For more than two decades, Steven Beauregard, currently CEO of GoCoin, a payment gateway for bitcoin, has been heavily involved with innovation within the Internet, social media, mobile and e-commerce. It has therefore been a natural step to move towards fintech (financial technology industry) and especially crypto currencies, such as bitcoin.
We sat down with Steve to hear his view on the newly formed industry and what it might bring for investors and entrepreneurs in the future.
TheStreet: Why are you interested in bitcoin and blockchain technology?
Beauregard: It is a breakthrough technology, in the same way, mobile apps have been. It's still early days with many pain points that startups are solving which I feel makes it the most exciting part of fintech.
TheStreet: What is your view on the regulatory landscape of these technologies?
Beauregard: Most regulators have taken a measured, rational approach and have not overburdened start-ups at a time that they need to apply resources toward innovation. NYDFS (New York Department of Financial Services) is the exception. While their requirements may be appropriate to companies that are maintaining long-term custody of large deposits of consumer funds, for most bitcoin companies that are not it is like killing an ant with a sledgehammer.
TheStreet: What are your thoughts on bitcoin as an investment for private investors?
Beauregard: If the investor is able to actively monitor his investment and the market, I would definitely recommend some exposure.
TheStreet: What are your thoughts on bitcoin as an investment for institutional investors?
Beauregard: Same ... Bitcoin in the early years was the best performing asset class around.
TheStreet: What are your thoughts on investing in bitcoin to diversify your portfolio?
Beauregard: I invest in Bitcoin and certain altcoins as a low percentage of my investments alongside other high-risk investments.
TheStreet: What is your opinion on the current price of bitcoin?
Beauregard: It has been quite stable which is good for consumer confidence but bad for speculators.
TheStreet: What is your opinion on the price of bitcoin in a longer time-frame?
Beauregard: Price stability is key to the long-term value creation. By design, the price should continue to go up over the long term.
TheStreet: What are you negative about regarding this industry?
Beauregard: Overcoming the early reputation all challenges has been difficult. Also, not enough work has been done by merchants to encourage adoption. Applying best practices, some merchants will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in processing fees simply by putting the right incentives in place to transition off of credit cards in favor of Bitcoin.
TheStreet: What are you positive about regarding this industry?
Beauregard: We are pioneers and, for the most part, entrepreneurs in the ecosystem are open to sharing knowledge and experience to benefit the greater good.
TheStreet: Would you like to add anything?
Beauregard: Bitcoin is not necessarily the end game. It's too early to tell which is why it's not a good idea to just buy coins and park them away for 10 years. For many applications, Bitcoin is not a good fit. I believe other special purpose coins that have specific characteristics will emerge to solve problems like coupon fraud and to power loyalty systems.
XBT Provider offers easy and secure exposure to Bitcoin through bitcoin products on regulated exchanges. Our products, Bitcoin Tracker One and Bitcoin Tracker EUR, are listed on Nasdaq Nordic in Stockholm.
This article is a commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author has long positions in bitcoin.