By Manu Shankar
Today, after three years into the business, Diana Furmann, leads one of the best and safest wallets in the market. She is engaged in Lumi Wallet’s brand, developing the technical, and financial adoption of the app to the market trends and customers’ expectations. Fruman assures that Lumi Wallet was designed to be simple and highly secure, at the same time able to provide customers’ privacy. And one of the main goals for all of the team is to become the worldwide leading app for financial services that faces the most ambitious market demands.
Today in an exclusive interview with The Coin Republic’s Manu Shankar, she spills beans on the journey so far, her expansion plans and why increasing number of women in crypto world augurs well for the market.
Manu Shankar: Tell us about the Lumi Wallet journey. What are the challenges and opportunities it faces in the Crypto space?
Diana Furman: Well, we started our journey almost 3 years ago, when the idea of multi-currency crypto wallets was in the development stage. There was the huge ICO boom, where new tokens were appearing every day and there was only Ethereums’ Node Wallet to store them. The Node Wallet of those days was an app with an extremely complicated interface and a long synchronization time. At that time as well, Bitcoin didn’t have any easy to-use mobile wallets. Most options to store crypto assets were centralized and were often hacked and users lost all their assets. So, we decided to develop a secure mobile wallet in terms of private keys. The wallet should have a simple interface and at the same time be able to store, buy & exchange all assets in one place.
From the journey we have had so far, it’s safe to say that we’ve reached our goals and we are now faced with another extremely important issue: to educate newcomers by providing a basic knowledge of what cryptocurrency is and how to operate in the crypto space. That’s why this week we launched educational videos on our Youtube channel. I think the education of crypto users is a big challenge for all of crypto society, as well as forming a legal base and regulations to protect users’ rights.
While we deal with these challenges, we’re ushering in a new era for individual businessmen, freelancers, and bloggers who make international transactions and who want to do it fast and securely. I predict that more investors will diversify their assets and keep some money in cryptocurrency as well. We all know that crypto is not so affected by external shocks like the USD for example. We have already seen that some governments are developing their own digital currency. Who knows, maybe one day it will replace the leading traditional currency and start to be used on the big market.
Manu Shankar: Cryptocurrencies have been disrupting the global financial system and their adoption today has started to reach wider networks. How/where do you see it spreading?
Diana Furman: Yeah, some financial titans should be very nervous about cryptocurrency spreading. Crypto makes the traditional financial system go through changes, and those who accept these changes will continue to play on the board, those who deny them, in the end, will lose. Nothing is immutable and the financial system is no exception. Despite these changes in the traditional financial system, cryptocurrency is still far from being an independent system that covers people’s daily payment needs, and the main question is, should it?! I think it would be more useful for the end-user if crypto society and traditional financial institutions collaborated to meet the market demand. Once we get the support of the banking, government, and legislative sectors, the spread of cryptocurrency will be more predictable and sustainable. In this case, as a result, we will see crypto as an alternative currency for payment within international contracts.
Manu Shankar: Lumi Wallet recently launched Web Widget. Tell us something about that
Diana Furman: This widget is about our response to the market and users’ demands. Over the last year we’ve gotten a lot of requests from our partners and users who own blogs and websites, and all of them were asking about a widget where users can check crypto rates and then be redirected to a trusted service like Lumi. We decided to create a web widget. First of all, it is simple to use, very useful, and has the option to choose different colors and customize it in accordance with the style of the site. In one click users go to the official Lumi Wallet website where they can exchange & purchase cryptocurrency. Since launching the widget we’ve gotten scores of positive feedbacks, so in the near future we will launch more interesting tools for our users.
Manu Shankar: Now that Crypto credit cards have also come out, is Lumi Wallet also considering Crypto credit cards?
Diana Furman: I am sharing insightful information with you. We have a full roadmap for this year and yes, credit cards are in our plans. Right now, it is in the development stage. Once it is finalized and we announce the outcome, you will be one of the media who gets the information first.
Manu Shankar: With increasing security threats to wallets, what have been Lumi Wallet’s measures to tackle them?
Diana Furman: We are an open source wallet, our code has been double checked dozens of times by different blockchain and crypto participants, including well known giants in our specialty. Lumi Wallet is a secure app. The real problem is the truthfulness of some of our users. Last month we did a podcast about privacy and security in crypto wallets. And I was told that now most scam cases happen because users do not care about their privacy. Users copy-paste mnemonics, send the mnemonics and private keys to unknown people, send their assets to unknown addresses, use phishing sites and believe when scammers impersonate the official representatives of wallets, even though the scammers are using fake accounts. Why does this happen? In our industry, we really don’t have enough education on prevention.
Attempts to slow down the crypto development process, which we have seen tech giants make over the past few years, create an information vacuum where the user is forced to independently search for information and often, instead of trusted sources, they are faced with scammers who can easily fool an inexperienced user. What we do to protect our users is prohibit copy-paste of the mnemonic in-wallet. We also added a new feature: users can set a limit on sending cryptocurrency, so if somebody gets access to the wallet and tries to transfer a large sum of money, they will have to enter a PIN code. Daily we remind our users to not answer strangers, do not click the links, even if they appear as an official website. We do our best to protect our users, but anyway, prevention education is the biggest issue for all of crypto society and the only way to reduce scam cases.
Manu Shankar: The number of women leaders in Cryptocurrencies is increasing day by day. What are your thoughts on it and how can women contribute in this area?
Diana Furman: Nothing special in the fact that women are also involved in the crypto space. Half of Lumi Wallet’s team is women, most of them software developers. I don’t know how exactly women can contribute to the crypto market, it’s a difficult question. I guess the same way as men contribute: someone will bring something unique to the market, someone will just repeat and modify, like in all other areas. But as more cryptocurrency spreads worldwide, more people will get involved in the crypto space, and once we get the strong educational base it will not matter who exactly is involved in crypto operations. They will contribute to the market regardless.
Manu Shankar: What are Lumi Wallet’s plans for India?
Diana Furman: India is a very interesting market. In the financial sector, it differs from the USA or European market. We are at the stage of researching its features, but the latest news about another possible ban makes the future of cryptocurrency in India uncertain and the market becomes unpredictable. Anyway, we see a huge potential of the market and the activity of crypto trading that Indians users showed during the last half-year, pushing us to be more active in this market. Once the situation with the new crypto regulations in India becomes clearer, we will increase our efforts in promoting our wallet in India. But even without active and aggressive promotion from our side, Indians can already use our wallet. Our app supports the Indian Rupee (INR), so any digital asset can be purchased via credit card.
Manu Shankar: What are the markets that you plan on penetrating in the coming future?
Diana Furman: We already have users from all over the world, approximately 60% of our users are from the United States, 18% are based in Africa, 20% in Europe, and the remaining 2% are scattered around the world. We have plans to increase our activity in Africa and of course in Asia. These are the two extremely fast-developing regions, especially in blockchain, and we are interested in being a part of this development within the frame of crypto growth. We hope to have more collaborations with different interesting projects, we are ready to share experience, and most importantly, we are ready to meet the demand of users’ expectations, no matter which part of the world they are from.