It’s all Greek to many consumers when it comes to cryptocurrency, but one Los Angeles-area startup aims to change that.
MyCrypto Inc., headquartered in the South Bay city of Redondo Beach, wants to build the first mass consumer-friendly gateway for cryptocurrency users.
Founded last year, the company has raised $4 million in a Series A led by Polychain Capital, a San Francisco-based investor in cryptocurrency protocols and companies.
MyCrypto offers an open-face interface that simplifies the process of storing, sending and receiving digital assets. The company provides a suite of tools for users to create new wallets, send and receive, and buy and sell/exchange virtual currencies.
In a move to make it easier for users to secure their funds outside of an exchange, MyCrypto recently launched a desktop app that will allow users to manage and use their crypto currency without online services and protocols.
“The cryptocurrency market is always changing and evolving, which can make navigating and understanding it difficult and overwhelming for both new and seasoned users,” said MyCrypto founder and CEO Taylor Monahan in a statement. “We’re dedicated to designing an experience that can further simplify how people can access and store cryptocurrency.”
"We believe today one of the major bottlenecks to cryptocurrency adoption is the lack of an easy-to-use interface for average people,” added Polychain founder and CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee. “MyCrypto is led by hardcore cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and is well-positioned to onboard the next 100 million cryptocurrency users.”
Additional investors in MyCrypto’s latest round include Boost VC, ShapeShift, Mainframe founder and CEO Mick Hagen, Chance Du of Coefficient Ventures, Ausum Ventures, early Dropbox employee Albert Ni, and Earn co-founder and CFO Lily Liu. The company also raised an undisclosed seed round.
Monahan, who previously founded MyEtherWallet, discussed her latest venture further via email, including what inspired MyCrypto, what Polychain brings to the table as an investor, and what it will take to achieve widespread adoption of cryptocurrency.
What inspired MyCrypto?
We saw an immense need for easy-to-use solutions that had a lower barrier to entry than available solutions. We want to see the cryptocurrency community grow, and in order to do that the solutions need to be more diverse, simple and frictionless.
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What will the company use its Series A funding for?
With this new funding, MyCrypto plans to build the first mass consumer-friendly gateway for cryptocurrency users. We aim to grow our team and improve product while specifically focusing on the user experience.
The blockchain and subsequent products are notoriously complicated and intimidating. We want to change that so anyone — regardless of technical expertise or background — can interact with the blockchain and decentralized applications with confidence.
In addition to funding, what does Polychain Capital bring to the table?
Polychain has immense knowledge and background in the crypto space and, through their expansive portfolio, understands the unique challenges facing crypto-companies as they grow. On top of that, Olaf Carlson-Wee’s previous experience at Coinbase has proven to be especially helpful in helping us build a robust customer support team and ensure our systems and processes are ultra-secure.
What makes MyCrypto’s offering “consumer-friendly”?
We prioritize and advocate for the user above all else and build based on feedback and interactions with our users and the wider community. Because of this we are able to create and iterate based on feedback and build features that people actually want and are actively using.
What will it take for cryptocurrency to become widely used?
A lot of people are waiting for the “killer dapp (decentralized application)” to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream, but the “killer dapp” can’t be discovered or used by the masses until the core ecosystem infrastructure is built and people can interact with the blockchain without so much effort or risk.
This is why we are so focused on improving the experience of our products and thinking hard about how a new user enters this space and is onboarded. Once the experience of understanding the value of cryptocurrency and successfully obtaining, holding and sending it is frictionless, we will see growth and adoption like we have never seen before.
How many employees does MyCrypto have?
We have just over 20 people on our team, although they are a healthy mix of full-time employees, contractors and consultants. Our team works remotely and is spread all over the globe, and we’re always looking for new people, especially those with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
What is MyCrypto’s business model — how does the company make money?
At the moment monetization comes in the form of affiliates and rev-share programs with our partners like ShapeShift and Coinbase. For example, if a user exchanges coins or tokens or purchases coins with USD, we get a small cut of the transaction fee.
Moving forward, we will be experimenting with more advanced features and smart contracts that will allow us to provide especially useful features to users in return for a small fee.