eToro is A multi-asset exchange, that hosts an assortment of traditional assets, such as stocks, in addition to crypto assets. This helped the company through 2018’s crypto asset bear market.
CryptoPotato got the chance to catch up with the Co-Founder and CEO of eToro, Yoni Assia for an interview on the crypto markets, his history in Bitcoin and other topics.
Crypto Spring May Be Here
Assia mentioned 2018 that saw a notable uptick in stock trading volume, adding, “2018 was actually a record year for eToro.” He continued to mention, “We did almost about a trillion dollars in volume last year.”
Assia dove down the crypto rabbit hole back in 2010, with Bitcoin trading hosted on eToro around 2014, he mentioned. Although he said he did not see significant trading volume for bitcoin on eToro until the 2017 crypto bull market.
Assia said he thinks the crypto markets have transitioned out of their winter days. “I do think we’re seeing crypto spring,” he said.
“The spirit is back in the market. The bulls are still there. Bears didn’t kill the bulls yet, and I think we’re seeing somewhat of a revival.”
Assia said eToro has seen growing numbers again as well, indicating increased market interest, although, he added, “We’re still very far off from the hype that we’ve seen in November – December 2017.”
Regarding bitcoin’s price, Assia also noted, “I do believe that we will see Bitcoin at much higher prices in the medium term.” The CEO did, however, denote that he is bullish on bitcoin and that he is “not necessarily that a good [of a] trader.” He added, “It’s very hard to try and predict the markets.”
Assia’s Long BTC History: $50K Bitcoin In 2012
Assia said he was interested in the concept of virtual currencies, all the way back in 2008. After bitcoin’s creation, Assia’s brother sent him an email about the coin thinking he might be interested, due to Assia’s previous work on a virtual currency concept called The Good Dollar. “I understood that this is the future of how currencies should work, of how finance should work. This was 2010,” Assia said.
From there, Assia jumped into Bitcointalk and other resources and forums, learning about bitcoin. “The only thing I really regret is not investing more back then, or getting my laptop stolen with my original bitcoins,” he said.
Assia mentioned working with Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin to build tokenization on top of bitcoin, although Buterin eventually branched out to develop Ethereum. “Even back then, we actually wrote code for a decentralized exchange on top of bitcoin with tokenized assets on top of bitcoin,” Assia said. “This was 2012,” he said, noting that type of product was before its time.
Back in the day, eToro bought Bitcoin at cheap prices in comparison to today’s market. “We invested like $50,000 [in] the range of $5 to probably $50,” Assia said.
Earlier in 2019, eToro announced its crypto wallet and trading platform eToroX, which hosts multiple different digital assets. Assia described eToro’s desire for regulatory compliance on the whole, as well as extensive research the entity dives into on digital assets and their underlying blockchains, prior to listing such assets.
Changing Payments And Tokenizing Assets
The eToro CEO talked about the difference in bank transfer settlement times versus the significantly faster times seen in blockchain assets. “We believe that, within the next ten years, we’re going to see trillions of dollars, if not dozens of trillions of dollars, moving from traditional assets to blockchain assets,” Assia said. He added that eToro is working with tokenized fiat currencies, as well as exploring other tokenized assets, such as commodities. Assia also spoke on a movement toward other tokenized asset trading, such as art and property.
Smart Contract Potential
The eToro brass spoke positively on the realm of smart contracts, which he said will vastly further innovation in financial services. “We want to see how blockchain technology, how smart contract technology can really transition the entire financial services industry into the future,” he said.