An Interview with Globitex Advisor Mark O'Byrne, Bullion Dealer and Gold Market Analyst
Globitex, the institutional Bitcoin exchange co-founded by Jon Matonis, aims to drive deep liquidity into the Bitcoin ecosystem, facilitated by the GBX token. Globitex team’s vision is of an exchange suitable for spot and derivatives trading using Bitcoin as the unit of account - expanding the utility of the cryptocurrency and fulfilling its potential to be the currency for global trade and settlement.
In which segment of the financial industry do you work and what do you specialise in?
I am the founder of GoldCore who are international gold brokers and we specialise in bullion coin and bar trading and secure bullion storage services. Founded in October 2003, just this week, we celebrated our 14th birthday and last month we reached the milestone of $1 billion in sales.
What is your view on the ICO industry at large?
I am concerned about it and think it is becoming very speculative with a lot of high risk ventures that will fail. In the long term, I am positive on ICOs and see them as potentially replacing the traditional IPO model. However, I see challenges in the near term and believe there will be a lot of 'creative destruction' in the ICO space. The better ventures and companies with the best people will come through this and thrive as they always do.
Going forward, what do you see as the most important issues to overcome for a project of scale such as Globitex?
Bitcoin is relatively untested in terms of a sharp U.S. or global recession or a major global financial crisis. Therefore, while it is showing store of value characteristics, since it only around since 2009, it has not been tested in this regard. A bear market in bitcoin or a sharp fall in the value of bitcoin and other crypto currencies might make some question the value of the Globitex model.
As a gold bullion dealer, do you see added value for precious metals to be tradable and deliverable against Bitcoin?
Yes I do. Bitcoin is increasingly trust by millions of people around the world and the adoption rate is very high. Some of the brightest tech and indeed monetary minds in the world have endorsed bitcoin and believe in its long term potential as a medium of exchange and a store of value. Therefore, it makes sense and will be of value to precious metals if they can be tradable and deliverable against Bitcoin and not just against fiat currencies which are dependent on the current global payments system (SWIFT) and indeed the current US dollar based monetary system. Also fiat currencies and deposits are vulnerable to exchange controls, capital controls and bail-ins or deposit confiscation.
One of the benefits is that it may make it harder for governments and regimes engaged in financial repression to ban gold and silver ownership as happened in the past. This was the case as recently as 2003 in China and is the case in North Korea today.
Why allow our economies to be vulnerable due to a complete dependence on a payments mono-system as is the SWIFT payments system and the current dollar based monetary system? Much better and safer to opt for abundant societies with a healthy market and vibrant ecosystem with a variety of means of exchange and stores of value including bitcoin, gold, silver etc. Do we want to live in a repressed society like say North Korea or an abundant free market society and economy like say Switzerland? People should be allowed to choose what they do with the fruits of their hard work and endeavors.
In your view, would the trading community and society at large benefit from tokenised issue of warehouse receipts, verifiable on public ledgers by anyone?
Yes the trading community, investors and society at large would benefit from tokenised issue of warehouse receipts which are verifiable on public ledgers. Transparency would help market participants and investors make more rational and prudent decisions and should help prevent market manipulation at the expense of producers and investors.
What is your view about a society in future, where nation states allocate national budgets on an open an publicly verifiable ledger for everyone to see, evaluate and even vote for or against public spending allocation?
It would be very good to see that. While it sounds somewhat utopian given the financial and economic state of the world today, it is something that we as citizens and nations should aspire to. Transparency in this regard and the knowledge that comes from that will benefit our economies. It will help prevent the very real and disastrous misallocation of capital we see today where banks and corporations enjoy the bounty of central bank largesse and government corporate welfare at the expense of citizens, small and medium size enterprises and the wider society.
Read their whitepaper here.