Never Settle - The Revolut Crypto Journey

Sonja Polimac

 · 01/30/2020  · 01/30/2020

Ed Cooper was our fourth man through the door. It was August 2015, and he was fresh off a flight from a holiday in Japan. His onboarding looked very different to the one that we host today for new joiners, but he was getting on the same rocketship. Joining as the Head of Mobile sounds like a fancy title, though at the time it was a team of one - just Ed. Over the next four years, he would grow that team to more than 80, developing a product that is now used by more than 10 million customers.

In those early days, interviewing new hires was a collaborative effort, and Ed was involved in bringing on board Revoluter #5:  Lewis Tuff. As Ed was wrapping up the interview, Lewis asked if Ed was interested in cryptocurrencies. The 2017 boom hadn’t yet hit, so this conversation about a niche interest in the financial world took on a conspiratorial tone.

They recognised in each other a passion for making cryptocurrency trading and holding accessible and understandable for everyone, and they wanted to integrate that into what Revolut was aiming to do for banking services. So, they hatched a secret plan to bring crypto to the Revolut platform.

As our founder, Nik, says “when you love what you do, it’s your hobby; you can do it 24/7”. Ed and Lewis would work on the crypto project in the evenings and on weekends, committed to the vision of a safe and streamlined crypto trading and holding platform. But they had to hit pause on the passion project when they realised that the market and Revolut’s platform weren’t quite ready to take on this challenge.

One of our core values at Revolut is ‘Never Settle’. We’re not satisfied with the status quo. We look at what’s out there, and redefine what’s possible.. So when Nik revisited the idea of a Revolut crypto product in the summer of 2017, they knew that this was the moment to step up and make crypto happen at Revolut.

Ed and Lewis worked like a startup-within-a-startup, finessing details in an entirely new product that they pitched as being a huge asset to Revolut.

Even they couldn’t have predicted how big of an asset crypto would become.

The launch briefly melted down the signup system, having multiplied tenfold from an average of about 2,000 signups per day to over 20,000. The timing was fortuitous, as just as they were preparing to launch the finished product at the end of 2017, cryptocurrencies hit the headlines. If people weren’t trading, they were talking about it. Rumours and misinformation about what crypto was, how to trade, and where to keep it were everywhere, but Revolut was committed to creating a transparent system that was easy to use, but most importantly safe. The ‘walled garden’ system was designed to allow people to explore the crypto world, but kept it completely separate from the fiat features we created for Revolut.

As our new Head of Cryptocurrency, he’s committed to doing more of the same. “We want to start launching features into our platform that encourage and facilitate education about crypto, making users feel more informed and comfortable.” Their focus on information will include up-to-date news about what’s going on in the world of cryptocurrency, a feature which will live right inside the app itself.

The financial landscape is moving. 2017 was the biggest indicator yet of the cultural shift from traditional banking services to a more digitised and streamlined approach which gives more control back to the customer. It’s part of what makes ‘Never Settle’ such an important idea for us. We’re here creating the future of fintech, while the rest play catch-up.. To find out more about joining our crypto team at Revolut, check out our Careers page.