Adopting Digital Currencies: Interview with Igor Telyatnikov, Co-Founder & CEO at AlphaPoint
By Leandra Monteiro
IBS Intelligence in conversation with Igor Telyatnikov, Co-Founder & CEO at AlphaPoint discussed the global acceptance of CBDCs. We also talked about AlphaPoint’s efforts in enabling the El Salvador Government to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
AlphaPoint is a white-label software company powering crypto exchanges worldwide. Through its secure, scalable, and customizable distributed ledger platform, AlphaPoint enables customers to launch and operate markets, as well as digitise assets. AlphaPoint’s blockchain technology has helped over 150 clients in 35 countries discover and execute their blockchain strategies since 2013.
Why do you think countries across the world seem to be hesitant in adopting Bitcoin as legal tender? Are their concerns related to risks associated with digital currencies – tax evasion, terror funding, etc justified?
There are dozens of countries considering making Bitcoin legal tender or other approaches to provide clear guidance and support for cryptocurrencies. Several will likely take steps and make announcements this year. Bitcoin as a monetary network and bearer instrument has many advantages over and face the same types of challenges of fiat currencies today. Technology can and will be used by good and bad actors – bitcoin doesn’t change that and in many ways is a poor alternative for criminal activity.
Do Central Bank Digital Currencies play any role in crypto regulations? How do you see the future of CBDCs?
CBDCs are a natural evolution of digitising national currencies and leveraging current technology to enhance the efficiency and utility of currencies. CBDCs will roll out in force over the next few years, though there are many privacy concerns that should be addressed and they are not a real competitor to a globally distributed and decentralized currency like bitcoin.
Do CBDCs pose any kind of threat to the future of cryptocurrencies?
Central Bank Digital Currencies are more of a competitor to stablecoins than to decentralized crypto protocols like bitcoin.
The mining of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is infamous for consuming large units of energy with nations going as far as banning it. How would you react to these notions and do you see any alternatives that could be used?
Most of the myths about bitcoin energy consumption have been debunked. Mining activities search for the cheapest and most available energy sources such as stranded and excess energy supply with major green energy initiatives in the space. Cryptocurrencies offer access to financial services to hundreds of millions globally and consume a fraction of the cost of brick and mortar infrastructure of banks or streaming video over the internet.
How will the AlphaPoint infrastructure help to improve Chivo? What issues does the new integration address?
AlphaPoint has been powering institutional-grade crypto wallets, exchanges and brokerages for almost 9 years. Due to this experience, AlphaPoint’s technology was selected to scale an application the size of the Chivo wallet. An improved lighting integration, application responsiveness and enhanced administrative tools for increasing customer service response time are the other elements delivered in the implementation.
What importance does the Lightning Network implementation in the app and what will it mean for users, citizens and businesses?
Lighting is a critical layer 2 technology that enables Bitcoin to scale for payment use cases around the world. In El Salvador, many purchases made are less than $1, and paying on-chain BTC fees of several dollars is not practical for the use case. The Lightning Network enables nearly instantaneous transactions with minimal transaction fees, and the country has proven that this new technology works at scale.
What is the current state of bitcoin adoption in El Salvador? How popular is it among the country’s citizens and businesses on a daily basis?
It has been publicly announced that Chivo has over 4 million users on the platform. Notably, for the first time anywhere in the world major chains such as Super Selectos, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Wendy’s, Subway, Walmart, and government offices are already accepting Bitcoin with Chivo. Adoption on such a broad scale has not been achieved yet anywhere else in the world.
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