At LEAP 2023, Anna Tutova (CEO at Coinstelegram) spoke about how crypto payments are the next big thing. We caught up with her this week to give you – LEAP blog readers – an exclusive look into Tutova’s world. We also asked her what developments she’s seen in crypto payments since she took to the keynote stage in February; more on that in our newsletter, in your inbox later this week.
Tutova is a public speaker, Fortune media journalist, and CEO of crypto-media group and PR consulting agency Coinstelegram. She’s an expert in public relations and business development and holds a Masters degree in International Law.
She’s also the co-producer of the documentary film Decentralized – No Matter What about the new era of the digital economy.
Could you tell us about your career journey so far?
“When I started in the crypto industry in 2017, I had very basic knowledge about the industry, but I was really eager to get involved in the field. So I went to a lot of conferences to meet like-minded people in person, to learn directly from them.
“Eventually I started travelling all over the world to different conferences – not only crypto, but tech, financial, investment events. This allowed me to meet key people and get connected with prominent speakers, and in this way I became recognised in the industry, built my personal brand and personal relationships with people. Many of those people became our clients.
“I never had a job interview in my life and never had a job with a salary. All business opportunities came to me through networking and personal connections. I went to my first international conference abroad in September 2018 and during that trip I met my current co-founder. He ran a media-website, Coinstelegram, and suggested we work together.
“As I was travelling to conferences all over the world I saw the demand not only for our own media, but for a lot of other media – so we expanded our offers and started offering PR in other traditional business and crypto media, influencer marketing campaigns, community management etc. This way I moved from working on a commission basis to becoming a co-founder in the company.
“Later we started a YouTube channel, White Crypto. I do a lot of interviews in it – it’s a great way to connect with the leaders of the industry, learn from them, and build your digital visibility, as well as get business opportunities from these people or from other companies.”
Why does accepting crypto payments improve brand perception and drive growth?
“Accepting cryptocurrency payments can significantly enhance brand perception and drive business growth in several ways.
“Firstly, integrating crypto payments can open doors to new demographic groups. Studies have shown that up to 40% of customers who pay with crypto are entirely new to the company, and they tend to make purchases twice the size of credit card users. This influx of new customers not only expands the customer base but also positions the company as forward-thinking and aligned with the preferences of tech-savvy consumers.
“Moreover, due to the ease of cross-border transactions with crypto, merchants can extend their reach to global markets – opening doors to a broader clientele base and cultivating fresh streams of revenue.
“Accepting crypto payments fosters internal awareness within the company about this emerging technology. It prepares the business for a future that may include central bank digital currencies and allows access to new capital and liquidity pools through tokenized traditional investments and new asset classes. Crypto also offers unique benefits such as programmable money, enabling real-time revenue-sharing and enhanced transparency, which can streamline back-office processes.
“And as important clients and vendors increasingly prefer crypto transactions, having the capability to receive and disburse cryptocurrencies ensures smoother exchanges with key stakeholders. In sum, embracing cryptocurrencies not only attracts a niche market of tech-savvy customers but also positions the company as innovative, fosters internal awareness, and provides access to new financial opportunities, ultimately enhancing brand perception and driving growth.”
How do you think people and companies working in crypto can help the public understand and accept new forms of currency, and overcome bad press?
“To help the public understand and accept new forms of currency in crypto and overcome bad press, we need to:
- Educate: Create educational resources to explain crypto basics.
- Support Regulation: Work with regulators for clear rules.
- Prioritise Security: Ensure strong security measures.
- Highlight Use Cases: Showcase practical crypto applications.
- Engage Community: Build a positive community and address concerns.
- Media Engagement: Collaborate with mainstream media.
- Long-Term Focus: Emphasise crypto's long-term potential.
“These actions can promote understanding, trust, and wider acceptance of cryptocurrencies.”
And finally – what did you gain from LEAP 2023?
“At LEAP 2023 I had the honour of delivering a keynote on crypto payments in front of a distinguished audience. While Saudi Arabia has not legalised crypto yet, the country has been exploring the space, as well as investing in blockchain technology itself.
“The event brought together influential figures from both government and tech sectors, including Saudi Arabian government officials, ministers, high-profile companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Ericsson, Nokia and Aramco, as well as prominent tech investors. This gave me a unique platform to connect with key players in the industry and establish meaningful relationships.
“Moreover, I gained critical insights into emerging trends, such as the transformative power of AI in various industries, the metaverse's potential economic impact, industrial use of digital twins, open banking and fintech developments in the region.”
Thanks to Anna Tutova at Coinstelegram. Want to immerse yourself in the latest crypto knowledge? Register now to attend LEAP 2024.