Can you tell us a little about yourself Lorien (including your hobbies) and your professional experience so far?
I am the founder/CEO of Bankymoon, a blockchain and blockchain advisory and development company and co-founder/CEO of Centbee, a blockchain payments and remittance company. I also serve as a Blockchain Association ambassador. I am also a classically trained guitarist.
As one of the world’s foremost blockchain experts, I have been invited to speak internationally on digital/cryptocurrencies and decentralised/distributed ledgers and their benefits for emerging economies. I have addressed and advised the United Nations, IMF, World Bank, FBI and Commonwealth Secretariat, the South African Reserve Bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, TEDx and a host of professionals in multiple industries and attorneys general throughout the world. I offer insight and guidance to universities, business executives and advise governments on blockchain technologies and their implications.
I pioneered blockchain payments for utility smart metering and was the co-founder of the Blockchain Academy which educates professionals on all aspects of blockchains from regulations to software development.
Centbee has a suite of digital cash products and services that make payments easy, even cross-border. Could you elaborate how exactly clients are benefitting from this?
Centbee focuses on the global market of people who want to make digital and low cost payments for goods and services but who don’t have access to traditional digital financial services. Centbee also provides a cross-border remittance server which makes it easy for people to send money cross-border, to bank accounts, mobile money wallets and cash collection outlets. Currently, the cost for sending money cross-border is very high. Centbee leverages blockchain technology to greatly reduce the cost of sending money and to speed up the time of settlement.
Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Sarah Idahosa, Founder at WomenInDeFi
Global blockchain payments wallet, Centbee raised $1 million Pre-Series funding recently from Ayre ventures. We’d love to know some of your plans for Centbee.
Centbee intends to scale its services globally. This is possible because of the global nature of the Bitcoin Blockchain. We will be ramping up our marketing effort to reach a global customer base. We will also be working on building partnerships at the local level to make it easier for people to Top Up their wallets and to spend them on the goods and services people need.
Could you explain how blockchain can be used as an alternative option to the traditional digital payment sector which is not accessible to large numbers of people in the emerging economies?
Blockchain can serve as an alternative option to the traditional digital payment sector in emerging economies because it is a global network, much like the internet. It follows all the rules around payments which means that it can provide financial services to people who may not have access to traditional financial services.
For example, in countries where the traditional banking infrastructure is not well-developed, many people may not have access to bank accounts or credit cards, making it difficult for them to participate in the digital economy. Blockchain can provide an alternative by allowing people to store, send and receive digital cash using only a mobile phone and internet connection.
Additionally, cross-border remittances are often expensive and slow, with high fees and long wait times for the funds to reach their destination. Blockchain can provide a cheaper and faster alternative as it can be transferred almost instantly and with minimal fees.
In summary, blockchain can provide financial services to people who may not have access to traditional banking systems by providing an alternative means of storing, sending and receiving digital cash, and providing an alternative means of cross-border remittances.
Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Jeff Siegel, Chief Executive Officer at BitRail
Can you discuss a little on some of the latest innovations in the blockchain domain that have helped reduce fraud while increasing overall security and compliance of payments wallet systems?
Existing regulations around cash transactions require that all transactions must be traceable. Anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations must be implemented by financial services companies who must maintain records of cash transactions for a certain period of time. This helps prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.
Blockchain makes all of these requirements easily enforced since it is a transparent, albeit private, ledger which makes it easy to trace all transactions. The identity of persons responsible for transactions can be known which can facilitate the enforcement of all relevant laws. Fraud is limited since it is not possible to alter records.
Could you share some last-minute tips for CEO’s in upcoming blockchain startups – what are the top few things they should always keep in mind?
Understand your target market: It is crucial to have a clear understanding of who your target market is and what their needs are. This will help you to develop a product or service that meets their needs and will be more likely to succeed in the market.
Stay compliant: Make sure that your business is compliant with all relevant regulations, including laws around anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations. Failure to comply with regulations can result in legal and financial penalties.
Build a strong team: A successful blockchain startup requires a team of skilled and experienced professionals. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have experience in the industry and can bring a diverse set of skills to the table.
Secure your platform: As blockchain is a secure technology, that doesn’t mean that a blockchain-based platform is secure by default. It’s important to ensure that your platform is secure and that you have proper measures in place to protect against hacking and other security threats.
Keep an eye on the competition: It’s important to stay aware of what other companies in the space are doing and to be able to adapt and evolve your business strategy accordingly.
Be prepared for scalability: As your business grows, you need to be able to scale your platform and infrastructure to meet the growing demands. Plan for scalability from the start and make sure that your system can handle an increase in transactions.
Communicate effectively with your customers and community: Building a strong relationship with your customers and community is crucial for a blockchain startup. Make sure to keep them informed of updates, changes, and upcoming features through various channels such as social media, email, and newsletters.
As one of the world’s foremost blockchain experts, what advice would you like to give our 350 million global crypto investors?
It’s important to remember that investing in blockchain is a high-risk investment, and as such, it’s crucial to do your own research, be aware of the risks and consider your own personal circumstances before investing.
Do your research: Before investing in any blockchain, it’s important to thoroughly research the project and understand its goals, team, and technology. This will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not to invest.
Diversify your portfolio: As with any investment, it’s important to diversify your portfolio. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and invest in a variety of different cryptocurrencies to minimise risk.
Keep an eye on regulations: Blockchain regulations vary from country to country and can change frequently. Keep an eye on regulations in your country and in countries where the projects you’re investing in are based to ensure that your investment is compliant.
Be prepared for volatility: Blockchain markets can be highly volatile, with prices fluctuating rapidly. Be prepared for this volatility and don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.
Use secure wallets: Keeping your blockchain in a secure wallet is crucial to ensure the safety of your investment. Avoid keeping your blockchain on an exchange and use hardware wallets or paper wallets that are considered safe.
Stay informed: The crypto industry is fast-moving and constantly evolving. Stay informed about new developments and trends to make informed investment decisions.
Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Sarah Idahosa, Founder at WomenInDeFi
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the your industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
I would like to hear from Dr Craig S Wright who is the chief scientist at nChain, a world leader in blockchain patents.
Tell us about some of the top FinTech events that you’ll be participating in (as a speaker or guest) in 2023.
I will be speaking at the annual London Blockchain Conference in May 2023.
I will also be speaking at the Africa RegTech conference in Lagos Nigeria in 2023.
Thank you, Lorien! That was fun and we hope to see you back on globalfintechseries.com soon.
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Lorien Gamaroff is the founder/CEO of Bankymoon, a blockchain and cryptocurrency consultancy and co-founder/CEO of Centbee, a cryptocurrency payments and remittance company. He also serves as a Bitcoin Association ambassador.
As one of the world’s foremost blockchain experts, Lorien has been invited to speak internationally on digital/cryptocurrencies and decentralised/distributed ledgers and their benefits for emerging economies. He has addressed and advised the United Nations, IMF, World Bank, FBI and Commonwealth Secretariat, several Central Banks, TEDx and a host of professionals in multiple industries and attorneys general throughout the world. He offers insight and guidance to universities, business executives and advises governments on blockchain technologies and their implications.
He pioneered blockchain payments for utility smart metering and was the co-founder of the Blockchain Academy which educates professionals on all aspects of blockchains from regulations to software development.