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BISON blog interview Dr. Ulli Spankowski

Interview with BISON CEO Dr. Ulli Spankowski: New cryptocurrencies, staking, and trading stocks?

What’s next for BISON? Will more cryptocurrencies be added to the platform soon and, if so, how many? Will BISON ever offer staking or trading stocks and ETFs? In an interview with the German advice site Aktien mit Kopf, BISON CEO Dr. Ulli Spankowski went into more detail on these topics (many of which BISON users frequently ask us about).

 

In this video – which we’ve provided in text excerpts below – you can find out whether BISON has actually been addressing these aspects, as well as the challenges they’ve been facing in the process.

How are new cryptocurrencies assessed before they can be traded via BISON?

As of right now, seven different cryptocurrencies can be traded with BISON. However, because there exist over a total of 15,000 cryptocurrencies, users often express interest in being able to invest in other currencies with BISON. For various reasons, BISON is unable to immediately address this request – after all, adding cryptocurrencies is a complex process. Here’s what Ulli Spankowski had to say on the subject:

I would, of course, love it if we could make 20, 30, or 40 different cryptocurrencies available for trading right now. But this isn’t as easy to implement as it might seem. As a regulated financial services provider, BISON’s trading services are subject to various regulations in Germany.

 

Let’s use traffic to demonstrate what I mean: With a car, you could theoretically drive through a city at 100 km/h – maybe even 150 km/h. The only issue is that you have to adhere to certain rules and traffic laws, which may stop you from actually driving at that speed. In terms of cryptocurrencies on BISON, what this means is that you can indeed implement a lot of things very quickly on a technical level – like making transfers and withdrawals in cryptocurrencies.

 

Custody

But when the situation becomes more concrete, various factors come into play that just can’t be ignored. First, there’s the custody aspect. The question we have to ask ourselves here is, is it possible – on a technical level – for us to handle this custody for our customers? Are we confident that we can do this well enough to vouch for it using our name and the BISON brand? There’s no room for doubt when it comes to this question.

Availability

If we offer a coin, it’s expected to be traded. In principle, BISON is not an exchange where sellers and buyers are matched. BISON is a broker. This means that BISON itself is connected to various stock exchanges and must obtain liquidity from them.

 

Let’s say I was only connected to one exchange and someone buys, for example, Solana through BISON. Now let’s say this exchange closes and you want to sell, so I can’t take coins from you anymore. But we’re obligated to take the cryptocurrencies from you because we are in a contractual relationship. (…) At this point, we have to look at: Can we really do this? Coins have to be readily available – meaning that, in order to eliminate customer risks, it’s necessary to be connected to several marketplaces.

Liquidity

On top of that, coins require a certain level of liquidity. They should be traded frequently and have a certain trading volume. In other words, their market capitalization plays an important part. There are currently 14,000 – 15,000 different cryptocurrencies. But really only about 50 are relevant – aside from those, market capitalization isn’t really a relevant.

Regulatory Requirements

Another key issue for BISON is the question of whether we are even allowed to offer a given coin in terms of regulation, and whether the coin is really a cryptocurrency. Needless to say, this is something we have to verify. If it’s a security token, for example, other licenses come into play and we can’t implement it one-to-one in the setup we provide. There are several different steps that have to be carefully checked. Because the process is so complex, it takes much longer than usual – especially from a technical point of view.

What new cryptocurrencies are yet to come to the BISON app this year?

When will new cryptocurrencies arrive and which ones will they be? These are two of the most frequently asked questions within our community. What are Ulli’s thoughts on the topic?

We’ve already announced that Cardano, Solana, and Polkadot will be next. These all have different blockchains and we of course have to take that into account when it comes to custody, tradability, etc. My big hope, as well as the entire team’s, is that we can add a lot more beyond these this year. We’ve set our sights on these three coins for the next few months – why? Well, it’s simple. We believe they’re all very interesting protocols.

 

With these coins, you might be able to do other things, like staking. We really hope that this year, we can make 20-30 coins available for trading on BISON. But this will also depend on factors that we have no influence over, such as custody, liquidity, and so on.

 

Apart from that, there are still quite a few ERC-20 tokens. Right now, I expect that BISON will offer derivatives of these and process them quite quickly. We’ve been working on a technical set-up for a while now that can enable us to offer new coins more quickly – coins that we may not even know about today, that are still listed as #12,324 or so. If those were to start moving up – because of the use case behind them – we’d be able to offer those coins quickly. So in the next few months, we’ll have three new coins, and after that, we’ll try to ramp things up again so that we really hit 30.

 

By September, there should be a total of at least 8 new coins, and at most, 20. But I’m aiming a bit beyond that… Personally, I’m not hoping for 20, but something around 30 or 40.

When will BISON offer staking?

Bitcoin operates via the Proof of Work system, which is a consensus mechanism that consumes a significant amount of energy through its complex computational processes. However, cryptocurrencies that are based on Proof of Stake provide an interesting alternative. This consensus mechanism allows investors, via staking for example, to do more with their coins than just hodle them and sell them at a higher price. Will BISON also offer staking? Here’s what Ulli has to say:

This is something we’ve been looking into and, personally, I’ve found the idea to be quite fascinating. In fact, I think the overall market finds it interesting, so we’re exploring it. But there are several different factors that need to be taken into account when determining whether something like this can actually be offered. Tax issues, for instance, are a big aspect that should be considered. But, in short, yes – we are, indeed, exploring if and how we can offer something like this.

Trading stocks and ETFs on the BISON app?

Trading stocks and ETFs seems the obvious next step, given that BISON is backed by the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, a traditional stock exchange. Ulli explains:

BISON’s philosophy is to make trading asset classes as easy as possible, while giving users access to something they might not otherwise be able to engage in as easily and with the same quality. To put it in a sports context: We’re looking forward to seeing what happens on the field – and we might have even already started warming up.

Ulli's wrap up

2022 will be an extremely exciting year for BISON’s growth and development. It’s well worth it to be part of of the BISON community; we’ve got great things in store that’ll also deliver added value to our customers.