Nov. 27, 2019
Participating with his friend Nick Kozlov (Co-founder & CTO), Kirill Kuznetcov (Co-founder & VP Engineering) won a prize in his very first blockchain hackathon, while coding for blockchain for the very first time. Driven by the belief that mass adoption of digital assets has to begin at the developer level, they founded BUTTON Wallet together with Alexandr Safonov (Co-founder and CEO).
The team has already won more than 15 international hackathons, and have raised USD 500K from MIT Play Labs, Ethereum Classic Labs, as well as other Silicon Valley based VCs and angels along the way.
Please tell us more about your background.
Kirill: My background is based on the technical environment in different spheres. For the past three years, I have been involved in the Microsoft Student Partners program. I have held lectures for students of leading Russian universities, on the basics of blockchain technology for economists and on advanced details for developers. I was also a part of a R&D group in Moscow, which developed one of the Plasma protocols based on Ethereum, as well as several crowdfunding, investment, dividend platforms and smart contracts.
How did you get into blockchain and what inspired you to start your own project?
Kirill: The first time I heard about Bitcoin, I felt like it was a scam because I only heard words like “Three days ago Bitcoin was $1000. Today it's $3000! Growth is 300%!" Sounds like manipulative dishonesty, doesn't it? Later, I learned about mining in terms of "I use computer power and in return get virtual currency".
A deeper understanding came from the day I decided to make a cloud mining business plan as a project at my University. A few weeks after the successful presentation of the project, I went to my first Blockchain Hackathon with Nick and got a prize! It was the first time I wrote code in the blockchain sphere. Since then, I decided to study the development of decentralized applications and conduct master classes on blockchain technology and the language of smart contracts Solidity.
Participating in hackathons, I understood that mass adoption of digital assets remains at the level of developers. Most people find it difficult to make a transfer or to exchange currency. The way to solve these issues is to build a wallet on top of existing infrastructure that is familiar to everyone. That is why we decided to build a Messenger Based Wallet. Now BUTTON is live on Telegram!
Tell us more about your project - how you started and what problem you are trying to solve.
Alexandr: BUTTON Wallet is a messenger based crypto wallet-banking that’s now live on Telegram, and with already 150k users. We started BUTTON as we saw that 90% of cryptocurrency holders (hodlers) use Telegram, and wallets should be where people are. Messengers would be a place for massive adoption in the crypto-space and BUTTON is exploring the possibility of attracting new users from a new market.
What made you decide to build on Zilliqa?
Nick: BUTTON is also focused on white label solutions for B2B2C of a decentralized ecosystem of blockchain companies. Following this, we decided to build white label solutions for Zilliqa to grow Zilliqa’s community with a BUTTON Wallet audience and provide mass adoption by selecting Messenger Infrastructure as a well-known platform for simple payments.
What is your vision for your project and upon meeting which/what milestone will you consider this vision to be fulfilled?
Alexandr: BUTTON Wallet is moving from being just a crypto wallet to messenger based banking, which would be as huge as mobile banking is today.
For the next 6-12 months, we will be increasing our user base up to 1M users and adding more DeFi exchange capabilities for our users. Our next huge milestone would be to issue credit-debit cards for BUTTON Wallet accounts and become an international bank in 3 to 5 years.
BUTTON Wallet has great ambitions, a strong team of serial hackathon winners, and also a proven product that has already gained 150K users in 12 months. You can learn more about them here.