The Silicon Review
In the digital world we live in, with modern investors settling in and looking for emerging opportunities, businesses are forced to innovate and introduce new solutions to stay ahead of the curve.
One area which has seen increasing change brought about by fresh people discovering the market is around investment habits. Younger investors are becoming active in the market and focusing on new opportunities such as ethical asset management, sustainable investments and even cryptocurrencies. As these alternative channels for investing begin to draw a larger audience, one key question for those trading in cryptocurrencies is how to access these sometimes ‘intimidating’ digital assets safely and simply?
The key channel for entry into the cryptocurrency ecosystem is via a specialised payment gateway provider, or a ‘fiat on-ramp’. Companies providing the ‘on-ramp’ are a “bridge” or “tollway” for investors to use traditional payments channels such as credit card or bank account or digital payments such as Apple Pay to purchase digital assets. Banxa Holdings is a Payment Service Provider (PSP), which is listed on the Toronto and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges and is available in the US on the OTCQX market. Banxa’s main mission is to build the bridge between traditional financial systems, regulation, and the digital asset space. Banxa’s goal is to engage with a wider audience and introduce them to digital currencies. It does this by offering a fully compliant payment infrastructure, enabling simple conversion of fiat currency (cash) to digital assets (e.g., USD to Bitcoin).
Banxa has offices in Australia and the Netherlands and additional operations in Asia, Canada, and across Europe. By partnering with many of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets, Banxa provides a simple way for partner platform users to transact between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. It’s a ‘plug and play’ solution for businesses that want to integrate digital assets into their platform.
In conversation with Holger Arians, CEO of Banxa Holdings
Q. The cryptocurrency industry is growing quickly, with an increasing number of companies offering a greater number of online and mobile platforms for transactions. How do you distinguish your services from others?
The biggest issue with the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry is trust. The 2017 market boom was driven by initial coin offerings (ICO) and gave rise to hundreds of firms who raised funds and then failed to deliver products that matched the promises. Companies are now flocking to this space seeking the same sort of gains we saw in 2017. Banxa is one of the oldest players in the market, the company has been around since 2014 and rebranded in 2018. We decided that regulated, compliant companies would ultimately capture the market as it becomes more regulated. By publicly listing our business, completing the process and actively pursuing registration and licensing, we plan to lead the market in terms of transparency, available payment methods and global market regulation and compliance.
Q. Tell us in brief about your data management system and compliance.
There are two key pieces to discuss here, the first being our compliance process, which is made up of our tech stack and our IP and external partner systems which provide access to different markets. For example, checking identification in Japan is significantly different than in Latin America. We use best-in-class security to protect our customers’ privacy, and currently, we are seeking certification in several areas to ensure that we continue to keep pace with best practices.
The second piece would be our expert team, especially around our main pillars, payments and compliance. Deep knowledge and understanding of this industry only comes over time and many of our key team members have been involved in the digital asset space for many years. In fact, in some of our key markets, we have helped shape the regulation and we believe this will be an ongoing process to which we can contribute greatly.
Q. What are the security measures implemented by you to secure your solutions?
In our industry, security is always top of mind, our main concerns are personal data and transaction security. To guarantee this is protected, we encrypt all personal data, ensure all data is transferred securely, and apply industry standards in our cloud infrastructure. As part of a suite of security protocols, we protect our network with a web application firewall (WAF) and constantly monitor it with a security operations centre. Together with this security firm we watch for attacks and test our perimeter for any known vulnerabilities. We continue to monitor the cybersecurity landscape with our internal security team and our external security partner and respond accordingly to any potential threats. With more than 7 years’ experience in this industry, we have seen a lot and thus we are constantly on high alert.
Q. Bitcoin can be a volatile currency. It means that the exchange rate can move extremely quickly. In such cases how do you keep up with the exchange rates?
Our exposure is limited due to fast transaction processing. Most of our orders are filled immediately. Because we do not hold cryptocurrency ourselves, we avoid exposure to significant price movements.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
We do, yes. Without going into too many details here, we are focused on three things -
One – integrating additional crypto- and fiat-currencies, allowing more people around the world to gain access to the digital asset market.
Two - a greater presence in more jurisdictions, to allow our client partners and end-users additional access to trusted local payment gateways.
Three - New products and services for our clients to do more with their digital assets, and enhanced capabilities for existing products - greater support, cleaner functionality, smooth customer journeys. These are all underway.
Meet the leader behind the success of Banxa Holdings
Holger Arians is the CEO of Banxa Holdings. Holger has previously built and run several technology startups. Prior to Banxa, Holger oversaw and worked closely with a portfolio of 30 early stage technology companies as CEO of Dominet Venture Partners. Holger holds an Executive MBA from Mannheim (Germany) and ESSEC Business Schools (France) and is an Alumni of Harvard Business School.