In his latest interview on 12th May with Michelle Makori, host of Kitco News, CoinPayments CEO, Sean Mackay, discusses crypto winter & regulations, Bitcoin, ordinals and what coins are mostly being used for payment transactions.
Michelle kicks off the discussion by highlighting the Securities and Exchange Commission‘s (SEC) intensified measures against cryptocurrencies and poses the question, “Is crypto dead in the U.S.?”. Chamath Palihapitiya, tech billionaire and CEO of Social Capital, a top venture firm funding crypto projects, affirms this notion, as the SEC continues its anti-crypto crackdown on firms like BlockFi, Ripple and Coinbase.
Sean McKay shares his views on this perspective, and other related topics. Here are some of his interview highlights.
Michelle: Because crypto is seen as a big threat to traditional finance and potentially a threat to Fiat currencies, as people would say Bitcoin is, you’re seen as a threat to many traditional finance operations yourself. Do you think the lack of regulatory clarity is intentional?
Sean: I think there’s certainly some people all within government roles that are making these decisions intentionally and making them without the right interests in mind, i.e. the public, but then there are some good ones as well. Unfortunately, it’s just the way it is, and you have to work with what you’re dealt with.
Michelle: Crypto is in a hostile environment in the U.S. but globally, adoption of crypto is in fact rising. What are you seeing at CoinPayments?
Sean: We’re fortunate to get a different view on the way crypto is actually being used in the real world, the way it was intended to when it was created. A lot of price action news about price fluctuations, market caps, regulation of exchanges is on the trading and the speculation side, but at CoinPayments, we’re processing actual payments for customers that want to pay merchants in crypto so we’re seeing the actual adoption side on our side which is great. We’re starting to see some great adoption around the world mostly in Europe, but also to some extent in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Michelle: Which coins are you seeing being used the most for payments?
Sean: When we started, we were one of the first to offer payment support for Litecoin and Ethereum when everybody else was just focused on Bitcoin payments. Since then, things have changed quite a bit. In the early years Bitcoin was by far the highest transacted coin on our platform representing around 90 percent of the total payment volume. Over the past three years, that’s shifted into stable coins and now we’re seeing 30-40 percent Bitcoin volume and the majority, 50-60 percent volume in stable coins. This makes total sense to me because stable coins really are more of a transactional cryptocurrency, whereas Bitcoin is more of a store of value and a speculative, investment type of cryptocurrency.
Michelle: I would like your thoughts on what is being called a major catalyst for Bitcoin adoption by Bitcoin bull and MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor and that is the ordinals phenomenon. What exactly is an ordinal?
Sean: It’s a way around the core code of Bitcoin to be able to create ordinals, or NFTs if you want to call them that. They’re not like tokens per se but minted on the Bitcoin blockchain through tiny transactions. There’s a lot of pros and cons, but in general this is just bringing more attention to Bitcoin, more attention to crypto and more potential adoption. Any news about crypto that brings more people in and gets them aware and interested in potentially using it is a good thing, so ordinals are great for that reason.
Michelle: In terms of the immediate future what can we expect from CoinPayments?
Sean: We’re kind of in a crypto winter which is hopefully starting to heat up. During the past few months, we’ve had our heads down building, and I think a lot of crypto projects out there take that time during a crypto winter to do the same thing. When we come out of this Crypto winter, there’s going to be some great releases of new features, new products, and maybe even new use cases for crypto in general. We’re hard at work making major improvements to our platform; more secure, more scalable, faster, more coins, and more features tailored towards merchants and businesses.
Don’t miss this highly informative discussion and be sure to listen out for Sean’s 2- and 5-year price forecasts for Bitcoin!
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