Clayton Moore of NetCents: “Government Regulation”

Government Regulation — Cryptocurrency is borderless, which makes it very tricky to regulate. However, I think that if governments could come together and create worldwide or even just regional standard regulations, that would stabilize the market a lot. More standard regulations would help keep a level playing field, while also building trust in new players. As part of […]

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Government Regulation — Cryptocurrency is borderless, which makes it very tricky to regulate. However, I think that if governments could come together and create worldwide or even just regional standard regulations, that would stabilize the market a lot. More standard regulations would help keep a level playing field, while also building trust in new players.

As part of my series about the “5 Ways That We Can Help Stabilize The Cryptocurrency Market”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Clayton Moore.

Clayton is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 18 years of industry-leading experience in the payments space. Founder and CEO of NetCents, the transactional hub for all cryptocurrency payments, Clayton is responsible for the strategic direction, vision, capital formation, growth, and performance of the company. During his tenure, Clayton has proven himself to be a highly dynamic leader, delivering tangible results and has been the driving force behind many of NetCents’ key accomplishments and adapting quickly to ever-shifting technological developments.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”?

Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to be was an entrepreneur So, when I turned 23, I started my first payment processing business. Cybux, my first venture, was a successful school initiative throughout British Columbia. What began as a prepaid card system in schools, led to a technology that still powers the gift card program for major restaurant chains across Canada. So, very soon into my career, I experienced the way that one journey could morph into something much bigger.

Even early on, I knew that cryptocurrency would play a huge role in payments. I started getting involved with Bitcoin in 2010. At that time, Bitcoin was already integrating into the gaming industry, as companies began offering it as a bonus in some online games. This is when it hit me that we’re living in a digital word, so it’s only natural that we shift towards digital currency. Immediately, I knew that it was only a matter of time until cryptocurrency took off.

So, after I sold Cybux and founded NetCents, we integrated NetCents into 80% of online gaming websites around the world. While cryptocurrency payments were not our original focus, I knew that my background with crypto would become important down the road.

In 2016, I read an article about how Microsoft and other major companies like Expedia were about to launch beta programs surrounding Bitcoin payments. To me, this was a clear sign that the cryptocurrency revolution was on its way.

So, we immediately shifted our focus at NetCents and redesigned our entire platform to be 100% centered around crypto. However, since I came from the traditional payments space, I knew it would be important to offer a product that could be integrated seamlessly. So, we eliminated roadblocks in merchant adoption by offering all the same features and functionalities that merchants were used to. We were able to show our merchants that accepting crypto wasn’t any more difficult than accepting credit cards.

What I love about this industry is how disruptive it is. It’s clear that we’re just beginning to see the massive potential in the technology and we haven’t even scratched the surface of this global opportunity. NetCents is already the transactional hub for cryptocurrency payments throughout North America and Europe and we continue to evolve with new ventures in DeFi, NFTs, and more.

Can you tell us the story of how you got first involved with the Regtech or Crypto markets?

My interest in payments and disruptive technologies allowed me to see the huge potential that cryptocurrency had to transform legacy financial systems around the world. I was one of the early adoptions of Bitcoin shortly after its inception and long before it took over mainstream consciousness in 2017. Even before Bitcoin’s bull market that year, I anticipated cryptocurrency was going to become a global phenomenon.

So, when all eyes were on Bitcoin in 2017, NetCents was already in the perfect position to capitalize on this new attention. As this industry has grown, I’ve taken a very hands-on approach to understanding the regulatory technology considerations. I developed a world-class executive team and Board of Advisors to ensure that we’re one step ahead of market changes in different regions.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m not sure if there’s any one person that I could name because so many people have been instrumental to NetCents’ success. Our team has always been a very strong group of people, dedicated to pushing boundaries in our industry. I can say for sure that every single person at NetCents has had an impact.

To name a few people, I definitely think that our company would not be where it is today without the efforts of our CRO, Jenn Lowther and our VP of Product, Mehdi Mehrtash. Both of them joined NetCents in 2017 and really helped facilitate our transition into cryptocurrency processing.

Can you share “5 Things That Should Be Done To Help Stabilize The Cryptocurrency Market”?

Government Regulation — Cryptocurrency is borderless, which makes it very tricky to regulate. However, I think that if governments could come together and create worldwide or even just regional standard regulations, that would stabilize the market a lot. More standard regulations would help keep a level playing field, while also building trust in new players.

Restricting Social Media Manipulation — Certain individuals are able to move cryptocurrencies up and down by simply tweeting a few words. While this would be unacceptable in the stock market, our regulation hasn’t caught up to this yet for cryptocurrency. If this was no longer the case, we would see fewer fluctuations caused by a few influencers.

Education — Right now there is a lot of information going around about cryptocurrency, and this can be overwhelming for newcomers. When people get into crypto for the first time, they want to feel confident that their funds will be safe. Since most cryptocurrency companies are not public like NetCents, retail investors may feel the burden of doing their own research. I think as the industry grows, more organizations will focus their attention on education. Similar to advisors in the traditional finance industry, individuals and companies will specialize in educating their clients about cryptocurrency trends. As well, I recently read that cryptocurrency is being included in some school curriculums. I definitely think this is another step in the right direction.

More Participants — I think that it’s only natural that as more volume enters the market, there will be less volatility and swings caused by the moves of a few crypto whales. Earlier this year, Business Insider reported that around 1,000 individuals own 40% of the market. As more people use cryptocurrency, fewer big players will be able to move the price so rapidly.

Central Bank Digital Currencies — While some people don’t like the idea of governments getting into cryptocurrency, I think that CBDCs will bring a wave of new user adoption. I think that CBDCs will create a bridge between fiat and cryptocurrency.

In your experience, what are the top strategies that crypto firms should be considering in order to have a competitive edge?

Not to give away our strategy at NetCents, but you really can’t underestimate where blockchain technology will take us and the solutions that will arise from it. Frankly, crypto firms can no longer simply focus on cryptocurrency. I think that companies will look back and realize that cryptocurrency only played a small role in the development of our financial industry. While cryptocurrency may have been a stepping stone to introduce blockchain technology to the masses, it certainly won’t be the defining element of its impact on our society.

I think that developments like NFTs and DeFi are only just the beginning of where we’re going to go with blockchain technology. This is why Netcents is really prioritizing projects in that space. We know how important it is to be ahead of the curve. I think that within the next decade, we’re going to see blockchain technology integrated into nearly everything we do. If you thought we were already living in a digital world, you won’t believe what’s coming up.

What are the 3 things that most excite you about the blockchain industry? Why?

I love that this industry is still so new in the grand scheme of things. While that might present challenges, especially on the regulatory level, it means that there’s so much room for growth. I think that we’ll really see cryptocurrency move away from the fringes over the next few years. It’s not too late to get into it.

DeFi is going to revolutionize the way people manage their money. Right now people feel like they have very few options — if you don’t like what the bank gives you, there’s not a ton you can do about that. I think on the entrepreneurship side, we’ll see a ton of innovative businesses take off because they can suddenly get access to better loans. This is going to be huge.

NFTs are booming right now, and it’s no secret that NetCents is getting in on the action. I think that NFTs are completely transforming how we deal with digital ownership. In a few years, I doubt that you’ll meet a single person who doesn’t own an NFT. If you thought cryptocurrency took off fast, think again.

What are the 3 things worry you about the blockchain industry? Why?

My biggest concern is that outdated regulations are holding back innovative companies. It can be very difficult to bring a disruptive product to market when the guidelines you’re asked to follow are already irrelevant. Regulators are trying to keep up, but this has been a massive challenge. Since this industry changes so swiftly day-to-day, I think that the entire system needs to be updated.

Connected to my first point, I think that fear of change is limiting cryptocurrency companies. Our industry is forced to rely on outdated legacy systems that are insufficient, overly complex, and time consuming. This is especially frustrating because more streamlined processes already exist. Right now, we’re up against groups that are clinging onto the past, when change is inevitable. Ultimately, I think that even more traditional players will need to adapt to new technology.

I think that we’re definitely going to experience some growing pains when it comes to the efficiency and speed of blockchain technology. Right now most blockchain networks require an enormous amount of energy to produce results, and transactions can take a while to confirm. This is one of the reasons why I think Bitcoin won’t prevail as a transacting currency. It’s only a matter of time though until our technology catches up to where we want it to go. I think in the future, there will be a number of cryptocurrencies available that are better suited for day-to-day transactions.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

I’ve always been drawn to other cultures, having lived in many different cities around the world. Over the past few years, I’ve realized the power of our technology to impact peoples’ lives in countries where there are massive divides in wealth. For me, it’s important that everyone gets the tools they need to be financially successful. While this is definitely idealistic, I think that it’s a goal that needs to be strived towards.

Through my social platforms, I also take an active effort to engage with my audience, and spread knowledge about topics not always covered by mainstream media. For example, I’m currently in Dubai for business, and I was initially surprised to see so many female CEOs and leaders. I am incredibly happy to see this, but it made me realize how skewed Western Media can be towards the Middle East. So, I published an article about this. I think that when you have a platform it’s important to share perspectives that might otherwise get hidden.

Can you share a story of a time when things went south for you? What kept you going and helped you to overcome those times?

After Bitcoin’s bull market in 2017, we all know what happened next — the crypto winter. Was this an easy time for NetCents? Definitely not. We had recently moved into a new office space and had expected the market to continue its momentum. However, that’s not to say I wasn’t aware of the potential risks. I think when you get into an industry that’s disrupting the foundation of our society, you have to expect that there’s going to be some upheaval.

What kept me going during this time was knowing that the market was still in its infancy with so much room to grow. I had faith in the fundamentals, and that pushed us to develop partnerships with many significant payment companies. I knew that there was so much more to the blockchain industry than just cryptocurrency, and it’s exciting to see how it’s taking off now.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I really like this quote by Jay Samit — Pivoting is not the end of the disruption process, but the beginning of the next leg of your journey.

A big theme of my life has been pivoting, but I’ve never seen it as a setback. Each new direction builds on what was there before. To be a real entrepreneur, I think you need to be able to see past what’s right in front of you. Setbacks aren’t always exciting, but they’re important to understand how to face new opportunities.

Thank you for these great insights!

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