The fintech and crypto landscape in CEE through Revolut lens

Wednesday 12 October 2022 07:59 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Interview

Revolut’s Head of Growth CEE, Aleksej Koscejev shares with The Paypers readers what has the company done so far in terms of crypto in the CEE region.

Recently Revolut received approval to offer crypto services throughout Europe. What does this mean for the crypto space in the CEE region?


Revolut has been awarded the first crypto authorisation (Crypto Asset Service Provider, or CASP) from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). This was one of the initial steps in forming a new European crypto-asset hub to provide additional crypto services to its 17m+ European customers. This new entity will allow Revolut to continue to offer its EEA-based customers exposure to an ever-growing list of crypto-assets, and other crypto features and will enable us to launch new crypto-asset products. 

CySEC was chosen due to the sophisticated and robust regulatory regime, as well as the strength of the existing crypto industry in Cyprus. The decision was taken after conducting an in-depth survey of all EU countries. A number of other large international crypto companies are regulated by CySEC, including, Bitpanda, eToro, and CMC markets.

Earlier, in July, you launched the ‘learn and earn’ crypto courses. Could you please give more details on the content, the objectives behind the project, and consumers’ reaction?

Our program Earn & Learn is a series of courses created to help customers improve their knowledge of cryptocurrencies and related topics, including blockchains, and the most popular tokens and protocols. The course has been taken by approximately 2 million customers interested in cryptocurrencies. With 60% of its attendees newly entered into the crypto world, ‘Learn & Earn’ confirmed its role in transforming the technical crypto jargon into more accessible information.  

Could you please portray Revolut’s European crypto consumer profile in the CEE region? 

First, I would highlight that in the CEE region, Revolut has over 6.7 million customers, with Romania and Poland counting for almost 60% of the total number of customers in the area. 53% of our customers are between 25-44 y.o. According to our data, Learn & Earn attracted especially the customers belonging to the Millennials and GenZ (18-34 y.o.). Almost two-thirds of the total number of crypto customers that completed the courses and earned the rewards fall into these age categories. According to different studies conducted by independent research companies*, men are more interested in investing in crypto and users that have already adopted fintech solutions to manage their money are more likely to invest in crypto than traditional banking users. The interest in cryptocurrencies is the highest in the under-24-year-old group. Men tend to be between 50%-100% more interested than women in risky assets such as crypto and trading. The gap widens with the increase in risk, with the biggest gap in cryptocurrencies (22% of all male respondents are interested in crypto vs 12% of women).

Are there any crypto-friendly banks in the CEE regions?

The general perception is that cryptocurrencies are more related to technology than banking. In fact, crypto is a new asset in an increasingly cashless economy. This is why, in the CEE region, for instance, the most used channels to buy and sell crypto are the crypto platforms, as a recent regional survey revealed**. It is hard to see traditional banks involved in crypto, but it is expected to see an increase in regulation from the national authorities or central banks, as it always has happened in new and fast-growing industries, particularly the ones related to retail finance. 

This year the EC sealed deals on two landmark crypto laws (its new Markets in Crypto Assets law, known as MiCA, alongside controversial identity checks contained in the Transfer of Funds Regulation). What was Revolut’s reaction and how do these impact your crypto operations?

We welcome the EU-wide regulation and wholeheartedly embrace the European Parliament’s clear intention to support innovation whilst requiring strong customer protection measures to prevent any type of market abuse. We are proud to be amongst the first to receive this authorisation from CySEC and look forward to working with CySEC on the responsible and safe development of our crypto services. We are establishing an entity in Cyprus in anticipation of new EU regulation which will change how EU companies offer crypto services to our EEA-based customers. Our UK customers will continue to be serviced by our UK-based company, Revolut Ltd. 

If you were to portray the perfect crypto market (in terms of crypto user adoption, regulator’s stance, local officials’ view of crypto, etc.) what would that look like?

There is no such thing as perfect markets. All businesses have to comply with local and global regulations in order to provide responsible, reliable, and accountable products and services to their customers. The recent history of breakthrough innovations - smartphones, electric vehicles, IoT devices, fintech, cryptocurrencies - showed us that regulation, education, and the best understanding of the customer experience are basics for successful positioning in the market. Revolut’s mission is to provide the best products and services when it comes to money management, and an important part of that is improving financial literacy, especially linked to new technologies and tools. It’s important to understand the trends, risks and potential opportunities associated with any financial product or service, crypto included. Crypto is becoming increasingly popular, making education on it increasingly important. 

What are the main features that you are personally passionate about in crypto payments? How would you convince sceptics to join the crypto train?

We do not persuade customers to trade crypto, nor try to convince the sceptics. It is always up to the individual customer decision which types of assets the customer wants to buy or sell. Our goal is to ensure our services are flawless, secure, fast, and easy to use, at a good price. We make innovative products available to customers and educate customers about them (Learn & Earn), but we do not try to convince them to try if they are sceptical. We are building Revolut to be the first truly global banking services provider. What is exciting about crypto is that they are truly global.


*Survey conducted by Reveal Marketing Research in Romania, in June 2022.

**Survey made by iSense Solutions, in May 2022, on crypto adoption in the region.


About Aleksej Koscejev

Aleksej Koscejev, Head of Growth for CEE Region, joined Revolut in May 2022 and he is responsible for building the financial super-app’s business in Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Bulgaria. His focus is on the development of team structures, activating partnerships with brands, networks, agencies, influencers, affiliates, and media, planning and executing marketing strategies and campaigns across marketing channels - including digital marketing, community management, CRM, content and offline marketing and Revolut’s first nationwide and cross-country TV campaigns.

Aleksej previously held senior marketing roles at Delivery Hero, as Global Head of TV & offline, being responsible for markets in Europe, Americas, MENA, and APAC, at Lidl Lithuania, and in Vizeum, part of Dentsu Aegis Network. 

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Keywords: cryptocurrency, fintech, Revolut, banks, regulation, crypto, crypto payments
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: Revolut
Countries: World
This article is part of category

DeFi & Crypto & Web3


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