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Meet The Kraken Bank Executive Team: CEO David Kinitsky

Republished by Plato

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First revealed last September, Kraken is quietly hard at work gearing up to launch Kraken Bank. This exciting new venture is helping to shape the landscape for both Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency services – and the banking industry – well into the future. 

While we can’t reveal all the details yet, we sat down with Kraken Bank CEO David Kinitsky to get a glimpse into how he’s leading the charge to ensure the next generation of financial firms are built with the next generation of assets in mind. 

David brings more than 15 years of experience in cryptocurrency and financial services. He helped launch a streak of innovations with Grayscale, Fidelity, Circle, SecondMarket, and the private investment funds he’s managed.

He’s full of industry knowledge and always adds a colorful perspective to the conversation. Enjoy!

Hi David! You worked at some of the biggest names in the industry. How did you get into crypto, what were those experiences like?

I first came across Bitcoin when I was working at a company called SecondMarket, which would become Digital Currency Group, one of the largest players in this industry. SecondMarket built marketplaces for illiquid, esoteric, and emerging assets. Eventually we got into Bitcoin and sold the legacy business to NASDAQ. 

I took the lead in setting up Grayscale, structuring it’s first and flagship product – the Bitcoin Investment Trust – and served as GM of the business, which I ran for the next couple years. Today, Grayscale is the largest digital asset manager in the world with some $25-30 billion assets under management. (Big shout out to the team over there that took the baton, executed with remarkable consistency, and grew it into the juggernaut it is today.)

I left Grayscale to join Fidelity as their first digital asset hire, helping them to develop their strategy in the crypto space. I also ran a proprietary crypto fund there as a co-portfolio manager alongside the team that now runs Castle Island Ventures, an early stage VC firm focused on crypto.

My next stop was at Circle where I helped to restructure their business, refocus it around their USDC stablecoin, and relaunch with their payments/treasury platform.

Finally, when I saw Kraken pursuing the SPDI bank, I jumped at the opportunity and went all in, moving along with my family to Wyoming where the bank is based. It’s important infrastructure for Bitcoin and crypto, and is also reshaping traditional banking and financial services.

There is a lot of discussion about regulating cryptocurrencies. What do you find fascinating about bitcoin in this respect and how do you look at regulation of the space?

There’s not just a lot of discussion about regulating, there’s real regulating going on already. I sometimes hear this misunderstanding that crypto is not regulated. It’s regulated in the same way we regulate most financial services and other industries – by regulating the services providers and the actions taken by users. Just look at crypto companies and the licensure/registrations they maintain.

We should want to be especially smart about how we regulate these crypto companies as compared to their more traditional counterparts. There’s a key distinction to consider. In traditional financial services – say banking or brokerage or whatever – end users have no other alternative to access these services. They can’t opt out. If you want to send money across space and time, you need a bank or other financial service provider. Crypto is different. Users can receive, hold, and send their own assets themselves. It may be clunky for some, but they can do it. So there is some level of burden above which users will just not use the key nexus through which regulation is enforced. And the first ones to leave are the “bad guys” you want to be able to oversee.

I’ll also say that crypto provides new tools and abilities. For example, financial institutions can incorporate verifiable proof of reserves or to build other auditable assurances into their operations to ensure they’re solvent and doing what they say they are.

I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to thread the needle on the right regulation in the long term, and just hope we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot nearer term.

What about political and public opinion? How is Bitcoin and crypto currently being viewed and how might that affect its status and regulation?

It’s a good question. Absolutely foundational. After all, law and regulation arise out of policy objectives that take into account certain cost-benefit tradeoffs. Historically, we haven’t been able to have these serious conversations about Bitcoin or crypto here in the US because of some absolutist or ill-informed opinions. 

The most common is that there’s no use case other than speculation or illicit activity, and no reason to make any accommodations within the existing system. I do think that more recently – especially in this macro environment – there’s an increasing appreciation for the benefits that Bitcoin provides as a store of value and in terms of censorship resistance, as well as an openness to the other opportunities crypto could create in the future. There’s also starting to be some recognition that Bitcoin and crypto will continue to operate regardless, and will simply do so outside of the existing financial system if we don’t pave a path for them within it.

Another is that they’re necessarily adversarial to America somehow, or simply incompatible with our laws, regulation, and institutions. But, Bitcoin is as American as apple pie. Its values are exactly the same as American values – free speech, free association, free enterprise, individual liberty, property rights, and so on – all the principles this country was founded on and the engines for growth throughout our history. And either way, the fact is that Bitcoin exists and other countries are getting involved. It’ll be critical that the U.S. maintain a position in this emerging industry to ensure its global competitiveness and national economic security.

What is it about Kraken Bank that makes this a venture worth building? 

I do actually think that this initiative has some symbiotic elements to it, but – and maybe it’s gauche to say these days – we’re building Kraken Bank because it achieves some very clear organizational objectives of ours. 

It provides the business with better legal/regulatory positioning, improved infrastructure and resultant customer experience, and more product/market opportunities. More broadly, it supports Kraken’s mission of promoting crypto adoption to enable more financial freedom, by seamlessly connecting crypto all the way down to the bottom of the financial services stack, which is entirely buttressed by banking. It puts us in a position to help shape the future of banking and it incorporates crypto.

Finally, I’m excited to help develop the ecosystem right here in Wyoming. Banks have always played important roles and re-invested within their communities. Kraken will be no different. We’re not carpetbaggers. We want to be connected to communities where, and with which, we conduct business – and to build something special together. 

Want to help? Kraken and Kraken Bank are actively hiring, with new jobs posted periodically on the company’s careers page.  If you don’t see a role at the bank that’s right for you today, stay tuned for more listings soon!

Thank you David. 

-The Kraken Team

Source: https://blog.kraken.com/post/8049/meet-the-kraken-bank-executive-team-ceo-david-kinitsky/

Blockchain

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Filed for Bitcoin ETF With the SEC

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The number of companies filing to receive approval to launch a Bitcoin ETF in the US continues to increase with the addition of Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital. If approved, the Galaxy Bitcoin ETF will trade on the NYSE Arca exchange. 

  • Based in New York, Galaxy Digital is a diversified financial services firm dedicated to the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. The company has made another pro-crypto step by filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to launch its own Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. 
  • The document reads that if the Commission approves the application, the Galaxy Bitcoin ETF will issue common shares of beneficial interest that trade on NYSE Arca.  
  • The value of the shares will follow the performance of the Bloomberg Galaxy Bitcoin index, which includes multiple pricing sources. 
  • “In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the Trust will hold bitcoin and will value its Shares daily based on the value of the Index, which is calculated based on data from bitcoin pricing sources selected by Bloomberg Index Services Limited.” 

  • With Galaxy Digital’s application, the number of US-based companies striving to launch a Bitcoin ETF continues growing. However, the SEC has yet to approve the first such product. VanEck’s filing seems to be a step ahead as the Commission put its Bitcoin ETF proposal for discussion in March. 
  • At the same time, Canada has led the way with several operational BTC ETFs. In fact, Galaxy Digital already has a functioning one in North America. Novogratz’s firm partnered with CI Global Asset Management, and the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF launched on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on March 9th.  
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/mike-novogratzs-galaxy-digital-filed-for-bitcoin-etf-with-the-sec/

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Blockchain

Where fiat holders lose out, Bitcoiners can gain from inflation

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Currency instability and hyperinflation seemed unreal until a global pandemic struck, sending many nations into economic turmoil. Most economists began to wonder if the end of the pandemic would mean the birth of another Venezuela, which faced a 438% (hyper) inflation rate. However, like several other Bitcoin enthusiasts like Max Keiser thinks that inflation and the price of Bitcoin are correlated.

The aforementioned data is the long-term compounding of past, present, & possibly future base money, since 1970.

In a recent interview Matthew Mežinskis spoke about the inflation rate of the global monetary base, weighted averaged by each base money’s equivalent in USD. What’s important to note here is, it matched the overall 12.8% CAGR (6-year doubling time) we already saw above.

Source: https://platoblockchain.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/where-fiat-holders-lose-out-bitcoiners-can-gain-from-inflation.jpg

For all of 2019, central banks were actually on track to deflate their currencies. This would have been a first in the modern fiat era. So interestingly, no matter what one argues for money printing, 2019  ended with positive inflation, weighted at 1.5%.

Furthermore, he touched upon the role of monetary metals like gold. Gold’s rate of growth had, in fact, been around 1.8% per annum for the last 170 years.

Source: https://platoblockchain.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/where-fiat-holders-lose-out-bitcoiners-can-gain-from-inflation.png

Almost similar with silver – it’s almost as politicized as its “bigger brother of gold”. Lastly, he shed some light on Bitcoin. He added:

“Remember why the overall compound growth, thus far, is so high, and why it will never be that high again. And now is about the time for a clarification note on the Bitcoin system’s compound annual growth rate, specifically.”

Bitcoin’s finite supply, which may overcome inflation risks is what comforts many. However, this narrative keeps evolving as well.

Source: https://platoblockchain.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/where-fiat-holders-lose-out-bitcoiners-can-gain-from-inflation-1.jpg

What’s interesting to note here is, the phrase “supply issuance” for Bitcoin’s chart titles, and not “inflation.” Bitcoin’s “inflation,” economically, was already baked in. As already demonstrated, its growth rate is known until 2141, per the protocol. So when it comes to bitcoins, “inflation” is not the best term.

Even though the price of Bitcoin may indeed surge, its path to the target could be volatile. In the past, the asset’s price has appreciated and even collapsed several times. But some stated that even as Bitcoin increased in price, the rate of inflation, and forecasts for inflation, “remained stable.” Some provide a contrary opinion that economies need a bit more inflation, not less. At the same time, they do not expect hyperinflation to occur again, after the last great recession.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/where-fiat-holders-lose-out-bitcoiners-can-gain-from-inflation

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Blockchain

Holdefi: A Unique Decentralized Lending Platform Shaping the Future of DeFi

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The DeFi industry offering an alternative to traditional financial services is evolving at a rapid pace. There are few platforms that are using the latest advances in the blockchain space to create DeFi solutions that could not only outperform their peers but also capable of adapting to new developments in the blockchain technology itself.

Holdefi is one such open-source, non-custodial decentralized lending platform that offers an attractive passive income stream to investors while enabling the masses to borrow at attractive interest rates. Like its counterparts, Holdefi allows users to instantly secure credit against crypto collateral. The platform does not require the borrowers to provide their KYC or prove their creditworthiness before borrowing. All they have to do is to deposit their crypto assets as collateral to secure a loan in any of the supported cryptocurrencies including stablecoins like USDC, DAI, USDT and BUSD. Users can deposit collateral in one or more types of crypto assets. Similarly, they can borrow different cryptocurrencies using single collateral as long as the value meets the platform requirements.

Attractive Interest Rates and Better ROI

Holdefi uses a mechanism that calculates interest rates for borrowing based on the market and competitive conditions. By doing so, it will balance the demand and liquidity to provide an attractive interest rate to borrowers. Meanwhile, lenders providing liquidity to the supply pool will receive a portion of the interest payments in proportion to the invested amount.

Lenders on Holdefi will get a bigger share of interest payouts in comparison to those on other DeFi platforms as borrowers do not receive any reward or interest on their collateral deposits. So, the lenders end up receiving a proportional share from the overall interest received by the platform from its borrowers.

What Makes Holdefi Stand Apart from the Rest?

Holdefi is an advanced DeFi solution based on the Ethereum protocol. Powered by a native ERC20 standard HLD token, the project is designed to work flawlessly on Ethereum’s existing PoW protocol while being future-ready to operate on ETH’s upcoming PoS upgrade.

The platform witnesses significant upgrades that impart certain qualities of CeFi platforms without affecting decentralization. One such sought-after feature of CeFi is the availability of collateral insurance. While such an option is not available with other DeFi projects, Holdefi solves the issue by separating the collateral deposits from borrowers and liquidity provided by investors into different pools. That way, the collateral won’t be utilized, and borrowers can withdraw it at any time, thus eliminating the need for insurance.

The separation of liquidity and collateral pool will also have a positive effect on Holdefi when ETH 2.0 is implemented as it will speed up the process while keeping transaction costs at a minimum.

Using HLD

HLD is a native ERC20 utility token of the Holdefi ecosystem. Apart from being a mode of value exchange within the ecosystem, it also acts as a governance token imparting voting rights to tokenholders. It can also be used for liquidity mining, staking, and revenue sharing between the participants.

The project has set the maximum supply cap for HLD at 100 million of which 13 million was offered to investors through private and public sales. Recently, Holdefi successfully concluded its private and public sale.

The public sale, a 2-day event starting March 31 was completely sold out within hours of launch. Meanwhile, those who didn’t participate in the token sale can purchase HLD on Uniswap and PancakeSwap

Buy HLD and HODL?

Holdefi is one of the few platforms that has made significant improvements to DeFi lending. It offers a lot of flexibility to users while maintaining strong security features. The future-proof design of Holdefi ecosystem is an added advantage that will make it popular with the crypto community.

While there is no definitive forecast on whether HLD will be an asset due to the volatile nature of crypto markets, Holdefi is an innovative project that is playing a major role in shaping DeFi platforms of the future.

Learn more about Holdefi at – https://holdefi.com/

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/news/company/holdefi-a-unique-decentralized-lending-platform-shaping-the-future-of-defi/

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