“We Haven’t Scratched the Surface of Crypto Opportunity,” Ilia Maksimenka | Hacker Noon

@SergeenkovAndrey Sergeenkov

Cryptocurrency analyst. Founder and editor at btcpeers.com

Although the traditional banking system remains the foundation for the present global economy, experts believe that there is bound to be a systemic overhaul of this model to cope with the current demand for optimized financial processes.

At the heart of this conversation is the explosion of fintech solutions designed to enable cashless economies and establish global networks of financial infrastructures. It is important to note that the ultimate goal of this revolution is to have a financial order that embodies inclusive, flexible, cheap, and globally accessible banking solutions.

While a majority of fintech projects focusing on this core mission have done remarkably well, there are still elements of legacy models that feature prominently in the latest waves of fintech advancements. It seems that regardless of the billions of dollars invested in this sector, there is no way around the often cumbersome and intermediary-based banking processes. Herein lies the growing importance of crypto banking systems as they provide unique infrastructural solutions strongly suited for futuristic banking systems.

By using blockchain as the underlying technology for these solutions, crypto fintech has found new and improved ways to eliminate the inefficiencies of traditional banking systems. The goal is to eradicate the hurdles and cost of conventional intermediary-based financial services and replace them with autonomous and cost-effective infrastructures. And even though there have been a lot of ups and downs along the way, the verdict is that crypto fintech and the emerging DeFI sector have created new paradigms that are worth pursuing and adopting. This is thanks to the growing suites of crypto infrastructures targeting the financial industry and developing products viable enough to disrupt conventions.

One of the notable projects in the crypto fintech space is PlasmaPay. This solution has introduced functioning financial products ideal for the global digital economy powered by web 3.0 and DeFI. The startup has created a decentralized banking ecosystem that comes with a wallet, mobile apps, corporate accounts, a distributed ledger technology, and crypto to fiat gateways.

Owing to the critical role of crypto in the ongoing financial revolution and the contributions of crypto banks to this narrative, I had to reach out to Ilia Maksimenka, CEO of PlasmaPay. We discussed some of the pain points of the financial industry and how companies like PlasmaPay are looking to alleviate these challenges. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Thank you for agreeing to discuss the crypto fintech market and the financial sector at large. Can you give us your view regarding the current state of the traditional banking sector?

Ilia Maksimenka: The human species is wired to continue to search for new ways to execute tasks. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the financial sector is currently undergoing a massive change. Interestingly, much of this change stems from the drive for a digitized world. We want super-efficient banking infrastructures that can both capitalize on technology advancements and establish optimized financial and banking processes. While this is the main goal, it is proving a bit hard to develop the ultimate solution. This is because much of our systems still very much rely on inflexible banking models. I believe that we are beginning to fully understand the full extent of changes required to achieve a globally digitized economy and that it might involve sourcing for alternative financial models.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Is it true that cryptocurrency is critical to the ongoing revolution?

Ilia Maksimenka: From what we have learned in the last couple of years, crypto is rightly placed as the most viable alternative financial model for a digitized economy. This technology utilizes sophisticated infrastructures to establish decentralization and distribute governance across all network participants. This approach eliminates the risks of potential attacks and enables globally accessible financial ecosystems. And thanks to the emergence of DeFI, there is a wide range of possibilities to explore. As a matter of fact, we haven’t even scratched the surface of the opportunities that crypto and blockchain present.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Do you think that DeFI, regardless of its unconventional approach to finance, is poised for mainstream adoption?

Ilia Maksimenka: If I am to base my answer on the progress achieved thus far, then I say yes, DeFi is a disruptive innovation capable of clinching mainstream success. This is due to its ability to sidestep prevalent issues synonymous with traditional financial systems. And judging by the level of acceptance in this early stage of development, there is no reason to doubt DeFi’s mainstream appeal.

Andrey Sergeenkov: How is PlasmaPay going about making sure that crypto remains a mainstay in the unraveling financial order?

Ilia Maksimenka: PlasmaPay’s main objective is to create an ecosystem where the possibilities of a digitized economy is not a wild goose chase but an achievable endeavor. We want to implement financial infrastructures that capture the essence of Web 3.0, which is to establish consumer-centric innovations. And so, we have gathered some of the best minds in the technology and financial landscape to determine and implement viable means of channeling the functionalities of crypto and blockchain technologies to deliver high-performing financial infrastructures. Think of it as a crypto bank that provides a broad array of financial services uniquely designed to capitalize on the innovative power of blockchain. We offer fiat on/off ramp solutions for personal use and businesses by expertly finding the balance between decentralized and centralized finance.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What are the hurdles you and your team have faced since PlasmaPay launched in 2018?

Ilia Maksimenka: Like most crypto startups in the space, we have had to ensure that we preserve the legality and security of our business. This task is a lot harder if you are serving a global consumer base spread across over 160 countries. Although this has been a challenge, the PlasmaPay team has shown beyond a reasonable doubt that it has the technical know-how to protect users.

Andrey Sergeenkov: Tell us more about PlasmaPay’s suite of crypto infrastructures?

Ilia Maksimenka: We have developed a wallet infrastructure that supports over 3000 coins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ERC-20 tokens. We are also rolling out crypto debit and credit card solutions and have delivered an easy to integrate payment portal for businesses willing to accept digital assets as payment. We are introducing Plasma Chain, our public blockchain, which provides quality features for developers looking to launch and run various financial-based DApps. Earlier this year, we expanded the functionalities of PlasmaChain to support on/off fiat payments and enabled compatibility with SWIFT and SEPA transactions. We also ensured that it is robust enough to accommodate a high volume of transactions at once – currently set at 50,000 transactions per second.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What about the PPAY token? Are there unique benefits that come with it owning the coin?

Ilia Maksimenka: We are positioning our blockchain infrastructure to play a crucial role in the DeFI ecosystem by providing unique systems designed to establish the emerging open financial market. Hence, we want to offer DeFI users access to products with low transaction fees, high speed, interoperability, and easy accessibility. PPAY is critical to this ecosystem because it not only functions as one of the core components of Plasma Chain’s security through a staking program but also provides unlimited access to the broad array of solutions available in the Plasma ecosystem. Token holders have a say in the governance of Plasma Chain. They can earn through liquidity mining as well as buy and sell cryptocurrency with bank cards.

Andrey Sergeenkov: I noticed that PlasmaPay sealed several partnerships in the last couple of weeks. How does this help PlasmaPay achieve its lofty goals?

Ilia Maksimenka: Right now, we are focusing on delivering a world where everyone has the right to enjoy personal financial freedom. We have dedicated our time and resource to this mission, and we know that, along the line, we will have to partner with other networks that share a similar goal. Hence, it comes as no surprise that such partnerships have begun to surface. PlasmaPay is pleased to work with proven solutions like DuckDAO, Vendetta Capital, Moonrock Capital, and Master Ventures to establish DeFI as a mainstream innovation.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What are we to expect from PlasmaPay in the coming months?

Ilia Maksimenka: One of the most intricate and impressive products we are working on is the hyperloop cross-chain protocol that allows users to engage with multiple blockchains and assets seamlessly. Also, we will introduce a DeFI dashboard that provides quality and easy-to-use asset management tools as well as serves as an interface for our decentralized exchange. Expect these and many more mouthwatering products in the coming months.

Andrey Sergeenkov: What are your projections for DeFI in the next few years?

Ilia Maksimenka: It is hard to gauge the potential growth of the DeFI market. However, as I said earlier, we have barely scratched the surface. Therefore, in the next few years, I believe that the growth of the sector will accelerate. As more brilliant minds join the ecosystem, it will become more or less impossible to limit the scope of DeFI to the major categories of applications developers are currently tackling.

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