Why Litecoin’s Creator Is Buying Into a Bank (And How It …

One of the most surprising and potentially transformative deals in the cryptocurrency space started as an evidence on amicable media.

Back in April, Charlie Lee, the creator of litecoin, was exchanging barbs on Twitter with Derek Capo, the CEO of remuneration processor TokenPay. But their quarrel fast incited into a accessible sell of approach messages, in which the two crypto enthusiasts satisfied they common a common problem: In a word, banking.

Both the Litecoin Foundation, the non-profit that promotes the sixth-largest cryptocurrency and where Lee is a handling director, and Capo’s Virgin Islands-based startup had encountered problem securing bank accounts – a longstanding problem for the industry.

“We had lots of trouble” on that front, Lee told CoinDesk.

Capo elaborated: “Some banks, they tighten down bank accounts if they get a sniff of anything to do with crypto. We saw a lot of competitors with identical offerings get cut off because they didn’t possess the bank and they didn’t have control.”

But Capo was operative on a resolution for TokenPay by perplexing to buy a bank. And he satisfied this plan, if successful, could residence another problem for Lee.

“Why don’t we speak about carrying a litecoin withdraw label so that you’ll have a genuine solution?” Capo removed revelation him. “Because, you know, they had been perplexing very hard to have a litecoin withdraw card… we said, because don’t we talk?”

That is how the Singapore-based Litecoin Foundation finished up owning 9.9 percent of WEG Bank AG, an until-now problematic German financial institution, in a warn transaction suggested this week.

But the substructure didn’t put income in; TokenPay formerly acquired the interest and traded it to the non-profit in sell for destiny technical support. TokenPay also acquired another 9.9 percent (the limit authorised in Germany though before regulatory approval) of WEG and is seeking the immature light to buy up to 80 percent. (The cost was not disclosed.)

If all goes according to plan, not only will TokenPay and the Litecoin Foundation have a arguable banking partner, they would also renovate WEG into an on-ramp for consumers worldwide who want to trade fiat for cryptocurrency or compensate for products and services with crypto.

But owning a bank, by itself, won’t indispensably solve crypto’s banking problem, according to correspondence experts who’ve worked in both fields. Even if the regulators magnify the tentative takeover, Capo and Lee might face new hurdles handling in a heavily regulated attention where “coin” is frequently treated as a four-letter word.

The roadmap

Undaunted by regulatory hurdles, Capo and Lee have desirous skeleton to chaperon in a new call of crypto banking services.

Stepping back, while transacting in cryptocurrency might be frictionless, converting from dollars or euros to crypto and back is anything but. Buying crypto through an online sell can meant induction a credit label with an sell platform, then watchful days, infrequently longer, to finish the transaction.

Meanwhile, most of the merchants that accept crypto are heedful of the cost sensitivity and generally rest on a remuneration processor like BitPay to cgange it to fiat. All these options catch estimate fees along the way.

That’s because Capo wants to offer crypto withdraw cards and the ability to cgange litecoin to euros directly through a normal bank account, to make it a smoother knowledge for crypto users transacting in a fiat-dominated economy. He hopes to offer such services within 9 months of receiving regulatory capitulation for the acquisition.

“Connecting cryptocurrency to fiat rails is very useful,” pronounced Lee, who told CoinDesk he aims to join the WEG house as the Litecoin Foundation’s deputy (a pierce that would make him presumably the first chairman to concurrently reason the titles of “cryptocurrency founder” and “bank director”).

“We will have a contend in conversion the bank to work on crypto projects,” he said.

Eventually, after rebellious withdraw cards and remuneration processing, Capo and Lee devise to confederate banking services directly with TokenPay’s decentralized sell (DEX) platform, eFin, which offers peer-to-peer trade between cryptocurrencies.

If traders pass all the know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) final for a crypto bank account, they will be means to seamlessly money out TokenPay’s possess token, famous as tpay, from the sell as fiat, and buy or sell cryptos like litecoin though delay.

“eFin will have LTC. We will assistance them with it technically,” Lee said. “And they will also airdrop [eFin] tokens to litecoin users.”

In further to the guarantee of technical imagination and litecoin’s comparatively fast recognition among cryptocurrency fans, Capo pronounced he gave the nonprofit equity in the bank formed on Lee’s vast online following, a selling boon, and veteran connections.

“Litecoin has a very successful leader, someone who’s been around for a very long time,” Capo pronounced in describing Lee, an alumnus of the renouned cryptocurrency sell Coinbase.

Challenges ahead

Yet even if they obtain a banking license, Capo and Lee are not guaranteed total liquidity.

Located in the city of Ottobrunn (population: 21,378), WEG was formerly a skill government bank that offering loans to housing associations. After TokenPay acquires a infancy stake, the devise calls for the bank’s CEO, Matthias von Hauff, to stay concerned as WEG transitions to a sell bank with more consumer-facing products and services.

But such a little establishment expected would expected rest on outward organizations – incomparable tellurian banks, the German executive bank, or SWIFT – to be means to pierce vast amounts of fiat around the world, according to Simon Taylor, a former Barclays landowner and co-founder and executive of the U.K. fintech advisory organisation 11:FS. If those partners became nice about crypto in general, they could cut off WEG’s entrance to fiat, Taylor cautioned.

“The really, really big banks tend to be the ones that bond you through the tellurian mezzanine to the U.S. dollar, they’re the ones that get the big KYC fines,” Taylor said, adding, with courtesy to the WEG merger plan:

“I don’t think it’s going to grasp what they want it to achieve. we get the enticement to buy a bank. But shopping a bank doesn’t give you what you think it gives you.”

Joe Ciccolo, boss of the correspondence use provider BitAML Inc., pronounced regulators would probably design additional industry on WEG’s part if it were to turn a crypto-focused bank.

“On the own, using a bank and implementing AML anti-money laundering] opposite a extended operation of products and services is formidable to start with,” Ciccolo said. “This is going to be a much aloft separator to entrance than one would associate with normal AML.”

The thought of integrating a decentralized sell into a bank gave Ciccolo the most pause. He described DEXs as “nails on a chalkboard for regulators,” who have taken years to hang their heads around bitcoin. If Capo and Lee devise to lift this off, Ciccolo said, it will need poignant investment in educating regulators on an ongoing basement and consistent communication with incomparable banks.

Acknowledging the challenges, Capo pronounced the first and most dear step of converting WEG into a crypto-savvy bank will be restructuring all of the KYC and AML processes to emanate a new crypto-centric model.

“We’re being regressive because we want to build this bank so it will be around for a long time,” he told CoinDesk, concluding:

“The infrastructure is there, we just might have to potentially cgange it for crypto-based services.”

Image around Consensus 2018

Article source: https://www.coindesk.com/litecoin-bank-tokenpay-crypto