Why pay with cryptocurrency?
Originally posted on Finextra
It seems that the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation have managed to overcome the crisis known in psychology as the Kübler-Ross model. It describes five stages of dealing with a crisis situation, beginning with denial and continuing with anger, bargaining, depression, and, finally, acceptance. Apparently, this is what happened with cryptocurrency in Russia. The government has accepted that digital currencies are the new reality and stopped thinking about banning them.
As we see it, two concerns have hindered the recognition of cryptocurrencies in Russia so far:
The welfare of non-professional investors who could lose all their money on risky investments
Massive cryptocurrency use on the black market
Interestingly, when you talk to people about cryptocurrencies, they often cannot imagine any other ways to use them: in the eyes of an average person, cryptocurrencies are still considered a way to get rich quickly.
As it happens, people in countries with a developed and open financial system (and Russia certainly belongs to them) often do not think about, or rather do not know about, the fact that in most countries of the world, where the vast majority of people live, any currency purchases or currency transfers outside of the country are strictly controlled. To understand the extent of the problem, it would be enough to say that these countries include China, India, and almost all of Africa and Southeast Asia, with a combined population of over 4.5 billion.
At the same time, in all these countries (except maybe China), cryptocurrencies are legal, thus creating a situation where they become a more convenient payment method than fiat.
This is especially important for small IT companies. At UpTrader we develop software for small companies in finance, and this type of business is the most common in emerging markets.
Therefore, the legalisation of cryptocurrencies in Russia is a real gift for us. Moreover, I think that it will favour the inflow of foreign capital into Russia and the country's image. It also means that there will be more money, which means everyone will be better off.
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The conflict between Russia and Ukraine revealed a global crisis of confidence and strained relations between countries. The US is talking to any opposition only to imply sanctions: "If you do not do as we say, we will impose sanctions against you, if you do as we say, we will lift the sanctions imposed on you earlier".
This rhetoric cannot help but anger world powers like China or Turkey, who see themselves as entitled to pursue their own policies. Markets react sensitively to each statement; country and sector indices, stocks, and currency are turbulent. While some are rising, others are falling. How does it affect the brokerage business?
Market turbulence and crises always attract investors. Some venture in to preserve their capital, others want to earn more money. In the last month, UpTrader saw an increase in the number of requests from companies in Asia which focus on trading gold and currency pairs. Gold is rising as a safe haven for investors during the storm. Others are looking at the energy sector, as Brent rose to $129.47 a barrel as a reaction to sanctions against Russia. Stock markets are falling. The currency market is far from being calm.
In addition, cryptocurrency and digital currencies are booming. Russia decided to make cryptocurrency legal in January 2022. Taiwan, on the other hand, introduced a ban on cryptocurrency payments, as China did a year earlier. But China's digital yuan is being successfully tested. Experts believe that it can successfully compete with the dollar in international payments in commercial exchange. After all, the dollar is losing the vote of confidence from many countries due to overusing sanctions.
All these developments are encouraging investors to open accounts with brokerage companies. An important trend that we noticed over the last couple of years is that small local companies are earning more trust and interest from customers while the giants are losing ground. As we can see, this is due to the fact that local companies are much more client oriented and aiming to meet the needs of their small target audience. They are also very flexible and quick to adjust to changes in trends, which big brokers do with a big delay.
It is common in Asia for former big Forex broker IBs to start their own brokerage companies. They have a reputation and loyal clients. To open a company, all they need is a MetaTrader server (recently, it seems, everyone only buys MT5) and Forex CRM. Separating from their former bosses allows them much more flexibility to serve clients and not depend on the policies of another company. All Asian clients who came to UpTrader in the past few weeks are asking for MT5 and Forex CRM.
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