The Rock Trading, one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges, will be an exhibitor at FinTechStage Milan on 5th May. Here is a brief interview with the founders, Davide Barbieri e Andrea Medri.
When and why was TheRockTrading founded?
Davide: “The Rock Trading traces its roots back to 2007, when it was founded as a virtual company in Second Life. After the fall of virtual worlds, mainly due to their centralized economies, it evolved into a full-featured Bitcoin and Alt-coin exchange: in June 2011, the first Bitcoin were traded on The Rock, making it one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges, and the oldest still alive. In 2013, The Rock Trading was incorporated in Malta.”
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What’s the difference between TheRockTrading and other competitors?
Andrea: “In a trustless world, we succeeded in building strong trust relationship with our customers, something that it’s not that easy to find in the Bitcoin ecosystem; we are the oldest Bitcoin exchange still alive, and we never had security issues or losses. The Rock Trading focuses especially on the European market, often left behind by our competitors. Moreover, we can leverage our strong banking relationships, in order to improve our customer’s experience.”
Who are the customers of TheRockTrading?
Davide: “Most of our customers (70%) are Europeans, and Italy is the most frequent country of origin; most of our EU customers use SEPA transfers. On the other hand, 30% of our customers use our Ripple gateway, that lets them exchange several fiat and crypto currencies easily.”
Why did you choose Malta for your headquarter?
Andrea: “When we started The Rock Trading, one of our goals was (and still is) a full compliance with regards to the current European legal framework. Malta was a natural choice, since it’s an EU country, it has Euro as the legal currency and is not a blacklisted country. Moreover, in Malta we found a bank that was willing to cooperate with The Rock Trading.”
What do you expect from FinTechStage?
Andrea: “We look forward to share our views and opinions on the evolution of cash-related disruptive technologies, and to help in trying to lead Italy and its fintech ecosystem towards the future.”
What’s the difference between the Italian fintech ecosystem and the ones abroad?
Davide: “The Italian ecosystem is way too slow to respond to change and to adapt to new, innovative solutions. This is due mainly to high regulatory barriers that can prevent competition, combined with the fear of regulators not being able to understand the new technologies; moreover, we noticed that the Italian startup ecosystem focuses too much on showtalking instead of getting things done”.
The secret of TheRockTrading team?
Davide: “Trust. Trust bonds between us, our team, our customers and partners. Trust is definitely our secret.”
Next steps for TheRockTrading?
Andrea: “We see The Rock Trading as one of the main European actors fostering the move towards a digital-cash economy, built on the strong basis of blockchain technology.”