Interview with Globitex Advisor Pierre Roberge, IT Security Expert
Globitex, the institutional Bitcoin exchange co-founded by Jon Matonis, aims to drive deep liquidity into the Bitcoin ecosystem, facilitated by the GBX token. Globitex team’s vision is of an exchange suitable for spot and derivatives trading using Bitcoin as the unit of account — expanding the utility of the cryptocurrency and fulfilling its potential to be the currency for global trade and settlement.
Pierre is an 11-year veteran of the Communication Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), Pierre led advanced technical teams tasked with protecting Canada’s national interests in cyberspace. While the majority of Pierre’s projects remain classified, Pierre established a strong reputation among ‘5- Eyes’ nations as a leading expert and innovator in cyber intelligence operations. More
In which segment of the financial industry do you work and what do you specialise in?
Being an IT security specialist from profession and aside from being an amateur trader since the age of 18, my introduction to the financial industry came with Bitcoin. I saw in Bitcoin the opportunity to bring the hard and good questions within society regarding our central banks monetary policies, fiat. I remember asking my mom about money creation and bank loans at the age of 10, I thought I did not understand what she was explaining to me, but I did. Fiat money puzzled for all my youth as a non sense.
What is your view on the ICO industry at large?
Although ICOs are the target of really bad press by many due to the large proportion of low quality, if not fraudulent ICOs, I believe they are great from a liberty and capitalism point of view. Although some countries have great investment vehicles, ICOs are liberating humanity from oppressive and elite control of the startup and business investment for many. Society and the world will have to learn not to be victim of fraud, more so because of ICOs, but the upside is a greater society with more equality of opportunity for everyone. Like Bitcoin is competition to Fiat money, ICOs are competition to legacy investment.
What were the reasons you decided to join the Globitex GBX ICO project?
After having the opportunity to work with Globitex team since its early days, I was privy to witness a highly motivated team with great skills. More importantly, a team with a very ambitious goal to grow Bitcoin in a unit of account, traded directly for commodities. Joining and helping Globitex ICO to be a success was a natural decision for me.
Going forward, what do you see as the most important issues to overcome for a project of scale such as Globitex?
Achieving network effect! Globitex requires the means and resources to implement and promote it’s platform all the while having to deal with licenses in a new or non existent regulatory environment. Although, this is a very ambitious task to take on, the first movers advantage is significant and will pay off in returns.
As an IT security specialist, what are in your view the critical areas of concern for exchange service providers as well as regular users of cryptocurrencies?
Keeping this concise is definitely a challenge but I think we can say that it boils down at who controls the keys and under what condition. The regular users now have several good options to keep control of their bitcoins outside of the phone and/or computers. Hardware wallets probably being the most practical solution at the moment. The exchange service is typically a high value target due to the centralisation of the Bitcoins and although the technology to secure the hot wallet and cold wallet has ramped up, the overall security model falls back to trusting the individuals behind the exchange. Some are leveraging third parties to limit the risks, but as we have seen, it can also be by-passed. Perhaps we will see breakthrough in smart contracts limiting the risk exposure for users of a centralised exchange?
Could you comment on centralised vs. decentralised cryptocurrency exchanges, and whether a centralised exchange is essential for providing liquidity and price discovery for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin?
Decentralised cryptocurrency exchanges will expand in functionality and will gain some of the market with their strong security advantages, however, I believe there will always be a place for centralised cryptocurrency exchanges for reasons outlines in the question, liquidity, price discovery and also because of the external interactions with regulatory frameworks, fiat and commodities.
Do you believe there could ever be one Bitcoin or are we doomed to dealing with many Bitcoin relatives, as we have now Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and soon the likely hard fork of Bitcoin following the SegWit2x debacle?
I believe there is one Bitcoin and only. One cryptocurrency will be the central store of value, most likely one Bitcoin. Bitcoin forks are going through price discovery to quickly realise that unless there is a clear and well planned change, it will not gain momentum. In the case a popular change is proposed, the users of the network are accepting the change and thus Bitcoin adapts to the market as we have seen with SegWit adoption. Bitcoin’s first mover’s advantage will be very hard to dislodge at this point, especially with the recent fixes in Bitcoin such as SegWit enabling many new technologies to build on top of it. If there is a threat to one Bitcoin, I think it would come from other cryptocurrencies such as Monero that has addressed many of the current Bitcoin limitations and benefit from the flexibility of rolling out updates through hard forks with very little friction from its user base.