Analysis Science & Technology Crypto users turn to chatbots in crisis By Megha Merani June 7, 2022 Creative Commons WhatsApp chatbot enquiries about Bitcoin rise dramatically for UAE crypto exchange BitOasis Bitcoin has more than halved since hitting its all-time high of $69,000Queries show security concerns or customers looking to cash in on crisis UAE-based crypto exchange BitOasis has seen the number of interactions with its chatbot surge from about 300 late last year, to nearly 3,000 this year after Bitcoin’s violent crash – a total rise of 1,400 percent. Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, has more than halved since hitting its all-time high of $69,000 in November last year. The value of Bitcoin fell below $26,000 in May for the first time since 2020 amid a major crypto sell-off, erasing more than $200 billion from the entire market in a single day. “We launched WhatsApp chatbot at the end of last year and the contact volumes were around 200 to 300 a day,” said Silvia Gomez, head of customer experience at BitOasis. “With the volatility, the spike we saw on WhatsApp went up to almost 3,000 contacts per day.” Gomez said the majority of queries included concerns around security, as well as questions from potential customers looking to cash in on the carnage, such as how to use BitOasis’ platform and how to make a deposit. “[When] this whole dip happened and the volatility came into play, our users were wanting faster responses,” Gomez said. “They were wanting to have real updates about what’s happening in the market because there’s fear of the unknown. “They wanted to know whether BitOasis was going to continue to be here – because there’s so many exchanges globally that have setup and then disappeared.” The extreme volatility in trading digital currencies like Bitcoin is not unusual but the current market beating has been linked to a compounding of varied factors including inflation, rising interest rates, the war in Ukraine, a tumble in stock markets around the world, and the collapse of once-popular stablecoin Terra which lost 95 percent of its market cap in May. The huge jump in chatbot queries also translated to “double-digit” growth in the number of new users on the BitOasis platform in a single month. “What we’ve seen is a lot of our personas are newbies who have heard something and they want to get onto this new crypto craze,” Gomez said. “I think WhatsApp is the first point of contact within the Middle East. It’s something that our clients engage with and there’s a sense of accessibility for them.” Bitcoin accounts for about a third of the cryptocurrency market with a total value of about $597 billion. The customer experience expert said BitOasis’ bot – an intelligent bot built using the Freshchat AI chatbot created by US-based Nasdaq-listed SaaS unicorn Freshworks – handles more than 50 percent of customer queries over WhatsApp, while the rest are responded to by humans. “All our team respond as quickly as possible,” she added. A 2022 analysis by Reports and Data shows the global chatbot market was valued at $3.49 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $22.9 billion by year 2030. The compound annual growth rate of 25.4 percent owes to the increasing need for 24/7 customer support at a lower operational cost. The chatbot in the customer service segment is expected to be the fastest growing market segment.