Crypto in Canada - Jordan Anderson
In this interview, Matt Zahab interviews Jordan Anderson, COO of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Bitbuy. They discuss building a crypto exchange in Canada, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and history of Bitcoin and crypto in Canada.
1:36 Journey into crypto
7:43 Building a crypto exchange in Canada
10:58 Partnering with Murda on the Beat
14:29 Partnering with the Ottawa Senators
17:35 The Canadian history of bitcoin & crypto
26:26 Cryptocurrency ETFs
32:10 Why use Bitbuy?
37:40 Struggles of building an exchange in Canada
41:10 What's stopping Canada from becoming a crypto hub? 45:39 Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
47:44 Bitbuy's design makeover
51:23 Dogecoin on Bitbuy?
54:26 Bitcoin to 100k?
The episode premiered on April 30, 2021.
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Matt Zahab: 0:08
Folks, today's guest is the first Canadian we've ever had on the show. He's actually recording this episode from the penalty box at his local hockey rink. I'm joking, not actually. He's currently in Toronto, Ontario, the biggest investment in Canada. This gentleman got into crypto way back in 2014 when he co founded InstaBT. Talk about being ahead of the curve. Present day, he's the chief operating officer of bitbuy, where he oversees sales, marketing and customer experience. I'm pleased to welcome to the crypto news podcast, Jordan Anderson. Jordan, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, Matt. Pleasure to be here.
Absolutey. Man, am I excited for this one? To see a Canadian for the first time. It's nice you know, when when you can talk someone and they understand when you say Toronto, and when you can throw the eh's out there and be a little more native.
Can we swear on this podcast?
It's technically a kid show. But yeah, we can drop a couple of bombs.
Fuckin right eh?
Well, we'll have to mark the explicit on here. But I really appreciate you jumping on here, Jordan, and bitbuy what an incredible company. I actually use bit by been using them for a while you guys did a really cool rebrand, which we will get into shortly. Love the new the new orange feng shui way and the new UX on the website. But before we jump into that, I love if you could tell our guests a little bit more about yourself and how you got into crypto and blockchain.
Yeah, totally. Thanks so much, again, for having me pleasure to be here. My journey in crypto started back in 2013. When basically, I kind of was just, you know, learning about new technologies and I had a friend at the time who knew about a lot of different types of technologies. And, you know, he kind of came to me and said, what do you know about Bitcoin, you've heard about this stuff? And I didn't know much about it and we started sort of going down the proverbial rabbit hole watching documentaries, trying to figure out the story behind Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto and that's what I really sort of was drawn to Bitcoin was like, just this whole mysterious shroud of mystery behind the creation of the coin, and what did it really mean? And I went through the financial crisis in university, and it did affect my family and kind of hit us pretty hard. And in the sense that, like, I went into a lot of student debt, and I just didn't really understand the financial system too well. And I know that as I learned more and more about Bitcoin, I was thinking, well, this alternative money and the digital money, and maybe it could work and so with that, and with InstaBT, we kind of decided that maybe we could start a business in the space, because we want to figure out, okay, how can we actually buy the coin, and I was working in digital marketing and at the time, back in 2013, so we basically got on board with starting this InstaBT with a couple co founders, and the idea was, is like, how can you just buy a little bit of Bitcoin online and actually put it on a wallet or just hold it? Like, it wasn't a lot of places to do that. And so we basically created a way to buy bitcoin using what was interact cards, interact online. And so, we had to do an integration with interact. We had, it was just half a Bitcoin at the time, which was like 100 bucks back then. And it was like on the website was like 5.5 Bitcoin It was like InstaBT with this, like little pop can opener logo. And my focus, because I, at the time, was very experienced with digital marketing, Google AdWords, I was trying to get the name out there, get the advertising out there and help out in really any way I can. And, you know, 2014 came around, we launched a website, you know, some people were using it, didn't really go anywhere. It wasn't really much back at the time. And it was it was a side gig. I was working full time, as I mentioned in digital marketing, but I really got like a nice early exposure to the industry was able to attend the Bitcoin Expo in 2014. You know, wear metallic booter and Joseph Lubin, and and this was in Toronto, Of course, and Anthony Diorio like how to booth and I got like a free Ethereum t shirt. And these guys were just starting out, they hadn't even launched the presale. And I was like, Oh, what's this Ethereum stuff. And there was other Bitcoin ATMs there. And guys were speaking, there was a few exchanges at the time, one of the big ones in Canada that was out of, it was out of near Hamilton, Vault of Satoshi. And that was like a big, that was a big name back then. Of course, you know, cracking was sort of around, they ended up buying one of the exchanges in Canada. And it was, you know, quite early on. And there was a few places to kind of get these coins, but they're all super sketchy, and nothing really worked well. And the space was so early that the technology was just kind of getting started. So we built this site, it was kind of put on the backburner didn't really go too far. And then I ended up, not really, that didn't really take off. And I wanted, I went and worked for Yahoo at the time, and then I spent a couple years there. And then I ended up leaving there after Yahoo got acquired by Verizon and jumping back in full time into the space with one of my current business partners, Adam, who's founder here at bitbuy. And that was at the end of 2017, after the bull run. And that's when I jumped back into Bitbuy full time, it's just three of us, then. And I basically, I made a bunch of cash in the corporate world, I was sick of corporate life being a cog in the wheel, I saved up the money, I was like, this is my last shot, to go build a startup to take risk. And I saw what was happening in the crypto space, as with the last Bull Run, and basically I said to myself, you know, this is here to stay. So even if this, you know, even if I'm going to bet on the Bitcoin industry, I'm going to bet on it now, because it's kind of proved itself with the amount of capital that's come in. And I think it sucked in a lot of people that last Bull Run. And that's when I really got sucked in full time, even though it was in my periphery with the previous venture. And so yeah, I just said, fuck it, I'm coming in full time. And there was a spot open up and I came in to do sales and marketing and growth, similar to like the stuff that you're doing. And then we had Adam who is more focused on technology and security and another partner full time on more of like engineering technology side and I'm one more on finance, and compliance.
And, again, it's awesome hearing about that, because I'm a bitbuy user and I have been for a while now. One of the best parts about bitbuy is that, one its Canadian, obviously. And secondly, you tailor and cater towards the rookies, and the vets you have the OTC you have the Express trade, the pro trade, a multitude of different features on the website and the platform. But can you tell me if you have any funny stories or interesting stories about the early days of bitbuy? And how much of a shit show and how much of a struggle It must have been getting the word out there and trying to convince people like hey, one bitcoin is not a scam. And two, you can buy it on Canada on a legitimate and seamless and simple platform.
Yeah, totally. Like I remember, like just starting out and it was very similar to the previous project, the InstaBT, where you could just buy and sell a bit, but you couldn't, you could only withdraw Bitcoin, you couldn't deposit it. And so I remember we were like, oh, we need deposits, we need to be able to cash people out. It's 2018. Like, everybody's cashing out, like, how are we going to do this. So we would just like created wallets online and we're like giving the addresses out how people put the Bitcoin back in and tracking it in a sheet and like, and then cashing people out that way to the bank accounts and sending them e-transfers because we didn't have that functionality built. But it was like a great way to prove that that was something that people really wanted to do like and then build the functionality after. Some crazy stories, like I remember, like having a few buddies, who knew that I was like, had quit my job and now I'm doing sales and growth at bitbuy and driving up and meeting them at like early 2018 when the whole markets crashing and meeting them and like taking an $80,000 Bank draft and then like driving it over to the bank and then like putting the draft into the account and then, you know, trying to get that money into his account and just all these like things like I would never do now like but we were just trying to figure it out. We're learning along the way. Like what worked, what didn't work like that year 2018 for us was just such a big learning year throughout that whole, you know, crypto winter year was just like what works, what doesn't work? How do we scale this thing? Where how do we get web traffic? How do we get users? where, you know, where are where the whales, you know, what's OTC like, all this stuff, because we didn't, you know, a couple of us had a more traditional financial background. But, you know, like I said, my background was primarily focused in digital advertising. And so, you know, scaling and scaling this thing and like, implementing a lot of these processes and these different lines of business was was such an amazing learning curve, that I really look back on and just say, wow, like, you know, how did I figure it all out? To a certain extent, and I'm still learning all the time and still figuring it out. And that's what I love about this. Business is like that I get to constantly learning and constantly figure things out.
Life baby like you guys aren't really a startup anymore, you're on your way to becoming a behemoth. But over the last couple months, bitbuy has really made some moves to get the brand and get the platform in front of the Canadian consumer. Before we get into the nitty gritty of bitbuy excuse me, I want to talk on some of the really cool partnerships that you guys have done. Now one, and this has bananas, I have no clue how you guys got this up and running. But you did a partnership and I saw this on Twitter with murder on the beat, how the heck did that come to fruition?
Murder on the beat, so it's not nice. A lot of people probably have no idea who he is. But funny enough was that my days at Western University, I had a friend there, Cory Litwin that I used to do a bunch of different types of, you know, business with whether it was you know, promoting different parties, that's what sort of were his specialty was or, you know, different trips or concerts. And so he ended up basically working with murda through his come up and being his managers from right back from back in the day, like maybe four or five years ago when murda was just getting started. Because murda's a Canadian, he's from I think, Stratford, Ontario, if I'm not mistaken, or maybe not Stratford but somewhere out west by like Niagara and so he kind of linked up with Corey and he's his manager and I saw that like murda was tweeting about Bitcoin and so I linked back up with Corey and somehow we were able to put together a pretty sweet you know, promotional partnership where he was able to kind of put us on on Twitter and a few other social media sites which was pretty cool
Hilarious. Whens, he was also on this palm too I don't know if you saw that up in palms place in Miami, I think Yeah, I saw it on Twitter but when's the when's the bitbuy x murder beats you know, track coming out.
I don't know, I think he kind of put a little bit of a rhyme in the video that we had. Like, he's like, you know, something like buy bitcoin today if you can in Canada on bitbuy.ca and I kind of made it rhyme a little bit but ya no, it's incredible like to have to see Cory and murda get big and you know, produce the music with Drake and you know, move to LA and really like take off, it's definitely like inspiring and great to have like those types of guys in your network to kind of keep you motivated and see all the things that like you know, people from our hometown Toronto can achieve.
Jordan mentioned there number one Western University, if you are in the ages of 19 and we'll call it early 20s. Once the pandemic is over, go check out Western if you want to have a good time. It is a treat and a half and a party and a half and it will not disappoint. Definitely a very easy spot to get to spend your four years of undergrad definitely check that out. And secondly, murder on the beats Canadian producer who is one of the biggest in the rap game right now. So also check his stuff out as well. The second partnership I want to talk about Ottawa senators. For those who do not know the Ottawa senators are a hockey team in the National Hockey League. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the sens are, let's just say this year they are poo, to put it in the most polite terms possible. However, you guys hooked up a very good looking board side ad with the new bitbuy logo. I believe it's on the sens bench in the neutral zone to start Just close to the blue line hash. And you guys did something really cool. And you drop the new logo and the new design the new branding before the public actually saw it. What was the thought process behind that? And how did that actually pop off?
Yeah. So basically, internally, we have a lot of hockey fans. What a surprise, right? Canadian company and with alot of hockey fans, but I don't know if you remember, but, you know, we're from Toronto and the Leafs are playing in Ottawa that night. Yeah. And so part of our thinking was like to it's like, we want to make sure that, you know, people in Ontario know where Toronto with the Leafs in Ottawa, huge rivalry, of course, I'll tell you right off the bat, you know, I'm more of a leafs fan myself than a sens fan. And we figured, you know, it'd be a great way to engage people on social media, like cash, the new logo, take a photo. And then I believe, you know, we had our users or our customers taking photos, and then tweeting the photo of the board of the logo on the board. And then we were able to do randomly given a giveaway a bunch of cash, I think, like, we randomly gave away like, 1000 bucks or something like that, and a bunch of these new logo branded hoodies just to get a bunch of people engaged and I had a few eople in my network just rand mly reach out to me and say, oh, is that you, I think I saw our, I think I saw a bitbuy on he hockey game. Right. So ye h, I think it was just kind of get people engaged, get people e cited about the new brand, and g t people excited about the ne logo, and really just get our name out there, you know, associ ted with, you know, two of Canad 's top sports franchises. hich is incredible and, you kno , really just kind of making su e that, you know, I think there' just a lot of crossover be ween hockey and crypto and a diences and stuff like that. S it just seemed to make a lot o sense for us.
And that screams clout. Like if you have your brand name on a board side ad and NHL hockey rink, you must be doing something right. And most Canadians trust hockey, they trust the NHL. So when they see the bitbuy logo there they go, alright, these guys must be in business and hopefully they check you out and throw a couple 100 or grand or her mil into bitcoin ether or something else good and, and watch it go to the moon.
Get your you know, get your Tim Hortons and then you know, log on and buy some crypto.
You got it. Now, I've listened to a couple of your interviews online, I've read a bunch of your articles in prep for this show. And you have a very high level understanding of not only the history of Bitcoin and crypto, but the history of Bitcoin in Canada. And this would be great for our Canadian listeners, and we have quite a few of them quite a lot of them. It'd be great for them to learn a little bit more about the history of Bitcoin in Canada and what we could look forward to in the future. I'd love if you could just kick us off and tell us how that started and where we are present day.
Yeah, totally, so kind of going back to a few of the mentions I was making before going to that Bitcoin Expo 2014. Ethereum was originally founded here in Canada. And I think everybody knows Ethereum by vitalik who is a Canadian, who moved here from Russia, I think at a young age at decentral. So I actually remember going to decentral, which was basically a Bitcoin meetup hub house, right at Spadina, and King Street West. And it was just this house and you could go there and there's like a Bitcoin ATM. And there was a bunch of Bitcoin meetups, when it was just very early on and not a lot of people knew about what Bitcoin was or what crypto was. And so that was a really cool sort of gathering spot for people in the industry early on. Before I was really seriously even in the industry myself, but I luckily had a chance to go there. And so originally vitalik was a writer for Bitcoin magazine, and he was going to these meetups. And then he partnered up, as I mentioned, with Joseph Lubin, Anthony Diorio and a bunch of other folks, and he was the brainchild behind the ethereum project and that came out of Toronto. So I think that in terms of crypto folklore, that's really the one of the big highlights for Canada and especially Toronto, where bitbuy's based, that Ethereum was born here, which is pretty incredible. And then beyond that, for more of the general Canadian population, like I mentioned early on, there was a few Bitcoin exchanges, where you could get crypto, there was InstaBT which we started but that was really small and didn't really take off like that bike did. There was something called Quick BT, by a guy named Jamie Robinson, who just it was a very simple way to buy crypto online and he eventually shut that. That eventually got taken down. But I remember speaking to him once, and he said, you know what, this isn't even a crypto buying service, this is a fraud mitigation service. Which basically meant that most of the time, he was just trying to cut that fraud to get people's Fiat on as well on ramp into the space. You had as I mentioned, here, vertex vault of Satoshi some early exchanges seed vertex was an early exchange in Canada, it was actually acquired by crackin and got cracking foot into the Canadian market because they're, of course, the Canadian US Bitcoin exchange based out of San Francisco. And then they subsequently had a big office in Halifax. And not a lot of people know this, but bitbuy actually has a small office in Halifax now and we have a few folks out there. So Halifax, in of itself has become a little crypto hub for Canada. Then, of course, you have Vancouver, and you had quadriga cx with based out of there and that is sort of where things kind of get a little bit nasty, and ugly for crypto in Canada with that exchange and with what happened in the last Bull Run with of course, joe cotton, and there's a great documentary that recently was done. And it was by the same YouTuber who did all the Satoshi, the who is Satoshi Nakamoto videos. I'm just trying to look it up, the name of that guy. So that of course, for those that don't know, was a huge, huge ugly stain, I won't get too much into it. But that's by barely sociable. So if anybody wants to look that up, I highly recommend that just to learn more about that he did a great job of covering it. And he has a bunch of great videos on different types of mysteries and things like that. This was obviously a big mystery that led to $190 million of people's funds, basically being lost. And they shut down early 2019 after that whole screw up and mystery and I don't, we can get a little bit into that if you want. And because it is part of Canadian crypto history and essentially, you know, a guy named Joe cotton and some other folks basically, were running an insolvent cryptocurrency exchange and made off with a ton of people's money and apparently died in India from Crohn's disease. So sort of unsolved mystery there. And I think it kind of led to a lot of scrutiny being put on companies like bitbuy, and coin square and other Bitcoin exchanges here in Canada, or Bitcoin trading platforms, the more accurate way to kind of coin these companies. And so that kind of led you know, a lot and there was another exchange defunct, a Bitcoin trading platform, Einstein exchange, that kind of similar thing happened on a smaller scale and so you had this Bitcoin, CA Reddit, which was a big thing, it still is a big thing, but less so it's more back then where all the Bitcoin users in Canada would kind of come in, I think there's like round 15,000 subscribers redditors that use this forum now to talk about the best ways to buy bitcoin in Canada, because what a lot of people don't understand internationally is because Canada has its own banking system, and its own payment rails, it's been, American companies or global companies that come into Canada, they have to develop these local banking relationships, to be able to provide services to be able to Fiat on an off ramp. And so it's a little bit difficult, more difficult when you don't have boots on ground. So that's why Canadian companies have focused more on being able to help Canadians get their Canadian dollars into bitcoin and other digital assets versus other companies being able to do that. And so that's where really where bitbuy sort of emerged in 2018 with you know, after a bunch of these companies that were poorly run, kind of went under it, along with a few other crypto trading platforms Fiat on off ramps to be able to help Canadians get their money in and out of the crypto ecosystem.
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It's thriving. But one of the points he touched on, which was bang on was the focus on Canadian companies really hammering down on the CAD Canadian dollars and or fiat to crypto, which enables the consumer the Canadian consumer to actually own crypto. Now in the states you have Venmo you have cash app, you have apps like that in Canada, we don't have any that in Canada, we have something called Interac e transfer. When people think oh, you're sending money via email what the heck are you doing? it's actually pretty simple and very quick. It's seamless. You go into your banking app, I use TD I open up my you know my accounts, I go to e-transfer I find someone I want to send money to and boom, it's in their account Five minutes later on bitbuy it's probably the easiest way unless you're a whale and are doing north of 20k north of 25k it's probably the easiest way to put a couple 100 or a couple 1000 onto the platform. You put in the user and password that bitbuy gives you and then you also put in a little memo and once you log into bit bi you will get a notification 10 minutes later that says Congrats, your funds have been deposited and we'll get into that a little bit later in the show. Touching on the crypto in Canada point. We have just released, we as in Canada has just released a couple of ETFs. I believe there are two or three Bitcoin ETFs and the first ever Ethereum ETF also came out today. Evolve is spearheading that. I believe it's pretty darn cool. We were the front runners of that. I think we were the first ones in North America. I don't think anyone in the states is doing that yet. Yes, there is grayscale. Yes, you have micro strategy and you have marathon who have 1000s of Bitcoin on the balance sheet. But walk me through the whole ETF thing and why that's so important for people like my parents who are traditional investors, but also want exposure to Bitcoin.
Yeah, totally. I think Gemini custody, which is the exchange started by the Winklevoss twins, they actually do the custody for all the ETF providers. It started with more of a mutual fund set up with q BTC. Which, you know, which is Fred pi, and he basically thought the regulators or worked or, you know, maybe not fought, but he pushed for years to be able to get that fun live. And he was sort of the first one through the door, which is pretty, pretty incredible. And then some CIF purpose investments, they were able to get more of the ETF style, which I think basically adds a bit of a different settlement structure. I'm not exactly an expert in those vehicles to be this. Of course, you know, we at bitbuy focus on spot Bitcoin and spot Ethereum, which I like to compare this to buying a bar of gold versus buying a gold ETF or, you know, something that's going to give you exposure to the underlying asset. I think these ETFs are huge for the industry because they're obviously going to capture a lot more liquidity and a lot more wealth into these assets. And basically what happens is variable to put like your parents, like you said, they're able to put in money through their traditional financial system, like their broker for their investment advisor, wherever you can basically trade stocks and connect to exchanges and these you know, ETFs are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and you're able to, of course, then buy with your Canadian dollars through the ETF, there's also a US dollar one that's coming out I believe, and then own, you know, essentially shares that entitle you to Bitcoin, but you don't have to deal with any of the settlement or having an account on like a trading platform like BitBuy or, and then you will never be able to actually have the private keys or own the custody of the asset yourself, it'll always be done by a company like Gemini, for example. And then you'll pay annual premiums, that ongoing to be able to own the funds through that. So I think it's a great way just to kind of get started dip your toes, or if you really just don't want to deal with it, or, you know, maybe you don't have great aptitude to like create your own account on one of these trading platforms, or if you never want to hold the actual coins yourself, or move them into some other type of trading platform or, you know, smart contract, you know, DeFi alternative. There's lots of ways that this ecosystem exists. So there's just a very simple way to get exposure to the industry. And that's kind of how I would describe it and summarize it, and really, you know, use that, once again, that comparison towards actually having the asset in your hand, for example, like on your own private key, like a bar of gold, which kind of speaks to the principles of crypto if you study the origins of crypto and Bitcoin and understanding, you know, the libertarian ID ideologies around, you know, having your own money that may be outside of the control of a bank or a traditional system to a certain extent, like really owning that and controlling that, then that's sort of just a different approach. As opposed to having this type of investment vehicle that gets you exposure.
No, you're bang on but ETFs are great for the rookies to get into just like you said, get your feet wet. There's only 21 million Bitcoin and you want to have heck, you want to have at least a couple, but if you can afford a couple, you want to have at least a piece of one and on bitbuy you have the opportunity to actually own that fractionalized ownership and any percentage of that Bitcoin. You guys don't just offer Bitcoin, though you offer a multitude of cryptocurrencies, the big ones, the important ones, the stable coins, and it's also very intriguing for institutions in Canada to jump on the platform, if they want to throw Bitcoin on their balance sheet, you guys have OTC for the larger investments. And heck with all the companies with Tesla leading the charge, and MicroStrategy and other Canadian companies putting their coin on their balance sheet as well. How do you guys go about pitching to companies? Or when they come to you? How do you walk them through the whole go with us with OTC we have the knock storage? It's creme de la creme, it's you know, it's ironclad nothing's getting through, how do you walk them through that process and get them to store Bitcoin via bitbuy?
Yeah, it's a great question Matt. And I think that is especially applicable to anybody listening to the podcast that owns their own business, because you can literally do this with your auto body business, or your dental clinic or your hair salon, or your furniture business, or you, you know, and we've done all that, or you could do with a publicly traded company that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and trades on the TSX and NASDAQ. And we've done that too. So we kind of cover it from mom and pop all the way up. And it really ultimately comes down to the structure of your investment. Like, for example, if you have a business that has cash on its balance sheet, and you don't want to leave that cash in Canadian dollars, and you want to hold sort of your reserve asset in Bitcoin or another digital asset, you can do that. And what's great is you can come rate a bitbuy and you can enter, you can click right off the bat, you want to create a personal account or a business account. And if you click business account, it's going to walk you through that whole KYC fintrac registered signup process that we abide by, of course as a fintrac registered company, which you know, just to kind of speak to that bitbuys a money service business registered with contracts. More specifically, we're Avast which is a virtual asset service provider. So that's kind of the most forward looking registration here in Canada for these types of businesses and it requires a lot of work on our end internally to make sure that we're complying with those specific registration requirements. So what you got to do is you got to go through the KYC like, you will as an individual, but you have to KYC your business. And so we make it really easy, you sign up, you get KYC as individual first because if you own that business, you're still gonna have to get KYC as an individual as a basically like a beneficial owner of that business, or a shareholder or director of that business. And the KYC will have to be done on each one of those shareholders that owns more than 20%, or each one of those directors and so forth, right. And then you would then provide that same information on your corporation, such as your Articles of Incorporation, who owns the company, you know, making sure that everything is kosher, per se, and everything looks good. And you know, you're not on any terrorist watchlist blacklist, or, you know, criminal list, you know, you get the idea. And so we make that we've automated that whole process to make it really easy, so that we can process a high volume of those types of corporate or business onboarding, the same way, it's very similar to what you would do with a traditional investment account. Certain places when you're onboarding, you know, your business to, you could put, you can buy stocks with your business, or you can buy other assets with your business as well. So that's the first step, right, it's just getting on board with an account. And then once you're on board, it's very much a similar way that you have your account on bitbuy, you can buy bitcoin, you can wire it in, you can work directly with an account manager a bitbuy that's going to really give you that white glove service the whole way through, help you get on boarded, and help you get that bank wire and from your business, because ideally, if you're coming in with a business, you're probably doing some larger amounts, but nonetheless, bitbuy won't turn you away if you're doing smaller amounts with your business either. And so it's really then becomes around, you know, why would you put the funds in from your business, like I mentioned, you have extra cash on your balance sheet, you don't want to pay yourself that income and incur additional tax liability, paying yourself income from that business. So you can have it grow and potentially grow and protect yourself, protect your business, the cash in your business from you know, inflation can have that that Bitcoin on the balance sheet on the business, which is exactly what MicroStrategy did. Because with their extra cash reserves, and I think they even borrow more money to to buy more Bitcoin. And so that's how we're making that process easier. And that's how we're helping Canadians add Bitcoin to their balance sheet for their businesses here in Canada.
This is a question that a couple of guests chimed in and really wanted to talk about the struggles of building an exchange in Canada, absolute shit show. The struggles of building a crypto exchange in Canada. Give me the goods on that.
The oligopoly, the big five. Luckily, there's hundreds of financial institutions in Canada, credit unions, smaller banks, other schedule one banks that see, that understand the benefits of Bitcoin and crypto and understand why people want to use it and have high risk, higher risk, as they call it, departments that service this industry. So it's a bit of a while ago, it's a bit of a scavenger hunt, to like, find those banks and those institutions that will work with you. And so, that's always been kind of a struggle for these different companies, and still is a struggle because a lot of the smaller companies like they may not have the capital to pay the high fees to the smaller institutions that will bank crypto businesses. A lot of them didn't even exist when we were starting out. And then they would go to the big banks and then you're basically paying, playing what we call bank account whack a mole. Where you know, one, you have one bank account, and then that one gets shut down because they figure out you're not a software company or Bitcoin company, and then that one gets I was okay, so let's use this one over here. And, and so, you know, that's sort of the the saga for the Canadian crypto businesses that are trying to essentially use bank accounts and whether it's for operations or even just for, you know, paying their staff and so it hasn't been the most friendly environment in that sense, and I don't think they've quite wrapped their head around it, but I think all they see is withdrawals. Right? So I'm the type of person that I'll put myself in, you know, other people's shoes and try to understand their views on things and I think from the bank's point of view, as they see that, just that, you know, banks are, you know, supposed to get deposits, they're judged on how many deposits they have. And we don't really realize that here, because it's just five big ones, and they have tons of deposits. And, you know, that's their job but you know. In the states where it's more competitive, it's all about, okay, get the deposit, get the deposit, because the more money that is under their management, the more they can earn, lend that money out, you know, create more revenue for their bank. And I think what happens is, the banks here, they see the money flowing out and it doesn't come, it doesn't necessarily come back, right, it goes into this new alternative asset class that, you know, has ballooned in market cap now, to you know, well over a trillion dollars. And so, I think they feel threatened. And they feel that, you know, it's not actually good for business and ultimately don't want to support it, especially if they can't make money off it themselves. Like if the banks wanted you buying crypto Matt, don't you think they would just sell it to themselves?
It's the banks, they're catastrophicly slow with, you know, almost everything. Right. My next question, and this is one that every country in the world is probably scratching their heads out right now. How does Canada become the next, Wyoming? Or Miami or Malta, Singapore, Dubai a crypto friendly country and or city? All the points you just touched on, like, would it not make so much sense for Canada to go to the Big Five banks and be like, fellas, listen up, make crypto easy, make it sexy, make it simple. You know, many people are going to come to Canada one, we have some beautiful big cities, which could all be crypto hubs. Like, what's the, what's stopping us? What are the objections here?
I think it just comes down to regulation. And I think that, you know, there's also a certain amount of control. So why does regulation exist? I think regulation exists to try and, you know, maybe A protect their citizens, but B also, you know, Maine can maintain some sort of control over their citizens as well. So I think that's kind of what it comes down to is that the regulation can't keep up with the industry. And we're in a disruptive industry. And it's disrupting traditional banking that hasn't, you know, that's been around for hundreds of years. And it's disrupting fiat money that governments control. And so I think it's been hard for them to catch up and wrap their head around it and be able to innovate around it. So I think that's the biggest issue that we have. And so it takes, you know, certain folks within the actual government and the establishment to sort of push the agenda to say, look, no, we need to get, you know, involved in this, this is the future, this is where things are going. Money is going to go digital, the systems we're using are becoming outdated. This is becoming disruptive, the same way that Uber disrupted the taxi cab industry, or Airbnb is disrupted the hotel industry, you know, or email, you know, disrupted the postal industry, like this is the same kind of thing that's happening over and over in different industries and cryptocurrency is doing it towards the traditional banking and Fiat system. And so I think like, you know, maybe we can get there with the central bank, digital currencies and the integration and the embracing of Bitcoin and figuring out the right regulations, to put in place that don't stunt the industry and don't stop the innovation. Because, ultimately, I think there's innovations happening, whether they like it or not, so it's just really around figuring out the ways that they can work with the companies and the folks within the industry, so that they can embrace the change and ultimately, you know, empower their citizens to live better lives through these new types of innovations.
Imagine a city like Toronto was like, hey, everyone, bring your crypto and your crypto companies to Toronto, we're making it all tax free. Imagine the influx and that's a big dream. It's obviously a pipe dream. But like, Come on,
It would be incredible.
It's like the probably get our first Michelin star restaurant that you know, you got our, we got four hockey teams there, like we get an NFL team we probably get you know, it'd be it'd be insane.
Development. That's good. Yeah, yeah the Toronto St. Pat's bitbuy center. I love that. You brought up
I might have to move to Miami based on you know, everything that's happening down there.
Mayor Suarez. He's got a pretty good pitch. He's done his work. He knows what he's doing. You seen that on Twitter?
Oh, yeah, totally. And I don't know if you saw that news recently with the FTX stadium.
That is insane. That exchange is doing like, just bananas numbers.
Yeah. Well, Sam bank Roman fried. Right. SPF. They call them the brain. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So it's incredible. And so they bought the naming rights, things like a five year $135 million deal. It's crazy.
It's nothing. That's baby food for them with the kind of volume they're doing. It's an absolute walk in the park.
They're doing something right, I guess. Right?
Oh, of course. You brought up central bank digital currencies? cbdcs. Canada, how many years until we get one? I know. It's tough question.
I think we're at least five years away.
Five years away. Really?
Yeah, I think we're at least five years away. Because what is it really going to do? Right? Is it just going to be a replacement for interact and swift wires and electronic fund transfers. And, you know, prepaid bills, like think about how we use money now, right?
You don't touch money. I can't remember the last time I paid for anything and actual dolla dolla cash.
Yeah. But I think that this isn't even that. I think that this is disrupting those methods I just mentioned that it's the rails, the payment rails. And so if they put Canadian dollars on a blockchain, and then you just paid everything through a public blockchain that's accountable. And you would go and pay for coffee with Canadian dollars. And it would be technically central bank digital currency that's on a blockchain that uses cryptology and use QR codes and you use wallet addresses as your bank account, like, it's hard to imagine. But I think that's where we're going. And I think that the people that know crypto and that have moved crypto, and like, at least the younger generation, will know how to interact with those cbdcs when they get there. And you can kind of see it's already happening in China. So I think it's still ways off. But I think that that's how it could be structured and it could be provisioned by the Central Bank of Canada and I think it could be done. They just need to hire a shit ton of really amazing blockchain developers. And I don't think they'd make it in the ERC 20 token.
Now, well said, Jordan, I do love the new design on bitbuy us really, really popped it off with the new orange new feng shui and a lot of new functions and capabilities as well. I would love if you could tell our listeners a little bit more about that.
Yeah, so we wanted to do something new for this bull run. And we wanted to really mix it up. We thought we saw every other crypto trading platform was with the purple and we were with the purple. And we thought we'd bring it back as almost a throwback to our roots, where we originally had our logo in orange that kind of speaks to Bitcoin in of itself. And it reflects that classic cryptocurrency with the gold and the orange tones. And really what we're trying to represent is the growth and transformation. And then sort of the Navy, of course, giving it much more of a professional look and feel which we know that you know, our clients are demanding. We essentially upgraded by improving the log in experience. So we're gonna, we moved to new username logins which has been pretty painful for people to transition. But once they have it, we just believe that username logins are much more secure and much better experience for clients to maintain that security, which is one of our guiding principles of the business. We relaunched the mobile app on a new framework, React Native framework. So you're looking at much faster load times more responsive interfaces. And that really speaks to us wanting to be a mobile first company, longer user sessions so that they can, users can stay logged in, but still maintain that security. And we have a much more improved onboarding experience, as I was mentioning earlier, on our call around corporate and business accounts, including also just much quicker KYC onboarding, integrated OTC trades into the history, better wire transfer to lower fees we've reduced the fees on the Express trade down from half a percent to 20 basis points, which is point 2%. We've reduced bank wire withdrawal fees and we've also added authy, which is something that people really want, which is an additional two FA option. Of course, if you don't know what two FA is get on that it's just a must have and sort of modern online platforms, adding that additional security, not using SMS. We already had Google Authenticator, but we added authy, as well.
It's two factor authentication.
Yeah two factor authentication to basically make secure your account. So anytime, you know you have a bank account, or any type of account, even your email account, it's always good to have that two factor authentication on there. And then, really, like you said, all of that new branding and everything like that. And then what's really exciting is the framework that we've now put the platform on, will allow us to add a bunch more coins pretty swiftly, starting shortly with of course, chain link, which has been something that our users have been asking for for a while. And then we're looking at some other DeFi tokens such as, are they as well coming soon? And then there's more to come quickly after that. So that's the quick and dirty about the new bitbuy platform club that
When's Dogecoin jumping on board?
Well, it's a good question, we get a lot of demand for it. So it's something we're looking into, we're just evaluating it, and making sure that, you know, it's gonna fit in line with our principles. But I did hear that Mr. Elon Musk was throwing some Dogecoin on the next SpaceX rocket and literally flying it to the moon. So I don't know how true that is. But someone told me that the other day and I couldn't believe it.
What a hoax what a coin. That's 2021 in the meme wo ld for you. And folks, even th ugh this is a no free ads pod ast, I do use bitbuy myself. So we will give them the free ad here. When you sign up, it lite ally takes I think the whole p ocess takes about 10 minutes And that is literally until y u can actually deposit your Bi coin or whatever currenc you're into buying, go online hrough the KYC, which stands or know your clients very qu ck takes about two minutes the same standard process that you'd go through. Once yo 're done that you're signed n, you're good to go we get the two FA and that is a text to your phone or email to your em il account. Once you get that co e, plop it in and boom, you're ff to the races. You buy the Bit oin and shows up literal y 10 minutes later, once you hav that Bitcoin, you can send it to any other Bitcoin address around the world. And for ver low fees and very quick transac ion times as well. Again, o free ads. However, since I use this product, and it's a ood old Canadian company, we ha e to shout them out. Jordan, t is has been a treat. Couple ore questions, if you don't mind I know we spoke about Dogecoin quickly. I have to ask you abo t NFTs they've been popping off and taking the world by storm. don't know if you saw AM34 for my boy, Austin Matthews. He just released an NFT. The NHL is you now, probably coming out with th ir own version of NFT sho tly to follow NBA top shot . But what is your stance on N Ts? And where do you see thos popping off in Canada?
Well, I can you tell me what that sold for? Mr. 34?
I did not. I haven't been following it. I do know that a good chunk of the proceeds went to charity.
So it is for a good cause. Yeah, he's a good lad.
NFTs are incredible. I think it makes a lot of sense. I have one of those Samsung art TVs. So it's like, all my art that I see in my house on that TV is digital anyways. So why not pay for digital art as and put it on the blockchain to represent your ownership. And make sure that that's just a better way of sort of holding the title or the deed, as you might say, to that ownership of that piece of digital art. So to me, it makes a lot of sense. I think there's more than digitization of everything, including art and wearables and other types of assets and moving forward. It just to me, instead of all falls in line with what's happening. You know, we even have local artists shout out to Krista Kim. Her digital Mars has sold for $500,000 which was a really cool
Crazy things happening in the space. One last piece of digital art that was done on super rare, which is of course the digital art marketplace. So to me, you know, I think there's a lot of hype around NFTs right now people still don't really understand it the same way. Most people like don't understand cryptocurrency and the technology behind it. But I think as you learn more about Ethereum and crypto and DeFi, NFTs sort of start to make more and more sense. I personally don't own one yet. I just haven't had time, but I wanna buy one. I want to buy some NFTs, I think it's really cool. You know, I have some of my business partners over a bitbuy they have a team, of course, they're like, way more on top of their stuff than me. Like, I'm way more heads down. I'm just not doing this. So it's super cool. But, you know, I think like when you see where things are going online with digital, like the younger generation like you, they literally will meet up online like with their friends in like a digital environment they're walking around. And then they'll go in these digital environments, and go watch like a movie together in this digital world and like pay for it using like, some sort of crypto so you say to me, it's like, and when you hear about that those types of things that are happening, there's like NFTs and stuff like that. Now, for those that don't know, non fungible token, they seem to make a lot more sense. And basically, you know, for those that don't quite understand, I think what really clicked for me was that you have tokens, why they call them NFTs is because you have their non fungible tokens, meaning they're not fused in the like Ethereum, where like, you have lots of Ethereum and all of your Ethereum's are the same. It's literally like a one off version that lives on the blockchain like Ethereum, blockchain or smart contract that you know, you have to have the private keys to, and just a one off. So that's why it's non fungible, but it's a token. And that is essentially that file lives on top of that network and then you own it. So that was sort of when where it kind of clicked for me. And I hope that's helpful to people listening to just help help them better understand what an NFT is and sort of how it works. question before we let you go Jordan, Bitcoin to 100k. When's it happening nd how soon?
As long as everybody knows, this isn'T investment advice. I think it's inevitable. People will ask me oh, when's it going to 100k? I think, you know, or is it going to 100k? Is it going to 100k is a lot better question than when's it going to 100k?
Oh, it's definitely going to 100k that's what I'm asking. When is it going?
So if it's not a matter of if it's a matter of when, then as long as you dollar cost average, buy dips hold on long term, then, you know, it's kind of if you have that conviction, I think you'll be in a good spot. But I think we're going to see it in this cycle. I do. I really do. I wouldn't be surprised if it did by the end of the year.
You heard it, not financial advice, but Bitcoin 100k USD, non CAD, I guess that would be 130 CAD by them.
Yeah, well, it was just the other day was at 80,000 CAD. Yeah. So I mean, it's like crazy seem that far away that, you know, if you asked me a million USD, then I'd be really, my tongue would really be twisted. Oh, yeah. But I think you know, we're not that far off now. Right? at 16th. You know, and it ain't last week with the Coinbase IPO. Like all time highs of close to what 65,000 US. I don't think it quite got there. I think it's like 63.5.
Craziness. Jordan, this has been an absolute treat. I really appreciate you coming on. We're definitely gonna have you on for round two. And I look forward to buying into the bitbuy IPO in 2024 2025. So that'll be awesome.
Thanks, Matt. It's a pleasure being here.
Really appreciate it. Hope you have a great rest of the day. Folks, this is the cryptonews podcast. We hope you enjoyed listening to this one. If you'd liked this episode, we are going to be releasing many more like this. Please give us a subscribe. Check us out on Apple podcast and Spotify podcasts and anywhere else you can find podcasts. We hope you have a wonderful day and we will see you next episode. All the best