It takes dedication, focus and consistency to own the oldest and largest cryptocurrency exchange in the European Union and Nejc Kodric has been able to accomplish this feat. The giant exchange you see today was launched in his garage with his co-founding partner Damijan Merlak in 2011. They started out with an initial capital of one thousand euros, two laptops and a server. But steadfastness and self-motivation grew the exchange to what it is currently. We can rightly call him a cryptocurrency exchange pioneer.
Nejc’s love for technology was instrumental in developing Bitstamp into one of the most trusted and highest volume bitcoin exchanges in the world. Nejc made a move to ensure that Bitstamp became the first fully licensed virtual currency exchange in EU, which was granted in 2016. A lot of effort was put into the company and the efforts were awarded with the Best Virtual Currency Startup award at The Europas in June 2014.
Nejc, who was born in Slovenia, has a net worth of £112 million. He actually started Bitstamp in Slovenia before moving the company’s registration to Luxembourg. He is a cryptocurrency influencer, a libertarian and an AngelList investor. He studied Organization and Management of Information Systems and Economics and prior to Co-founding Bitstamp he owned a computer company which sold components, laptops, etc.
His target for the exchange was European users and he backed up his actions with the following reasons:
“The simple answer would be to concentrate liquidity. Back when we started operating, buying bitcoins in EU for USD was a hassle. You would have to wire to MtGox and pay large fees for a wire transfer, and EUR/BTC markets were way underdeveloped.”
Therefore, the company worked on establishing a USD market for Europeans that would have lower fees. To make this possible, Bitstamp introduced the free SEPA deposits along with low conversion rates. This is why Bitstamp is respected in the EU as a Cryptocurrency exchange pioneer who paved the way for others.
Challenges Along the Way
As a cryptocurrency exchange pioneer, it is often expected that challenges will come along the way. Bitstamp has had its fair share. Last year, a lot of exchanges were faced with regulatory actions. As the oldest cryptocurrency exchange in the EU, Nejc believes in adopting the best practices. He says,
“exchanges that do not follow these rules and are unable to comply or take regulation seriously will be those that pose systematic risk. There is a chance that this may result in restrictions being imposed and some of those exchanges might be shut down.”
He also believes that banks are a challenge as owning a bank account when you own bitcoins can be really tough. But he believes that very soon it will be a thing of the past.