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Lykke: Cyprus Can Become a Blockchain Transaction Hub

Lykke: Cyprus Can Become a Blockchain Transaction Hub

The crypto-secure trading company, Lykke Cyprus, is now entering the final stages of the approval process, that will ultimately establish Lykke as a fully regulated entity, authorised by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. “Cyprus has always been part of our strategic agenda and an important element of our global expansion plan”, says Demetrios Zamboglou, CEO of Lykke Cyprus and Chief Business Development Officer of Lykke AG. The main reasons why the Board of Directors was attracted to Cyprus were its location, rules and regulation, its established and efficient financial services sector and the availability of qualified personnel on the island.

 

Can you briefly describe Lykke (history, operation etc)?

Lykke is the brainchild of Professor Richard Olsen, FX Person of the Year in 2016, awarded by FXStreet. Dr. Olsen is a well-known entrepreneur and the co-founder of OANDA, a prominent retail FX brokerage with an illustrious history stretching back to the early 1990’s. The vision of Lykke is to create a global marketplace for every asset class, starting with the financial markets (through its Cyprus Investment Firm). Lykke aims to disrupt fragmented markets through digital innovation and the application of blockchain technology; superbly evidenced by Lykke winning the 2017 ‘Fintech’ Digital Championship Award in Cyprus — a major initiative backed by the European Commission .

The Lykke environment can support various types of clients ranging from small retail clients to large corporations. Through the Lykke platform (accessible via App Store, Google Play and Open Source APIs) clients can access the financial markets including FX, equities, commodities and futures, as well as, the most recent entrants to the financial markets…digital crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The Lykke Group is a Financial Technology ‘Fintech’ Company based in Zug, Switzerland, the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’. First founded in 2013, Lykke secured initial seed funding in 2015 of 540,000 CHF. By 2017, Lykke secured several investments totalling almost 5 million Swiss Francs. The company now employs more than 80 people, located across the world and comprises more than 20 nationalities, and with 20% as certified PhD holders.

As a company, Lykke is working towards the fourth industrial revolution, by being the instrumental conduit connecting technology with services; starting in the financial services sector, and aspiring to expand into other industries over time.

 

How does Lykke differentiate from traditional competitors?

Lykke embraces innovation to the full extent. We believe that if we design products, we should design them in a way that will change and improve how people interact in their daily lives. Ultimately, this is the reason why Lykke is part of the Blockchain revolution. Blockchain technology has the potential to establish genuine trust, transparency and safety for all market participants operating in the financial markets — whether it be a large bank or an individual trader; both parties can obtain optimal trading conditions without compromise — size doesn’t matter. It will also reduce transaction costs among participants due to the cost-zapping nature of peer-to-peer collaboration.

When it comes to the Lykke Trading Platform, Lykke Cyprus will be able to facilitate a one-stop-shop for multiple business-critical functions including KYC identification, deposits, execution and withdrawals, under one roof.

The graphical user interface was designed to the most modern standards and implementing advanced features, which walk the fine line of delivering powerful market-changing functionality, whilst abiding by all the applicable compliance rules and regulations. When all is said and done, we are committed to enabling our users to interact, trade and experience a vivid journey. We foresee a different way of doing things, when it comes to accountability, trade reconciliation and settlements, as just three examples of an entire tapestry of change that’s already occurring in Finance.

All transactions done through Lykke will be available in the blockchain, thereby delivering unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability. For the first time in history, orders, trading logs, settlement prices and a host of other details cannot be changed or cancelled, by a central party or market-maker.

Our innovation initiative will enable our clients to connect and interact in the financial markets, like never before. In a sentence, we want to create an operating environment that can be called Finance 4.0.

 

What does your position entail as regards Lykke and Lykke Cyprus?

As Chief Business Development Officer for the Group, I am responsible for all the International Operations, including serving as Chief Executive Officer at Lykke Cyprus.

After winning the Lykke Platform Competition in 2014, I was recruited by Dr Olsen as Senior Manager at Lykke Group. Previously, I held several Senior Executive positions at FXTM, ZEBRAFX and FOREX CLUB. I also attended executive training at Harvard, MIT and NYU Stern and attained a PhD Level education at King’s College London, where I won the Amazon Web Services Award in 2014 and the Microsoft Research Grant in 2016.

I am responsible for all managerial decisions at Lykke Cyprus, including strategic direction and operational control of the day-to-day business operations. To assist me in executing our vision, I am working with Yiannis Menelaou, General Manager at Lykke Cyprus. Yiannis is market veteran with invaluable local market experience, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Nicosia.

As a Cypriot-born entrepreneur, I have strong business links, as well as personal relationships on the island. It is my honour and pleasure to pursue this opportunity, and to play an important role in Lykke’s European expansion. I strongly believe that Lykke Cyprus will become a major business unit, that makes a sizable contribution to Lykke Groups’ global development over the coming years.

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