“It is very likely that the Georgian government will begin exploring regulations in the digital currency space”, Andrew Thornhill, Co-Founder of Spotcoin

“It is very likely that the Georgian government will begin exploring regulations in the digital currency space”, Andrew Thornhill, Co-Founder of Spotcoin

The FINANCIAL -- Q. What is the future of payments? 

A. Payments will become less and less personal and more and more automated. Payments will become easier to make, and both consumers and merchants will be able to choose from more options.

Q. How do you see future of banking?

A. The 'bank', meaning the buildings or institutions that to many represents 'banking', will likely remain unchanged, at least on the surface. The buildings and the institutions will effectively stay the same. However, people's view of ‘money’, people's concept of ‘value’, and what it means to have value will change radically within the next few years.

Q. What is your prediction regarding integration of blockchain technologies into banking system.

A. Of all the industries on the planet, the industry where blockchain will have the greatest and most immediate impact is banking and the financial system at large. I expect most banks around the world to have some aspect of blockchain technology as part of their core business within the next 5-10 years.

Q. What are the chances that all transactions will be cashless? (that central banks will abolish cash)

A. I think that there is little chance that paper money will cease to exist anytime soon. There is a magic and mystery to paper bills. From grandma giving her grandchild 20 lari for their birthday, buying fruit from a vendor on the street, or finding a dollar under a pillow after losing a tooth: cash money will be a part of our society for many years to come.

Q. Do you believe that development of digital money and cryptocurrencies will allow borrow money (finances) from global sources, instead of taking them locally from banks?

A. Yes, digital currencies have no international borders or certainly less of them. Lenders and other businesses will have access to global clients and clients will have an increasing number of options for their monetary needs.
Spotcoin is looking for oversight because we believe that banks and digital currencies need to work together, especially in the short term and the upcoming decade. Not all digital currencies are looking for regulation, but we see regulation as a means to provide stability and encourage sustainable development in this field.

Q. Can you provide estimated turnover of cryptocurrency in Georgia? What is the share of Bitfury in it?

A. A representative from the World Bank told me that 1-in-4 Georgians are engaged with digital currencies. I am not sure what this means in total value. As I understand, the Bitfury servers (which are no longer owned by Bitfury) controlled about 15% of the total bitcoins produced in the world in 2017. This is calculated from estimated hashrate from published electricity consumption. I have never seen any internal Bitfury numbers and I am not sure what the dollar value is of this. For sure Bitfury was instrumental in bringing digital currency to Georgia, we should be very thankful to their pioneer work.

Q. What are the challenges currently you face in Georgia?

A. Right now one of the biggest practical challenges is banking. I believe that Georgian banks want to work with digital currency companies but need further direction and oversight from the National Bank.
Spotcoin has a great deal of opportunity currently, and as we grow, our biggest obstacles will be sourcing the best and the brightest talent here in Georgia to help us expand and continue to do our work.

Q. There are speculations in many countries about the need for central banks to issue digital currency.

A. It is nice to see institutions take the issue of better access to capital seriously, but it is difficult to understand why a central bank would find it necessary to issue a digital currency when they already issue their own paper currency.

Q. What are the chances that government of Georgia will regulate cryptocurrency market soon?

A. I think that it is very likely that the Georgian government will begin exploring regulations in the digital currency space.

Q. What are conditions on which decision of Georgian government on crypto regulation is depended?

A. Our focus is to speak with and educate as many people in the Georgian government as possible, including outside policy advisors, academics, and the politicians themselves. We also aim to provide informed opinions to representatives of the National Bank of Georgia.