Andre Duka Defies ICO Market Stagnation, Launches Dukascoin

Although it might appear to be mild years within the fast-moving world of cryptocurrency, it was lower than six months in the past that Swiss financial institution Dukascopy introduced that it will be launching its personal cryptocurrency.

Tentatively known as Dukascoins, the corporate, regardless of asserting that it will be making an attempt to launch the tokens, was initially reticent to debate the venture. FINMA, the Swiss monetary regulator, nonetheless needed to give its approval to the brand new digital property and any public statements from the corporate might have jeopardized its efforts in the direction of receiving that regulatory thumbs up.

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Then, in December 2018, Dukascopy finally introduced that FINMA had mentioned that there have been no regulatory obstacles to the ICO. Having obtained the inexperienced mild from the regulator, the Swiss agency mentioned that it will be able to launch the tokens  in early March.

After months of pestering him for an interview, Finance Magnates was in a position to sit down for an interview with Dr. Andre Duka, Co-CEO and Founder of Dukascopy, on the finish of February. With solely a few days to go earlier than the launch of the brand new cash, Duka was in a position to present numerous insights into the brand new cryptocurrency, the broader digital asset market and the way forward for banking.

Unlike many different CEOs, who can be fast to draw back from more durable questions and leap on the alternative to blatantly shill for no matter service they occurred to offer, Duka was measured in his responses and didn’t obfuscate when answering tough questions.

The CEO’s media savviness probably comes from expertise. Duka has been within the banking enterprise for over twenty years. Having based Dukascopy as a expertise supplier again in 1998, he went on to launch a brokerage in 2004, a TV station in 2008 and a financial institution in 2010. The ICO, which is being launched this Thursday, is the most recent entrepreneurial transfer within the businessman’s lengthy profession.

Today is the official begin of the Dukascopy ICO venture. What are the principle traits of your tokens? Why ought to cryptocurrency merchants, or those that are contemplating investing in digital property, have an interest?

As far as I do know, this would be the first cost coin issued by a licensed and controlled financial institution – definitely Swiss financial institution at any charge. We have chosen the favored ERC-20 customary on the Etherium blockchain and known as our token the Dukascoin (ticker DUK+).

The key good thing about it’s not the complicated construction of a sensible contract – the coin is sort of unsophisticated from that perspective – however a singular positioning because the instrument that can co-exist in two environments on the identical time – within the steadiness sheet of a conventional financial institution and on the blockchain.

The ICO itself will likely be organized within the type of the Airdrop. Every individual opening a present account with us will get 5 Dukascoins without spending a dime. Moreover, referral exercise will even deliver the reward of 5 tokens per referred good friend. Further, there will likely be a market/bulletin board contained in the financial institution to purchase and promote the cash, the place shoppers can freely decide the worth of the token.

Cryptocurrency euphoria has died down considerably prior to now six months. In this form of surroundings, why do you suppose your venture is more likely to succeed?

I completely agree that the ICO market was, and nonetheless stays, just like the Wild West. This may be mentioned in regards to the cryptocurrency business basically. Actually, it jogs my memory of what the international change market used to appear like within the pre-regulatory period.

Consequently, I imagine that extra regulation will wipe out the undisciplined and fraudulent crypto gamers. We see this already enjoying out in Switzerland, the place considerate steps taken by the native regulator and the federal government are serving to to place the crypto market so as. As we’re based mostly in Switzerland, Dukascopy Bank’s crypto initiatives are working inside this more healthy, extra respectable market.

Getting again to our ICO, I need to stress that this venture is conceptually, structurally and strategically completely different from something that has been offered to the market up to now. To begin with, we don’t purpose to lift capital utilizing this methodology, relatively we distribute the cash freed from cost to all new prospects.

How do you propose on advertising and marketing your new coin amidst the entire hubbub that exists within the cryptocurrency business?

The mere reality {that a} Swiss regulated financial institution is issuing its personal cryptocurrency is more likely to generate lots of media buzz. Aside from that, we’ve got a big present shopper database and greater than a thousand new account opening purposes per day – even with out a cryptocurrency within the product line. So in contrast to lots of gamers within the cryptocurrency area, we will’t be described as ‘a brand new venture.’

We additionally function an intensive referral program that has confirmed to be very profitable prior to now 12 months and this program will flip into the cornerstone of Dukascoins’ distribution. On prime of all that, over time we’ve got developed our personal standard media channels. For occasion, Dukascopy TV and our accounts in social networks have about three million subscribers.

Do you propose to checklist your token on any crypto exchanges?

We are contemplating working with impartial exchanges that might need to checklist the Dukascoin and we aren’t going to show away any change that wishes to work with us.

However, we’re not going to rely fully on third get together options. We created our personal market that would supply a safe and handy surroundings to purchase and promote the tokens.

Trading with our inside market can also be higher for shoppers as, by way of us, they’ll receive a reliable financial institution assertion that might be accepted by different monetary establishments and official authorities.

A typical drawback with airdrop-type ICOs is the worth stability of the coin due to always growing provide. How do you propose to steer the crypto-community that it is sensible to count on Dukascoin to extend in worth?

We have ready a set of distinctive devices to assist the steadiness of the token. For occasion, there will likely be a particular program to remunerate massive suppliers of liquidity. Also, we are going to provide a system of serious rewards motivating our cash financial savings. Rewards will likely be based mostly on each crypto and fiat forex.

Another sensible measure will comprise the advantages for our brokerage shoppers to accumulate Dukascoins and use them as collateral for buying and selling. Last however not least there will likely be a restricted provide of cash – new tokens will get to the market solely with new shoppers opening present accounts on the financial institution. We imagine that such measures shouldn’t solely assist to maintain the worth of the Dukascoin however might also present the gasoline for regular development.

How can I, as a possible holder of your cash become profitable from them exterior of hypothesis on the change charge?

I ought to make clear right here that possession of our cash by itself won’t grant any proper for revenue or reward – we intentionally keep away from any similarity to safety tokens. Rather, we are going to give attention to remunerating the lively use of Dukascoins. The holders could have an choice to decide on between numerous applications that can kind their revenue supply. I’ll identify simply two alternatives right here, although I imagine that there are others.

We plan to stimulate patrons’ exercise by introducing a particular program of fiat (money) reward for deposits positioned in Dukascoins and stored contained in the financial institution. The deposits could have a hard and fast time period of 1 12 months and a money reward of 0.5 EUR per coin will likely be paid firstly of the interval. To be eligible for this provide, our shopper should receive a sure variety of cash. For the primary month, the financial institution has set a threshold of 1000 cash. Later it’s deliberate to extend to 5000 cash and extra.

Alongside this, we additionally plan on propelling the buy-side liquidity of our market by creating the ‘Fat Catz’ facility. This will likely be a revolving remuneration program for big Dukascoins holders. These massive holders will receives a commission a variable bonus that can accumulate from the commissions charged from the sell-side. The members of our Fat Catz group will profit from a number of different monetary and non-financial bonuses.

What in regards to the longer-term prospects in your cash? Where do you see your coin, for instance, in a single 12 months’s time?

I might keep away from any hypothesis in regards to the future, however I personally see a cushty value degree at 10 EUR per coin. My expectations are based mostly on the cheap estimate of prices for account opening. I feel that 50 EUR (5 cash at 10 EUR every) is sweet compensation for the trouble required to open a Swiss checking account.

I additionally suppose that this value for the coin will fulfill the wants of us as an organization and sooner or later it is sensible to consolidate the coin’s worth at this degree. My private advice for many who need to higher perceive the plans of the financial institution and the way to revenue from them is to fastidiously learn and analyze our white paper. This isn’t an ICO rip-off, we’ve got put an enormous quantity of effort into launching this product and the white paper illustrates our thought processes, plans and the venture’s infrastructure.

Speaking of infrastructure, present banking methods are significantly completely different from a system that’s underpinned by blockchain expertise. How have you ever managed to make these two methods work collectively in unison?

It wasn’t straightforward, after all, as wouldn’t be any new course of for any first comer. Technologically, a shopper who’s holding Dukascoins will reside in two environments. When tokens are stored exterior Dukascopy financial institution they conform to all the foundations of blockchain – transactions there are neither quick nor freed from cost and the account isn’t insured, nonetheless, anybody can profit as “a banker for themselves”.

In addition, a shopper can transfer the cash freely between the blockchain and the financial institution, conditional after all upon having an account with us, passing KYC and AML management and respecting the deposit limits.
Keeping the cash in our custody creates an in-balance sheet legal responsibility for the financial institution with all due penalties. In reality, these penalties are most tasty for the shoppers.

Think for yourselves – low-to-zero AML danger as a result of all events are recognized beneath strict Swiss AML regulation, Swiss deposit insurance coverage scheme masking CHF 100,000, safety in opposition to hacking or technical failures from the financial institution, free and quick switch of cash inside Dukascopy by merely figuring out the receiver’s cellphone quantity and a chance to make use of customary banking infrastructure like cost playing cards. This isn’t an exhaustive checklist.

Lastly, why did you, as a financial institution determine to become involved in one thing as turbulent because the cryptocurrency business?

We have a robust imaginative and prescient in thoughts that to remain afloat and stay profitable within the subsequent decade, retail banks ought to closely make investments and develop 5 predominant parts of their infrastructure.

First and foremost, they should have a robust cellular app that would supply snug entry to all banking providers. Next, their cellular app must be messenger-friendly and embrace fashionable full-scale messenger performance. This produces an enormous useful resource for bank-to-client and client-to-client communication and prompt funds.

Furthermore, it’s important to turn out to be geared up with AI/chat-bot expertise to safe low cost and environment friendly servicing of shoppers. Another important ingredient is sensible distant account opening framework. In a few years you’ll scarcely meet a shopper who would come to a financial institution by foot to open an account. The previous method will rapidly turn out to be out of date. Finally, banks should undertake crypto expertise and turn out to be crypto-friendly.

Concerning Dukascopy Bank, we have already got a full-scale messenger that not solely consists of banking providers, however permits audio and video calls, sending presents, recordsdata, and so on. We have developed and always enhance our AI/chatbot expertise. Our shoppers work with it each day as nearly all of the requests to our assist are processed by bots. We have additionally developed our distant onboarding expertise that’s grounded on video identification of shoppers. With each replace the method turns into an increasing number of automated. Today is Day X for one more milestone – Dukascoins, which we labored so arduous for. I’m conserving my fingers crossed.


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David is the founder of The firm originates business financing for companies of all size in the Canadian marketplace . Originations include business loans, term loans, asset based lines of credit, SR ED Tax credit financing , and receivable financing .

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