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“Every Time the Market Dips, Our Volume Spikes”, Meso Founder Ben Mills Optimistic About User Behavior

In an exclusive conversation with SolanaFloor, Meso founder Ben Mills discusses users’ enthusiasm and hunger to get involved in onchain activity.

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meso logo
July 4, 2024 by Finn Miller

With the crypto bull run well underway and more eyes on the industry than ever before, Meso founder and data evangelist Ben Mills is excited about the growing on-chain activity and enthusiasm shown by Meso users.

Having raised $9.5M in a seed round led by Solana Ventures and driven by a team of ex-Paypal and Venmo veterans, Meso has established itself as one of the blockchain industry's fastest and most secure crypto onramp applications.

Speaking exclusively with SolanaFloor, Mills highlighted key data points suggesting that newer crypto users are eager to get on-chain fast and explore decentralized ecosystems.

Retail Users Are Buying the Dip

Off the back of the landmark approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs and the legitimacy they provide, the cryptocurrency markets are witnessing unprecedented levels of interest. Contrary to previous bull cycles BTC has broken previous all-time highs before its crucial halving event, catapulting the current cycle into unfamiliar territory.

Naturally, the crypto market is undergoing some expected retracements following a meteoric H1. However, Meso user behavior suggests that retail investors, even those newer to cryptocurrency, are finding strategic entries in anticipation of further market growth.

According to Mills, experienced crypto users typically onramp fiat into the cryptocurrency ecosystem through exchanges, while newer users prefer the seamless simplicity of secure onramps like Meso. This is largely due to the accessibility of these applications, which were less prevalent in previous cycles.

Remarkably, Mills and the Meso team noted that “every time the market dips, our volume spikes… retail is basically buying all these dips”. Not only does this suggest that onramp users are eager to establish positions in the market, but they’re also exhibiting sophisticated buying behavior, as opposed to chasing green candles and FOMOing into trending assets.

On top of that, newer wallets with less than six months of activity are expressing enthusiasm for more complex activity. Reinforcing this belief, Mills posited that “almost 60% of them are making more than 10 transactions, and 27% of them are making over 50.”

A new wave of blockchain users is arriving in force, and they’re getting involved in onchain activity quickly. In fact, Mills highlights that Meso’s “average user is on-ramping 3.6 times a month”, a dramatic increase from Meso’s original modeling, which anticipated the average user to onramp funds “six times a year”.

But what are new wallets doing after deploying capital onchain?

NFTs Remain the Key Onboarding Method

Despite a withered and stale NFT market, NFT activity is still prevalent among newer wallets. Across all cohorts, over 90% of all wallets are engaged with NFTs in some capacity, according to internal Meso data. 

Surprisingly, this figure surpasses its DEX engagement counterpart. Mills notes that among newer wallets, around 70% of accounts interact with onchain DEXes, while this figure rises to over 90% in older, more experienced wallets.

While this might sound like good news for the future of the wider NFT market, this figure doesn’t filter for scam transactions, wherein malicious actors might send unsolicited NFTs to their wallets, hoping that the owner will unknowingly interact with dangerous smart contracts.

Regardless, Mills bears an optimistic outlook on NFTs and their significance to crypto culture and digital ownership. Musing on the subject, Mills declared:

“I still continue to believe that like the NFT boom of last cycle was the equivalent of the ICO boom. If DeFi summer came out of the ICO boom, what comes out of NFTs? I don't know if we've seen it yet, but I'm so excited to see what happens.”

Getting Onchain Faster with Meso

Meso aims to streamline the onboarding process, getting users onchain safely as fast as possible. 

Meso logo

In the past, taking your digital assets into self-custody and exploring the onchain world meant navigating through complicated centralized exchanges. Users commonly suffer lengthy approvals and transaction times and often find withdrawal services suspended in periods of high activity.

Meso simplifies this process, offering rapid bank-to-crypto transactions that settle in under 30 seconds. Founder Ben Mills credits Meso’s best-in-class onboarding speeds to the firm’s commitment to Risk and Fraud Prevention, having heavily invested in payment rails that banks and fintech providers don’t classify as ‘high risk’.

With smoother, more accessible onramping protocols like Meso becoming more prevalent in the space, it’s likely that this cycle will witness significantly more onchain activity than previous markets. 

The advent of spot crypto ETFs in the U.S. has also accelerated investor confidence, improving blockchain’s legitimacy in the eyes of the general public and paving the way for a thriving and diversified onchain ecosystem.

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