”Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt a wide range of industries and create innovation and growth”
ROY VAN KRIMPEN
On the possibilities that crypto can offer the lifestyle sectors
June 27, 2023
Who are you?
— I’m leading the Nordic and Benelux region for Binance. We’re now the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume and a wide range of crypto products and offerings, such as trading and finance, education, investment and incubation, decentralisation, and infrastructure solutions.
How has the last year been for you, and the industry?
— Crypto markets come in cycles. So far we’ve seen bull and bear markets tied to the timing of the Bitcoin halving every 4 years. We have yet to find out if this trend continues, but 2022 was a bear market for crypto, meaning that the prices dropped significantly compared to the previous year. It’s quite easy to be ’successful’ in a bull market when all prices go up, but it requires a more sustainable business model to survive a bear market. Our business model is pretty straightforward. We provide the service of buying, selling, holding and trading crypto for which we charge a fee. Trading happens when the market moves both up and down. In 2022, our users continued to trade and traded an average of €60bn per day. So for us, the business continues regardless of short term price fluctuation. We focus instead on building a long term sustainable Web3 industry.
How does the Nordics differ from other regions when it comes to crypto?
— It’s a tech-savvy and innovative region, but its adoption rate of cryptocurrencies is still below the global average. This is due to several factors, including the fact that the financial system in the region is already quite advanced and innovative, which can make it harder for new systems to gain a foothold. Additionally, the population in the Nordic countries tends to be more risk-averse, which makes them less likely to adopt new technologies that they may see as uncertain or untested. Finally, there is also a lack of widespread education and awareness around cryptocurrencies, which can make it harder for people to understand their benefits and potential use cases, says van Krimpen, also noting:
— Despite these challenges, we believe that there is still a lot of potential for growth in the cryptocurrency market in the Nordic region. As awareness and education around the technology continue to grow, and as more businesses and individuals explore the benefits of cryptocurrencies, we expect to see continued growth and innovation in the space.
How has consumer behaviour changed over the last few years?
— 2021 was a year of unseen price increases, which resulted in huge profits for investors, but also a lot of Fear Of Missing Out for new market entrants. Price increases predominantly due to speculation isn’t sustainable growth. Usage and innovation of blockchain technology need to increase to become a more valuable industry. The actual users of blockchain technology will stay during a bear market. These users often have a higher conviction of utility and innovation that blockchain brings. Currently we do see the usage of blockchain and the number of users increase over time.
How can companies in the lifestyle and tech industries use these technologies in their daily operations? What are the pros and cons? Where to start?
— Blockchain technology provides a secure and decentralized platform for transactions and data storage. It uses cryptography and consensus algorithms to create an immutable public ledger that ensures transparency, reduces the risk of fraud, and increases efficiency. With blockchain, parties can engage in trustless transactions without the need for intermediaries, which can reduce costs and increase access to financial services.
— As an example of its cost efficiency, we publicly made a transaction worth $980 million in 15 seconds for just $1.29 through the blockchain. This is unprecedented in traditional financial systems. High-value transactions with fiat currency typically involve multiple intermediaries, which results in high fees and multiple business days to complete. Overall, blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt a wide range of industries and create new opportunities for innovation and growth.
— Before diving into the world of cryptocurrencies, it’s important to learn the basics and mitigate risks. This means doing your homework and researching the technology and potential investment opportunities. Joining online communities and forums is also a great way to stay informed and connect with others who share your interests. So take the time to learn before you earn, and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way!
Are you optimistic about how it will develop onwards? And what are the challenges?
— I believe that blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise a wide range of industries, from finance to healthcare to supply chain management. As more businesses and individuals adopt cryptocurrency, I expect to see increased innovation and growth in the space. However, to achieve this growth, sensible regulation is necessary. The EU is making great progress on this front with the upcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation. It creates a comprehensive legal framework for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, which will help to promote innovation while protecting consumers and investors. There are still challenges to overcome, such as scalability and interoperability, but I’m confident that the industry will continue to make progress in addressing these issues. Overall, I’m excited about the potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and look forward to seeing how they will continue to evolve and disrupt industries in the years to come.
And for you, what’s next?
— We provide educational resources, work with regulators, and develop new products and services to meet evolving needs. In addition, we are planning to offer more localised product and service offerings to better serve our users.