As we head into 2020, and a new decade, Chris Wittenborn, Director of Business Development for Velocity Markets, a FinTech company based in NYC that acts as the Kayak.com of crypto currencies – i.e. an exchange of exchanges where traders can find the best price for a particular currency or coin, is out this week with the top three things to watch in 2020 and beyond for crypto currency, blockchain, and digital currency. Some of these include:
1. Tis the Season for Lawyers: Regulation is everything in 2020.
Says Chris, “In retrospect I think I should have been a lawyer because despite the crypto winter, it seems like a bull market for legal advice. Despite these challenges and costs, it’s exciting to make advancements because it not only helps allow us the opportunity to do business with more entities and people, but it also helps the entire crypto ecosystem grow up. Over the past 24 months and more specifically this year, I’ve noticed a more buttoned up crowd at crypto conferences. Large and systemic institutions are asking the right questions and coming up the learning curve – as are the regulators. I would have never expected when I began this journey in 2013 (full time 2017) that I’d be regularly interfacing with regulators or sitting on panels with people from such organizations at the FBI.”
2. A Digitized Currency will come sooner rather than later.
Says Chris, “I believe we will have a digitized currency. I’ve long said that the original crypto-libertarians will roll over in their metaphorical graves when the government learns how powerful blockchain technology is and ultimately turns the sword against these original cryptographers in the form of a big brother-esque heavily surveilled digitized currency. I’m not sure if this will be completed in the next decade but without a doubt it will be heavily discussed and garner news time.”
3. A Retooling of Accredited Investor Rules
Says Chris, “I’m hopeful that we see a retooling of the accredited investor rules. I know there are an alphabet soup of agencies in the United States with varying mandates – but I always find it interesting that someone who might have an MBA or be a CFA Charterholder, but fall below a random dollar threshold of earned income to be limited from some of their investment options. Meanwhile, in this same country you can walk into a casino – know nothing as to the rules of a game, take out a cash advance while being bombarded with free cocktails and lose 100% of your money in one hand, spin or roll. I’m all for investor protection but I think if we make things too stringent, we are just going to push investors and innovation to other jurisdictions.”
Chris Wittenborn graduated from The University of Colorado in 2008 and began his career writing Special Situations Research. He moved into trading in 2010 starting his career with Program Trading and At the Market Issuances. In 2011 he moved to New York City and Joined Leerink Partners where he was responsible for running the Biotech and Generic Pharmaceutical Market making books. He was there until 2017 at which point he was briefly at Point 72 responsible for trading Biotech. In 2017 Chris left the traditional realm of Wall Street to work in Crypto full time, where he had been an enthusiast since 2013. Chris consulted for a variety of exchanges on both the spot and derivative side and joined Velocity Markets in 2018 to run their Broker Dealer Operations. Chris is currently responsible for corresponding and working with FINRA and the SEC to broaden Velocity Markets regulatory approvals and also run Business Development and Strategy for the Parent Company.