Is bitcoin being beaten down by bureaucracy? - with Thomas Staudacher

In this episode, our Head of Compliance, Thomas Staudacher, is a guest on Niko's podcast. The two talk about the dense jungle of new regulations and guidelines that are once again coming to Bitcoin, and how Coinfinity as a Bitcoin broker is dealing with it. In addition, Thomas has brought a few tips for those who would also like to work in the Bitcoin space.

This weekly podcast about Bitcoin is the initiative of the Viennese financial journalist Niko Jilch. The goal: to strengthen and network the German-speaking Bitcoin community - and to bring the Bitcoin phenomenon closer to as broad a mass as possible.

We accompany this project as one of the main sponsors in this blog and also make all podcast episodes available here as a video.

What Bitcoin brings. Episode from 18.04.2023

Thomas has known about Bitcoin for a long time, but like so many people, it has only "clicked" in the past few years. Before landing at Coinfinity, Thomas was an entrepreneur and has also worked in "internal audit" where he audits casinos for compliance. He has already experienced the 2014 Bitcoin bubble. Thomas recalls, "Back then, there were already many stores accepting Bitcoin and even some casinos in Las Vegas." Many of those opportunities have since disappeared, he says, but are gradually reappearing. "In the long run, we are still very early with Bitcoin," Thomas is certain. In 2021, he finally left Casinos Austria with the desire to work more with Bitcoin.

Now Thomas belongs to the small but growing group of people working in Bitcoin-Space. As Head of Compliance, Thomas and his department are responsible for the compliance with the legal framework by the FMA and the EU, as well as for the prevention of money laundering. After the EU-wide legal amendment MiCA (Markets in Crypto Assets), there are again some changes coming up next year regarding Bitcoin and also us as a Bitcoin broker. One of these changes is the new "Travel Rule", which is also enforced EU-wide. This regulation should ensure that all "Unhosted Wallets" can be clearly assigned to a person or customer, explains Thomas. Thomas is also responsible for data protection: "Of course we have to comply with the guidelines on data collection and storage, but if there's a way to handle customer data as sparingly as possible, then we'll take it," he explains.

When asked by Niko if Bitcoin will be strong enough in the future to withstand these waves of increased bureaucracy, Thomas replies, "We can't be sure, but I don't think Bitcoin will go away. And I don't think Bitcoin will be subject to such harsh regulations everywhere on a global level."

"You also have to realize that these new regulatory frameworks can also help such new technologies. It's only through certain regulations that you can get Bitcoin into traditional areas of business - in 2014, a large company would not have considered Bitcoin as an asset," says Thomas.

Finally, Thomas has a few tips for people who want to make a career in the Bitcoin space themselves: "I haven't regretted working in the Bitcoin space so far because it just makes sense to me. I think you should tie in with your existing expertise in the Bitcoin space and just try to work on Bitcoin with your current setup in a Bitcoin company or even on your own. Bitcoin is going to need support in a lot of areas."

The Coinfinity Bitcoin App is here! Stay humble, stack sats.
Coinfinity Bitcoin App Apple Store
Coinfinity Bitcoin App Google Play