“We are like a digital ATM machine,” Datema quips, on opening the discussion. “At the outset, I noticed for those active in the crypto space, money to an exchange is very easy, but trying later to get money back was a pain point. We simply make it remarkably easy for people to get out of the crypto back into their preferred fiat currency.”
The first step for a client wanting to transact through Crypto2Cash is, of course, account creation, followed by verification of documents and then the depositing of the customer’s cryptos into a wallet the firm generates for each client.
Fast and efficient
“Customers can then request a quote in the currency of their choice,” Laugs elucidates, “and once they accept and confirm that, we can then complete the payment, the cryptos are sold, and the client has their fiat currencies in their designated account. We offer guaranteed liquidity at unrivalled speed and for up to EUR5 million per day.”
Datema explains there are as yet few competitors, and those that do exist are generally set up to repay into debit cards, credit cards and so forth, which is costly.
Ahead of the pack
“Our infrastructure very simply allows payment into the customer’s chosen bank account, and around the globe, there are very few of us that can offer that outcome,” he reports. “Even then, our service is somewhat unique we believe. Why? Because of the speed of execution and the range of currencies we offer. We are also more transparent, we show the client the price, there are no hidden costs, and the money is sent the same day or the next morning.”
Datema explains that for the wealth management universe, Crypto2Cash offers a simple payments gateway that is invaluable for any of them trading cryptos for their own books or for their clients.
Building a client base
He says the firm has been operating for around five months and has already accumulated an interesting client base of sizeable institutions spanning the Netherlands, the UK, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, as well as a variety of other clients dotted around many other countries.
“From this early experience,” he reports, “we can clearly confirm the need for being quoted in their local currencies, which is a real edge we offer over the market. And as we have a hands-on support team that can easily be reached by chat or phone, this results in a very rapid and personal response and transaction efficiency. This way, customers can see we are determined to provide the most effective solutions with the greatest of ease and confidence.”
There is also some misconception that high net worth individuals do not enter the crypto space directly, Datema observes. “They do,” he says, “including in Asia Pacific, but they want to deal with legitimate companies, proper exchanges and they want to be able to exit cleanly. We have a wide range of customers including many HNWIs, all attracted to us as a reliable party for completing their transactions. Moreover, boosting our proposition here in Asia, we can offer settlement in currencies that few competitors offer, whether that is Malaysian Ringgit, Thai Baht, Indonesian Rupiah, or others.”
Datema also explains that size is important, as the smaller the ticket the less efficient the pricing. “The sweet spot is actually between 50,000 and half a million dollars or Euros to fully offer a decent exit."
Expanding in Asia
Laugs expands on the great opportunity Asia-Pacific region offers. “We just opened a sizeable office in the Netherlands and we are growing fast out here,” he reports. “We are moving towards around the clock service in order to make sure that we can service the customers continuously, and the evidence thus far after a few months is very encouraging.”
A clear path forward
Datema explains that he has opened a payments company in The Netherlands at the end of 2013 and soon met up with some crypto players who needed support. “When I learned from them how slow and cumbersome it was for them to get their money back from the exchanges, I later began to build the solution, which we launched earlier this year.”
He explains the firm is 100% self-funded currently but will be seeking investors to increase the roll-out speeds worldwide. “So far it is like it is a very Dutch thing, first you save money, you build something, and it is not in our nature to borrow money and spin the wheel,” he comments. “We want to first have a solid business and then on the back of that business we will go for funding rounds, we are reaching that point right now.” Currently, it is the intention to raise EUR 1,5 million for a further rollout globally, particularly in Asia Pacific.
Believing in the new world
Datema is clearly a disciple of the crypto ideology. “With fiat currencies offering virtually no yield,” he reports, “there is a clear drive to seek out other assets, and I believe cryptos will become a bona fide asset class in the next three to five years, not only for HNWIs but also for institutions, including pension funds and I have some experience there as I used to work for one. The concern is extreme volatility, which is nerve-wracking for a lot of investors. But I believe in crypto and I believe in blockchain. Crypto is just the next step up, going from jewels to coins to paper money to credits, plastic money and now digital money. The key will be for central banks to embrace cryptos, but realistically that might take a long time.”
Datema says that anyone dabbling in cryptos should therefore consider approaching the market via an arbitrage fund rather than directly. “Arbitrage funds find mismatches in the markets and that results in less volatility for the investor. Those who want to approach cryptos directly need to understand these are still very early days, they almost need to approach this as writing off their money and then hoping they will get really lucky.”
Thirst for knowledge
The final word is on the market’s evolution for a knowledge perspective. “These are still very early days for the world of crypto,” Datema comments. “Education of the market is also vital, and something we enjoy sharing. We have been learning ourselves for the last couple of years and we are still learning every day. We believe in the product and we want to offer a really top quality service for people, so we aim for excellence and an optimal outcome for the clients.”