Interviewing Andrei Poliakov From Coinberry | EP#190


Hey everyone I’m Scott Cunningham aka
@scottcbusiness and today we’re here with Andrei Poliakov who is the CEO and
co-founder of Coinberry if you want to just start off by giving a little
introduction that’d be awesome sure so my name is Andrei I am one of the
original cofounders of the company we started the company about over two years
ago now and I I was always sort of had an entrepreneur spirit as part of my
third business now that I’ve been involved in and I mean you know back
from when I was a kid sort of picking apples in my grandma’s orchard and
selling them in the you know kind of lemonade stand in the local market you
know I always had sort of ideas that I wanted to implement I’m an engineer by
trade so I loved building things and I love building processes and companies
and creating value so you know building you know building up point was as being
one of these really interesting and sort of fulfilling and challenging endeavors
but I’ve been I’ve been a part of for the past two and a half years now that’s
awesome yeah and you know some people say entrepreneurs are made and some are
born so it seems like you’re born an entrepreneur so so how busy does your
day look on a day to day with coin Barry and maybe with whatever else you’ve got
going on yes so no I mean right now coin Bri is the is the one and only project
and partly because it’s takes up like literally all of my time it’s my it’s my
job it’s my hobby it’s you know it’s everything that I do so my day looks
like you know I get woken up by I have a three-year-old son and an eight month
old daughter so my son used to waking up on 7:00 in the morning and you know I
quickly check my emails take him to day care go to work just work work work work
work work tomorrow and put him to bed you continue working and you know work
until 11:00 12:00 1:00 2:00 whatever it takes I’m working pretty much all the
time there is no like there’s no time zone I’m not really but
it’s not like it’s not like I’m doing something that I love and building a you
know company that I do go passionate about and a technology that has you know
the potential to change really the world more so no but he has so for me it’s not
really work per se it’s more like I’m just I’m enjoying I’m loving everything
that I do every single second so that’s why I’m doing it all the time but but it
is tiring I’m not gonna lie sometimes I yeah I do get tired but then it’s like
oh man but you know and that’s the beauty of running your own businesses
you know if you take a break and you don’t do something well that one thing
that you didn’t do isn’t gonna get done so you know that new partnership that
you project than you you know feature that’s not gonna be
discussed this I can be develop that so I’m going to be advanced right so really
it’s it’s all up to how much you put into it like I’m whatever you know
whatever amount of energy in time and resources you put into into point Bri
that’s how much you’re gonna you know get back so all the amazing in all the
amazing results we’ve been able to achieve is because the whole team has
this approach and you know we’re giving it 150% so we’re able to move extremely
fast and achieve everything we’ve achieved but you know it does come at at
the expense of doing a lot of work right so yeah now it sounds like you’ve got
three kids on your hands with your with coin very so so with that being can you
just give us a bit of an introduction to coin Barry and and and what it’s all
about sure yes so coin Bri is a digital asset
brokerage platform so it is available to Canadians right now and it provides free
service where you can buy and sell using Canadian dollars five of the main
cryptocurrencies the corn theorem white pointed on cash and xr/e and you can do
that at absolute quickest turnaround time and some of the best pricing in the
country and I don’t I mean I’m not being facetious literally I don’t think
there’s any other company in Canada where you can actually buy and sell with
Canadian dollars as fast as you can with winery and I mean that comes you know
goes all the way from being able to find your accounts execute the trade and take
the crypto off or bringing crypto onto the platform executing the trade and
taking your money off I mean literally that I’m not even joking that people do
it in like three minutes from start to finish so we’ve spent a lot of time with
our team in our tech team and our product design team to really build a
problem that’s extremely easy to use extremely safe and secure but extremely
fast as well because we live in the world you know we live in a world where
speed of service is everything I mean if people are used to being able to go on
Amazon and buy you know buy whatever good they want to buy and have it
delivered you know the same day maybe next day and so you know when we were
building out the company this was gonna go back to 30 2017 that wasn’t around
like you had to literally go you know sign up for a service you know take a
selfie of your you know of yourself take photos of your like Aidid send
everything into some random email addresses way to be approved and you had
to send a wire again you wait days you hope you land and you get credited you
know you get the credit on the platform and then you buy and then you hope you
get your credit I mean so you you know we were building a business at a time
where things are a lot more a lot less efficient and a lot more shady to be
honest with you and so our whole approach is how do we how do we sort of
flip that all around how do it we’ll build a business that’s to me efficient
extremely fast is great pricing but it’s also extremely safe and secure as well
so our company from day one I mean we were one of the first companies to get
registered within track and then actually passed our FINTRAC party very
recently which I’m very happy about you know we’re going through licensing with
C right now as well so I mean we’re very forward thinking in terms of you know
being compliant and building a business that answers to the mass you know to the
to the to the requirements of mass adoption and you’re not gonna have mass
adoption is based until you have trusted platforms it’s just all gonna happen as
much as you know Bitcoin and blockchain is trustless but you still need those
gateways to convert from fiat currency into into crypto and those gateways have
to be extremely secure they have to be extremely trusted and and so that’s
where we sit and that’s sort of what point rate is all about is building a
service which is just absolutely top of at some of the best prices and and I
think you know the partnerships that we’ve been able to to get with you know
some government authorities some merchants that we’re working with they
speak for themselves I mean people really the the you know they they
connect with that sort of message and those value yeah no absolutely
so what gave you the original idea for coin Barry or like you and the other
co-founder or corporate I don’t know how many people originally found it and so yeah and I guess to answer your question
so right now it’s it’s myself and Evan Koons that are often still and evident
Moore and myself would go back many many years and and I was I mean I’ve been in
and out of the corporate world slash intrapreneurship like guys I said very
much my whole life and I was actually in a corporate position at the time and I
had had a few discussions on my you know group of friends and with Evan
specifically and I said hey you know I’m thinking of I’m looking for a project to
join and we’re just talking about different ideas that and and we were
actually it was funny so we were down south in Florida and there was a group
of friends that that went down and we don’t have to settle debts to each other
I’ve been at the trip you know just a bunch of guys so you know you just debts
that any group has to settle of the trip for hotels you know lunch this other
drinks and the problem was that we we have comedians and we had people from
the US as well it was no easy way for us to really send money from Canada from
you know flecked myself being Canadian I know is he waits to pay back my friends
at work US residents because you can’t you know I could send a wire I could
arguably go to an ATM and get cash you we didn’t have like van mone or anything
you know like we don’t have that they don’t have heat transfer so really there
was no easy way to really pay somebody back other than going to an ATM which is
super expensive and I think at the time we’re on a beach that nobody really
wanted to come find an ATM and so so one of those people not
what’s happening is that hey guys why don’t we just do this all to Bitcoin so
we gonna buy Bitcoin separately and just pay each other in Bitcoin and that is
exactly what we did and it was it was amazingly fun but it also was extremely
eye-opening in that you know we were like a regular group of people and we
just saw a use case for its new technology well chances are there’s you
know there’s millions hundreds of thousands millions of people that that
can benefit from this technology for their own use cases so anyway so fast
forward a few months and I was having this discussion with them about starting
up new projects and he said hey you know there’s a lot of opportunity in this
industry because it’s really nice and it’s not what do you want you’re doing
it professionally you know he’s like you know you got you got Angie reading you
get an MBA we’re looking sort of business you want to comment like help
us run it so I said you know sure so I ended up putting my comfortable
corporate job and moved cities came back tomorrow with my family and and started
moving in so that’s sort of when we came out you know came about to be yes yeah
yeah no that’s awesome it’s a little group of friends that evolved into
something something huge that’s that’s sort that’s a great great startup story
for sure um so so you talked before a little bit about how you guys have
partnered with municipal governments I think that’s really interesting and I
read on your site that you guys work with them for helping people to pay or
do tax payment process and can you can you speak a little to that yeah so well
just over a year ago in August of last year we were put in touch with town of
Venice Ville which is just north of Toronto and they were they had this
amazing project they did with uber previously where they basically replies
they replace their entire transit system by uber which worked really well for
them and I found that to be really sort of innovative so so we kind of knew they
were a good audience for innovative ideas or projects so so we put in touch
with them and I I came and I pitched them on the idea of providing a new
service for their residents giving their residents the ability to pay for their
property taxes using cryptocurrency and you know me over like
nine months a lot of discussions and you know educating their team on how this
would work addressing all the risks that they kind of foresaw adjusting some of
the risks they didn’t foresee and mitigating some of the ways that they
thought existed that didn’t really exist all the way through to you know
presenting to their council having you know on council sessions as well and
having a unanimous vote on allowing the residents of the municipal to actually
pay their taxes through the initial website but you know process by coin
breeze so the town itself gets set one is made in Canadian dollars because
they’re not allowed to actually hold cryptocurrency yet but you know
hopefully in the near future themselves and actually so yeah so we so I think in
in May of this year we went live with the with the future so now actually go
on the terminus the website and you go okay with the point of that takes you to
the towns dress with point agree with a Bitcoin address and you can sort of you
know type in how much you want to pay in in in Dawson you convert that into the
plan and you send it Bitcoin and everything all the conversion all the
settlement takes place behind the scenes so yeah I mean it provides a new service
to residents it impositions point very very well to you know to work with other
municipalities because we obviously have a proven proven concept that’s that’s my
enough number of months and it and it really showcases you know in is feels
really innovative and forward-thinking sort of philosophy as well ya know
that’s awesome it would be great to see Canada becoming more of a hub for
different blockchain projects and just like moving moving that space forward I
also read that you guys partnered with with cycle bit for point of sale crypto
payments in Canada which I thought was also really interesting and really
important for mass adoption would you like to touch on that a little bit as
well yeah so so cycle bit is a European POS
machine manufacturer and so there are machines they allow merchants to accept
payments made in credit like using credit cards by using crypto currency as
well so they were looking to expand into the Canadian market and so we partnered
with them and so we will be processing all the payments made in crypto currency
like a merchant acquire in the back hand for for their Canadian merchants which
is extremely exciting and again yeah absolutely right it it allows you know
for individual stores it’s actually started using crypto currency in
day-to-day transactions and you know that’s is that very important question
okay what do I do with my Bitcoin now now that I love mm-hmm
yeah no absolutely yeah yeah and I think I think it’s so important that we have
easy to use like point-of-sale transactions and and and system set up
for for mass adoption really because cuz the biggest thing you’ll get asked these
days is like well what can I like where can I actually spend this you know in my
day to day life so I think that’s such a huge that’s such a huge like resistant
point that you guys are tackling what are some of the big changes in the works
for coin bury and or like what’s coming out soon so we have some really cool
projects that we’re working with I mean you know when Innisfil went live we were
approached by all novel municipalities and so richmond hill i recently voted to
enter into a partnership with hinari as well for a similar service for their
residents so you know there’s there’s a number of other municipalities we’re in
talks with right now so you know we’re putting in place it’s pretty much the
architecture to allow municipalities to actually interact and utilize
cryptocurrency and yeah the first sort of lowest-hanging for this tax payment
processing but it goes above and beyond that so we you know as a lot of your
interesting projects were working on with municipalities and and sort of
expanding with those services and creating a much larger network and that
will allow municipalities potentially to issue their own currencies if they
choose to as well that allows their wizard
no benefit you know from whether it’s to beast you know just really basic
incentives to use currencies that in these values may choose to finish on
their own accord mm-hmm yeah no I I could see like some
future use case of it’s like if you’re using the like bare coin for public
transit or whatever it might be might get some sort of like discounters
incentive I can definitely see that being like widely widely adopted amongst
other municipalities is absolutely and this project took I mean in Calgary last
year they launched a Cali boy that wasn’t really a cryptocurrencies moral
point system so it doesn’t have to sort of the benefit so that don’t have so
we’re willing to build on that much much much much more and really sort of
allowing these values and residents will benefit from the technology to a fuller
extent yeah yeah absolutely um so so how does coin Barre fit in with
other similar exchanges and like in Canada and just in general yes the coin
based on an exchange right so remember Saturday beginning where we’re both ways
so you’re able to actually buy and sell cryptocurrencies problem like at on our
platform but you’re really buying and selling from us so supported is not an
exchange in any capacity that you can’t go on a platform and we don’t match
buyers and sellers in any extent when you buy on or off of a platform for
maybe selling you on our problem you’re selling from point B and then what we do
is we plug into a number of liquidity providers globally and restores best
pricing from them so the differentiation factor right away is we’re not actually
but yeah watch on that do you guys keep in mind that the Canadian market for
exchange in broker services I mean is relatively small it’s actually extremely
small compared to the global market so my personal opinion is that there’s not
really there’s no place in Canada with the size of the market for exchanges per
se case in point our company allows you to buy to acquire cryptocurrency at much
more competitive rates than most Canadian exchanges because resource on
the global market so you know if you’re if you’re actually going on
Canadian exchange to buy crypto with Canadian dollars you’re doing that
purely because you don’t know then there’s a better way to get your hands
on crypto currency like literally that is the only reason you would be doing it
and and so you know what we focus on is is solving that problem because I mean
when we thought when I was starting out right and I wanted to get my hands on
the currency and I had to you know I had Canadian dollars that first sort of step
is the hardest one once you get let’s say Bitcoin you have fully put it you
have full control of your of your asset and you can even go in any global
exchange and if you do your trading or if you want to you know if you’re just
holding it you can give me a call but that first step is crucial because
that’s the biggest barrier to entry right so that’s what we focus on we
focus on that one bit you know one very important barrier that really needs to
be broken down for people to then to then actually acquire the crypto and
then they can do whatever they want with it they can go on on some of the massive
huge global exchanges with like insane liquidity books you know
and that’d be valid the Canadian market a thousand times to one just because of
the size of those works none of people that are on them or if you’re looking to
just you know Halloween just you’re just want them buy and hold you can do that
too but you don’t really need I don’t think you really need a canadian-based
exchange now I mean I may be proven wrong but that’s my philosophy
so we’ll be fair enough but we focus on with that philosophy is that one barrier
you know it would fully you know compliant no your client and anti money
laundering you know procedures in place how do we
make it so that creating you know residents are able to buy their bit from
using Canadian doors and sell their bitcoins using Thanos as easily as
possible as quickly as possible and as safely and securely so you know
and that’s really what we’ve honed it on and it and I you know we have a great
service that does that and I think it’s really like you know users are really
loving what we do and and and so I think we really we have a very you know we’ve
been comfortable in the place in the whole ecosystem where we sit because we
think we’re solving a real problem and and and not just you know jumping on the
bandwagon of opening encrypted exchange which yes you know a couple years ago
everybody was opening a cryptic Jesus I was like nothing to do yeah fair enough
and and that I feel like that really differentiates you from from a lot of
the other exchanges that I’ve seen and and and use myself so yeah I mean I
think it’s really important for people to to really understand that distinction
as well bridge between just an exchange or brokerage and so so so expand on that
a little so yeah you know so we’re available on iOS on on Android on the
web you know we have an amazing app that just gives you like you can basically
sign up and just set up a schedule where you know you want to buy like $10 or
$100 or whatever amount of crypto a week or a day or a month and you just set it
and forget it so you know it’s all it’s all about that convenience that we work
on you know super easy to use interface is super easy to use apps and but the
other more you know probably as equally important point is the trust and the
safety and security so we you know from day one we started the company we
focused on being fully compliant and building a business that’s you know
professionally ran and is and you know focuses on those sort of builders and
the fact that we’ve been able to land you know contracts with the government I
think you know speaks volumes to first of all the importance of building
systems that are secure and entrusted but be also the fact that they’re not
only important from the point of view of the security of assets but they’re also
important for and consumer like this is something that in the crypt of space as
in many other industries people are very sensitive to I mean they’re looking for
platforms that are that are very secure very safe and they trust and then you
know if on top of that they’re easy to use and convenient and well-placed I
mean you know like what else do you need so that’s why you know that’s why we’ve
been talking with you know the city of Richmond Hill and down to Venice Ville
and all the municipalities are currently talking to you know we’ve proven sort of
our approach and you know that through where the real deal kind of thing and
that’s that’s open a ton of doors I mean like we were one of the first companies
to get our financials audited like I said we’re going through licensing with
the OAC right now so you know that we got policies and procedures through the
roof and that’s important I think and you really need you give me more
businesses like ours as far as I’m concerned in Canada because that’s the
only thing that’s gonna make this industry really explode and and make the
masses you know comfortable in actually getting into this space because so far
you have the early adopters people that are willing to take the risk because
they see the benefit but most people not willing to take the risk until they see
you know coffees and businesses that that they trust you know become
available yeah yeah absolutely would you say that you guys are probably
one of the only brokerages then in the space or at least like in Canada yeah I
think at the level that we were at that we’re probably the only wants to be
completely honest with you because we’ve just we’ve taken it to such an extreme
level of you know compliance and partnerships that I mean we’ve yeah like
I said I think we’ve we’ve been audited so many times that you know I got yeah
III I dream auditing when I when I go to bed but yeah but that’s important again
because that’s what you need for for people to actually be comfortable for
you know whether it’s consumers or or institutional clients to be comfortable
with using your platforms because they’re then of the date you know
there’s platforms in Canada that failed that didn’t do things right so and you
know everybody yeah so long ago this year right yeah yeah yeah
ya know you have a show yeah I’m not that short right yeah so yeah so you
know focusing on on on that safety security and trust factors I don’t think
anybody else is doing it’s a little year ya know I mean I definitely haven’t seen
seen any major competitors in that space at all
would you say or sorry what what where are you guys headed for the next like
five years or maybe in just like the next a year like what is your long-term
roadmap sort of look like yeah so in general we are firm believers that you
know the application of law change the financial services as a whole is more
efficient than what currently exists so you know we’re looking to build out you
know that new-age financial institutions use the word bank because it has
connotations about the new-age financial institution that allows individuals to
control their assets allows the individuals to move their assets for you
need to pay for services and your own goods and services freely without
incurring you know crazy fees that event of the day you know the credit card
company is charged they’re just hidden in the price of the product and service
you use you know I mean the other small convenience store and quite often you
they don’t accept they don’t accept payments with credit
card under $10 why do you think that is it’s because they pay the credit card
companies it makes you know they lose money when when the amount is not large
enough but that amount is still regardless of what you buy you’re
overpaying whether it’s a cup of coffee or a sofa or your gym membership you’re
overpaying to 3% every single purchase imagine how much that adds up to over
your lifetime I mean these they’re tens of thousands of dollars that are are
being are being used up through you know due to the inefficiency of the of the
current system and so we we strongly believe that and as we work on more
products and you know as we expand and and you know the partnership will cycle
it does a great example of that as we branch out from simply allowing people
to buy crypto to now actually starting to use scrip to whether it’s paying you
know merchants that accept cryptocurrency amants or paying your
taxes are paying services for the towns you live in I mean that’s where you
really start to see the benefit to to the end consumer you see a benefit too
you know the average sort of joke in using cryptocurrency and
cryptocurrencies just as I said it’s just one of the many applications of
blockchain to an industry where there’s an actual benefit because you know there
was a time when people would would use blockchain and everything and anything
what he’s claimed to work is try to and Facebook yeah and well yeah that’s you
know what there’s this is good and bad with a Facebook story because in the one
hand and really gave a stamp of approval from the corporate world but then on its
Facebook and it’s not you know it wasn’t really the cryptocurrency because in the
others I got five or ten companies that came together arguably but arguably
there’s a lot of cryptocurrencies out there that are hard cryptocurrencies
either right that is very true that is absolutely snarl yeah and depends on
your definition of it but anyway so that’s our plan the next you know five
to ten years is to really continue to build out that New Age blockchain based
financial institution it’s exciting yeah yeah no that sounds like you guys
are really tackling a lot of the big problems in and and providing a lot of
or like aiming to provide a lot of solutions to those problems as well so
what does your current user base size look like and and how well is it growing
or or what are the projections generally look like yeah so I mean we’ve you know
our user base doubled over the last with six to eight months the fact that there
was you know an exchange in Canada that that closed doors earlier this year I
was a blessing in disguise for us because there’s a lot of people that
were looking to you know for again trust the platforms that they were not gonna
get burned with and so we you know we gained a lot of use of that that we’re
you know we’re going you know aggressively with tens of thousands of
users in Canada we have a lot over on a thousand users and actually they tried
to set up on a platform we only available to Canadians at the moment but
it’s always a question that comes up because there is a lot of demand again
the coin rebrand I mean we’ve been you know with when when the partnerships
with with in astonishment who came out we were covered by over a hundred over a
thousand news outlets globally a lot of international server
national coin very name and and again people are looking for a trusted service
global it’s not just the Canadian problem it’s a problem like there’s
exchanges that there’s a bunch of exchanges that pull towards this year
mmm passionately and so people are looking for platforms that that are
robust that are you know trusted and especially platform to work with the
government’s so anyway so yeah all that to say that there is you know there’s a
lot of demand for our hungry to expand its nationally but for the foreseeable
time being we’re focused on the Canadian market North American market I should
say and again we’re going quite well yeah I mean you guys are definitely
making you know way for for Canada to eventually be you know leading in in in
the space since you know and then hopefully you’ll bring more people here
because of it so then last but not least can you share wherever we can go and
learn more about Wayne Barry absolutely so the best place would be our website
WWE comm that’s you know that has a long formation he has got links to sign up to
excel links for the App Store the Play Store you can Google point buoy and then
you know all our partnerships there’s a ton of CBC and kind of articles well the
meal kind of thing on on the partnerships that we’ve had we’ve
launched to date we have a blog as well on our website that we talked about some
cool things on the school checkout but yeah our website is the best place to
check us out awesome and is there anything else that you’d
like to share with the with the audience before we end this off I know I just
really thank you for the opportunity to sort of share our story so far and you
know it’s really exciting it’s a really exciting time for us and we wouldn’t be
in business if it wasn’t for you know for our our our users in our and and so
we appreciate the users that we have and we’re always looking for as I said we’re
literally always very happy to hear the feedback that we get because if it’s
good it’s great because it’s a recognition of what we’re doing right
and if it’s not good then it really it’s it’s even it’s it’s equally valuable
because it allows move on on what we’re doing so that we
do end up fighting a product that people actually want and need so naughty I just
want to thank you this doesn’t thank you as well for giving an opportunity to
share a story yeah thank you so much for coming on I think even I learned a
little bit in it I mean if people want to go and you know get the cheapest
fastest crypted that they can get coin berry’s the place to go so make sure you
go check out coinberry.com Thank you. And thanks again for coming
on. Cheers. All right.

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