Change and Exchange
In an exclusive interview, ZBX.com CEO David Pulis sits down with Ivan Borg and sheds some light on his efforts
ZBX.com CEO David Pulis is bringing the level of quality we’ve grown accustomed to in financial services to a more flexible space.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR WAY INTO THE CRYPTO WORLD, AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GET INVOLVED IN THE ZBX PROJECT IN PARTICULAR?
DP: I was catapulted into the Crypto world in 2013. I had attended a conference in San José with my previous employer, where there were a number of today’s big names attending – such as the Winklevoss brothers, who now run Gemini exchange, and many others who were start-ups at the time, or people with ideas. I was lucky to have worked in a company that was one of the early adopters through a Bitcoin fund, where it registered the highest-performing fund performance of all time, thanks to the meteoric rise of Bitcoin.
MALTA HAS BEEN VERY PROACTIVE IN REGULATION FOR THIS SPACE. WHAT IMPACT HAS THIS HAD, AND WHAT IMPACT WILL IT HAVE ON YOUR OPERATIONS?
DP: Malta could have easily taken a back seat and milked its existing sectors, but the government has embraced disruptive technologies and opted to work outside its comfort zone. Hon. Silvio Schembri works day and night in attracting the right companies to what we affectionately now call the Blockchain Island.
Operating in the world’s sole fully-regulated jurisdiction gives investors a level of peace of mind and service not normally associated with the financial industry.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?
DP: I have been in the Crypto sphere for over 5 years. However I’ve also worked in finance for over 15 years. ZBX will bring institutional-grade services and products to its clients. The team behind ZBX is made up of a dream team of industry leaders including ZB.COM – formerly ChinaBTC, a top-5 exchange – that is very selective with the coins it lists on the exchange, EXX.COM, and Zillionbits AG, who provides the secure technology and the flawless track record that comes with never having been hacked.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE FIRM’S FUTURE PLANS? IS THERE ANYTHING IN THE PIPELINE THAT YOU CAN SAFELY ANNOUNCE?
DP: ZBX will start as crypto-to-crypto and will offer pairs with fiat in the coming months. Various add-on products are in the pipeline which will be announced shortly.
YOU’RE ALL ABOUT BRINGING A LEVEL OF QUALITY AND LEGITIMACY TO CRYPTO. WHAT STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN?
DP: ZB in China has focused on quality at the expense of short-term profits.
The same model will be adopted by ZBX in Malta. One such example is the listing of tokens on the exchange. ZB is a top-5 exchange in spite of its refusing to list many coins on its platform. Its aim is not to reach the highest volumes but deliver the best service for the ones that make the cut.
ZB also gives its users a say as to what tokens are listed on its platform through a voting system. This could also be adopted under ZBX. We have put together a dream team that is not just versed in Crypto but also possesses extensive expertise in financial services. To this end, ZBX will up the ante by giving levels of service and transparency normally associated with the ‘traditional’ financial industry. Last but not least, having a Malta licence will give the confidence to its users that the exchange is regulated by a serious leading jurisdiction, the Blockchain Island.
HOW DOES THE MALTESE JURISDICTION SQUARE WITH BLOCKCHAIN’S OVERALL DEVELOPMENT?
DP: Malta went into finance about twenty years ago, regulated the industry and managed to attract a lot of key players. More recently, the Maltese Government took a decision to go in and legitimise a grey area with the three bills that were passed recently. Instead of resting on its laurels, the Maltese government has chosen to be proactive on blockchain and DLT.
There have been a lot of illegitimate players in the industry. Since the government has taken it upon itself to create a regulatory framework, the new Maltese legislation should help create standards by which the legitimate actors will be able to distinguish themselves. This is why Malta should be so attractive to anyone in the blockchain and DLT space.
Instead of just inviting blockchain-oriented companies to come over, the Maltese jurisdiction is also offering legitimacy. Malta has a first-mover advantage – the industry is already responding, and a number of companies have already established a presence here. I think this trend will not only be sustained, but is also likely to accelerate quite soon – because Malta has made itself into the ideal place for blockchain to really hit its stride.