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Colin Goltra | Binance | 2020 Year in Review

Colin: I am just more excited about the home grown PH crypto scene really coming into its own this cycle and having a much more collaborative tone than in prior bull market years. It’s a great community and I think it can do a great job spreading the word about crypto throughout the Philippines.

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January 15, 2021 — Every person you ask will say the same thing: 2020 is unlike any other year. 

The cryptocurrency industry felt the full brunt of the pandemic, as evidenced by the March 2020 crash. Nine months, one Bitcoin halving and a couple of institutions later, the industry sees a resurgence in interest brought about by Bitcoin hitting and breaking the psychological all-time high at $20,000 and reaching a new one of $42,000.

Table of Contents.

What is the 2020 Year in Review?

BitPinas sought the opinion of key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2020 in general and what they look forward to in 2021. Today, we feature Colin Goltra from Binance sharing his thoughts about cryptocurrency in the Philippines, crypto art, and leading and expanding the #CryptoPH ecosystem.

What does your organization do and what is your role in it?

Colin Goltra: As Director of Growth for Southeast Asia and Country Director for the Philippines, I am tasked with expanding Binance’s presence in Southeast Asian markets, including/especially the Philippines. Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and CZ has given us the mandate that in order to expand into the mass market we must have strong local executives and teams in our key markets. I’m focused on building great teams and proliferating our products and services throughout the region.

Outside of my day job, I’m also very involved in the broader #CryptoPH ecosystem movement and an avid collector of Crypto Art.

Please share a personal highlight for you and/or your organization this year in the crypto and blockchain space.

Professionally in 2020, the big one for me was that I joined the team at Binance and have really focused on building out an excellent team. We are already starting to see some great wins throughout the region, including the success of our Binance P2P marketplace in the Philippines.

As a business, 2020 has been a huge year for Binance.  Due to market conditions, continued product innovation, and aggressive expansion into local markets, CZ seems to announce new records in volume, activity, and other all-time highs on a daily basis on Twitter now. Binance is really surfing well in the high tide right now.

In addition to the professional highlights, the other big ones for me were helping to expand the #CryptoPH community via Telegram and Discord communities and establishing a name for myself as a Crypto Art collector via platforms like SuperRare. I wrote a blog post in the crypto art community (“Unholy Unions”) that seemed to really resonate well with both the artist and collector community, and have continued to contribute my thoughts into that fast growing space.  

What do you think is the most important blockchain/crypto development in the Philippines and globally in 2020?

The big one I was a part of was the proliferation of Binance P2P as a top PHP crypto market, really competing well locally on price and ultimately allowing Filipinos to have better access to Binance’s global services.

In the local ecosystem (#CryptoPH), it was definitely the rise of crypto-based play-to-earn gaming here in the Philippines, with significant growth and coverage of Filipinos playing games like Axie Infinity. I think this is a true crypto-native use case and the Philippines is really at the forefront of a major crypto movement here, unlike with a lot of other prior crypto movements.

Globally, a lot has been said about DeFi, I think that has definitely been a huge story for 2020, but it’s also already been talked about at length.

How did the pandemic change how your organization operates? Or how you’ve changed your approach?

I joined Binance during the pandemic and I think they were very well adapted to the changes.  There’s a natural decentralized and remote-first ethos to the company and most people were already working from home to begin with.  I haven’t met most of my new teammates in person yet, which can sometimes make it hard to gel as a group, but overall I think we’ve taken it in stride as well as we could have. 

What is your fearless 2021 crypto prediction or forecast?

Overall, I’m fully aware that predictions are inherently fragile, but I do think there are common patterns that happen the year-or-so after the halvening and we are already seeing them play out big time.  We are well past the prior all-time high in BTC and it seems that ETH also has the momentum to pass its all-time high.  These big price movements will attract a broader interest base and likely lead to a continued frenzy in the market for some time.

Globally, some things I think we will see in 2021 as a result of this:

  • Continued price mania for a bunch of different coins
  • Continued exploration and investment by institutions into mainstream crypto assets
  • Continued exploration into other asset classes like NFTs, gaming items, and crypto art/collectibles
  • I think we will see multiple works of crypto art go for more than $1million USD

Locally, I think we will see:

  • Expansion of new crypto services in the Philippines by mainstream players like Binance and Coins.ph
  • The Philippines, via communities like #CryptoPH, will contribute leadership in the global crypto ecosystem in a way that it hasn’t previously.  Due to wages in markets like the Philippines, we will be right at the forefront of “use case” verticals  like gaming and art where extra crypto earnings go much further – and there will be individuals and companies from the Philippines that that are globally recognized as leaders in these spaces
  • I think we will see a lot of new PH crypto startups and projects that work more closely at the protocol level (as opposed to new exchanges and wallets) and break onto the scene as major players -> we already have The Yield Guild, and will hopefully see many others
  • I think we will see new individual Filipinos become leaders in our community and help us spread crypto to more varied and targeted Filipino audiences -> like Kookoo, Spock, and others

What do you personally look forward to in this space?

At Binance, I think there’s a lot more we would like to do to expand our presence in the Philippines and I hope to achieve many of those roadmap goals in the coming year.

Overall, I think I am just more excited about the home grown PH crypto scene really coming into its own this cycle and having a much more collaborative tone than in prior bull market years.  It’s a great community and I think it can do a great job spreading the word about crypto throughout the Philippines.

Follow Colin on Twitter. Check out Binance P2P and #CryptoPH Telegram channel.

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BitMEX Executives to Face Trial in March 2022

BitMEX’s former executives Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo, and Samuel Reed will face trial in March 28th, 2022.

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The executives of the derivatives trading platform – BitMEX – will face trial in March next year. The money laundering case will come 18 months after charges were first filed. The former members of BitMEX can face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.

The Trio Heads to Trial

Last year, US officials accused the CEO of the company Arthur Hayes, the co-founder Benjamin Delo, and the chief technology officer Samuel Reed of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. Moreover, the members of BitMEX were served with money-laundering charges.

On May 11th – 18 months after the first accusations against them – New York District Judge John Koeltl set the trial date for March 28th, 2022. Furthermore, Gregory Dwyer – BitMEX’s head of business development – also faces charges but will appear in court separately.

Even though the company’s headquarters are in the Seychelles, the US Department of Justice accused BitMEX of failing to apply anti-money laundering procedures while doing business with US-based customers.

Interestingly enough, the ex-CEO of BitMEX – Arthur Hayes – said that the exotic island was a more convenient place for business as it was much easier to bribe Seychelles’ authorities rather than the US ones. The former executives of the cryptocurrency exchange could face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


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Where Was Arthur Hayes?

Attorney Jessica Greenwood told the court that Hayes has ”discussed a surrender date of April 6th, 2021 in Hawaii.” She added that ”the plan is to notify the Court in advance of that appearance and discuss logistics” around his submission.

As CryptoPotato reported, even after his remote announcement Hayes continued to reside abroad and explained that he would only visit the United States whenever has to face the trial in New York.

In the end, the former BitMEX CEO indeed turned himself in on April 6th, 2021. However, the officials released him on a $10 million bond pending the future court process.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitmex-executives-to-face-trial-in-march-2022/

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dotmoovs Raises $840,000 From Strategic Investors and Partners

[Press Release – Tallinn, Estonia, 12th May, 2021] dotmoovs, an NFT platform powered by advanced computer vision algorithms has successfully completed a private funding round of $840,000 from notable investors. Amongst the investors are Moonrock Capital, Morningstar Ventures, Spark Digital Capital, Ascensive Assets, Rarestone, Building Blocks, MarketAcross, AU21 and GBV Capital. The sports industry needs […]

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[Press Release – Tallinn, Estonia, 12th May, 2021]

dotmoovs, an NFT platform powered by advanced computer vision algorithms has successfully completed a private funding round of $840,000 from notable investors. Amongst the investors are Moonrock Capital, Morningstar Ventures, Spark Digital Capital, Ascensive Assets, Rarestone, Building Blocks, MarketAcross, AU21 and GBV Capital.

The sports industry needs a solution for giving everyone a real chance to earn from their skills. dotmoovs is designed to bridge the gap between physical and geographic limitations, assessment of skill and finally – monetisation. Our vision is to build a powerful sports platform where everyone can challenge their friends or any other similar skilled players in the World for a challenge in their favourite sport.

“We are proud to have such notable investors joining us in building the first crypto mobile worldwide sports competitive environment. We know they can boost our growth and provide industry specific insight and knowledge which will be a deciding factor for us” said Ricardo Martins Costa, head of growth of dotmoovs.

“Our vision is a robust platform powered by blockchain and a state-of-the-art AI system that can analyse videos of players performing sports challenges in real-time” Ricardo adds.

“Moonrock Capital and Morningstar Ventures have come together to assist in incubating and bringing the dotmoovs project together. We are grateful and honored by the trust shown by dotmoovs’ team to become their official incubators and lead investors. Working closely with the team for some time now, we are highly impressed with their professionalism, expertise, and what they’ve developed so far. We are very excited to see this ambitious and revolutionary project come to life – combining sports, blockchain, and NFTs with dotmoovs’ vision of growth. The level of their supporting technology is not something we see every day. For these reasons, we are thrilled to be a part of dotmoovs’ journey and helping them achieve their vision.” said Simon Dedic, Managing Partner Moonrock Capital, and Danilo Carlucci, CIO Morningstar Ventures.

About dotmoovs

dotmoovs is the first crypto mobile worldwide competitive environment. The platforms allow users to compete with others around the world just by bringing their skills, ambition, and smartphone. dotmoov’s AI-based video referee will assess their performance in real-time. Powered by blockchain technology, sport competition will enable fair challenges and access to unique digital assets.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/dotmoovs-raises-840000-from-strategic-investors-and-partners/

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Bitcoin Has a Long Way to Go Says Bain Capital’s Chairman

The Chairman of the investment firm Bain Capital believes that BTC is far away from being a viable currency but it could be better than gold.

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Steve Pagliuca – Chairman of Bain Capital – opined that Bitcoin is hard to be seen as a viable currency yet. According to him, the stability of the primary cryptocurrency is not satisfactory and it has a long way to go to be accepted in lots of places.

Additionally, Pagliuca commented on arguably the hottest trend in the crypto space lately – Dogecoin – as he called it a ”prescription for a disaster.”

BTC Is Not a Viable Currency

Steve Pagliuca shared his thoughts on Bitcoin in a recent Bloomberg interview. Bain Capital’s Chairman outlined the potential of the digital asset but alarmed that it is hard to be seen as a viable currency at the moment and is far from receiving mass adoption.

”It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around bitcoin being a viable currency. Bitcoin is going to have to go a long way to go to be accepted in lots of places.”

However, Pagliuca made an interesting comparison between the primary cryptocurrency and gold. In his opinion, the digital asset is actually more efficient than the precious metal as it can be used as a value transferring instrument. Pagliuca opined that when people criticize BTC they should criticize gold too as the value of the yellow metal is based on what people think about it.

The Chairman of Bain Capital surmised that the blockchain technology is ”fantastic” but he also alerted that if BTC keeps its massive invasion eventually it can threaten the stability of the global financial system.


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Steve Pagliuca. Source: Bloomberg
Steve Pagliuca. Source: Bloomberg

DOGE Could Be a Disaster

The crypto community and numerous outsiders have been focused on Dogecoin lately, resulting in a spectacular price surge for the meme token. As such, Pagliuca was also asked about it.

Despite the support and sympathy which Elon Musk and Mark Cuban have shown for the meme coin, Pagliuca shared a highly unfavorable opinion about it:

”Dogecoin seems like a prescription for a disaster. I am the last person who wants to call it valuable. It could be fun to buy DOGE but I wouldn’t bet my savings on it.”

Is Bitcoin Really Similar to Gold?

Steve Pagliuca is not the first prominent name to compare the primary cryptocurrency with the precious metal. The American entrepreneur and billionaire – Mark Cuban – opined on the topic, too.

During a recent interview, Cuban noted that the digital asset together with gold are ”financial religions.” However, he went further by saying that Bitcoin is the better option as it ”enables the transfer of value locally and globally.”

Featured Image Courtesy of PrivCap

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