Blockchain technology will change the way we think of banking and financial services. From eliminating costly fees to offering greater flexibility, blockchain’s robust capabilities are creating a fintech revolution.

One of my personal areas of interest is banking and how the traditional model can be improved, optimized, and more user-friendly. One startup, Baanx, is currently tackling this problem by building out a decentralized Cryptobank and suite of products to help create a new banking system as we know it.

I had the chance to sit down with Baanx CEO, Garth Howat, to learn more about the company, their compliant token sale, and what the future has in store.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started in blockchain?

I started purchasing Bitcoin in 2015 and have always been frustrated by the difficulties of access and use in the traditional banking sector and in real-life situations. Baanx expertise is rooted in banking and fintech (Baanx owns an Online Fintech business that is FCA regulated and has completed millions of pounds in loans to customers) and the team is passionate about delivering real change in the blockchain banking sector.

The team’s goal is to build a fairer new shared ownership Cryptobank model which gives customers flexibility and saves them money, with products that drive cryptocurrency to everyday use. With blockchain technology and its inbuilt peer-to-peer cryptographic security, now this is possible to build.

2. What was your inspiration behind Baanx? How did it all start?

The current traditional banking sector is highly closed to new entrants and extremely difficult to navigate. Baanx breaks down barriers to entry for Cryptobanks by sharing products and licenses so they can get started very quickly in this exciting, new market. Baanx wants blockchain to rival traditional banking and is creating a decentralized ownership structure for the new emerging Cryptobank market to operate in the growing crypto-economy.

Baanx’s core inspiration is straightforward – to bring the use of cryptocurrencies simply and easily into everyday life. This vision was essentially an inspiration born out of frustration! Frustration with the mainstream banking sectors reticence to adapt their existing infrastructures for the use of cryptocurrencies and the lack of interest in improving the fairness of the banking society. A desire for a fairer and better financial society is behind creating the world’s first blockchain-based Cryptobank and Crypto-Financial Services network.

Also, let’s notice how cool the opportunity is to deliver an ecosystem where you can build a licensed Cryptobank fast, then select core and extra financial apps from a marketplace offered by third-party fintechs and developers for your bank and then release this brand to customers – with all operations managed by automation and AI – and a rule-based system controlled by smart contracts to ensure you can’t deviate from regulatory controls and only good actors can operate! Breaking down all barriers for a decentralized Financial sector, yet still protecting customers.

3. What is your competitive advantage at Baanx?

Besides the core Baanx products launching in 2018, Cryptopay (mobile virtual card payments for crypto and fiat) and Secure Wallet (which insures and ‘price locks’ your currency), Baanx is the only open-access fintech platform that allows for genuine scalability. 

This model already exists in the traditional banking sector (for example, Amazon credit cards aren’t delivered by Amazon, but by JP Morgan on their behalf under their own license). Baanx will be the first to bring this decentralized ownership approach to Cryptobanking, enabling an ecosystem of fintechs, brands, and businesses to safely offer their own products and services.

Mobile Cryptobank in a Box will leverage Baanx’s existing banking licenses via a highly compliant rule-based system utilising smart contracts. Predictions are that as much as 25% of the world will be using cryptocurrencies by 2025, and Baanx will be the first network to enable this fast-growing usage, breaking down market entry and time barriers for businesses and individuals.

Lastly, Baanx is also offering a unique structure, we are doing an ICO with utility tokens. However, in 2018, post ICO, we will issue every person with 100 utility tokens 1 security token! Utility tokens will be used in the platform and security tokens will enable rights to a Baanx Cryptobank net transaction revenue share of up to 20%.

4. What is the biggest problem currently in the market?

The root of all the markets challenges (hacking, advertising bans, ICO crackdowns, etc) boils down to lack of trust and security. We solve this through crypto insurance of wallet balances and a hugely secure system built by security experts on our team. 

Early adopters of cryptocurrencies inevitably have to swallow a degree of risk prior to greater regulation being introduced, but Baanx is managing this risk by insuring crypto balances on its platform. So just like traditional banks, customers are covered against theft, hacking or any other non-fault events.

Potentially, the future of crypto is the same as traditional banking – a small number of entities have control of everything. Baanx ensures decentralized ownership of the future Cryptobank sector whilst creating wealth for security token holders

5. What does 2018 have in store for you guys?

2018 is a big year for Baanx. We have an exciting product roadmap scheduled for release via mobile app in 2H:

  • A highly secure wallet: with insurance for your cryptocurrency and a ‘price-lock’ functionality
  • Mobile virtual card payments: for both crypto and fiat in stores and online enabling easy spending of crypto through the existing financial infrastructure
  • Exchange services: the fastest, most secure trading in the world based on the technology used in stock exchanges worldwide to ensure top results, due to list 115+ coins (later rising to 300)

Lastly, to deliver these services and new license releases, Baanx is holding a public pre-sale process on May 24th raising £7.5M. A Baanx BXX token ICO will then be held for £24M. You can register here

6. Is there anything else you would like the world to know?

Baanx is a huge disruptive tech opportunity with the potential to change banking forever. We will bring it into the hands of the public and create benefits throughout society with decentralization and the breaking down of entry barriers to Cryptobanking! We are also very focused on compliance and have the top law firm in the U.K. joining the project to oversee the issuance of utility and security tokens.

Baanx guarantees the fiat to crypto money supply that is being squeezed by banks – cutting off credit cards and debit card payments in 2018 to depress the market growth. We make it easy to restore fiat flow to crypto which will allow further price rises as crypto is used in everyday Banking services such as payments, lending, savings, and investments.

Final word: we are excited to share this vision with the world!Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

David is a professionally accredited leadership and marketing coach who works with young founders and early stage teams to help them navigate through emerging marketing opportunities with a current focus on artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Using the identification of new technological innovations that give way to different paths that can effectively reach customers, David is able to make marketing departments more effective, adaptable, and progressive.