As part of the Digital Currency Council’s Continuing Education partnership with Inside Bitcoins, the DCC’s CEO, David Berger, had the opportunity to interview the thought leaders that will be speaking at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in New York City on April 27-29, 2015. Today, we share an interview with Vadim Telyatnikov, the CEO at AlphaPoint.
David: Tell us about how and why you got involved in Bitcoin and digital currencies.
After selling my last company to OpenX, I co-founded Admire Capital, a systemic value and activist hedge fund. We began trading Bitcoin at Admire and although we decided there just wasn’t enough liquidity to pursue it as a stand alone strategy at that time, I fell in love with the blockchain during that process. I saw the huge, disruptive potential in the technology and realized this was where I needed to focus my energy.
David: What inspired you to launch AlphaPoint? What makes AlphaPoint unique?
I met AlphaPoint’s co-founders, Joe Ventura and Jack Sallen, in early 2014 and was immediately impressed. They each have more than 15 years building software in the financial industry, Joe having specialized in building high frequency risk management systems for Deutsche, UBS, Merrill Lynch, and other institutions, and Jack having worked extensively in automated trading on the CME. We all sensed the growing need for professionally designed exchange infrastructure for Bitcoin, and felt this was a hurdle digital currency in general needed to cross. What really sets AlphaPoint apart and why I decided to partner up with the founders is that our team has years and years of experience building precisely the types of trading and risk management systems we felt were lacking in the industry. As the Bitcoin market continues to transition from enthusiasts to institutions, we are seeing this experience become more and more significant.
David: What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced as a company? How have you overcome them?
So far our biggest challenge has been completing the Bitfinex integration. The integration required months of close collaboration with the Bitfinex team, as well as exhaustive testing to make sure the transition was seamless. We’re honored to be working with Bitfinex, and very excited to have completed this first leg of the partnership.
David: What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the industry?
Right now, we need applications that give everyday users reasons to use Bitcoin. The past several years have seen the development of a necessary layer of infrastructure, with infrastructure-focused companies (exchanges like Bitfinex or wallet services like Coinbase) gaining the most traction. Merchant-facing applications have been successfully implemented on top of this layer today, with 80,000+ merchants accepting Bitcoin, and today we’re witnessing more and more solutions aimed at financial services. The next step is for entrepreneurs to leverage this same infrastructure to create breakthrough use cases for consumers. We believe adoption on a larger scale will increase demand and help smooth out volatility over the long term.
David: What’s on the horizon for you? What can we look forward to seeing next from AlphaPoint?
In the coming months we will roll out a new service aimed at brokers, exchanges, and institutions. Leveraging a smart order router and a clearinghouse partnership, the service will allow traders to open one account and trade across 20+ exchanges simultaneously. We believe this can help reduce the fragmentation across the exchange landscape, and will make it easier for traditional firms to engage with Bitcoin.
David: Thanks very much for your thoughts, Vadim. Looking forward to a great conference.