The Republic of Moldova, the Eastern European country bordered by Romania and Ukraine, hosted the first major blockchain and cryptocurrency-oriented conference – the World Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Summit Chisinau (WBCSummit Chisinau).
During the event, which was held on May 11, at the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova (ASEM), the speakers presented the first local cryptocurrency exchange and the first token “made in Moldova,” which comes in the context of the crypto exchange. Also, they discussed the potential of blockchain for various use cases.
Drachmae Market, as the exchange is called, has already been accepting users for a while. The platform was created under the supervision of the Digital & Distributed Technology Moldova Association, the country’s first blockchain association, founded by Lee Gibson Grant. It currently features eight fiat currencies, with Moldavian Leu, Russian Ruble, US Dollar and Euro among them, and ten cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, DASH, Ethercoin, Litecoin, Monero, Nextcoin, ZOZO Coin, and DTMI Token, the latter being available for the exchange users.
Grant obtained a letter from the National Bank of Moldova, which indirectly allows the exchange to do banking.
The central bank explains in the letter that currently, there is no legal framework for cryptocurrencies, so the exchange didn’t need authorization from it. However, given that fiat currency is involved, the National Bank requests the exchange operator to present the money flow data related to the company’s operations and to comply with the AML and CFT law.
Interestingly, the central bank recognized the potential of blockchain for the financial system and revealed that it was assessing the implementation of technology via local banks.
Drachmae Market was built on top of the technology provided by Agura, a US-Israeli startup founded by Sharon Greenberg, who also performed as a speaker at the event.
Greenberg, who also co-founded Crypto Next back in 2014, revealed that the crypto exchange addresses both retail and professional investors. He said that Drachmae Market would have all the options that other crypto exchanges currently provide.
Speaking about the blockchain technology in the context of adoption at the state level, Greenberg said that the government has to understand that we’re living a financial revolution and it doesn’t have to feel insecure with it but rather see how it can embrace it and go with it.
When asked whether the government in Moldova, a country where corruption is still dominant among the state institutions, would be afraid to smoothly implement the distributed ledger technology (DLT), Greenberg said:
“This is something that will have to come from Moldavian people. It will be best for them to use the blockchain [as] everything will be transparent.”
Greenberg also shared his view on the comments from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who recently spoke against Bitcoin. Unlike many executives from the crypto space, who were visibly disappointed by the billionaire’s position, Greenberg had a calm attitude, saying that it was Ok for them to share their opinions as we are living in a free world.
“I know that Warren Buffett doesn’t like digital currency, but he lost a lot of money last month, so he is not perfect as well,” he stated, adding that we will see what the time will say about it.
Sharon Greenberg and Anatol Antonovici
The WBCSummit is an international event organized by IDACB. The event in Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova, was organized in collaboration with the Digital Technology Moldova Association, which was represented by Rodica Crudu and Lee Gibson Grant.