Singapore-based Coin Republic, a Bitcoin brokerage and consultancy founded by David Moskowitz, recently hit SG 1 million in turnover. A significant milestone, this helps to cement Coin Republic’s status as a key player in the growing Bitcoin ecosystem that’s taken root in the city-state. Asked about its significance, Moskowitz stated “It shows that there is demand by the general public in Singapore for an alternative asset class and means of exchange.”
This growth bodes well for the Bitcoin ecosystem locally and in the wider region, in terms of growth prospects. With prices having stabilized from the decline of the past few weeks, the turnover implies a strong and credible brokerage able to operate and turn a profit despite a downturn, in a digital commodity market that’s notorious for its volatility.
Moskowitz explained the decline of the last few months as part of Bitcoin’s growing traction. Its acceptance by major merchants, such as Dell, Paypal and Expedia have created downwards pressure on the virtual currency. Many merchants were also converting their Bitcoin holdings to fiat currency, rather than circulating it back into the ecosystem by paying suppliers and employees in Bitcoin.
This was combined with the action of Bitcoin miners, who were looking to liquidate their BTC holdings in a declining market, out of a fear of further declines in BTC value. Moskowitz noted that “When the price is going up, they tend to hold onto their coins.”
Elucidating on the state of Bitcoin markets and the prospects for Singapore and the region, Moskowitz is bullish about developments in ASEAN, citing the presence of exchanges and merchants in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.
He noted that much of this growth in adoption was fueled by each country having its own need for Bitcoin; sometimes as an asset class, sometimes as a remittance mechanism, and sometimes as a payment system.
Aside from providing consultancy and brokerage services, Coin Republic has an automated buying service that allows customers to buy Bitcoin using their Singapore bank accounts via an online interface at Coin Republic’s website.
Moskowitz shares that “We also do larger transactions manually for people, corporations or on behalf of wealth fund managers wishing to take a more sizable position and have excellent connections to a number of liquidity providers. We also provide consulting services for those wishing to learn how to store their bitcoin securely and seminars for firms looking to educate their employees about this new technology.”
Asked about the decision to base himself in Singapore, given the high costs of operating a business, Moskowitz explained “I’m very happy to be located in Singapore, as the government here has an understanding of how technologies have and will continue to disrupt the entrenched industries. Whether it be 3d printing, digital content creation, big data or blockchain technologies and bitcoin now, the government here has been very open to the advances and in some cases helping to promote the technologies.”