Our CGO Philipp spoke to Youtuber Blocktrainer about ICOs, working collectively from home and the future of the financial industry. We put together the top five questions and answers that were raised by our very own community members.
1. What was your experience back in 2017 during the ICO bubble?
In the early 2000s, I was still too young to really experience the dotcom bubble. For me, 2017/2018 was an extremely exciting and interesting time - a literal crash course in financial markets and the consequences of excessive speculation and exuberance. It's good to have actively experienced such a bubble. You don’t realise you’re in a bubble, almost until it bursts. Now, like many of us, I’m a bit wiser on the matter.
2. What was the idea behind offering a bank account that allows you to purchase bitcoin?
Today, more than 99.9% of the world’s wealth is locked in traditional financial markets. We want to change this and build a bridge to enable more people to benefit from digital currencies and innovative blockchain-based financial products.
In our opinion, a bank account is the best starting point. As most people have a bank account, they are familiar with this. In addition, we offer non-custodial wallets, which means that people really own their Bitcoin. We combine the advantages of a bank (with deposit protection, i.e. the Euros are state-secured) with easy and secure access to crypto markets. With us, you can buy Bitcoin and Ether directly from your account.
3. Given the current situation, are you working from home these days?
For 14 days, we are now in home office - we took this decision quite early, so we can protect our employees and society.As a start-up, many of our tools are digital, so it wasn’t a massive adjustment to our workflows and operations.
At the same time, we do really miss human interaction and that’s something Slack or video calls can never replace. Nevertheless, we encourage virtual human contact by using shared video-channels to work and even work-out together.
4. What’s your perspective on the future of Decentralised Finance (DeFi)?
DeFi has a massive potential to change and improve financial markets. It is all about digitising the infrastructure of the traditional financial world and running financial transactions on-top of a trustless protocol layer. This has enormous advantages: easier access, fewer middlemen, lower costs. For example, it enables true P2P lending models, and many other applications are being worked on right now. But there are also many unknown risks, as we are still experimenting. It’s important to keep that in mind when interacting with DeFi.
5. Where do you see Bitwala in five to ten years?
We strongly believe in a world where people are empowered to exchange value like they exchange information: globally, instantly and at the lowest possible cost. Our mission is to empower people to benefit from new financial technology by being the bridge between old and new. As a market leader, we want to be the bridge into Bitcoin, other digital currencies and offer innovative and secure blockchain-based financial products to our users - preferably globally, of course. Our goal is to lead the market and in order to achieve that, we will continue to be a first mover.