again host 3Cs Community at their offices in the Broadgate Tower where guest speaker is Mark Stewart of IMC/Bank of Telecom. This is not a bank as you know it, rather a platform for trading telecom services including automated payment services that ultimately aim to remove banks from payment systems in the telecoms industry – a scary thought for someone who worked hard for his ACIB qualification and relief perhaps for now being retired.
Bitcoin works in a similar fashion where payments are processed (Bitcoin Mining) without any bank involvement but Bitcoin has an exchange risk. If someone wants to be paid in Bitcoin, then you purchase the requisite number at today’s rate, remit them to the recipient’s account (called a wallet) where they will be sold back into the original currency of the transaction which may not be the exact deal amount.
US$500 million goes missing
Bank of Telecom’s system works without banks and since all payments are settled US$ to US$ dollar, this avoids the exchange risk, making it attractive to multinational businesses. Crucial to cryptocurrency security is where the money is located – amply illustrated in the recent US$534 million theft of cryptocurrency from Coincheck in Japan.
Interestingly, Bank of Telecom is in talks now with the FCA to help get the right regulations in place before an even bigger scandal happens. This will help avoid the usual complaint about regulators that they are always one step behind the rogues and thieves.
Mark’s career starts with BT then Cable & Wireless and finally Hong Kong Telecom where the idea for Bank of Telecom is a gradual realisation rather than a lightbulb moment, with the business kicking off in 2012. Revenues are impressive and climbing steadily with offices in UK, Moldova and Chile. Customers are telecoms service providers where BT is a typical example, now number 750 (20 per cent of global telecom providers) and further funding is being sought to aid growth.
Plus they have 500,000+ retail clients, for whom they offer a phone service (like Skype but cheaper and it works when there’s no WiFi available) As a wholesale market, they help smaller telecom providers get traffic from the bigger ones with whom they would never get a bilateral contract.
And good to see again Adam Fillary of Vizzmee the video address book business. If you want to remember someone and maybe they have run out of business cards, you record a 30 second pitch into your video phone. This helps get round the problem of remembering names when you can remember faces more easily.
End of meeting vote: “If you had £100,000 pension fund money to invest, which business would you choose?” is split fairly evenly with Fitness app Myflexfit Patient transport service MedicabUK and homeless charity NextMeal receiving 9, 14 and 14 votes respectively. No new members of the nul points club. Separate blogs to follow on the above three pitches.
is Wednesday 16th May 2018 at NatWestHQ where one pitch is currently available – contact Colin Spiller: firstname.lastname@example.org