This interview is part of our new Blockchain For Payments series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and payments.
In this interview we speak with Dmitrijus Borisenka, CEO of CoinGate, to understand how this company is using blockchain to transform the payments business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind CoinGate? Why and how did you begin?
DB: Jonas Gylis, Irmantas Bačiulis – two life-long friends – and I founded CoinGate in 2014. I was introduced to Bitcoin and blockchain in early 2011. At first, it seemed like a decent investment opportunity. However, when Bitcoin’s price spiked in 2013, we started to recognize the potential of it. After studying what disruptive change it may bring to the world, an eye-opening idea of establishing a payments’ company was born.
We decided to become part of the decentralized revolution after realizing that Bitcoin brought something extraordinary with its seemingly effortless way of bypassing any unnecessary intermediaries when making peer-to-peer payments. The potential of bringing the control of money back to the people was really exciting, and the team decided to delve deeper into the technology.
2. Please describe your use case and how CoinGate uses blockchain:
DB: Anyone can create a wallet and collect payments in Bitcoin, but for businesses, that’s simply not enough. The bigger the company is, the more it requires complex solutions and flexible tools. Currently, certain barriers make this whole process far too complicated to establish at a sophisticated level without any help. We, as a company, offer an accessible and convenient approach to connect businesses with people wanting to spend their preferred cryptocurrency for goods and services.
Our solution allows merchants not only to accept a vast variety of digital assets using a single solution, without the risk of losing money due to volatile cryptocurrency prices. Our customers can also manage their finances however they want, for example, get payouts in other digital assets or fiat currencies, and more. Moreover, the process is mostly automated. That’s how we bridge the gap between traditional commerce and the crypto economy.
3. Could you share a customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
DB: We have clients like LiveJasmin, Surfshark, Cointraffic that had extraordinary success with attracting crypto-oriented shoppers. Of course, that’s mostly their effort of promoting the opportunity to pay with digital assets – we only provide the necessary tools for it. But in general, clients appreciate the fact that the additional payment option brings in a more diverse customer base that otherwise would take its business elsewhere.
Another thing worth mentioning is processing costs. Even if right now, blockchain-based payments cannot compete with conventional ways of paying in terms of volume, every client that pays with cryptocurrency ultimately saves money for the company as the crypto payment processing is several times cheaper than, let’s say, credit card payment processing.
4. What other blockchain use cases in payments are you excited about?
DB: We could talk about the potential of micropayments and open markets, but honestly, we are most excited about things that we are developing right now. The truth is, there are still many things that make crypto payments unsuitable in some instances. For example, cryptocurrencies do not work well for businesses that often issue refunds or companies that rely on recurring payments. These are the concerns of many interested parties, and that’s what we are tackling right now. As far as we know, no other company found a decent way to make this happen, and we’re happy to tell you that we might present you with a solution very soon.
5. Where will CoinGate be in 5 years?
DB: We have great things planned but 5 years is a long time, and when the industry is changing so fast we want to remain flexible. But one thing for sure – we will still be here, whether as a payment gateway for companies, or perhaps an ecosystem of a more significant scope that could cater to many more participants of the cryptocurrency market. Time will tell.