There are so many entrepreneurial stories from locals in Toronto and we love sharing some of them through our homegrown business profiles. It allows us to hear about the new ideas, the drive and the success of members of our communities.
For our latest Homegrown Business profile, we chatted with CEO and co-founder Cole Diamond about his journey with Coinsquare.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Coinsquare is Canada’s premier cryptocurrency trading platform. Users on Coinsquare can easily access major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others.
Our vision is to build a 21st century financial institution, powered by blockchain technology. With that in mind, Coinsquare has a number of other business lines, including: Coinsquare Wealth for high net-worth individuals buying cryptocurrency, a Capital Markets division for institutions buying cryptocurrency, a Mining operation to ‘mine’ new cryptocurrencies, and a Funds division called Coincapital that is looking to build out ETFs based on emerging technology companies in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space (among others).
How did Coinsquare start?
I met the founder of the company, Virgile Rostand, in 2016 when I was looking to buy some Ether (the coin on the Ethereum network). I was having a hard time finding an easy way to buy cryptocurrency at the time, and Coinsquare was local.
Virgile and I started to collaborate more, and I asked him if I could make an investment in the company and join him as a co-founder – he agreed. We worked out of a cafe, building our vision, and stayed focused on one problem: Canadians did not have safe, easy access to this innovative new asset class, and we wanted to be that location. Today, we are.
What problem does this solve?
The core problem we solve is that everyone in the world deserves safe, easy access to the digital asset markets. There is huge potential in this market. Too often, cryptocurrencies are associated with crime – the reality is that a tiny fraction of cryptocurrency is used in crime, but the space is so murky that many everyday investors can’t join the ecosystem – Coinsquare solves that problem.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
We work with people of all ages, genders, and occupations. We have people buying $10.00 of Bitcoin and we have people buying $10,000,000 over a relatively short period of time.
Our clientele range from the eager early adopter who’s been in the space for years, to the family office looking for a high-risk, high-reward investment opportunity to further diversify their portfolio. We also we have everyday people who want to take a bit of risk with a percentage of their portfolio, much like people would with risky penny stocks or other volatile investment classes.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We make money the same way other marketplace platforms do – we take a small fee on every transaction. If you book a place on Airbnb, for instance, you pay them a fee. If you order an Uber, you pay them a fee. For Coinsquare, this fee is baked into the price of each quote to buy or sell cryptocurrency on the platform.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
If you’re thinking of joining Coinsquare (the “Coinsquad” as we call ourselves), you can check out our careers page – Coinsquare.com/careers. If you join our team, you’ll get to work out of our huge loft-style office space in King West.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
Before giving any company your money, the best question to ask is about service and security of the platform.
The blunt reality is that the cryptocurrency markets are volatile, so you have to accept that market risk when you buy any cryptocurrencies. However, you should not have to settle for operational risk as well – the risk that the service provider will go out of business or can’t help you.
At Coinsquare, for instance, we have a dedicated customer support team available to answer account questions, we’re active on social media so you can always reach out, and we have a “cold storage policy,” which means we keep the vast majority of cryptocurrencies offline and away from hackers.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
Same answer for both questions – I get to manage people! People are the best part of my day, but sometimes they can be the worst part of my day. Especially as you scale, putting the right team in place presents significant challenges, but finding the right people is the best possible reward!
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
I love Aion. It’s another blockchain company, and these guys are as laser focused on changing the world as we are. And their leader, Matt Spoke, is an absolute gem.
Visit the Coinsquare website for more info.