Constantin Rotariu, owner, and co-founder of Bitcoin Romania is a man on a mission: getting everybody and everything into bitcoin. And rather sooner than later. For 7 years he is on a crusade demystifying Bitcoin and promoting the vast opportunities of Bitcoin as a personal and/or corporate investment. Un-bank yourself is his advice to anyone who is listening. And by connecting the online and offline world with their Bitcoin ATMs, the rise of Bitcoin Romania goes hand in hand with the skyrocketing course and increasing popularity of Bitcoin. Yet there is no end to his ambition: „We plan to have over 250 Bitcoin ATM machines in Romania before the end of the year and campaign for companies to invest in Bitcoin”. Get ready to be dazzled!
Bitcoin Romania, the first and largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the country, celebrates in March seven years of presence on the market. What are the main milestones of the company’s activity during this period?
We brought the very first Bitcoin ATM in Europe, which was exciting. Can you imagine? After appearing in Canada and the US, Romania was the first in Europe to have one. Not in Amsterdam, London, or Berlin. But Romania! And when we passed 100,000 Bitcoin users in Romania on our trading platform, as it was a sign that Bitcoin was taken off here.
At the end of last year, you took a step towards the offline area, launching the franchise for ATMs with cryptocurrencies. How is this change in strategy reflected in the company’s business and what are the medium- and long-term expectations?
I believe the ATMs contribute to the general acceptance of Bitcoin by the public at large. It lowers the boundary of trading (buying/selling) bitcoin for many people. Because now, when you have a for example 100 lei in your wallet you can directly go to a Bitcoin ATM and buy for that value Bitcoins. You just put it in the machine and through our platform automatically the purchase takes place, adding value to your bitcoin account. The same goes for selling Bitcoin, you extract money from the ATM just like that.
What are the main arguments in favour of the transfer of capital from the classic bank account in cryptocurrencies?
If you look at Bitcoin’s initial introduction, it went from few cents to now (at the time of writing) $ 50,000. Yes, being a volatile currency, the value dropped in between as well. But for the last 10 years this has proven a stellar investment. Financial analysts are predicting a lot of figures for Bitcoin value to hit in the next 5 to 10 years, ranging from 250,000 to 1 million. This led to a new phenomenon: Un-bank yourself! A new way of capital growth for companies. Let us say that the standing capital for a company is € 10,000.In the current and future banking climate it is against very low to zero interest rates. After 5 years it will be still € 10,000, but you lost purchase power. You can buy less for the € 10,000. Put that money in Bitcoin, and If we follow the more moderate predictions of let us say € 500,000 per bitcoin in 10 years, then that € 10,000 became € 100,000. Now companies are migrating their capital into Bitcoin. For example, Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter and owner of Square) recently announced that Square bought for $ 50 million on Bitcoin. I do not have to explain how recently Bitcoin went from $ 30,000to $ 50,000, and that Square jumped in value overnight. You can find on the New York Stock Exchange, companies that migrated their capital and see how they suddenly doubled, tripled, or quadrupled their companies overnight. And yes, this is not just for the corporates. The same can be applied to SMEs or even individuals. At Bitcoin Romania we have a special program for investments like that. While allowing them to invest we guarantee their initial starting sum to be returned in case, they do not make a profit. That is how confident we are in Bitcoins’ journey.
The digital currency Bitcoin beats record after record, reaching mid-February in the vicinity of the “mark” of $ 50,000. How is this growth explained, how sustainable is it and how do you anticipate the future evolutions of the most well-known cryptocurrency?
It is a combination of things that made for a wider acceptance. First, there are more traders and more constitutional investors which is is an indication that Bitcoin as investment for both short term and long term became more interesting. There is also the safety issue, which plays a factor. When the market was in its infant years, there were many cases where platforms were hacked, computers were hacked (people used to store them on their pc). There were a lot of cowboys that used Bitcoin to make fast money, establish a trading platform with little to no investment in security solutions. That has changed significantly. These days, Bitcoin can be stored in state-of-the-art vaults, which require all kinds of protocols preventing illegal access. On top of that, companies like Pay Pall incorporated Bitcoin into their payment options. Not for nothing of course. And there are of course the Bitcoin ATMs (14,000 globally, 30 in Romania), visible, which led to a wider acceptance of the public at large. What also helped is that each time the course goes up, the media is covering that extensively. So, more and more people can have access to knowledge about Bitcoin.
How receptive are Romanians to this type of investment and at what value do you estimate their investments in cryptocurrency, at this year’s level?
CR: Romanians by nature are a bit distrustful, but open to new things. So private investors are naturally the first that came in and form a steady influx. Companies in Romania are a bit wary investing directly in Bitcoin, which has to do with the lack of knowledge, not with the lack of laws or anything. And I am referring here to the financial consultants and accountants. When they lack the knowledge of what a company can do with Bitcoin, then they will never actively pursue such a solution, let alone advise it. Or will even be reluctant when the idea is merely put forward. That is a challenge for us. And we are happy to explain them.
Bitcoin Romania organizes every Tuesday, from 12.30 – 14.00 hours a business lunch at their HQ. Max 4 people at the time can discuss directly with Constantin Rotariu regarding investment possibilities for companies. Interested in participating? firstname.lastname@example.org