Technology Lawyer working on code and everything law. Founder : Blockchain Research
Ishan Pandey: Hi, welcome to our “Behind the Startup” series. Tell us about yourself and the story behind CoinZoom?
Todd Crosland: Todd Crosland is both Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoinZoom and has operated in Financial Services, Investment Banking, and Venture Capital for over two decades.
Prior to CoinZoom, Todd founded and acted as CEO of Interbank F.X., LLC (“IBFX”), a Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer registered U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. IBFX grew into a global entity with offices worldwide and over 250,000 customers in more than 140 countries. The company also generated annual trading volumes of over $750 billion, making it a leader in the retail Forex trading services industry.
Todd also serves as the Chairman and Founder of CoinZoom Securities, a registered broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and is a member of FINRA/SIPC. CoinZoom Securities has over 12,000 registered investors, entrepreneurs, and members worldwide, and Todd is also the Founder and General Partner of CoinZoom Ventures. This venture capital firm invests in fintech and blockchain companies such as Mainframe. He has also received a number of awards, including The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and holds the following Securities Licenses: Series 3, 7, 24, 30, and 63.
CoinZoom is a next-generation digital currency trading platform aiming to provide both retail and institutional clients with a highly efficient trading experience that combines high-level security and various features that enable everyday ease of use. Our goal is to help usher the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies globally. The exchange allows its users to trade a range of digital assets with popular currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and XRP, and over 80 markets. The exchange supports fiat deposits and withdrawals via both bank and credit card transfers. A core benefit that CoinZoom offers is the CoinZoom Visa card. Through our partnership with Visa, CoinZoom customers can easily spend their cryptocurrencies at over 53M merchants globally and any ATM globally that accepts Visa. Unlike most crypto cards that are prepaid cards, the CoinZoom Visa is a true debit card that allows customers the ability to simply spend any crypto in their wallets in real-time.
CoinZoom also offers customers a free peer-to-peer remittance system, called ZoomMe. Through ZoomMe, customers can send both USD and crypto, anywhere in the world, instantly for free.
Our exchange, the CoinZoom Visa card, and ZoomMe are used by thousands and thousands of customers each day.
Ishan Pandey: U.S. prosecutors have levied criminal charges against Bitmex key executives. What are the key takeaways from this for cryptocurrency exchanges?
Todd Crosland: The days of openly flaunting the laws and regulations globally for crypto exchanges are over. Only legitimate, regulated firms will succeed in the digital asset space.
There has been a mindset with some exchanges that they do not need to be regulated and can just do as they wish in offering their services globally. The criminal charges that have been brought against Bitmex is a wake-up call to exchanges globally to get their houses in order and follow regulations in the jurisdictions in which they operate.
Ishan Pandey: The arrest of OKEx founder and indictment of co-founders of BitMEX is a tipping point for investors. Are investors losing trust in Crypto Exchanges?
Todd Crosland: On the contrary, the largest financial institutions and investors in the world are all taking stakes in the cryptocurrency space right now. Goldman Sachs, PayPay, Square, Venmo, and Fidelity are just a few of the largest firms investing in this space. The issues with OKEx and Bitmex just galvanize the importance of these global investors to be selective in their investments. Exchanges and other entities that are highly regulated and have strict KYC/AML policies and procedures will be the beneficiaries of global institutional investors.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, where are investors going to seek refuge? Is DEX the future now as regulations tighten on crypto exchanges?
Todd Crosland: I believe that small individual investors will definitely look at DEX, but the real money in the crypto space will be coming from institutions. Large institutions will almost exclusively invest in well funded, regulated entities. Highly regulated firms that are audited, and have net-capital requirements, will be the beneficiaries of the largest investments.
Ishan Pandey: FATF has recently said that “virtual asset service providers” (VASPs) — mostly crypto exchanges — must share information about the senders and recipients involved in VASP-to-VASP transactions larger than $1,000. How are these new rules going to affect investors, volume, and crypto exchanges?
Todd Crosland: The FATF “Travel Rule” as it is known, will help further distinguish the good players from the bad actors in the crypto space and will help the largest investors in the world to embrace cryptocurrencies. While this provides an additional compliance requirement for CoinZoom, our compliance with the “Travel Rule” is an important part of our strategy to on-board large institutional investors to the CoinZoom exchange.
Ishan Pandey: What measures and best practices do you suggest to comply with KYC and AML requirements?
Todd Crosland: The CoinZoom team has had over two decades of experience in complying with global KYC and AML requirements. In 2001, I founded Interbank F.X., a CFTC and NFA regulated futures and commodities brokerage firm. As a regulated FCM, Interbank F.X. developed state-of-the-art KYC and AML procedures to both onboard customers and monitor transactions. After Interbank F.X. was sold in 2012, I started CoinZoom Securities. A U.S. registered broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA.
Our decades of regulatory experience with both the CFTC and the SEC have built a foundation for CoinZoom to provide a frictionless, compliant KYC, and AML experience for CoinZoom’s customers.
Ishan Pandey: John McAfee is in legal hot water right now. What are the key takeaways for influencers and media personalities?
Todd Crosland: It is quite simple. There are rules, laws, and regulations that have been established. Because blockchain and cryptocurrencies are new and novel, they do not give influencers and other people a free pass to flaunt laws and regulations.
Ishan Pandey: What trends in regulations do you see going forward?
Todd Crosland: FATF’s “Travel Rule” is the next step that global regulators are mandating. This will help remove bad actors from the legitimate cryptocurrency players.
I see regulation in the future that will focus on greater transparency for crypto exchanges that will include requirements for annual audits, net-capital requirements, 100% screening requirements for AML and KYC, as well as transaction monitoring.
CoinZoom is a registered Money Services Business in all 50 states and territories. CoinZoom is also a registered Money Transmitter and available for trading in 48 states. CoinZoom is also a registered Digital Currency Exchange in Australia. That’s why being regulated is the key.
Ishan Pandey: What new opportunities are you seeing emerging from current events?
Todd Crosland: Covid 19 has devastated global economies. In response to Covid 19, countries across the world have provided over $10 Trillion of stimulus for their respective economies. The U.S. alone has injected over $6 Trillion into its economy, and congress is currently working on another $2 Trillion of stimulus.
So what will all these trillions of dollars of stimulus mean for the global financial system? It will mean inflation. The U.S. dollar and global currencies will be devalued.
I believe that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will emerge as a hedge to inflation and a hedge for holding USD and other currencies. One of the benefits of Bitcoin is that there is a finite amount, 21M, that will ever be printed. The U.S. treasury will continue to inject trillions of dollars to help prop up its economy. I anticipate Bitcoin easily passing the $20,000 mark in the next 12 months.
The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence by asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions. The material does not constitute any investment, financial, or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc. The writer does not have any vested interest in the company. Interviewer - Ishan Pandey
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