We are changing things so that everyone gets a free 30 day trial instead of 1 day!
The reasoning behind this change is that:
Trading cryptocurrency is a marathon not a sprint
Any trade carries risk of going wrong, even if your making good data driven decisions or not, unforeseen circumstances can come into play especially the longer you leave a trade open, as time goes on the compounding uncertainty of life kicks in.
Using the predictions of Bitbank is a steep learning curve and care needs to be taken to get a grasp of the margin of error and uncertainty in our own predictions (both predictions of volatility and predictions of price movement) as well as how that fits into your own model of price volatility and direction.
More time to prove ourselves
While we strive to provide value on day 1 however the complications of building trust as a reliable trading forecasting system require we give more away for free, people have a hard time believing that a machine is predicting the average price (weighted by trade volume) and standard deviation/volatility with minimal hickups.
More time to integrate
Using these systems, creating testing accounts and trying out the accuracy is a time consuming process that is difficult, we found without real money on the line a lot of the test accounts for exchanges are too different from production data and so to make backtesting more computationally feasable you have to either backtest on older data (runs the risk of being too dissimilar to live data) or build a model that can be tested on production without real money (one that assumes trades go through if its inside the spread for a given time for example) which come with their own complications when deployed to production systems based on differences in the simplified model of the market used to test and the real one.
Offering a month free should give developers time to build a more robust system attached to BitBank forecasts and hopefully atleast get some positive test data going.
Decreased support load
Because of the steep learning curve many support tickets are asking about more time to explore the platform, having a short trial period can put too much pressure on people to build understanding of the platform at an unreasonable pace which causes them to request a demo for example.
There are some resources to help with the learning curve e.g. an example live cryptocurrency trading video but as our system is very mathematical and tries its best to educate users as to the internals of what the predictions are based on (e.g. the average value of the trades weighted by trade amount over different time periods is used and is predicted so that people can use that as where the average will be in the overall money/value thats being traded)
Forecasting is easy but providing value is hard
Predicting price and volatility is a much easier problem than making money... which is what our customers are all asking for.
We havn't solved the making money problem and are still working on specific systems that give buy/sell signals instead of more detailed forecasts...
We backtest and measure accuracy of our system on a many levels but the most effective way is on an extremely detailed one: every forecast
Building trust in a crowded and risky market
You should be wary of any company taking your money and promising to make you money, think BitConnect which quickly collapsed or how nicehash was hacked although they say they are comited to repaying everyone, its very hard to rebuild or even build trust in that circumstance.
Hopefully BitBank.nz can build trust by providing a valuable product for money instead of promises or riches in a traditional SaaS company way.
More time, trust and knowledge to share
Users can take advantage of our referral program at any time to earn .003 BTC for any subscriptions to BitBank made with someone who used their referral link.
Giving users time to build trust and knowledge of the platform will help them to earn more money by sharing the platform, lots of publishers ask for more time to explore the platform before writing about it and ensuring they understand what they are sharing is respectful to them.
In future we plan to expand on this by allowing users to also earn time on the platform for trading to other users
Reducing barriers to signup
Many support requests come through and when we lookup their accounts they havn't actually created an account yet, this is because they where saving the account creation part to when they had a decent one day block of time to check the platform out. We would like to demonstrate value to users early on and encourage people to try the product out to have as much chance of proving ourselves valuable as possible to people.
People love free things :) they also love to hear about how and why people are making things free by reading posts like these :)
Pay what you can
Users will pay what makes sense for them, a longer trial period builds users confidence in how much value the platform is offering them, for us the value we offer varies heavily based on the size of the portfolios our customers are trading with, we however have a currently flat monthly price.
We considered a tiered model where extra size companies would pay for more features but i believe it adds an unnecessary complication to purchase, this can mean the difference between someone purchasing straight away (their formula in their heads is much simpler, value for money instead of having to think about the value of each tier and compare) and them having meeting and a drawn out procurement process that drags on, something i have seen in many companies even for software that clearly has value they get caught up in the details of the various editions.
We may do something like this in future but strive to keep our product and value proposition as easy to use and clear as possible.
A potentially better option that many companies do is to detect users who are unlikely to pay (low engagement for example) and then offer them discounts to get them across the line.
Why not to give a free trial
Software Piracy/Users not paying
I believe as our target market is enterprise/pro users hopefully they pay... we will see in a few months...
There are measures you can take to prevent this kind of activity, blacklisting ips/warning users who create similar accounts or are logged in on multiple devices but i would rather spend the effort on product and growth (and cost savings/computational efficiency to make the extra load of some freeloading users not effect the bottom line). Also some strategies restrict features to paying users, something we have considered for bulk data downloads as we havn't automated this process yet, we went back to building a better product and growing over complicating the pricing so plan on automating this instead.
We may choose however to put things behind the paywall if they become too computationally intensive because of free users, currently the Google Firebase system in scaling well.
I believe today unlike the old days when you could send some (potentially sleazy) sales guys around to someone and envoke a large lengthy sales process involving multiple departments, decisions are instead made continually about what software is best by a smaller group of people.
You can make some money short term by doing this and figure out who has the money but people wont continue to pay if the product isn't providing them value anyway, we actually made unsubscribing the default behaviour so that users have to decide to pay us another payment to continue using the platform, we take a hit on churn for sure, but are left with customers that we are supporting and can give a better public image: we aren't walking an immoral line like some companies such as the new york times that makes users call up an international number to cancel their accounts.
We are also crediting our current users with 30 days free time on the platform
Let me know what you think!