Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.
In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. Read our round-up of Atlanta’s rising startups from last quarter here.
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The world of blockchain technology is vast, versatile and, for many, very new. In this contemporary realm where pretty much anything goes, it can be overwhelming to take the first step into the wonderful world of Web3. One of the first areas people become acquainted with is cryptocurrency, particularly investing and trading it. However, this entry-level industry tends to be rather unwelcoming to newcomers.
George Kushner founded cryptocurrency exchange platform H2cryptO with the purpose of eliminating pain points along the crypto trading journey.
Prior to H2cryptO, Kushner worked as an asset manager at BlackRock. There, he ventured into the crypto space when a colleague piqued his interest in blockchain technology. Kushner encouraged his son to open crypto accounts, but immediately, the duo encountered issues with the institutions that held the digital currency. Amid dead lines of communication and confusing onboarding and trading processes, there was no assistance provided to them as new crypto investors.
“It’s almost unconscionable that any type of financial intermediary can accept your money, but yet when you have a problem, there’s nowhere to turn,” Kushner told Built In. “I found out that’s exactly how it is in cryptocurrency land when you try to invest or trade. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re on your own. There is zero help. There is no service, and we want to be the first provider.”
H2cryptO’s foremost focus is client service. Through its website, users can reach a live person via online chat, email or phone. Its mobile platform is still undergoing development, with several new features on the way. On its trading app, H2cryptO plans to consolidate various services across the crypto ecosystem, from buying, lending and staking digital currency to purchasing NFTs. Once users set up an account and register their identification info, they can connect payment methods such as a credit card or ACH to begin trading.
“It’s almost unconscionable that any type of financial intermediary can accept your money, but yet when you have a problem, there’s nowhere to turn. I found out that’s exactly how it is in cryptocurrency land when you try to invest or trade. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re on your own. There is zero help. There is no service, and we want to be the first provider.”
The app will also feature a capability that enables users to purchase crypto through their retirement accounts as a way to diversify their retirement holdings.
“Unbeknownst to most people in the world, there’s a very, very small amount of people that actually own cryptocurrency — you’re talking about 220 million out of 8 billion,” Kushner said. “And all the reports say the same thing on why it’s such a low adoption rate. It’s too chunky, it’s too clunky, it’s too cumbersome, it’s scary. And most importantly, there is nowhere to turn when people have questions, issues or problems.”
While his platform works to condense the particularly fragmented cryptocurrency industry, Kushner predicts cryptocurrencies will eventually become a part of everyone’s life. Considering the evolution of currency as we recognize it today, we’ve moved a long way from bartering and swapping gold pieces. Crypto has concepts that make it appealing to modern users, and is characterized by its decentralized nature and quick and secure processing. As more people venture into this growing space, H2cryptO is working to be the solution that welcomes them.
“Our objective is to really bring cryptocurrency to the masses via broad adoption, through education, account setup and know-how,” Kushner said.