Newton saw enormous growth in 2020. We grew our customer base by over 400%, saw our first day over $5MM in trading volume and had our first two profitable months in November and December. Our team grew to 15, and we introduced a plethora of new features and improvements, including:
But we are still in the early days of what could be described - with only a little hyperbole - as a financial services “revolution”. Bitcoin is gaining mainstream acceptance, but still only represents a market cap of $350B - a drop in the bucket compared to gold at $9T or global equities at $80T. Stablecoins are making a dent in the global payments world, but they are still not a mainstream form of payment. And DeFi promises a tantalizing future of decentralized, trustless financial services, but still faces regulatory uncertainty and technical challenges at every step.
In my view, Newton sits at the nexus of a set of powerful and important trends that will reshape everything from international commerce to how countries issue and manage currencies. Ultimately, our mission is to create a customer-obsessed financial services company that brings the benefits of these broad trends to ordinary people.
The key to our success (or failure) rests on a basic premise: it is impossible to imagine a future where people would pay higher fees for slower transactions, and so a relentless focus on cost and speed will be the basic ingredients in our flywheel. On this foundation we will layer intuitive design, obsessive customer support, and brutal honesty about our success and failures. We will have no skeletons.
Success is a function of how hard you work, in what direction, and over what period of time. We believe that doing beats talking about doing, a philosophy we like to call the Anti-hype Hypothesis.
success = effort * direction * time
Our philosophy has a number of key principles:
Embracing principles makes it much easier to delegate decision-making to the person with the most information. Trying to decide how honest to be with an irate customer? See point #1.
We expect 2021 to, in some respects, be more of the same: more coins, more transparent custody, more powerful trading tools, lower prices.
What’s clear, however, is that the digital asset world is set to firmly collide with mainstream financial services. As regulators crack down on what they perceive, in some cases, to be blatant attempts to skirt securities law using a window-dressing of technology, it is more important than ever to build trust with these traditional institutions.
This year we will push hard to bring digital asset trading into the mainstream. We will relentlessly improve our service and strive to be #1 in customer experience. We will also introduce an exciting new product that will blur the lines between the new and the old. If successful, we expect Newton to become a household name by 2022.
Throughout, we will continue to focus on making our products better, listening to our customers, and thinking about the long-term. The support we received in 2020 from tens of thousands of Canadians has been nothing short of amazing, and we will work hard to live up to their expectations.
Here's to big things in 2021.
- Dustin Walper