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Édouard Steegmann (Spot): "The user experience is crucial for a wallet".

Édouard Steegmann (Spot): "The user experience is crucial for a wallet".

Buoyed like the others by the FTX crash, the wallet developed by the French company Spot has exceeded 500,000 downloads. Its CEO, Édouard Steegmann, looks ahead to future developments in the market.

The Big Whale: How do you stand out from other wallets?

Édouard Steegmann: Our priority is really the user experience. We want everything to be simple and intuitive. We don't do tech for tech's sake, even though Spot is full of it (laughs).

The aim is to do what Apple managed to do with the iPad, i.e. a product that everyone knows how to use. Even my grandmother knows how to use an iPad!"

You're also a multi-currency wallet, which is rare enough to be highlighted...

We're compatible with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polygon, Solana and Tezos, and we are currently considering adding new protocols, such as Cosmos and Ethereum layers 2.

We also allow NFTs developed on Ethereum, Polygon and Solana to be displayed. Our users really appreciate the display quality of these. Few wallets currently allow you to highlight their graphical dimension.

Your approach is ultimately quite similar to that of your competitor ZenGo. What really sets you apart from them?

They share with us the idea that simplicity is paramount, but we have different strategies. Spot is a wallet that offers "total" sovereignty, whereas ZenGo will never give you your private key entirely 🔑

This allows them to keep users captive (because they can't migrate to another product, ed. note), whereas on our side we prefer everyone to be free to change wallet if they want.

What is your business model?

We take a commission every time a user buys, sells, trades or stakes cryptos. Currently, our revenue comes mainly from buying cryptos. We collect 0.85% on the total amount paid by bank card, but we think that in the future there will be virtually no fee for this service.

In the long term, we will mainly make money from higher value-added activities such as staking or crypto-crypto exchanges.

You have never offered returns via lending providers. Why is that?"

This is a real question that, like many players, we asked ourselves. And after weighing up the pros and cons, we decided not to do it. Why not? Because it would mean working with centralised intermediaries like Celsius and Nexo, which we didn't want to do. The future proved us right, even though it was hard to know that it would be such a mess.

On the DeFi, if we launch we want it to be well done and simple to use. In the meantime, experienced users can use Wallet Connect in Spot to use all the DeFi apps on the market.

What features do you plan to add in the coming weeks?

We're going to continue on the integration of NFTs developed on Polygon, adding all sorts of data such as floor price variation or scarcity levels.

Overall, we're big believers in Polygon, which is a very interesting and low-cost blockchain. We are also going to offer peer-to-peer payment functionalities like CashApp does. This could be very useful for merchants wishing to accept crypto payments.

For this service, we should be highlighting a stablecoin (USDC a priori) on Polygon (a priori too) and address book-type features. Spot will also very soon be offering a chat protocol for communicating with other wallets and services.

You were one of the first crypto partners of online payment giant Stripe. What do you think of their strategy?

They've been slow to get going, like a lot of big traditional players, but they're currently one of our most active partners. What's interesting is that they're already looking at DeFi applications...

How do you explain that Spot isn't compatible with Ledger products, when its co-founder Éric Larchevêque is one of your shareholders  ?

We wanted to do it when the Ledger Nano X came out, which has a Bluetooth connection and can communicate with a smartphone. But, at that time (2019, editor's note), Ledger was still selling a lot of Nano Ss which, themselves, don't have Bluetooth. Now that the Nano X is more widespread, we might consider it 👀

What do you think of their new product, the Ledger Stax?

Honestly, it's a beautiful product and the fact that it's the iPod designer who worked on it is a real plus.

We'll probably make sure we integrate it into Spot. The only problem is that Ledger still hasn't figured out how to keep the private key off a piece of paper. It will be a revolution when they find a solution.

How do you see the future of the wallet sector?

The FTX case has clearly highlighted the need to store your cryptos yourself. To give you an idea, the average balance on Spot wallets has doubled in recent weeks.

Then we have to be clear-headed, there will be other FTXs because people always want more simplicity and exchange platforms offer them that simplicity. Education takes time, but we can see that attitudes are changing. Even Apple now encrypts iCloud end-to-end, which is great news for wallets in the event of hacking!"

NFTs have been an accelerator in the adoption of wallets. Where do you think the next wave will come from?

I think Web3 gaming will be a big driver of adoption and could attract hundreds of millions of users.

How do you analyse the controversy over Metamask collecting certain data from their users?

Many people have taken offence at nothing. Unless you have three computers, are permanently on the Tor browser (which allows you to surf the darkweb discreetly, editor's note) and have never revealed your identity, you are already known and tracked by many services. Those who criticise Metamask are probably people who want to avoid paying tax...

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