"Opportunity in blockchain and cryptocurrency": entrepreneur

Poland has ”a unique opportunity at the moment” to be recognised “as a leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space” blockchain entrepreneur tells PolandIN

On the day when Facebook announced its Libra currency platform to its 2 billion users and a major listed Polish bank, Alior, announced its own platform based on blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, payment systems and other branches of the FinTech sector were very much to the fore.

We invited co-founder of Coinfirm, Grant Blaisdell, a blockchain entrepreneur and Adam Morawski a finance lawyer with regulatory expertise in the cryptocurrency and banking space to discuss the direction of growth of the sector in Poland, where 60 percent of smartphone users either use or envisage using mobile payment.

“Poland needs to create the environment to really jump on it and allow it to happen,” said Mr Blaisdell, an American of Polish background who returned to Poland five years ago to start his company with his partners - Poles with UK banking experience. The company created a blockchain platform for PKO Bank Polski, Poland’s largest bank.

The “environment” in this case is the regulatory system, which in Poland is very tight, according to Adam Morawski.

The local financial regulator - the KNF - under its new chairman Jacek Jastrzębski, announced the first licence for an e-money provider last month, which may be an indication that there is a way forward for FinTech companies. The company, Billon, had previously been allowed to operate without fully complying with regulations, which is known as sandboxing.

However, Mr Morawski suggested that many companies who previously entered the Polish market “often use passporting” - the registration of an entity in another EU jurisdiction with less stringent legislation, “rather than registering in Poland.”

Click here to watch the full interview.