Interview Eric Benz CEO Changelly
By Óscar Domínguez
Eric Benz, CEO Changelly has over 15 years of experience working in and around Innovative Financial Technology. He has delivered SaaS systems for some of today’s biggest institutions around payments, identity, and banking and blockchain. In the Blockchain space since 2012 and is involved in a number of blockchain and fintech businesses both as investor, board director and founder.
You have been in the cryptocurrency ecosystem since 2012. How has all this evolved since then?
I remember the early days in 2012 sitting in a pub here in London and we maybe had 6 people around the table. Everything at this time was very informal and you had such an array of people, none who were wearing suits of course. It was in 2012 that I began to really start talking about Bitcoin and how impactful it could be in many different industries. At this time, I was either laughed out of the room or made to feel completely crazy but that didn’t stop me.
The community was so small but it was quickly gaining interest and I knew this was the start of something truly transformative and fast-forward 7 years later it’s still on course to be the most impactful technology of our generation.
Over the course of the past decade since Bitcoin was first launched in 2009 we have seen a massive wave of adoption come from many different sectors. The early years of crypto only saw geeks and crypto fanatics interested in the adoption and development of the bitcoin ecosystem and it wasn’t until about 2013 that we began to see banks, corporates, and governments alike taking interest. The maturation process for the technology is still taking place and we are beginning to see many different products and services utilizing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Many people who met Bitcoin between 2012 and 2014 were faithful followers of Bitcoin, today many of those people have changed the term Bitcoin to Blockchain. Are you on the side of Bitcoin or on the side of Blockchain?
Any of the early adopters will know very well that you cant have Bitcoin without Blockchain and vice versa. The two will always go hand in hand and anyone who tells you differently doesn’t really understand how the technology works. The underlying technology of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency utilizes is Blockchain.
Early on we spoke of Bitcoin as being the holy grail and at that time no one really understood where blockchain fit into this narrative but now, of course, this is very different. The blockchain is just as important and mainly responsible for helping other industries with adopting the technology and thus promoting it.
I don’t really have a specific preference being on the side of Bitcoin or Blockchain as I am a big proponent of both the technology as well as the utility. I will always have a special place in my heart for the early Bitcoiners and will always be one myself. Those early Bitcoiners know whop they are and it really is a special community that will be discussed and remembered for many years to come.
Could you explain what services Changelly currently works on? Which significant steps are already done and which still stay in the to-do list?
Changelly provides the ability to easily swap and buy any cryptocurrency along with providing any wallet or exchange the ability to offer the same services to their user base. Changelly started nearly 5 years ago now and has solidified itself as one of the premier cryptocurrency businesses.
We have always prided ourselves on providing as much access to the crypto ecosystem as possible and we continue to strive for this very mission.
We will continue to add more assets to our platform and in the new year will provide even further rails to both purchase as well as sell cryptocurrency.
A few words regarding Changelly’s partners, please. Any examples of those you are proud of staying with and who could pretend to partner with you in the nearest future?
Changelly has been very fortunate over the years to establish many high caliber partnerships with many great brands. I am most excited with the partnerships we have with Coinomi, BRD, JAXX, MyEtherWallet, just to name a few. Upcoming for 2020 we have some more amazing partnership announcements to make, which I’m also very excited about.
What can you tell us about the news and objectives for 2020?
2020 will be a very important year for many companies and Changelly is definitely included in that list. We have many big plans to further support the adoption and growth of this ecosystem is currently experiencing. We plan to launch more rails for users to easily buy and sell crypto but also more assets to promote more access to other communities in the crypto space. I can see many great developments taking place in the coming year and Changelly will be right there as we always have and support this growing and developing economy.