HomeLatest NewsCoinSmart: Canada’s first fully regulated crypto platform and their CHL support

CoinSmart: Canada’s first fully regulated crypto platform and their CHL support

CoinJournal spoke with Justin Hartzman, Founder and CEO of CoinSmart about his platform and all its ins-and-outs. Justin has been crypto-curious for as long as he can remember, and had his first stint with crypto back in 2008 when he received Bitcoin as a method of payment for a project he did when building an APP for a client who could not pay. Back then, Bitcoin was new, and there wasn’t much information available. 

Over the years, he became more and more involved with crypto and made his first trade in 2017 while on holiday in Florida. It became clear quite quickly that there was a lack of accessible crypto trading platforms in Canada. So he got together with some childhood friends – Jeremy and Michael – and launched CoinSmart to solve just that problem. 

Today, CoinSmart is a crypto trading platform, headquartered in Toronto, and one of the very few regulated crypto trading platforms in Canada. CoinSmart is also the only crypto trading platform publicly traded and fully regulated company in Canada, as well as the Frankfurt exchange. They have obtained regulatory licence to operate from the Ontario Securities Commission, as well as other regulatory commissions in Canada. 

CoinSmart is also one of the two crypto trading platforms to receive marketplace registrations in Canada, allowing Canadians to buy and sell crypto directly and securely on a regulated platform. CoinSmart's mission  is simple – to make crypto accessible to all. They do this by simplifying the user experience, obtaining the right regulatory licensing to operate safely and securely, providing learning tools and handy crypto guides on the GetSmart hub as well as supporting our customers with 24/7 omnichannel support. 

What have been the driving forces to choose to work with the CHL as opposed to other sectors or organizations?

The CHL’s target geographic reach and presence is aligned with ours. When we decided that we wanted to partner up with a sporting organization, we wanted to work with someone whose reach spanned across Canada vs an entity that served just one town/city or province. Another aspect that drew us to CHL is that it is very community focused, which aligns with our brand values of being accessible and Canadian-focused. And finally, since the sporting sector is fiercely competitive, it is always an exciting space for us to be in. Crypto trading platforms like ours thrive on volatility, so we’re anticipating a good synergy between the sentiment of sports fans and crypto enthusiasts.

Elaborate on what your partnership with CHL will look like; how will it benefit players and supporters alike, and what can we expect to see from this collaboration? What about the local community?

Just like the CHL, CoinSmart is proudly Canadian. Over the course of this multi-season partnership, we want to tap into the sportsmanship spirit of hockey fans and educate them on crypto trading, seeing as sports and crypto have a long-standing relationship globally. We will do this by engaging fans in brand awareness, giveaways, contests and content marketing. When it comes to the local community, a sense of national pride is definitely something we like to foster, so whether it’s your favourite team or your preferred crypto trading platform, we’re here to ensure it’s a 100% Canadian experience. 

Sport partnerships in crypto have been on the rise recently. Do you intend to move further into this particular industry in terms of more partnerships, advertising, etc?

This is something we are actively considering. However, at some point there will be saturation in the crypto industry as literally every sport's franchise or league will have a crypto sponsor. We are monitoring the landscape closely and will keep our audience up to date with any future collaborations and partnerships. 

You state it’s your mission to make the world of crypto more accessible and educate people on the topic. Is there a relation to this ideology and the fact you’ve chosen to work with the CHL, which consists of young people of student age?

While the players are student age, most of the fans are slightly older. That being said, we do want to make younger people aware of crypto early on so that when they are ready and have the disposable income to invest in crypto, they pick CoinSmart.

You speak of exciting promotions being planned, anything you can elaborate on at this point in time?

We’re going to be launching CryptoSpin very soon, a never-seen-before crypto game inside the CHL app that allows fans to spin for a chance to win weekly, monthly and a grand prize. The weekly and monthly prizes will be $250 and $1000 respectively, with the grand prize being 1 Bitcoin awarded at the end of the season. Throughout the duration of the partnership, we’re also giving all CHL fans $30 in Bitcoin for registering with CoinSmart and making their first $100 deposit. 

Can you comment on the regulatory environment? Your company is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission, while rivals like Crypto.com are not. Yet, Crypto.com is able to flex its financial muscles and score partnership deals with the Montreal Canadiens. Looking across the world, it seems the large and unregulated players (again, Crypto.com) score deals with PSG and naming rights for LA Lakers’ home.

Franchises and leagues are taking a risk in our opinion partnering with unregulated exchanges. It is entirely possible companies like Crypto.com may not be welcomed in the cities/provinces they are currently sponsoring teams in, which puts pressure on the partnerships they build. Just look at FTX and Binance, as they had to flee from Ontario since they haven't achieved a regulated status to this point. I think it is important in all regulated environments that advertising is also monitored and saved for those who are compliant. We should not be allowing non-regulated companies who are unable to operate in the region to advertise, just because they are well-funded. This is about creating a fair and balanced playing field. This is not just for crypto, but for regulated industries by extension. 

Where do you see crypto and sport go in the short-term as well as long-term future? And where would CoinSmart fit in? I.e. more sponsorships, launch of sport-specific tokens, involvement of NFT’s, etc.

We are anticipating more sponsorships for sure until it reaches saturation. NFTs are going to be the new trading cards, this is something we’re already starting to see within sporting ecosystems. Another exciting area is enabling crypto payments for merchandise, tickets etc. At CoinSmart, we are keeping a keen eye on many such interesting opportunities and will pick our next avenue as long as it serves our mission and community. 

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