Geek of the Week: Alexandr Safonov, CEO of BUTTON Wallet

Financial experts have already concluded that the future of finance will be digital. Even intractable opponents of the technology, such as major banks, have started investing in the development and maintenance of blockchain-based financial solutions. Amidst all of this, a small startup called BUTTON Wallet hopes to give back to users the freedom that the blockchain has promised. BUTTON Wallet facilitates the sale of various cryptocurrencies directly to buyers as opposed to passing them through an exchange. This direct transaction methodology results in more of a profit for the seller, as they don’t have to pay exchange transfer charges.

Alex Safonov comes from a background in theoretical physics, having completed his Bachelor’s at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in 2019. During his time at the university, he became the Leader of the Blockchain Initiative at YRP MSU. His interest in blockchain started with Bitcoin, and his first foray into the cryptocurrency saw him buying $5 worth of the coin and then selling it back right after because he just didn’t “get” the idea behind it. Like all entrepreneurs, when he didn’t understand something, Alex decided to put in the research to figure out what exactly he was dealing with. Having done his initial development with BTC in Telegram, he decided to do a multi-currency wallet based on telegram technology, and the result was BUTTON Wallet.

Alex is quick to correct anyone who states that he was the sole driving factor behind the development of the application, however. He says that the team was instrumental in both designing and implementing the app, as well as getting it started without funding. However, as one of the youngest CEOs around, Alex does face quite a lot of pressure when it comes to making his product perform and delivering what users expect. He has noted that just because a company has money to hire people doesn’t mean it should just hire someone because people expect them to. This mindset likely stems from the initial release of BUTTON Wallet, where the entire company was running on around $6,000 by the time the app was first introduced. He has also stated that the burden of being a CEO has significantly affected his personal growth, and he wishes that someone had told him that before he decided to enter the cutthroat startup industry.

Like other entrepreneurs, he’s realized quickly that raising money for a new company can take far more time than he expected. Alex has demonstrated a unique ability to spot a need and fill it, innovating as he does so. Whether BUTTON Wallet will remain a growing power in the crypto world or not remains to be seen. However, with the volume of users that utilize Telegram for their cryptocurrency discussions and groups, the app might remain popular. Alex’s goal is to swell BUTTON Wallet’s userbase to five million users and eventually go IPO with the company. As far as ambition goes, Alex has a solid goal in sight, and he might actually accomplish it before too long.