A year in review: achievements, milestones and the future
Last updated: January 4, 2019 10 min read
As 2018 came to an end, we use the opportunity to put in writing what we have accomplished, and what our plans for the future are. Read on!
We strongly believe 2018 was a healthy year for the entire blockchain space. For us at CoinGate, it was a wild ride, though – despite the market downturn. Without further ado, let’s jump into it and summarise what happened at CoinGate during the exciting year of 2018!
Looking back at 2018
We have always been open and transparent about our numbers, and that is how we strive to continue. It is also a good way to start our summary of 2018, so here we go!
As a team, we have doubled to 20 people, now complemented with more developers, compliance and support staff, and a newly formed sales team. In addition to welcoming new members, this year we have seen over 41,000 new users register with us. Over 4,500 merchants are now using our payment gateway, and we have processed close to 300,000 merchant payments since January. In comparison, this is nearly three times more than last year! Although most payments are still made with Bitcoin, we processed more than 15,000 LTC and ETH payments combined in the last 6 months alone.
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Aside from these, in our view, impressive statistics, we are most proud of enabling our merchants and their customers to reap the benefits of technology through our platform. Collectively, this year we managed to reach a number of huge milestones that truly put us in a front seat of innovation.
Lightning Network payments
A definite highlight of the year for us was launching Lightning Network payments for Bitcoin in September for all our merchants, after a successful pilot test with our most loyal merchants in July. Needless to say, we were among the first companies in the world to support Lightning. And we are proud that our implementation has been working flawlessly since then! We encourage each and every crypto shopper to start using Lightning Network to benefit from instant payments at virtually no cost. Read up on our blog post to learn how to it works!
We were so excited about the feedback received upon the launch, that we also decided to support Lightning Network payments for Litecoin. Stay tuned for news in January!
New native blockchains and ERC20 token support
Last year, we made a promise to become a multi-currency payment gateway. We kept our word and implemented the Litecoin blockchain into our platform alongside a new version of our API and a fully revamped invoice design (which we wrote about back in April). On top of that, we also started processing Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash payments natively in July and, just recently, integrated Nano.
After integrating Ether payments into our payment gateway, we started working on the infrastructure which would allow us to fully utilize the Ethereum blockchain. In less than two months since we launched ERC20 support, we have already implemented two new tokens into our payment gateway: Sirin Labs Token (SRN) and Telcoin (TEL).
We have no plans to stop here – our developers are implementing two new blockchains and several ERC20 tokens as we speak!
Instant crypto purchasing
We have recently integrated options for Skrill and Neteller wallet users to purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and various altcoins directly to their personal wallets. In addition, we have extended our option for buying crypto with credit cards to support not only BTC and BCH but also ETH, LTC, and XRP.
Purchases made with credit cards, and Skrill and Neteller wallets are instant. Also, they do not require for the user to sign up with CoinGate. The process is as simple as choosing the desired cryptocurrency and providing the payout address. Payments will be confirmed instantly, and your coins will reach your wallet within 24 hours. We have already processed thousands of such payments and look forward to the numbers increasing together with the rising interest in cryptocurrencies!
Revamped verification process
Aiming to stay in line with regulations that took place in 2018, and ahead of the ones that will come to force in 2019, we have fully redesigned our KYC procedures for both traders and merchants by utilizing our growing compliance team and third-party compliance tools. We are glad to maintain the verification flow entirely digital and fully automated.
Many of these changes were prompted by the General Data Protection Regulation. Back in May, GDPR vastly reshaped the regulatory environment in terms of how sensitive data of European citizens should be treated. If you wish to know more, our CEO Dmitrijus Borisenka wrote about the impact of GDPR on Medium, explaining the importance of the recent regulation, as well as discussing the challenges that companies like CoinGate had to overcome.
What lies ahead in 2019
The blockchain space has been developing so quickly that planning our development roadmap for the full year is quite impossible. During the first half of the year, however, we will dedicate our focus to several key developments. In addition to implementing new cryptocurrencies and revamping our website interface, we are building more enterprise-level features to cater to the needs of large businesses to start accepting cryptocurrencies. That is just the tip of the iceberg since we are getting ready to become a truly full-fledged merchant processor!
With that said, let’s go over some major plans we have in our mind!
New account features for merchants
As of now, we are refactoring the CoinGate back-end. Our aim is to improve the flexibility for merchants to handle funds on our platform. The results will allow various businesses to avail of the brand new features, such as:
Cryptocurrency wallet functionality
Up until now, our users could only withdraw their entire accumulated account balance. That is bound to change soon, however. By providing wallet functionality, we aim to enable both merchants and traders to store cryptocurrencies with us. Also, there is an option to seamlessly convert one cryptocurrency to another with a click of a button.
Refunds and payouts
Alongside wallet functionality, merchants will benefit from a popularly demanded feature to transfer cryptocurrencies to their own wallets, issue refunds to customers, make payments to suppliers, distributors, publishers, and so on!
With improved ability to use cryptocurrencies, we are also aiming to extend the functionality of our API. This has been particularly demanded by large merchants who need the capability of both collecting customer payments and transacting funds programmatically via the API.
Permission-based account access
Permission-based account access for merchants will enable different users within a company to log in to CoinGate to fulfill certain functions. This feature is especially useful for bigger organizations that have multiple departments working on the same account, e.g. accounting, support, developers and so on.
Mass payout options and recurring payments
Businesses will have the ability to instantly execute mass cryptocurrency payouts. It will also be possible to make them recurring. Whether you need to distribute funds across several accounts, or periodically pay to multiple suppliers, merchants will be able to do it with ease.
We will add more and more advanced features as we progress. We will share all upcoming developments as they go live. If you do not wish to miss out on it, keep up by subscribing to our blog by entering your email at the bottom of the page!
Litecoin Lightning Network is coming!
As we already mentioned before, we are getting ready to support the Litecoin Lightning Network payments! But before we do that, we are looking for merchants who would be willing to test it out together with us, just like we did with Bitcoin Lightning Network pilot. We will feature the participating merchants on our communication channels. Hopefully, they will get recognition of the vast community of Litecoin, as well as other crypto communities.
If you wish to participate, just fill out the form and we will keep you informed on the next steps!
Even more native cryptocurrencies!
Aside from the improvements on account functionalities, we are also natively integrating two new major blockchains into our payment gateway. Both are set to launch in the first two months of 2019. We are also implementing an ERC20 stablecoin with a few more tokens to come in Q1 and Q2. We cannot reveal the names just yet, but announcements are due very soon!
New website and UI design
A new website layout, as well as an improved user interface, have been on our minds since… 2016… The time has finally come and in 2019 you will definitely witness the change in our appearance! Our new home will be much more elegant, convenient and user-friendly than it was before, and that is a promise. However, we do not have a sneak peek for you just yet. Nonetheless, we will definitely give you a tour when it is ready!
Enhanced compliance monitoring
For us, the protection of our customers remains the top priority. Hence, we will expand our compliance team and build even more compliance tools. Building advanced compliance procedures is necessary in order to stay ahead of both upcoming regulatory changes and competitors alike. It is a straightforward way to ensure that we can professionally cater to tens of thousands of businesses worldwide.
In fact, we already made significant changes to our KYC procedures, and will update our customers in timely manner to provide required documentation. In due time, we will share more information about our updated compliance processes.
All in all, we have high hopes that 2019 will be even more spectacular than 2018 was. That is our wish for the whole cryptocurrency industry as well. Ultimately, we are all striving for the same thing – a wider adoption of the most advanced cryptocurrencies in the world.