Cryptocurrency cannot be destroyed, says Alexander Mamasidikov, co-founder of MinePlex

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The crypto payments market is growing rapidly although some countries prohibit the circulation of digital assets. According to data from the analytical service Statista, around 6 million transactions are carried out daily around the world. The majority of crypto payments occur in Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Stellar, while the most active users still come from countries with […]

The crypto payments market is growing rapidly although some countries prohibit the circulation of digital assets. According to data from the analytical department Statistical, around 6 million transactions are carried out daily around the world. The majority of crypto payments occur in Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Stellar, while the most active users still come from countries with a low level of banking system development. This proves that cryptocurrencies have become not only an investment asset, but a fully functional payment method to be reckoned with. Even despite government bans, the crypto payments market will continue to grow with growth drivers such as these specific developing countries. We discussed the future of cryptocurrencies and crypto payments with the co-founder of mobile crypto banking MinePlex Alexander Mamasidikov.

Alexander, the crypto payments market is growing unevenly around the world. In some countries it is possible to buy for cryptocurrency almost anything from pizza to yachts, while in other countries, such as the CIS region, digital coins are practically prohibited? Why?

.Ðœ. : For a long time, governments ignored cryptocurrencies. Then they noticed the growing interest in crypto among the citizens and had to be careful. In some countries, the government’s position on fintech remains positive. In others, governments prohibit the circulation of cryptocurrencies. The root cause is the inability of governments to regulate digital assets. In addition, restrictive laws are linked to the inability to recover investor funds in the event of loss, security threats and money laundering. On the other hand, other countries allow the development of crypto companies and officially tax crypto such as, for example, Malta, Bermuda, Switzerland, Singapore, Germany.

How did the crypto-payments landscape change when Elon Musk publicly announced the refusal to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment? Have other companies followed and refused to accept crypto?

.Ðœ. : The main goal of the crypto industry is to make digital assets a means of daily payment, so that people can use and pay for them on par with fiat anywhere and without limitations. This is fertile ground for speculation, and Elon Musk is manipulating the public by first supporting crypto payments and then declining support in an effort to attract more interest in his business. In the past, Musk’s statements have indeed influenced the market and the price of cryptocurrencies, but this is no longer the case. There are now many projects that aspire to bring cryptocurrencies into real life. They are working tirelessly to transform the financial services market and they are not straying from this course.

Do you think cryptocurrencies can replace fiat money as a means of payment?

.Ðœ. : It is possible that in the future cryptocurrencies could replace fiat. But it won’t happen overnight. Nevertheless, already today, the circulation of crypto-currencies is taking off in developing countries. Research shows that the majority of transactions are carried out in these developing countries. It is explained by the lack of access to traditional financial services among citizens and very high commissions. The wide adoption of mobile networks and smartphones allows users to send crypto inside and outside the country when they don’t have access to banks.

Is it possible now to buy anything for crypto in Russia?

.М. : Statistically, the majority of Russian companies that accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment are located in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Many Internet stores accept bitcoins. It is possible to buy many products ranging from electronics to plane tickets to bitcoins. In addition, it is possible to find individual entrepreneurs who sell goods and services for cryptocurrencies. Many transactions are done on exchange platforms such as cryptocurrency exchanges, P2P platforms, and OTC platforms.

Do you think the creation of CBDC is aimed at destroying the crypto market and making the electronic version of fiat money the primary means of payment?

.М. : Governments are trying to take control of the regulation of the crypto market in all kinds of ways. One way is to create a digital currency that they could control. Of course, decentralization is out of the question with such coins. But CBDC is not the way to destroy cryptocurrencies. It is impossible to destroy cryptocurrencies. There are too many stakeholders and too many are involved in this game.

As early as last year, several companies have shared plans for developing cryptomats in Russia, but so far none of these projects have been launched. Do you think that in the future there will be crypto payments in Russia?

.Ðœ. : No one can answer this question with real precision. In Russia, the government’s position on cryptocurrencies is ambivalent. Compared to other countries where the government takes financial sector developments into consideration and considers digital assets, Russia is different. New laws are being introduced that attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies, but they are one-sided and controversial. Among crypto users around the world, the share of Russian citizens is substantial. But I don’t think official cryptomats will appear in Russia anytime soon.

How popular are crypto payment cards today? How many crypto card users are in Russia and the CIS countries, and where can they pay with them?

.М. : At present, there are almost no real cryptocurrency payment cards. In the market, there are prepaid cards that users put crypto on by manually converting it to fiat. That way, when a user pays with this card for goods or services, a seller gets fiat, not cryptocurrencies. Popular cards of this type are Wirex, Revolut, Crypto.com. Today, many companies are developing their own crypto cards, but they all more or less fall into this category. In addition, companies such as Mastercard and Visa have repeatedly declared their intention to develop such cards. Solving this problem became one of the goals of the creation of the MinePlex CrossFi Bank. There are plans to issue crypto cards with automatic crypto-fiat-to-crypto conversion, as users will be able to spend cryptocurrencies with their cards directly to sellers without thinking about exchanges.

How do you see the future of the crypto payments industry?

.Ðœ. : The crypto industry is at a very interesting stage in its development. We are past the denial stage but have not yet progressed to the regulatory and mass adoption stage. Therefore, every crypto project that fills a niche, whether it be crypto cards, exchange gateways, or payment, will be the thought leader. Experts talk about the next 5-10 years, in which time large corporations and government agencies will be ready to accept cryptocurrencies as part of the economic system. But it’s safe to say that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

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