Q&A with Simon Cockingshieldadmin
When we created the shield blog, we wanted a place that provides a platform for various key members in our eco-system to speak their mind. A blog that not only discusses RegTech, although our core business is there, but covers other topics that you, our readers, will enjoy.
That’s why I (Iftach, Head of Marketing) was very keen on hosting Simon Cocking, Chief editor of Irish Tech News and InvestInIT, on our blog.
I wanted to get Simon’s view on the current state of the Crypto and Blockchain markets including his views on the talks around regulating those markets, we discusses Brexit and the Irish tech scene and more.
Here is my conversation with him:
Q: What are your thoughts on the current regulations in the cryptocurrency markets? Some say regulating the market might be the beginning of the end, would you agree?
S.C: The end of what? The wild west? A free pass for scammers? With the billions that have been hacked and stolen by various means, and then founders dying with a sole password access to the exchange funds I think most people would be OK with some degree of regulation, rather than a complete wild west scenario. Also if you want to drive wider adoption, then these bad practices need to be eliminated. Regulation is coming, this is not a bad thing unless you are a scammer.
Q: In your view, can and should Blockchain be regulated?
S.C: Yes, of course, same as the prior answer.
Q: Currently RegTech is more focused on the banking industry, so where do you see it meeting the needs of the Cryptocurrency industry? What key things do RegTech providers need to consider before addressing the Cryptocurrency market?
S.C: Reg Tech evolved out of financial services, but it makes sense in many other areas too. So it is logical to consider it for crypto too. Crypto is just one more use case for RegTech innovators.
Q: How will Brexit effect the Irish tech scene
S.C: Hm, tough question. Could be good, some companies have moved to Ireland, so this is great for Ireland. Could be bad, the UK is Ireland’s largest trading partner & UK is already showing signs of going into a recession, which could impact on Ireland for sure.
Q: Also, how will this specifically affect the Blockchain/ Cryptocurrency scene in Ireland?
S.C: While Ireland has been a global leader for Fintech innovation, especially in payments and Regtech, sadly it is hard to make the same case for blockchain & crypto in Ireland. There seems to have been more of a wait and see attitude in Ireland in relation to these sectors. Therefore, as we don’t have lots of crypto exchanges based in Ireland, nor Irish cryptocurrencies the impact looks like it will be more of an indirect one.
Q: Finally, what do think 2019 will hold for Cryptocurrencies and the way they are used?
S.C: We are seeing a maturing market. Bitcoin is currently a relative rock of stability compared to other assets like oil, gold, property. The other leading currencies are still in the middle of format wars, will ETH or XRP dominate, EOS or Stellar? Whoever can demonstrate the best solutions, allied with strong network usage and utility will do very well, those who don’t could well fade down to next to nothing. It is an interesting time and one that will lead to more stability, once these questions are resolved.