Business 7 August 2018

Erik Gibbs

Finder.com co-founder plans crypto bank in Australia

Entrepreneur Fred Schebesta, known for having co-founded the Finder.com website, is interested in opening a cryptocurrency bank in Australia. He rightfully believes that crypto is gaining in popularity and that there is an increasing need to have a financial institution that can cover the space, asserting that there is no crypto bubble, as many seem to claim. He points out that people have always referred to Bitcoin as being in a bubble, even when it was worth $10 and as it continued to increase in value from $100 to $1,000.

In an interview with media outlet news.com.au, Schebesta indicated that the market volatility has not lessened enthusiasm for crypto; only that people are currently disappointed with the current state of values. He says that crypto is similar to gold, adding, “The interest has boomed. I was at [crypto conference] Consensus in New York, there were 8,000 people there. It took 30 minutes to get up the lift. New technologies are being built, it’s like going from Basic to DOS. Bitcoin’s like gold, it will just sit there and do its thing and keep on going, I don’t think it will die.”

Schebesta feels that he could have a bank established within 18 months. In order to achieve his goal, he will need an Australian “authorized deposit-taking institution” (ADI) license, which he could receive if he partners with an existing bank. To that end, he has already purchased shares in a Goldfields Money, the only ADI-licensed bank in Western Australia.

He also points out, “As crypto adoption takes off … people are going to [need] certain services [like] custodianship, cold storage, escrow, exchange and spending.” He further indicated that cryptocurrency lending will one day soon become a requirement in the financial space.

The tech-savvy entrepreneur also drew a comparison between existing financial institutions and the continued expansion of the crypto industry. He said, “Deutsche Bank has 98,720 people, they [made] US$146 million in profit [in the first quarter],” he said. “Binance has 300 people and they make US$200 million in profit. Something’s going on here.”

Schebesta became a self-made millionaire at just 26 years of age. He then went on to found Finder.com with Frank Restuccia, now worth over US$1 billion with operations in 10 countries. He is a crypto enthusiast who runs his own daily crypto talk show from the company’s offices in Sydney, Australia.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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