The emotional interview with Hari who has created ACrypto – the ultimate cryptocurrency tracker.
Q: Hi Hari! Can you tell us about yourself and what you’re working on?
Hi CryptoHackers. My name is Hari Krishna and I’m from a small town called Tenali in India. I have 8 years of experience in building consumer products and marketplace at consulting, service and product companies. I have worn many hats in last 8 years from developer, an engineering manager, a product manager and an entrepreneur and a growth hacker as well as designer. I love open source and I contribute to as much as I can.
I have also founded DWorkS in 2009 and have been working on small apps, open source libraries and startups along with my desk job. I have build AnExplorer a file manager which has more than 100k downloads. I’m also an author of very popular library for developers VolleyPlus.
All this was fine but I really wanted to startup. Luckily I did startup but after two failed attempts Gotogether and Shifoo, I realised startups are not really my thing. I have finally understood that micro startups are my cup of tea and I have recently realized that I also want to travel across the world living in different cities like a digital nomad. At the same time meet different people, experience different cultures and along the way solve small problems in the world and build micro startups solving those problems. I just want to make a small difference in the world in any possible way. So I have quit my desk job and started my journey and ACrypto is my second micro startup in this journey.
Q: What is ACrypto? Tell us about its advantages please.
ACrypto is a cryptocurrency tracker which can serve all your trading needs. Some of the features of are that you can
- Track the latest prices and volume charts of more than 1000 cryptocurrencies and different exchanges all in one place
- Find arbitrage opportunities for Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple across different fiat currencies
- Maintain your portfolio from different exchanges in one place
- Get real time alerts for prices and arbitrage
- Use advanced charts for day trading
- Widgets for tracking price in home screen
- Personalization for your watching your favorite coins
- Get latest news from different crypto news sites
One of the biggest advantages that you have with ACrypto is it’s the first and the only app which gives your arbitrage opportunities which is almost zero risk trading.
Q: What motivated you to get started with ACrypto?
A good friend of mine introduced me to Bitcoins. I was very much fascinated by cryptocurrency and started investing. First week was fine as I was new to everything but then in the second week I started to realize there were so many issue and it’s not easy to do trading or hodling cryptocurrency. I will summarize the problems
- For everything I need to use different sites and every site does not support all fiat currencies
- I use mobile a lot and this watching the charts by zooming with my fingers was a big pain
- I had to visit different news sites for the latest news
- I wanted to add alerts on these websites but none supported alerts, then I checked some apps which lacked functionality but supported alerts
- I found that there are lot of opportunities for arbitrage but no single website or app shows this in a easy understanding manner
- I wanted to maintain my portfolio along with all these things which again was not possible
So I took the matter into my own hands and decided to build an all-in-one app for myself. Along the way, I realized that I was not the only person who has been facing such problems and decided to publish it on Playstore. And there has been no looking back. It has been growing exponentially ever since.
Q: How much time did it take to build an MVP?
So after I decided that I need to build an app, it took 7 days to get a very basic version of app up and running and ready on Playstore. In few days I started to get a lot of feedback and the downloads started increasing steadily. This was my second micro startup and early success really increased my morale.
I immediately quit my desk job and started working on my startup and it’s been two months. I built cool new features which are from the feedback of my users. I’m grateful to each and every one of my users who have contributed a lot in shaping of ACrypto.
Q: What are the biggest problems you’ve faced since the ACrypto start?
One of the biggest problems I faced was to understand what people really want as I was very new to cryptoworld. The high-level items were easy to figure out, but it was the small things which were very hard and took a lot of time.
A simple example would be showing different currencies like only two decimals when the number is big in case of FIAT currencies like dollar e.g. $4247.56 for BTC but at the same time for XRP its $0.2021 then again for coins traded in BTC its 8 decimals. As I was very new it took me a while to figure out this. Small things like these are the biggest problems I faced. Apart from that exchange API’s are down sometimes and it really sucks when you don’t see any data.
The high-level items were easy to figure out, but it was the small things which were very hard and took a lot of time.
The second one was to get the ASO (App Store Optimisation) right, it was not very easy to figure out what people are looking for. I made total of 8 iterations to get the right description with the right set of keywords.
Q: What is the ACrypto business model?
The business model of ACrypto is very simple. We have a monthly subscription for the pro features like alerts, arbitrage, advanced charts and portfolio maintenance. Even though there is a subscription, most of the other features are complete.
Also if you want to see how these pro features are like you can start a free trial for 7 days. Only if users really need these features they can subscribe or they can just use the app for free which serves most of the new crypto users. Every day more than 500+ users download ACrypto app from Playstore and every month more than 30K users use the app
Q: Why isn’t ACrypto free?
ACrypto is mostly free where you can see different prices of crypto currencies along different exchanges, coins list, coin details, watch list and cryptocurrency news. Getting arbitrage between currencies, setting alerts for price drops and arbitrage, advanced charts and maintaining portfolio across is not. Because of this not a venture-capital funded startup. It’s bootstrapped!
I don’t have any external funding on purpose. The problem with so many venture-capital funded startups is that their investors force them to grow fast in user base without making any money in the first few years, to then sell out to BigCo (e.g. Google, Facebook) for a few million dollars, then write a blog post about their incredible journey, then either shut the app down, or feek over their users by filling the service with unnecessary ads. That sucks, right? I don’t get that. I don’t like that. The reason people do that because they’re trying to make a quick buck. I get it. I’d love to too. But the odds of actual success are very low in that realm. So I’d rather go for higher odds of success, try to make money on day one, and not make a billion dollars but just make good money to live off.
The challenge of going this way is that you can’t offer everything for free, like Facebook or Google or any other funded startup does. You have to get money somehow. I could make money in sneaky ways like selling user data, but that’d suck and honestly it wouldn’t make that much money at this scale. So the fastest way is simply asking a user of this app for money.
I’d rather go for higher odds of success, try to make money on day one, and not make a billion dollars, but just make good money to live off.
If every additional user is putting money in the developers’ pockets, then you’re less likely to see the app disappear overnight. If every new user is costing the developers money, and the app is really taking off, then get ready to read about those synergies. I love free software and could not have built my app without it. But free services are not like free software. If your free software project suddenly gets popular, you gain resources, testers, developers, and people willing to pitch in. If your free app takes off, you lose resources. Your time is spent firefighting and your money all goes to the nice people at AWS.
We charge a monthly subscription instead of the one-time fee because we have to constantly provision servers to maintain data for which we get charged monthly. So a one time charge will eventually drill a hole in our pockets and will force us to shut down our app. Remember, right now this app is mostly me on a laptop coding my way through life. I love it and it’s super fun but it also means that if I can’t make any money with it I have literally no money and I’ll have to get some desk job and this app won’t exist.
Q: Is this a profitable app?
Yes, it’s definitely profitable. Currently, there are 1000 active subscribers and it’s growing at 50+ subscriptions every day. It clearly shows there is a strong need which ACrypto is solving. Let me also remind you that I haven’t done any paid marketing till now and all this growth is mostly organic.
Q: What about ACrypto roadmap?
My original plan was to build 3 or 4 core features and move on to my next micro startup. But because of the overwhelming response that I have got from my users, I have now built like 10 features. I have also a good list things I want to do next in ACrypto.
- The first and foremost thing I will be doing is release ACrypto on amazon app store
- I will also be building ACrypto for iOS as it’s one of the top requests I got from producthunt and reddit
- Then there is integration from different exchanges so users can directly place buy and sell orders directly from the app
- There is also a good potential to bring social angle which I’m testing indirectly using telegram chat: https://t.me/acrypto
Q: Do you plan to create another crypto app?
No such plans as of now. I believe you don’t need to make multiple apps for solving similar needs in cryptoworld. There are 4 or 5 different apps which does what ACrypto does in a single app. But yes if I think if there is a strong need very different from ACrypto I would definitely create a new app.
Q: How many people are in the DWorkS team?
Currently it’s just me who has been working on all the apps which we have released from DWorkS. Didn’t find anything which I couldn’t do. Just kidding! I’m looking for people who share the same zeal as me on the team.
Q: Mention 3 blockchain related resources.
Jaxx Wallet: https://jaxx.io
This is one of the best wallets that I have used. The best thing about Jaxx is it makes everything so simple and easy which I didnt find elsewhere. Besides that it gives multiple wallets unlike other wallets where its just one cryptocurrency.
This is one of the apps that has really taken things as far as possible for traders where it can generate trade signals in real time and notify people which is thing is really taking the headache of traders from the equation.
Q: What future of the blockchain technology and Bitcoin do you predict?
I believe blockchain is the next internet. What we have seen is just 1% application of blockchain and its just the tip of the iceberg. Blockchain can make the entire world just one big nation where everyone is truly equal. People can enjoy Freedom in its truest sense. Everything around us is going to change as we know it and every sector is going to grow by leaps and bounds by adopting this technology. Corruption, the most plaquing thing that has wrapped around the society, will be completely wiped out. I think we have a very interesting time ahead of us.
Q: Where can we go to learn more about you and your projects?