a mobile app coming out soon. Since this is a beta launch, we invite the crypto community to provide us with your feedback on the product by filling up our Bug Bounty Form. We value users feedback, so we’re giving out several rewards as an appreciation..