By Adam Faz on The Capital
Canada continues to lead the way in cryptocurrency technology with leaders pushing the boundaries of how we think about money and wealth. And we (at Netcoins) get excited about this. So we thought we’d share insights into some of the crypto leaders making waves across Canada — and they’re doing this by (mainly) building out trading platforms that enable Canadians to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies.
Mitchell Demeter is President of Netcoins, a Vancouver-based cryptocurrency trading platform. He is a serial entrepreneur and pioneering figure in the cryptocurrency industry. Having gained worldwide attention for launching the world’s first Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, followed by locations and partnerships in London, Singapore, Bucharest, and Tokyo. Mitchell eventually co-founded Cointrader Exchange, one of Canada’s earliest online digital currency exchanges, which would later be acquired in 2015. Now his mission is to make it easy and accessible for all Canadians to understand, buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency — regardless of the level of expertise they have in the world of crypto investing.
Born in Russia, Vitalik Buterin immigrated to Canada at a young age. He is a programmer, writer, and the force behind Ethereum. He is also the co-founder of the industry-wide Bitcoin Magazine — which started as an online project. But in 2012, Buterin and his co-founder began publishing a print edition of the magazine and mailing it out to subscribers worldwide. However, this era was short-lived when Vitalik left the magazine in 2014 (now owned and operated by BTC Media).
While most people were still trying to understand the ins and outs of Bitcoin even back in 2015, Vitalik was envisioning a new cryptocurrency: Ether (whose blockchain technology is called Ethereum). This cryptocurrency would enable a blockchain that could run smart contracts outside of the financial industry. Today, Ether is the second most sought-after cryptocurrency.
Adam Goldman is the Founder and President of Bitbuy. He worked several jobs while developing the platform back in 2014. And he used the little free time he had to study the emerging crypto market, which eventually would pay off because today Bitbuy is consistently ranked among one of the top Canadian crypto exchanges. In addition to building a strong trading platform, Adam is an advocate for developers (of cryptocurrency exchanges) to share the responsibility of preventing crime in the crypto space and protecting investors.
“A lot of criminal actors start to get it into their heads that because they’d be using the non-traditional medium of cryptocurrency, there’s no course for law enforcement, so trading platforms like ourselves along with regulators need to catch these actors.”
Andrei Poliakov is CEO and Co-founder of Coinberry. In their quest to have Canadians adopt cryptocurrencies, Coinberry partnered with municipal governments so that people can make tax payments with cryptocurrencies.
“Working with governments and allowing residents to pay their taxes in Bitcoin in this case, and Ethereum, using Coinberry services was that logical and natural step towards mass adoption for us.”
Shane Thomson is a founding member and currently serves as Head of Trading & Operations at Bitvo. He has extensive experience in the finance industry. Before joining Bitvo, Shane worked in the banking and finance sector for close to 12 years and worked as an equity researcher at a top Canadian bank. His experiences in the financial markets have helped Bitvo rank 9th place on Hackernoon’s list of 50 top global crypto exchanges for 2020.
Pamela Draper is the President and CEO of Bitvo (and a close colleague to Shane Thomson). She also serves on the board of directors for the Canadian Blockchain Association for Women (CBAW). Her mission is to support the education of women in emerging technologies. On the widespread appeal of cryptocurrencies, Pamela said:
“2019 will be looked back on as the year when crypto became much more mainstream. It’s becoming a dinner table topic thanks to things like Libra. We expect this trend to continue.”
Founder, President, and CEO of NDAX, Bilal Hammoud has been in conversations with banks across the country to try and build relationships between banks and crypto exchanges. Forging these relationships with banks will lead to a more crypto-friendly country while encouraging fast, safe transfers in the long run.
“We are trying to make it a little more convenient for the Canadian customers…we are also working on an NDAX MasterCard.”
Canadian-American, Joseph Lubin is a former chief operating officer at Ethereum Switzerland and the brains behind ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based Blockchain Technology Solutions. He helped develop systems on the Ethereum blockchain to assist corporations and governments alike in securing their IT infrastructure and protecting their information. Inspired by “Nakamoto,” Joseph is a true believer that blockchain technologies will lead us into a decentralized future:
“Now, your bank is in your pocket. Each of us can program our own bank.”
Alex Tapscott is a business executive and author, known for the critically acclaimed bestseller, Blockchain Revolution. He co-wrote the book with his father and they have since founded the Blockchain Research Institute in 2017, which looks into blockchain’s impact on the global economy. Speaking about blockchain technology, he said,
“Imagine a technology that could preserve our freedom to choose for ourselves and our families, to express these choices in the world, and to control our own destiny, no matter where we lived or were born… The answers were right in front of us, compliments of Satoshi Nakamoto.”
Based in Montreal, Canada, Jean Amiouny is co-founder and CEO of Shakepay. Jean believes that people should change the way they view digital currencies, stating,
“people need to understand the value of Bitcoin as a truly permissionless and sound money, more than simply as a speculative asset to ‘get rich quick.”
With the mission to help users buy and sell Bitcoin in 10 minutes, commission-free, Shakepay is gaining ground in the Canadian crypto sphere.
Virgile Rostand is the President and Founder of Coinsquare, although he also acted as marketing director, security analyst, and support chief when the company was getting off the ground. His efforts paid off when Coinsquare partnered with Canadian banks.
“It took a lot of hours to set up the infrastructure and all of the software, which had to be built from the ground up. I carried my notes with me everywhere, working out of coffee shops. Mundane coding and testing took days.”
These CEOs, founders, authors, leaders, and creators are shaping Canada into a pioneering country in the crypto space. Their efforts are helping Canadians become financially savvy and independent from centralized powers who are owning their wealth (like central banks and governments). It’s taking the power of the financial institutions and bringing it back to the people.
At Netcoins, we make it easy for Canadians to understand, buy, and sell cryptocurrencies. You can set up a Netcoins account within minutes. Need help? Get an answer during business hours (Monday to Friday, 9 am–5 pm PT) through LiveChat or by giving us a call at +1–844–515–2646