Wirex R&D is bringing digital currencies into reality

And is looking for Solidity developers

Global apps
A short history of Wirex

Founders Pavel Matveev and Dmitry Lazarichev got an idea to create Wirex in London. The company's head office is still located there.
The company launched the world's first crypto-enabled payment card that combined digital and traditional currencies with the option to use multi-currency accounts, money transfers and exchange transactions.
Opening of the R&D centre in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Wirex secured its first investment of $3 million. This money was used to develop the product and scale up to new markets.
Wirex was licensed by the British financial regulator FCA and became the second licensed fintech company working with digital assets in the world.
Second Investment; Wirex issued its WXT token which attracted another $3 million
  • The company continued to enter new markets: this time, it was the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Wirex became a Principal Member of the Visa and Mastercard payment systems, which allowed the company to issue payment cards independently.
  • Wirex attracted $4 million through crowdfunding.
  • Wirex has invested in Nereus, a decentralized finance protocol that provides lending for digital assets, develops derivatives and smart contract trading protocols. 
  • Wirex has begun building an ecosystem around DeFi and CeFi.
  • Wirex was launched in the U.S. market. Entering this market helped the company grow by 1 million new users in one year, from 4 million to 5 million during 2021.
  • Wirex attracted about $15 million in investments. It was an interim funding phase. The next round is scheduled during 2022 with plans to attract $60-80 million.
  • The company has opened R&D centers in Lviv, Ukraine and Wrocław, Poland.

Products that combine
digital currencies
and the real world

1. Wirex App

The company's main product is the Wirex App. It began as a service for exchanging cryptocurrencies to fiat. As Ruslan Kolodyazhny, Wirex R&D CTO, recalls, the main idea of the product was to create a tool to integrate cryptocurrencies into the real world, so that any real goods could be bought for the digital currency. "That was a time when, en masse, people didn't yet understand what bitcoin was. From its beginning, the Wirex app was used by super tech-savvy people from all over the world who were looking for tools to work with these cryptocurrencies, from Argentina to Japan."

Later on, Wirex got its own debit card that worked with both digital currencies and fiat at the same time thanks to the Visa and Mastercard payment systems.  Today, the Wirex app has become an integrated financial app that covers all user needs, both in digital assets and traditional finance. This includes any financial and crypto transactions, and actions such as payments and saving.

"We're here to draw nearer the so-called mass adoption – that is, the acceptance of digital assets in the world. When such licensed companies as Wirex join in the development of DeFi, it automatically means a new wave of adoption of this infrastructure. This is how the attitude to crypto changes: from "it's not something serious" to the moment when large investment companies and governments themselves start buying cryptocurrencies," Ruslan Kolodyazhny adds.

2. Wirex Wallet

The company launched its second product, Wirex Wallet, six months ago, in late 2021. This is a non-custodial cross-blockchain crypto wallet with access to DeFi and NFT protocols. "The Wirex Wallet acts as the key to blockchains and decentralized applications, and in the future, it will be applied in the metaverse. This application takes the next step in integration of decentralized applications, smart contract technologies and Web 3.0," Ruslan Kolodyazhny explains.

In addition to creating its own fintech solutions, the Wirex team also invests in the development of technological products. In 2022, Wirex invested in a product called Nereus, a decentralized finance protocol that provides digital asset based lending, develops derivatives and smart contract trading protocols. They also plan to release an over-collatoralised stablecoin.

Nereus complements the ecosystem Wirex is building. "The Wirex app is designed for an average user who wants to use digital assets in the real world – make payments, transfer funds to regular bank accounts using cryptocurrencies – and Wirex Wallet is the key to the metaverse where decentralized applications, NFTs, and various digital ecosystems exist. Nereus is a decentralized finance protocol, a metabank, where you can receive any financial services without any central authorities," says Ruslan Kolodyazhny.

More about
Wirex R&D

The company now has offices in London, Atlanta, Dallas, Singapore, Kyiv, Lviv, and Wroclaw. The main office – in London – is responsible for marketing and compliance, while all product and technical decisions are made by specialists in Ukraine.

Ruslan Kolodyazhny, specifies: "Ideas for the product are born in the development centre in Ukraine. We cannot say that the London office is the customer and we are the contractor. This is how outsourcing usually works. In our case, we develop the product and we are the customers of what we do."

All in all, there are about 300 people involved in the Ukrainian R&D product. The Ukrainian Wirex R&D team is organized by areas of support activities for the company's product, which are called legions there.

What sets Wirex processes
apart from other companies?

//Microservice architecture
To ensure rapid product scaling, Wirex has switched from a monolithic architecture to a microservice architecture. This has allowed for an organizational structure that gives developers independence in making decisions, responsibility for their parts of the product, and the ability to quickly scale the product without load issues. Now each team creates its own block, which is then assembled into the Wirex app or the Wirex Wallet.
//Brand new technology
One of the challenges of the blockchain development is that the field is evolving in real time, so there is a lot of uncertainty in the daily tasks of engineers. It is often impossible to find an appropriate technology to implement a feature, because it does not yet exist. You have to create a bunch of tools yourself and figure out how they will interact with each other.
Wirex R&D can have more than 60 releases per month. According to Ruslan Kolodyazhny, this is a normal number for product companies, but rather insane for classic banks, as they usually do one release every three months. "We strive to do our best, but not perfectly – there's no such a thing as a perfect product. The goal is to get the best results possible, and to do so in a way that doesn't take years. This pace is set by the teams themselves – there is no customer standing there with a whip and breathing in the ear. You are your own customer."

To find Solidity when there are only 500 of them in Ukraine 

Wirex R&D is currently increasing the number of developers, especially Solidity Engineers. It is extremely difficult to find such specialists, because in Ukraine, according to preliminary estimates, there are about 500 people who know this programming language. Solidity is a new and complex technology; yet it is in great demand among IT companies.
"Solidity is a new language that is essentially a compilation of the best available, but still being unlike traditional languages because they are usually used for applications, while Solidity is used for the blockchain, which requires additional rules. Hence, it is generally someone with Senior level who can switch to Solidity; especially from enterprise languages like Java, C#, C++, Python. Such specialists have a good opportunity to get into this technology quickly. For a candidate to switch from a simpler language like PHP it will be much more difficult, but still possible," says Artem Topol, System Product Owner.
According to him, technology is rapidly evolving; old processes are being replaced by new ones, so the key challenge for Solidity Engineers is to constantly improve their technical skill set and versatility beyond programming. They also need a high level of domain skills in the field of fintech: stock trading, banking, insurance, related peripheral financial services.
"It's hard to code a bank if you don't understand how a bank works; or make a DEX (decentralized crypto exchange) if you don't understand how an exchange works. That's why you have to dig deep: what the principle of the double auction is, what liquidity and volatility are, who market makers are, how you get rid of them or why DEX doesn’t have them, whether you can use leverage. All of this has to be studied in an environment where technology stacks are constantly being updated: what was relevant today may not be so tomorrow. Not everyone can keep up, but the engineer who is looking into the stack will find it interesting.”
The main goal for which Wirex is seeking a team of Solidity Engineers is to build an ecosystem for integrating decentralized and centralized financial instruments. It is the Solidity developers who will focus on creating DeFi-protocols: credit, insurance, trading, digital currency exchange, digital assets (such as NFT), derivatives, and derivative financial instruments. They will make sure that the blockchain has all the same services that are available in the real world.

What kind of specialists
Wirex R&D need?

The company is currently seeking Solidity Engineers who will be providing services as a separate team. The team will consist of Solidity developers, PM, analyst, Product owner and QA.  
They should be experienced developers, preferably those who have switched from the NodeJS/.Net backend to Solidity. It would be great if candidates had been in the market for a while, even before Solidity was available, and then tried their hand in Solidity and had already gained experience in that direction.
Both deep and varied knowledge of fintech and an interest in finance in life off the job are needed. Engineers will develop DeFi, a task that combines blockchain and classic financial instruments. 
It would be a huge advantage if Solidity Engineers are proficient in cybersecurity. Teammates who will be making a tool responsible for large sums of money need to know the potential vulnerabilities of smart contracts. This is important because safety is a Wirex value: "Besides the fact that we want to make a product that will be super safe, we have a regulator that imposes its own additional requirements we need to comply with," explains Valeria Rudenko, Human Resources Specialist.

(and these are not the classic «goodies»)