Business

Firm aims to start crypto exchange and bank

  • Cryptoservice: John Willock, CEO of Quantex, spoke about the start-up at the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto. He will be a panellist at an insurtech event in Bermuda next week (Screenshot from TheCube/YouTube)

A start-up company in Hamilton that is building a licensed fiat and cryptocurrency exchange and bank is being headed by two executives with backgrounds that include banking and securities.

Quantex Ltd is led by Canadian-based Manie Eagar and John Willock. Its aim is to have an exchange before becoming “the world’s first licensed fiat and cryptocurrency financial services provider with a full suite liquidity enablement platform”.

In July, the Bermuda Government paved the way for a new type of banking licence to cater for the fintech industry. Amendments to the Banks and Deposit Companies Act 1999 were passed in Parliament. David Burt, the Premier, said the move was necessary as local banks had been unwilling to offer services to newly incorporated fintech and distributed ledger technology companies.

Quantex intends to be “much more” than an exchange, and to have a focus on licensed fiat [traditional currencies] and token banking, custody and asset tokenisation.

Mr Eagar is executive chairman of Quantex, he is also CEO of DigitalFutures consultancy and said he has previously worked for Barclays. Mr Willock has worked for Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange, which he left this year in order to pursue the Quantex project.

At the Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto last month, Mr Willock was interviewed about Quantex. He said: “We have spent most of our careers in traditional financial services; we are coming from the security exchange business to bring the learning of Nasdaq, the learning of the like of that sort, to the crypto exchange space.”

He said that meant it would be able to facilitate “not only a regulated exchange venue, but also one that is institutional grade in terms of tools, client experience as well as the trust factor with the platform itself”.

Mr Willock was interviewed by John Furrier of TheCube, and he and Mr Eagar later took part in a panel discussion on blockchain developments that also touched on Bermuda’s engagement with the sector. Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, was on the panel.

Next week, Mr Willock will be a panellist at the “Navigating the Insurtech Revolution” event in Bermuda. It is being hosted by international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright and will feature discussions on insurtech and fintech.

Mina Matin, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, will be one of the presenters. She also took part in the panel discussion at the blockchain conference in Toronto.

Speaking to The Royal Gazette, she said insurtech and fintech are increasingly being used across all economic sectors, including healthcare, marketing, advertising and insurance.

The afternoon event on September 20 is expected to attract a wide range of attendees, from the insurance and banking sector, to regulators.

Mr Burt will give the keynote address, while Ms Matin, along with Norton Rose Fulbright colleagues Nicholas Berry and Andrew James Lom will present the “Navigating the Insurtech Revolution” discussion, looking at blockchain and smart contracts, the value impact on new products, distribution claims and administration, and the relationship between the crypto ecosystem and insurance.

This will be followed by a panel discussion, titled “The Insurtech Capital Markets Transformation”, featuring Mr Willock along with Fredrico Nassire, chief strategy officer of Shyft; Stuart Lacey, CEO of Trunomi; and Ari Chatterjee, chief underwriting officer of Envelop Risk.

Anyone interested in attending the September 20 event, which is by invitation only due to limited space, should contact Mary Brancazio by e-mail at mary.brancazio@nortonrosefulbright.com