Revolut's CFO remains confident in crypto push despite falling trading volumes

Quick Take

  • Even as trading volumes sink, Revolut remains convinced that crypto is an integral part of its mission to become a financial super-app. 
  • The company launched its cryptocurrency trading tools in 2017 and has looked to go “full crypto” by previously touting a forthcoming DeFi wallet application and a native token dubbed Revcoin that will operate as a loyalty program.

Revolut's chief financial officer, Mikko Salovaara, remains confident about the future of crypto on the fintech giant's financial super-app, even while trading volumes falter and some of its new crypto products see slow adoption.

His bullishness comes even as crypto trading volumes on the platform — which accounted for 10-15% of Revolut's 2020 revenue, according to a previous interview with Sifted — have declined this year, Salovaara said in an interview at last month's Accel Fintech Summit.

"We've probably seen somewhere between 50 to 75% reduction in volumes," he said, comparing crypto trading this year with 2021. "Which is broadly in line with the market if you look at Coinbase or so on."  

That's had an impact on overall revenue, he said. Revenue derived from crypto has gone from considerable to "not very meaningful" as of late, Salovaara said.

Revolut's growth

Founded in 2015 by Nik Storonsky, Revolut grew from a foreign exchange application to offering a plethora of features including the ability to book holidays, transfer money across borders and even insure pets via the app.

It began to offer cryptocurrency trading tools in 2017 and has since looked to go "full crypto." And despite current dicy market conditions, the company still sees digital assets as a core part of its mission to meet every financial need that a merchant or individual might have. 

"Crypto, at least as we perceive it, is a financial service that individuals and businesses from a treasury management function basically demand, and therefore we want to provide it to them," said Salovaara. 

No impact


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His buoyancy comes as many crypto companies struggle to stay afloat after last month's bloodbath of events, notably the contagion spurred by the collapse of the once-reputable exchange FTX.

European fintech app Revolut made efforts to distance itself from these events in an email sent to customers on Nov. 15, assuring users that there was no material impact on its services. 

Market conditions this year haven't stopped the company from pushing ahead with new crypto products even as some offerings see slow user take-up. It's expanded its crypto line recently by adding 29 new tokens for U.S. customers, as well as a crypto card cashback program in October.

It also enabled companies to hold surplus cash in crypto on its business platform in July, but as of last month, it's only seen about 3,500 businesses sign up for the product. That's "a low (single digit) percentage of take-up by businesses overall," said a Revolut spokesperson who noted that Revolut Business has several hundred thousand monthly active businesses on the platform. 

Ramping up for Revcoin 

Salovaara said it's still plowing ahead with its ambitious plans, including "Revcoin," its native token. In May, Revolut CEO Nik Storonsky told The Block that this crypto token will reward customers for their loyalty in a manner similar to airline miles programs. While many of the details are still being sorted out, Salovaara expressed confidence that when it is inaugurated, the coin will help drive users to the platform.

Still, he noted that digital assets are so nascent that many of Revolut's endeavors in the sector, including a planned DeFi wallet application, will have to adapt to the way crypto evolves.

"Our strategy with crypto hasn't changed and we see it as a long-term investment," he said. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Tom is a deals reporter at The Block covering venture capital, fundraises, fintech and M&A. Before joining, he was an editorial intern at the FT-backed platform Sifted where he reported on neobanks, payment firms and blockchain startups. You can reach him by email at [email protected] or Telegram @tommatsuda.


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