Cashless Society is Inevitable : Interview with Bobby Ong from CoinGecko ②

We had the opportunity to interview the co-founder of CoinGecko, Bobby Ong, and hear about cryptocurrency data collection and analysis from different angles of the Crypto market. Bobby also shares the story of his Crypto journey that lead him to the foundation of CoinGecko. Please have look at his amazing story and views.

Bobby Ong(Co-Founder at CoinGecko)

Interview Date :25th February 2020


Malaysia is very proactive regarding Crypto

Malaysia has taken a quite a proactive role in drafting crypto regulation. The government has given out 3 licenses to 3 exchanges so far. One of them called Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd has started operating, while the 2 other exchanges, SINEGY Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd and Tokenize Technology (M) Sdn Bhd, are still pending final approval. I think that in terms of associations, there are multiple association, but they are not the kind of self-regulatory bodies like it is in Japan.

Nevertheless, I think the Malaysian government is very progressive, they look at cryptocurrency as another capital market. They have now started regulating not only crypto, but will also be regulating ICO fundraising as well. I don’t know if it’s going to take another 1 year or 2, but when the regulations are put in place, then exchanges will also be able to have ICOs on their platforms. The Securities Commission in Malaysia are looking at it as another funding for start-up companies.

Not be able attract Japanese Users

Every country has its own nuance, and its own market. I don’t think you can try to compare American users to Japanese users because of the difference in the market and of the market scale. In Japan, people can only trade with a few crypto coins that are approved by the JVCEA. They of course can go to Binance and buy other platforms to buy coins from there, but that is not very popular in Japan as of yet. For American users are excluded from a lot of crypto places and platforms due to regulation, but they always find some sort of a loophole. 

Then, when you consider the European users, they like to trade everywhere and try every kind of tokens, and it does not seem to matter whether it is an Asian platform or a western platform. So there are many factors of nationality traits to consider as well. One problem that is hindering many people is the language barrier; a lot of these platforms and apps are in English. ln Japan, you will not be able attract Japanese users right from the start. Unless the Japanese people have a strong English knowledge or have a preference for using English, I imagine it will be hard.

The movement towards a cashless society is inevitable

The movement towards a cashless society is inevitable, and it’s quite akin to us carrying cash around, and the methods of going around with money is versatile. If you go to countries like China and Sweden, you will notice that people hardly use cash these days. The central banks has a couple of methods of issuing central bank digital currencies. Whichever model a country chooses will impact a role of a commercial bank in the ecosystem of that country, because commercial banks are used to grow the money supply through the loans that they handle based on the ratio that they have in the central banks. So I think it is inevitable the movement towards cashless society, and it is attractive to governments because it is cheape, as it is not cheap to print money and to maintain the money. 

Money gets destroyed and coins disappear all the time, and so governments would want e-money. Cash is also used a lot for money laundering, and all sorts of illegal purposes like drug trafficking etc., whereas with digital money its really hard to do money laundering. Everything has a paper trail and you can audit and track back to where the money trail comes from. I think in general digital money is definitely coming, but I also think that e-money is still a concept central banks are still uncertain about. It’s is very interesting to see what these countries have put out. We will see a couple more models being launched by these countries in the near future, and see how they will work out.

Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada



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