We are excited to announce that this month marks one year that Bitpowr has been in business! That’s 365 days of providing extensive and reliable blockchain infrastructure for ambitious businesses across the globe. Thanks to our work, digital asset businesses can launch and scale with minimal effort and cost. And it all began when our CEO, Oyetoke Tobi, spotted an opportunity he couldn’t ignore.
After almost eight years as a software engineer, with about four of those spent in the crypto space, Tobi noticed a crippling problem: startups couldn’t easily build on the blockchain. Existing blockchain infrastructure solutions were either too expensive or too complex to implement, or both. And in some regions like Africa, fledgling companies could hardly find native blockchain infrastructure providers at all.
The problem statement was clear, and the required solution was unmistakable — the industry needed a modular ecosystem of blockchain infrastructure that businesses could leverage to quickly and affordably launch and scale their blockchain-based products and services. After scores of brainstorming and strategy sessions, a string of audacious experiments, and tons of engineering hours, Bitpowr launched in January 2022.
One year on, and we can say that we are humbled by how far we have come. Here’s a snapshot of what has been an incredible journey so far:
a. $12 million in processed transactions
b. 40 institutional clients onboarded across Africa, Europe, and Asia
c. 6m+ API calls
d. 30k+ addresses generated
e. 1000+ wallets created
f. Backed by leading global investors, 500 Global and institutional angel investors
What a year it has been! We are grateful to everyone who has pitched in to make all this possible, particularly our esteemed clients, devoted team members, and supportive advisors. We recognize how lucky we are to have you on board and hope to continue this with you for decades.
Time-out with our CEO and Head of Business
To mark this special milestone, we had a quick sit-down with our Founder and CEO, Tobi Oyetoke, and Amarachi Amaechi, Co-founder and Head of Business, to get insights on the lessons learnt, challenges faced, and plans outlined so far. Of the top lessons he has learnt in the last year of building Bitpowr, Tobi identified his strengthened conviction that “blockchain is here to stay” as probably the biggest. Blockchain’s potential to solve the current financial system’s latent problems is undeniable and cannot be ignored in the long run.
“Blockchain is here to stay. Just look at the benefit of blockchain when it comes to finance. The current financial system is plagued by many restrictions, making it harder for businesses to go global, but that’s where the blockchain comes in. It ensures that businesses have access to financial services regardless of their location. We deal with the financial aspect, which has helped me see the promise of the blockchain more clearly,” Tobi said.
According to Tobi, further recognizing the blockchain’s potential to revolutionize the financial system has helped him note something equally important: the need for the industry to be regulated. “Don’t get me wrong, regulations in terms of ensuring that bad actors do not take advantage of people’s enthusiasm easily so that people don’t lose money. You can see how FTX affected a lot of businesses and individuals. So there’s a need for regulation so that blockchain can be more widely accepted,” he noted.
Running Bitpowr has also helped Tobi better grasp the complexity of managing a product of this scope. Here’s how he describes this: “Bitpowr combines multiple blockchains and tries to make it easier for you to connect to them. If you want to use Bitpowr now, you just have to call one or two APIs and technically, you’re done. But we have to have our hands on thousands of things on the backend to make that possible. It’s why many blockchain products are complex, but for the industry to increase adoption, there’s a need for better UX. And this is something that has become clearer from my experience with Bitpowr.”
Despite being a highly fulfilling and insightful experience, building Bitpowr hasn’t been without its challenges. Amarachi was quick to note how difficult it was to get people to trust Bitpowr in its early days.
“We were like one of the first sets of people building wallet infrastructure in Africa, but by the time we came on to the scene, most blockchain businesses in Africa and beyond were already plugged into the big-name infrastructure providers. Getting such businesses to trust us was difficult, but with time, we gained some traction. One client became two, and two became three and on and on. And now people believe that whatever they can get outside Africa is also available here,” Amarachi explained.
For Tobi, being the final decision-maker can sometimes put a strain on him as he tries to balance making the best decision for the business and its people. Also, selling the company’s vision and getting people on board isn’t always a walk in the park. And on top of that, Bitpowr, like other blockchain-focused companies, has to contend with the talent gaps present in the relatively nascent blockchain space.
Looking back has helped us appreciate our progress, but it has also enabled us to spot the next frontiers we would love to explore. On some of the exciting things already in the works at Bitpowr, Tobi said, “One of the things we want to focus on going forward is to build better self-custodial solutions. Right now, we provide self-custody digital assets infrastructure, but it’s not where we want it to be yet. There are a lot of things we are looking to improve on to ensure that our clients have full control over their assets and security.”
But we aren’t stopping at businesses, per Tobi’s comments; we will also look to provide self-custody solutions to high-profile individuals. “High-profile individuals are those with large sums of assets who want to protect their digital assets. We are trying to provide services to them to ensure they don’t lose their funds or access to their wallets. One of the ways to solve this problem is ensuring that there are no single access keys and single point of failure to a wallet, and that’s already being taken care of by our MPC and Multi-Sig Wallets for businesses, but we’d like to extend this to high-profile individuals too.”
Beyond this, we are also looking at enabling businesses to easily embed blockchain-powered financial services, according to Tobi. “Apart from being the AWS for Crypto, one of our missions is to ensure we provide the modern infrastructure for businesses to leverage financial services on the blockchain. We are already looking at providing a digital wallet that can enable anyone to embed financial services into their product using both crypto, stablecoins and fiat-backed digital currencies,” he noted.
Tobi and Amarachi expressed their unreserved gratitude to all of Bitpowr’s stakeholders and called for even greater support going forward. According to them, while we are one step closer to our ambitious vision, there’s still so much ground to cover. In Amarachi’s words, “Our goal is to be the underlying infrastructure for the majority of the crypto businesses in Africa and beyond. We want to power the onboarding of the next billion crypto and DeFi users, so we keep building.”