Are STOs and Crowdfunding Making a Comeback? CoinMetro’s Kevin Murcko Answers
We recently had an opportunity to chat with Kevin Murcko, the CEO of CoinMetro — a leading cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform. As a part of our conversation, we asked Kevin a few questions regarding the platform, its future, and more importantly, their Bond Sale. Here is what he had to say:
Q: Let’s start with the basics. What is CoinMetro? How is it different from other exchanges out there in today’s crypto market? A: CoinMetro was built with a vision that collectively we are building the future of finance. In saying this, we don’t mean just the team or our customers, we mean everyone that’s using, creating, or building on blockchain to remedy the wrongs of traditional finance. People deserve access to products that solve real problems and help them create wealth, help them create a better future for themselves.
CoinMetro was built by a team with decades of experience in traditional finance. The goal was to create a platform with all the tools a professional would ever need, but also simple enough for anyone from anywhere to use without the need of a user manual.
This idea of community that was growing inside of the crypto industry is the thing that finally pulled me away from my FX business. Traditional finance is copy-paste for the most part and everyone is a salesman. In FX liquidity providers and brokers alike don’t like to service winning clients.
It frustrated me to no end that when I spoke up no one listened. The micro-communities that were being fostered in crypto were amazing, they were vibrant, they were open, and they were full of like-minded (for the most part) people looking for a change. We took this idea of community and wrapped it into everything we do.
Our community is engaged, loyal, and it has helped us really fine-tune our user experience, our product base, and our image. Not to mention that our community has also helped fund the development and operations through our initial token sale and even now with our just launched Bond Sale. Without this community, CoinMetro would simply not exist.
I truly believe our community makes us different, but on the operational side, we do a lot that separates us from other exchanges. From the start, we began building local fiat onramps. We now have local and instant funding in Euro via SEPA Instant, in GBP via Faster Payments, and USD with Instant ACH. In addition, we have fiat rails through SWIFT for AUD and SEK and we are launching both EUR and USD SWIFT before the end of the year.
When it comes to fees, we have some of the lowest in the industry. Clients should not be burdened by fees. Honestly, I could go on answering this question well into 2021; the crypto retail market is underserved, period. The industry on a whole has terrible customer service, while ours is 24/7 and highly qualified.
The industry builds trading platforms based on traditional markets that are too complex for most and lacking in features for many, we build custom platforms for different client types and tailor the experience to the crypto market. The industry focuses on products where their clients lose money (think rekt leverage), we look to build products that create both active and passive income and actually want our clients to succeed. We do not make more money when our clients lose, we make much more when they win.
Q: Who are your target audience? A: As mentioned above, we cater to newcomers and professionals. We have high volume traders on our platform as well as customers that just want to buy their first bitcoin. Our products serve both audiences. Most of our customers are from Europe and the US.
Q: What are the different features offered on the platform? A: Let’s start with our easy to use dashboard widget where you can buy or swap any listed crypto asset in a few clicks, an exchange with all the tools you need and more features than any other deliverable exchange platform in the industry, a margin trading platform for experienced traders to trade with leverage and a copy trading platform where you can mirror the trades of a professional trader in real-time with no lag. This is a great way for new traders to get in and profit without having any trading skills.
In addition to this, all of our traders get access to a Twitter sentiment indicator used by hedge funds to help them determine which tokens are hot right now.
To top it all off we’ve built Europe’s first end-to-end security token platform where companies can list their offerings and investors from all over the world have access to invest in some of the most promising startups and companies. This is not only for institutional investors and the big players, but we are also opening up the opportunity for the little guy to get access to investing in companies that otherwise would be out of reach.
Q: Can you tell us more about how the platform decides whether to support a crypto trading pair or not? In other words, what is the process to list new tokens on CoinMetro? A: It is an internal process, and we select our tokens carefully. We list the majors but also projects that we truly believe in. We establish close collaborations with their teams and we’d rather go the quality route than list any token that comes up. We are also working together with some of the most aspiring players in the field getting into DeFi.
Q: We heard about the upcoming CoinMetro Bond offering, what are these bonds, and how does one benefit from it? A: The CoinMetro Bond is going live to the public on November the 3rd and this is something unique in the crypto space. The bond tokens are offered for a term of 2 years and pay the investors interest daily. At the end of the term, investors have a choice – they can either redeem their bond tokens for our native XCM token at a set price agreed on today or they can convert their bond tokens into equity-like growth tokens that give them the rights to revenue share, just like an early-stage investor would. Conversion will be at today’s valuation of €50 million.
For example, when investing €10,000 into the bond and converting to equity in two years the investor will earn a minimum interest of €1600 and when converting to equity-like growth tokens their stake would be 0.02% of the company. Imagine being able to invest in Coinbase during their seed round.
Q: Can you throw some light on CoinMetro’s new Security Token Platform? A: The Security Token Platform is where investors from all over the world can get their dibs on interesting companies. This doesn’t need to be limited to blockchain technology only, for example, the first project to be listed was a real estate development in one of the most prestigious winter resorts – Niseko, Japan.
We collaborate with a company called Ignium – a company connecting issuers with investors by enabling issuing, custody and global settlement of digital securities.
CoinMetro provides the platform for investment and secondary trading. All of this happens through a regulatory sandbox by the Capital Markets Authority of Montenegro.
Companies can issue their primary offerings in a compliant way so that investors have a safe platform to invest and trade on. The reason why STOs haven’t really taken off as expected is that most if not all STO platforms are siloed, they mimic the traditional market in this way, and this leads to walled-in markets and low liquidity. Together with Ignium we are working to solve this issue.
Q: Let us talk a bit about the team behind CoinMetro. A: We are a passionate team of 25 people from all over the world. Our backgrounds come from traditional finance and fintech. We believe in doing things the right way and we know regulation is the path to long term success. These have been our core values from the start – we’re not trying to sneak around the regulator, we’re working with them to create the needed regulation to make crypto trading a safe place for our customers.
We’re a hybrid team from all over the world with our HQ in Tallinn, Estonia.
Our core team comes from a background of building FX platforms, legal and compliance and capital markets. That’s where our core belief of taking the traditional and making it innovative comes from – years of experience coupled with a passion to create a better financial world.
Q: What are the future plans for CoinMetro? A: We’ve focused 2 years on perfecting our products and tech. Now we are ready to take it to the next level. As our tech is built in house, this ensures that we not only own the IP, but also have control over the functions and costs. We’ve opened up fiat on-ramps and continue to expand on that by acquiring new licensing and opening up new markets. We’ve grown 7x since the beginning of this year and we’ve reached these results from growing organic traffic and leveraging growth strategies on a bootstrapped budget. Now we are ready to really add fuel to the equation.
We’re ready for rapid growth as we have built a scalable infrastructure that starts from client onboarding and ends with transaction monitoring and includes everything in between. We will keep expanding our product offerings adding bank challenger products very soon such as debit cards, IBANs and much more.
We have BIG plans with lots of upcoming projects including our foray into DeFi and hybrid exchange solutions taking the best of the centralised and decentralised world, as well as large-scale partnerships with other players in crypto that will add more and more liquidity into our order books. CoinMetro might not yet be a household name but it is only a matter of time.
Q: Anything else you want to add? A: Crowdfunding seems to be all the rage again. We have seen campaigns from WireX, Change, and few other players in the past few months. Our Bond offering is so much more than a simple crowdfunding raise. Not only do we offer a fixed interest rate over two years that is paid daily, but we also give the investor the choice after being able to watch us for those two years if they want to become a part of the company or to cash out. And we are raising this money on a platform we built in-house which adds substantial value to our IP.
Did I mention that there is a secondary market as well? Super important… This means you can get out before the end of the two years or buy even more bond exposure to increase your daily cash flow on the back of the interest payments. It’s a very unique opportunity.