CASE STUDY:
Easy Crypto

Easy Crypto is a broker and retail service that enables people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through a simple one-click process.

 

THE
CHALLENGE

Easy Crypto is a broker and retail service that enables people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through a simple one-click process. The company started in New Zealand but has since expanded into Australia, South Africa, and most recently, Brazil. The company operates out of the Newmarket Innovation Precinct by using its co-location services and employs 65 people worldwide.

Janine Grainger and her brother Alan founded Easy Crypto in 2017. Janine worked in banking at the time but was personally investing in cryptocurrencies before their popularity surged in 2017. She saw there was no elegant or intuitive way for enthusiasts to enter the cryptocurrency market, so she and her brother Alan developed Easy Crypto to address this issue. The company’s goal is to provide users with a simple, “one-click” solution they can use to buy into the crypto ecosystem.

But Janine had a problem common to start-ups: her company needed a physical base. She and her team were working out of cafes, libraries, and other public spaces. This made it difficult to hold meetings and work collaboratively. Janine was also looking for more than just office space, too. Cryptocurrency is complicated and collaborative, and she also wanted access academic resources, fellow entrepreneurs, and a brain trust that could help put Easy Crypto on the map. That’s where the Newmarket Innovation Precinct came in.

 

HOW WE
HELPED

 The Newmarket Innovation Precinct (NIP) allows companies to bring their teams together in a research-intensive environment and develop collaborative relationships with academics. Janine discovered NIP through a recommendation from Gerald Kwazu, an Easy Crypto employee who’s also undertaking a PhD at Auckland University. He set up a meeting with Claire Bennett, the NIP’s Industry Engagement Programme Manager, to discuss and secure space at the university’s Newmarket Campus. In the first few months of this new business relationship, Easy Crypto became ‘members’ of the NIP community, which allowed them to take advantage of the office-based services available to entrepreneurs and companies and settle into the university environment. With Claire’s support, Easy Crypto toured the University and was introduced to a variety of faculty members within Engineering and Computer Science to discuss common research themes of interest. Janine outlined some of the challenges in this exciting new sector and pitched ideas for how these problems might be solved in collaboration with University’s research teams. Easy Crypto is now in discussion with The University of Auckland’s Dr Partha Roop and Dr Reza Sharhamiri regarding research opportunities to use machine learning for fraud detection.

Easy Crypto aims to be at the cutting edge of tools and technologies used to actively monitor and predictively combat fraud. Working with a university research team allows Easy Crypto to tap into resources it wouldn’t otherwise have, like access to postgraduate students and researchers. Moving forward, Easy Crypto is also interested in supporting University of Auckland students by coming up with projects that they can work on in the computer science, software engineering, and hardware engineering fields.