Hlynur Thor Bjornsson on CoinGeek Backstage

Hlynur Thor Bjornsson maps out Orange Gateway’s journey from Iceland to global markets

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This week, Orange Gateway Founder Hlynur Thor Bjornsson joined Kurt Wuckert Jr. to discuss the relaunch of his BSV-friendly digital currency exchange. Bjornsson tells us all about that and more in this episode of the CoinGeek Weekly Livestream.

Bjornsson’s Bitcoin journey and how he started Orange Gateway

Bjornsson says he started looking for electronic cash systems in 2006 or so. He was working as a bond trader in Iceland when he noticed the banks were “printing infinite money” by issuing bonds, swapping them with other banks, and then selling them to the central bank for Icelandic króna.

Inevitably, everything went bust in 2008. He stumbled upon the Bitcoin white paper in 2009 but didn’t think much about it until he re-read it in depth in 2013. After that, he got into the space and never looked back.

In this post-bust era, Iceland had currency controls in place, so Bjornsson started accumulating Bitcoin directly from miners. Finally, in 2017, the exchange, then known as ISX, was regulated.

Wuckert describes the expensive, burdensome process of starting an exchange in the United States and asks Bjornsson to expand on his experience. He says it was relatively simple and hassle-free. He knew some people at the central bank and District Attorney’s Office who helped him, and getting up and running wasn’t too expensive.

The rebranding and relaunch

As mentioned previously, Bjornsson’s exchange was called ISX. They rebrand it to Orange Gateway, paying homage to Bitcoin’s orange logo.

Taking a small, local Icelandic exchange and making it international required some redesign. They initially bootstrapped it, but 100 people logging in was enough to crash it, so it needed to scale the code to handle global traffic.

Right now, they’re waiting for market makers to move in. Then, it will be possible to trade BSV against USD, EUR, BTC, and ETH. USDC will be the stablecoin for now. Orange Gateway has full backing from a trustworthy Icelandic bank.

The importance of an electronic cash system

Bjornsson says he has always been a big blocker since an Icelandic e-commerce store told him they needed 100 TPS to handle a Black Friday sale. He realized then that BTC would not get the job done, and Bitcoin would have to scale much bigger if it was to serve as electronic cash for the world. He supported the Bitcoin Cash fork and was glad to know other people felt the same way he did.

However, another event drove home the importance of electronic cash for Bjornsson. Shortly after the banking collapse, he realized that if the banks were insolvent, debit cards would not work. He says everything in Iceland is bank and credit cards, realizing the peril Icelanders would have been in if debit cards had stopped working.

Those from around the world who are interested in trading BSV should visit OrangeGateway.com. It’s open to Europeans and people in the Americas.

Tune into the livestream here to hear more about scaling blockchains, the money token on BSV, and the importance of a neutral electronic cash system.

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