The NASDAQ-listed company powers the world’s largest digital asset platforms by providing payments infrastructure and regulatory compliance across global markets
Cryptocurrencies have been hot property over the last few years, but worries over regulation and volatility have remained an issue for the sector.
A company looking to overcome these issues is BANXA (TSX-V:BNXA, OTCQX:BNXAF) Holdings Inc which powers the world’s largest digital asset platforms by providing payments infrastructure and regulatory compliance across global markets.
The NASDAQ-listed company’s vision and mission is to build the bridge that gives people in every part of the world access to a fairer and more equitable financial system.
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with European headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, BANXA (TSX-V:BNXA, OTCQX:BNXAF) is the world’s first listed payment service provider (PSP) and RegTec (Regulation Technology) platform for the digital assets industry.
BANXA provides RegTech services for cryptocurrency exchanges, DeFi platforms and digital asset wallets alongside its payment services, allowing users in the network to easily and securely convert fiat currency to cryptocurrencies and back again.
With the regulatory focus squarely on the burgeoning digital asset industry in multiple jurisdictions, BANXA’s service allows crypto platforms to focus on business growth. At the same time, the company brings the highest conversion rates and best experience to its users.
Proactive sat down with BANXA CEO Holger Arians to find out more.
Proactive: BANXA is the world’s first listed payment service provider (PSP) and RegTech (Regulation Technology) platform for the digital assets industry. Can you explain how it works?
Holger Arians: Put simply, we are converting your fiat currency – Australian dollars, US Dollars, Euros – to a digital asset or a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, or many other coins. So we’re doing that conversion for you.
You’ll find us in many of our partner platforms. A big exchange, like Binance, for example, has integrated Banxa’s solution. They obviously have a big pool of users, who can basically start with their fiat currency, send us their US dollars. We then convert it into the cryptocurrency that they request and add it to their Binance wallet. So we’re basically building that bridge.
You might ask why are we doing it? Why do those digital asset platforms not do it themselves?
To offer local payment methods, like a bank transfer, you need a bank account, for which you need a local entity and people on the ground. To provide the services we are offering, you also need to be registered with the local authorities and regulators. That is a lot of work which is not scalable for a global platform. BANXA can do this at scale, so the industry can tap into our infrastructure. This allows them to onboard users in their local currency through a trusted and secure payment with highest conversion rates. So that really is what BANXA is doing in many of the big global digital asset platforms. And we’ve been doing that for eight years now.
Transaction volumes have been growing at record levels over the past few months. What has been the main driver?
We’ve seen enormous adoption in 2020 and 2021. 2020 mostly through the evolution of decentralized finance, where we are seeing many traditional financial services, such as borrowing and lending, enter the digital asset space, all managed by smart contracts, run by code. The user experience of these applications and security has improved significantly. That is one of the keys to adoption.
The other thing we’ve seen, mostly in 2021, is the adoption of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which represent a digital property right. This is a use case consumers are able to relate to much better than cryptocurrencies. We have seen NFTs emerge as a form of digital collectibles, but that is just the beginning of many more use cases brought on the Blockchain.
And here again, the user experience has improved a lot. And that’s where we’ve seen a lot of mainstream adoption.
So I would say that NFTs have helped crypto for the first time in the last 10 years to really break down the barriers and that’s why we’ve seen increased trading volumes as well. BANXA is always positioned at the entry point, converting fiat currency to digital assets to allow people to participate in these digital asset opportunities.
BANXA has been adding more partners, and more coins to its service. How far can this expansion go?
Today, we’re servicing mostly centralized exchanges and DeFi applications. But where the future lies, and what we are already working on, is certainly much more around decentralized platforms. That can be GameFi or Blockchain gaming with the use of NFTs, many more emerging NFT use cases and then much further beyond that.
We are the perfect bridge into the Metaverse given one fundamental of the Metaverse is digital assets for ownership and exchange. And there are certainly many, many use cases in the real world that will soon be available in the digital asset world, and here again, Banxa is the entry point for many users. So we believe that we are just scratching the surface in terms of opportunities today.
To take a step back, this whole digital asset market is still in its infancy – I always like to say it’s where the internet was in 1995 – there is so much more to come. It is certainly here to stay after more than 10 years. And the adoption, the evolution, and the pace of the technology is just extremely high, because everyone in the world can participate, it’s been broken down so much that no matter what your background is, you don’t really have to have a lot of resources to create something in this space. And that’s where I get my confidence from. BANXA has been laying the infrastructure for many years and we’re just at the very beginning of this boom.
How does the volatility in the cryptocurrency world affect the company?
We all know it’s quite volatile. And for us, what’s really important to know is that we have the infrastructure layer, which means if prices go up or down, it doesn’t matter too much to BANXA. What’s important is that there is trading volume, that people are getting in and out of this ecosystem. And that’s where BANXA benefits, because we are taking a commission of those volumes that flow into the space, and then flow out again, when users decide to convert their cryptocurrency back to fiat currency.
So for us, rising or declining prices are not too important, growing adoption is important and that is a long-term play. Given that we are building the foundation or the plumbing for this industry, we are very confident that we play an integral part in this ecosystem.
What do you think you yourself bring to the company as its CEO?
That’s a great question. I am the CEO of BANXA but I also co-founded the business back in 2014, so I am really in this with my whole heart and all of my passion.
I’ve been involved in high-growth technology companies for over 10 years and have put talented teams together, defined strategy, raised money, and most importantly, drove execution.
At BANXA, our success is a massive team effort and I’m very proud of the over 200 team members who are all experts in their field and share a passion for the digital asset industry. Attracting the right talent, keeping our work exciting and personal and professional growth are some of my key focus areas.
At BANXA, we’re an amazing team of professional people who are all experts in their fields and who all share this mission of onboarding the masses to cryptocurrency in a safe and secure way.
What I bring to the table, is really the experience of growing a business. We started this back in 2014 and have been growing every year since. It hasn’t always been easy – back in 2014 cryptocurrency had a lot more negative attention than where it is today. Back then we got a lot of headwinds from the banks, from the media, even my parents were asking me what I was doing. But we got through it, I built and took the team through it – and we are all stronger for it.
Strong and authentic leadership has been super important during this time. That and believing in what we’re creating and believing in the future of this industry – that’s where I’ve certainly brought a lot of leadership to the business, especially during those really tough times. And I’m not saying it’s easier today, otherwise everyone would certainly do something like this, but it is a challenge and I believe I’m navigating the team and the business very well through this.
What should BANXA investors expect in the near to medium term?
We have already hit many milestones, however, it still feels like we have only just started. In 2020 we were a team of 60 people. Last year we hired 150 people. So now we have over 200 people. We have built a strong foundation and found product-market fit, so now it is all about scaling our business.
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