I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexi Lane is a FinTech entrepreneur, investor and executive with over 15 years of experience within the capital markets, financial services and payments industries. He is now involved in the blockchain development for more than 4 years, and is a former Morgan Stanley banker, having graduated from University of Tennessee.
Alexi is the founder behind Everex – a fintech company which saw the light in 2016 already. He is one of the pioneers in the blockchain for payments.
Furthermore, Alexi Lane has been featured as one of the the Top Blockchain Influencers within the FinTech industry: https://www.lattice80.com/lattice80-blockchain-100-report/
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you got involved with the Regtech or Crypto markets?
Thank you Breana. It’s my pleasure to share my knowledge about blockchain, crypto and regulation today with you.
I have made my way into blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies many years ago.
The first time my cofounder, who is now CTO, and myself have heard about “cryptos and blockchain” was something like 5 years ago. We’ve got curious to know more about this technology that we’ve implemented it to ourselves to find out more about the real potential of it. Today, we can strongly confirm that this technology is real, and is already impacting lives and transforming industries in so many different ways, so we have founded Everex in 2016.
Being a former banker, with experience in the payment industry, I have always been passionate to innovate that sector and fix the issues we faced there with respect to accessibility, convenience, cost, speed and security of financial services.
My very first mission was to provide access to financial services to the 2 billion of underbanked population, not only in a convenient way, but also making services such as payments, money transfers or lending accessible to anyone at a lower cost, increased security and speed.
Can you share 5 ways that Regulation and Regtech can help stabilize the Crypto Economy?
I don’t believe that regulation or regtech can help or even necessary to “stabilize” Crypto Economy. The same regulatory measures have been in place to regulate traditional financial markets and given their current state, I am not confident that regulations and efficiency should be on the same side of the same equation. In general, fewer regulations equal more free markets. Education, guidance, and common sense, however, must be a dominant force in the development of crypto economies in coming future. Crypto economies are in the infant stages of development, and regulators today treat them with the same level of scrutiny as matured traditional financial markets. Albert Einstein once said: “We can never solve the problem with the same level of thinking when we created them”. I believe this should be the approach of how the crypto industry should be regulated.
What are the top concerns that crypto firms should be considering in order to have a competitive edge?
This industry is still a very young industry and very few actors understand it.
We have initially started talking to banks about partnering up with them in order to deploy the technology but we have realized very soon that banks and financial institutions are not that knowledgeable about the value propositions of such a technology.
It is hence very important to have a strong expertise in the domain in order to educate any potential partners or interested parties and clearly highlight the real values (but risks too) of such a technology before any implementation.
So education — knowing about your business its use cases — , is mostly our priority today in order to reach a global adoption.
Can you share examples of measures you take to prevent internal data breach?
Since we talk about internal, the access to the critical entry points to our infrastructure is very restricted and limited, even to myself. I am probably not the right person to answer this question as it lies within the jurisdiction of our IT security department.
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?
Well, things don’t always go like I would like to otherwise life would be too easy. So perseverance, ambition and enthusiasm are traits of my personality that keep me going. I very much like a quote from Winston Churchill saying “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”. I try to abide by the same principle.
What are some things that you do on daily basis regardless of how busy you are?
Regardless of how busy I am, I always take the time to read news.
I believe that daily reading rituals make people more productive, in the way that it helps understanding about worldwide complex problems, growing people intellectually, and sparks creativity.
What are the top 3 upcoming conferences you are attending and are excited about?
I don’t really attend much of the conferences lately but I will be at Abu Dhabi in December, at Arab FinTech Symposium, where I am invited to speak about Blockchain and Financial Inclusion.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I thought I gave you enough quotes already today (laughs) but here is one more, that I like, “If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.” I’m a very enthusiast person, and not afraid to fail at all, as an entrepreneur. In contrary, I believe failing, makes me even stronger as I can then learn from my past mistakes in order not to repeat them. I had tumultuous moments, but today with the success of Everex, all I can state is that this quote have definitely applied to me, and one should discourage itself, but instead fail in order to learn and succeed, as the learning curve will simply be exponential.
How can our readers follow you on social media?