Australian millionaire, Fred Schebesta, is planning to launch a cryptocurrency bank to capitalize on the immense business opportunities in the emerging virtual currency market. Schebesta, the Finder.com.au co-founder wants his bank to be the first of its kind in the country. The online comparison magnate also believes that cryptocurrencies will have a significant role to play in the global business process of the future.
Cryptocurrency Banks are the Next Big Thing
Rather than applying for a deposit-taking institution (ADI) license, Schebesta would prefer to partner with an existing bank. The Finder chief recently acquired a significant stake Goldfields Money, a West Australia-based bank. Commenting on his plans for a crypto bank, Schebesta said:
They’re [Goldfields Money] a $35 million market cap, tiny business, but a bank, and the only bank with an ADI in Western Australia. As crypto adoption takes off and it becomes bigger and bigger, people are going to [need] certain services [like] custodianship, cold storage, escrow, exchange, and spending. And then lending — lending is what makes the fiat economy [government-backed currency] work, and once lending really cranks up in crypto, that’s the thing that will basically take this to a whole other level.
Schebesta’s plans are at odds with the general banking sentiment towards the cryptocurrency industry in the country. Almost all major banks down under have taken swift steps to ban cryptocurrency purchases via credit cards. According to Schebesta, these banks are afraid of the market and have every reason to be.
The Finder co-founder illustrated the potential in the nascent crypto arena by comparing the earnings of Deutsche Bank and Binance. The former with almost 100,000 employees made a profit of $146 million in Q1 2018 while the latter with 300 employees made $200 million in profits during the same period.
Cryptocurrency is the Future
Schebesta expects his crypto bank to be up and running in the next year-and-a-half. Once operational, it will be the latest in a series of forays into the cryptocurrency arena. In September 2017, he launched a crypto-focused comparison platform that has become a significant subscriber favorite outstripping other markets like insurance and telecoms based on growth.
In February 2018, Schebesta also launched HiveEX, an over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency exchange platform. HiveX has achieved some success in the country, processing millions of dollars’ worth of transactions on a weekly basis. HiveX has also spawned HiveSpend, a bill-paying platform that utilizes cryptocurrency.
Schebesta believes that virtual currencies are the future, saying:
They’re going to lead the way. That’s where all the big money is. We’re living in the future. That’s what I’m all about. I think I’m a time traveler. I travel forward five years in the future, work it out then come back and try to take active steps to make it happen.
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