A Global Ambition
Enrico Bradamante and Oliver La Rosa from Globiance bring a wealth of experience to one of the most exciting projects in crypto
Block talks to the pair from Globiance to find out more about their views on crypto, blockchain, and more…
FROM iGAMING TO CRYPTO – WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION AND WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU SEE TODAY?
EB: The “Crypto” space, covering everything from cryptocurrencies to Distributed Ledger Technology and blockchain, is still very new. The fact that regulation in this industry is starting to happen shows that we are at a very early stage of mass-adoption.
Regulation will enable all stakeholders – users and providers – to operate in a stable environment with clear rules and responsibilities. It will allow users to be protected and providers to make longer-term investment decisions. This is exactly what happened in Malta for the online gambling industry – when the first regulatory framework was issued. Now the iGaming industry is a multibillion industry worldwide, and in Malta it represents 12% of the GDP.
This is the really exciting part for me. I have participated in the exponential growth of the online gaming industry, and I can see a lot of parallels and very similar patterns emerging, both regarding the technology, the regulatory side and the business models.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE IMPACT OF THIS CRYPTO REVOLUTION TO BE?
EB: This FinTech revolution has the potential to disrupt the current ways individuals and corporations pay for products and services by providing a much more efficient and secure way of moving money. Some even draw parallels with the impact that the ‘.com’ revolution has had on society.
We have already seen how ICOs and other crowd-funding initiatives have created a new way of financing business ideas outside of the traditional Venture Capital and Private Equity model. This brings new investors into the equation, and takes them much closer to the entrepreneurs and their business ideas.
As is usual in any industry, the incumbents will try to resist the change, and we expect this to cause some friction and adoption delays. Ultimately, a combination of lower costs and decentralisation of these systems will make them emerge as successful alternatives to the current, stale financial industry.
WHAT ARE THE KEY BENEFITS OF THE GLOBIANCE SOLUTION?
EB: Globiance has a great Management Team with a proven history of execution excellence and the right mix of experience in the relevant sectors. On the product side, Globiance is developing an integrated solution with the latest technology available by leveraging both internal resources and key partners. On the marketing side, Globiance will be leveraging the user acquisition and retention techniques that have been fine-tuned over the years in the iGaming industry.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BASE YOUR OPERATIONS IN MALTA? WHAT MAKES MALTA SPECIAL?
EB: I have lived and worked in Malta for six years. I appreciate the talent pool available – with the right competences, the entrepreneurial spirit, and a government that is “open for business”. Having worked with the regulators here, I am also very confident that the regulations will provide the necessary framework with the right compromise between rigor and enforcement, and a light bureaucratic touch. Malta is the Blockchain Island: a thriving hub where everything related to “crypto” is happening.
LOOKING AT THE CRYPTO LANDSCAPE, MANY STARTUPS ARE TRYING TO CREATE SOLUTIONS FOR SIMILAR USE CASES. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE TO GLOBIANCE AND WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR MODEL?
OLR: First of all we believe in cooperation and do not want to reinvent the wheel. The exchange software that we are using has been developed by a software company based in Germany and we also have strong partners for our KYC, payment, and banking services.
The exchange will be live end of 2018. Additionally we will start with a
payment solution based on our exchange which will allow our clients to accept payments while drastically reducing fraud and chargeback risks. Thanks to our CEO, Enrico Bradamante, who was Managing Director of NETENT for the last five years, we could design a solution that is tailor-made for the gaming industry, providing payments and KYC at the same time. We will round up the product portfolio by offering IBAN accounts and digital wallets.We are not only an exchange but strive to be the biggest and most successful global bank without being a bank.
YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING IN THE IT SECTOR FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS, MOST OF THE TIME WITH BANKING CLIENTS. DOES THIS EXPERIENCE HELP YOU IN GLOBIANCE?
OLR: Yes, definitely. I lead a shift team for Citibank in Frankfurt for over 8 years and from the HQ of our IT Company in Malta we provided IT support for the IKANO bank group for 7 European Countries. We did everything from the call centre to infrastructure and major incident management. So we already have experience for most of the elements we need for an exchange and the connected services.
YOU ARE CO-FOUNDER OF THE EUROPEAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR DLT AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES – WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THAT?
OLR: Apart from the associations we are representing, we saw the need for a chamber of commerce focused on the crypto industry and its specific needs. My role as a Chairman is promoting DLT, cryptocurrencies, and Malta as the most important European Country for ICOs and crypto companies. I visit events around the globe to tell the world about the successful ecosystem we have built up here in Malta, and the great support that the industry receives from the government. We hope to build up a strong member base and represent their interest Europe-wide and globally. The initiative receives interest worldwide and we plan to expand our partnerships and connect with chambers in other continents.
MALTA BLOCKCHAIN ISLAND – WHAT OTHER BENEFITS DOES MALTA OFFER APART FROM THE FORWARD- THINKING REGULATION?
OLR: Everyone speaks English and it is an official language – that makes the island very accessible compared to other countries which handle business in their local languages. The financial services, gaming and now the crypto industry have brought a very powerful mix of business people to the island and most of the locations turn into constant networking meetings. This makes it easy to connect to people. The low-side employment costs and tax rates are very attractive to business owners. Having a fully-regulated market also makes it secure for investors to trust in projects incorporated in Malta, and will also allow insurance companies to issue policies insuring digital assets in own wallets or exchanges. We can expect more initiatives to prevent scams and increase credibility. In my opinion Malta is currently the best country in the world for ICO and crypto companies.