Fintech Fridays Podcast: ep1 with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

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NCFA Canada | Craig Asano | July 20, 2018

We're excited to announce a new NCFA Podcast series called 'FINTECH FRIDAY$' where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fintech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges!

 

Fintech Fridays Podcast ep1:  Interview with Samir Bandali of CoinPayments

Host:  Manseeb Khan, NCFA

Guest:  Samir Bandali, Director of Strategic Partnerships, CoinPayments

To kickoff the first episode of our Fintech Fridays weekly podcast, our host Manseeb Khan is joined by Samir Bandli, Director of Strategic Partnerships of CoinPayments, to talk about the future of crypto from its role today and its role in the future.  CoinPayments offers merchants an option to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment and currently works with over 700+ altcoins.

Subscribe to the channel and tune in each Friday to check out the latest movers and shakers in fintech.


Transcription of Interview

NCFA: Hey everyone Manseeb Khan and you are tuning into the NCFA Canada's newest podcast series called Fintech Fridays where we sit down with the incredible people in the Fin-tech community and talk about leading fintech products innovations developments and challenges. Today I'm here with Samir Bandali from CoinPayments. Samir thanks so much for being here.

CoinPayments:  Thanks for having me Manseeb, I'm very excited share what we do in the world.

NCFA: Yeah before I even started I did a lot of research.  Can you tell us what CoinPayments is about?  The problem is trying to solve, and I guess the achievements it’s trying to make?

CoinPayments:  Sure thing.  CoinPayments primarily a multi-currency online wallet allowing users to store and transact with crypto currencies and allowing merchants to accept those crypto currencies for goods services CoinPayments was established in about 2013. As the first alt coin payment processor in the world is in a time when most cryptocurrency companies were focused primarily on bitcoin and our founder and CEO Alex came up with this idea to create a company that's focused on all of the tokens that were available to the market. So CoinPayments solved the problem of utility tokens not having a real-world use case. And over the past five years we've grown into one of the largest. Cryptocurrency payment processors. In the whole world. Today we support over. 535. Different digital currencies. Aligned merchants and users to store hold and use these currencies in one stop. One log international online. At this time, we have one point five million vendors worldwide. We're really starting to see that cryptocurrency is making that next move. Into a mainstream merchant adoption. And real-world utility cases. CoinPayments prides ourselves on being a coin agnostic system. Where we really focus on being.

A support platform for the entire cryptocurrency industry. Yeah 2017 was a huge year for us. We. Experienced exponential growth. Process almost 1 billion dollars in transactions a crypto currency. Things are just picking up.  We created a plug in for Shopify recently. Fellow Canadian company there and we also have other plugins. WOOCommerce, OS commerce, Magento. Basically, every major e-commerce platform. In the world.

NCFA:  Okay. Damn that's incredible. I'm glad you guys are providing an amazing service, so my next question would be why should merchants consider offering a Crypto payment solution?

CoinPayments:  So, I think the big thing to remember here is cryptocurrency is still in the very early infancy stages. Even though bitcoin started out in 2011 we're still innovating technology every day and finding a way to maximize efficiency and really allow people to transact an international scale. So, I think what merchants have to realize when you select crypto currency as a payment option you're tapping into this entirely new market of people all around the world that are holding these coins and basically gaining this value off of this massive increase in markets and don't know what to do with or how to spend it. So if you're running a business and let's say you're making a million dollars in a year of sales realistically if you add cryptos to that maybe one or two percent well we'll start out in crypto so a majority of your business your operations will still be run with traditional fiat currency but you're just giving your users an additional option and tapping into new market so it's really just extra money and a little bit of fun because it gives you the option to speculate maybe hold on to some crypto and learn about where the future of fintech is going and inevitably one day this is going to be worth a lot more market share.

NCFA:  So how many wallets do you guys currently connect to?

CoinPayments:  So, as I mentioned before CoinPayments currently supports our 535 different currencies. Now a lot of those currencies are just a wallet solution for somewhere to store and for users to be able to send and receive with other like peer to peer.  Our merchant API connects to just about a hundred of those currencies. So those wallets basically enable merchants to accept any of the 100 currencies support with the API. And additionally, we have a really cool feature called Pay by name. And what that does is it allows a store or a person to set up a quick nickname we call it a cash tags sign let's say Samir for myself. That immediately opens up the gateway to access all the currencies that are available in a shopping cart.  So rather than providing a defense hash or wallet ID all you have to do is a dollar sign and CFA and someone can send you any of the currencies that we close for them.

NCFA:  Damn, I love the sound of that and that's awesome. So, what would be the hottest crypto currencies that you are currently seeing and like the type of volumes that you're seeing.

CoinPayments:  So I mean we were in a highly volatile market here so there's a flavor of the month… every day sometimes you know me recently we're part of the integration between Verge and Pornhub which were his largest porn site in the world to accept our Verge currency which is a privacy coin.  We've been trying to build relationships with different communities and very close with the decred community Token pay a couple couple coins that are focusing on merchant adoption but I think we're still in a BTC dominated world in my opinion the hottest cryptocurrency will always be bitcoin because it's the only one with the true liquidity at this point I guess.  And and I'd say 60 to 70 percent of our overall volume still comes in bitcoin even though we focus on all these markets so instead of us.

So how do you see Coinpayments play a role into like things like cannabis right because cannabis is just starting to get legal in Canada. It's been getting legal in a couple of states. There's definitely a being online merchants for cannabis like hemp products and all that so I guess how do you see crypto playing a role in that?  So that one's actually a little bit tricky.  The reason being both cannabis and cryptocurrency are very new emerging markets as far as regulatory jurisdiction.  And really how authorities are going to be looking at the legalities and how it all fits in and cannabis has been obviously illegal for a long time and even that I think yesterday the government passed that bill making it legal but it's still very much a gray area. A lot of people it's it's kind of like a stigma around it. The crypocurrency is very much the same way basically your regulatory authorities haven't found a clear path as to how they want to treat cryptocurrency whether it's a currency or commodity security whatever you want to call it. So, I mean the big thing with cannabis becoming legal is tax right? and government is going to make access of this a big problem with cops right now as direction as to how taxes and cryptocurrency relate. So, I think it's probably going to be a little bit of time before we really see a true marriage between cryptocurrency and cannabis although it is inevitable down the line. I think both markets need to find clear direction and a clear path to regulatory authority before we can really merge them because at this time if you're taking one gray area into another gray area and just gets a lot darker gray. Yeah yeah.

NCFA:  Very, very true as we heard the CoinPayments is currently running a airdrop campaign. You talk a little bit more about that?

CoinPayments:  For sure.  So, as I said that we've been around for about five years now and we have 1.5 million users worldwide and a lot of merchants who've been with us from the start and stop with us over the times as we develop all these new exciting features like pay by name and a few that I can't even name right now but are rolling out in the next few months here.  We decided it will be a cool opportunity to give a little bit back to our customers who've been loyal to us for a long time and at the same time create some sort of incentive to be able to compete with all these new emerging companies trying to do the same thing that we're doing. So, we decided to do an airdrop to create our own basically native platform token and it will allow all of our users to save 50 percent on transaction fees and conversion fees. Wow. I'm transacting with that coin as well as upcoming allocations and ICOs that are using CoinPayments as the payment gateway for the platform. So, our users will now be able to participate in these projects using the CPS coin that we're dropping the airdrop is officially happening on July 1st. So, there's still time if anybody wants to get involved. You can check out more information at W W W dot CoinPayments coin dot com or just sign up for an account add. WWW.Coinpayments.net. And. You're eligible for free tokens right off the bat. Giving 100 free coins each user. Which equates to about twelve dollars in value.

NCFA:  So, I guess what are future opportunities that you guys are seeing a CoinPayments like can you give me like a rough roadmap and I guess some of the challenges ahead.

CoinPayments:  I know you definitely thought of it like there's some tokens you can't talk about yet although I do have a couple of things I can release to the public so I find it kind of a natural evolution in our company to start to morph towards. Not only just a wallet provider and a payment processor but it's also kind of build out an exchange and allow users to really have a one stop shop to use crypto currency in any way that they want. So are our long-term plan here is to be able to basically create an environment that allows users to converge freely between the coins that we host on our system as much as you want on a regular exchange. And also following that would be. To allow merchants. And easy fiat. Settlements option or even users an easy fiat on-boarding. So, for CoinPayments Is to truly be that place where. You can log into the site. Deposit. Some money buy some crypto. Change or for whatever other crypto you want to use. Use that crypto in the real world to buy tangible products and services and potentially cash that back out to your bank account if you're if you're wanting to do that. So, we're really working towards becoming full service one stop shop. And I think over the next three or four months we're going to roll out some features that are going to surprise a lot of people and really make us competitive with the large players in this industry like the Coinbases. What would be your top two to three golden nuggets when it comes fintech and investors and FinTech founders that are trying to build something with in Canada.

I am a huge advocate on education right now.  I believe the next big jump for crypto to really start to make a dent in FinTech is truly educating people on what's cryptocurrency as how to use cryptocurrency. Like I've been involved in this space for a few years now and I can still say that well over 90 percent of my friends don't even understand what bitcoin is or the fact that you can divide a bitcoin into 100 million pieces or you can actually buy a car or a watch or a T-shirt with that question on the Internet right now. People are still in this weird phase where you're seeing mainstream media outlets extremely uneducated sharing useless facts with people and guys like Rebel CEO being like we're going to be bigger than Bitcoin.  There's all this weird fud in the market and I just think that the big thing for all of us and a responsibility we have by being in this industry is to educate people and walk them through how they can be a part of this emerging cryptocurrency phenomenon.

NCFA:  Yeah now that makes sense because if we want everybody to use it helps that everybody knows how to use it and when to use and where to use right and that comes with like all working together like I think the overall market share of crypto towards money is like zero point one percent on a global scale.

CoinPayments:  Now as we grow there is enough room for everyone and it's definitely going to be about working together building communities. And you see that a lot of crypto each of these different projects have very active communities. People who are involved in the early days are engaged and they want to learn, and they want to spread that learning and education everybody so in any couple of years coming up a bench.

NCFA:  Yeah, I think so too because like from what I'm taking away your I guess your golden nugget would be just like make sure you not only share within the community that you've built around your company but share within the complete world still community in general right. So as long as everybody kind of knows what to expect or they get they get everyone get kind of navigate within the huge crypto ship together. Right. Definitely. Awesome. Okay cool. So, wrapping up would be the best way to contact you if anybody has any questions. Would it be through Twitter, do I WhatsApp, do I Snapchat you how I would be the best way to contact you.

CoinPayments:  think that I have a couple different forms of communication with the community. But the best way I get in touch with us is either through Twitter on which our handle is @Coinpayments.net. Through my email directly. PR@coinpayments.net. I'm always open for any sort of opportunities and collaboration to find synergy with other companies that have similar interests.

NCFA:  Thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I mean like I'm super excited, everything that company is about to do. Becoming a full service one stop shop that should be really exciting. And yeah, I can't wait to buy socks with bitcoin that would be really awesome. That's like I'm really excited for. Oh my gosh.

CoinPayments:  We've had about 300 Shopify stores sign up in the last two months since we went live with that integration. And I can tell you right I thought my I'd like at least a dozen stores where you can buy stocks right now.  Actually, it runs www.alwayshodl.com.  Oh good He's got some real cool crypto on merchandise and allows you to buy crypto   swag with the type of crypto that it's representing. So pretty good.

NCFA:  That's really it that's a really cool concept. All right well Samir thanks so much for sitting down with me. This has been super enlightening, super educational and best of luck on everything. All right thanks alot man.

CoinPayments:  All right thanks alot man.

End of Podcast

 


The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with cryptocurrency, blockchain, crowdfunding, alternative finance, fintech, P2P, ICO, STO, and online investing stakeholders globally. NCFA Canada provides education, research, industry stewardship, services, and networking opportunities to thousands of members and subscribers and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding and fintech industry. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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