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GI Friday Guest Interview with Elton Dimech

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GI Friday Guest Interview with Elton Dimech

Gambling Insider speaks to Dimech about the increased usage of cryptocurrency within the gambling space, and how Payhound assists clients getting started with crypto.

Gambling Insider: Tell us about Payhound. 

Elton Dimech: Payhound is a licensed fintech company offering cryptocurrency solutions. Originally from Malta, the company caters to a vast gambling clientele, ranging from B2C operators, B2B providers, aggregators, platform providers, turnkey solutions, affiliates, but also operates in other verticals such as Forex, Investment Services, e-commerce and Payment Services industry. 

GI: What services does Payhound offer its partners? 

ED: The company offers three core solutions: crypto payment processing, cross-border payments and large volume trading. Crypto payment processing allows operators to accept player deposits and withdrawals in crypto without necessarily holding any balance on their end, with Payhound handling all aspects of the conversion if required. 

The second solution allows companies to easily receive or perform settlements, pay invoices globally, whether from or to their B2B partners, affiliates or other types of payments.

Lastly, large volume trading is a more specialised offering for companies seeking to exchange significant amounts of crypto into fiat or build exposures on their balance sheet in cryptocurrencies, something which is becoming increasingly popular, especially among listed companies. 

GI: Which markets are you currently present in, and which do you plan on entering next?

ED: Our core market has always been our home base of Malta. We began developing our proprietary crypto processing solution simultaneously with the local gambling regulations, which enabled us to be among the first crypto providers to collaborate with MGA operators. We obtained our licence in 2021, among the first providers ever, and have maintained it ever since. 

Once the new European regulation called Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) will fully go into effect at the end of this year, we anticipate Payhound becoming a company with a European outlook and a major player in all Member States. We are heavily focused on regulation and compliance as a company, and we are fully prepared to embrace the new changes and continue to serve our clients as smoothly as ever. 

Outside of Europe, crypto is increasing in popularity in both Asia and LatAm, where gambling companies are making use of crypto either as an alternative payment method or as an effective solution to settle larger transfers. This is mainly due to such areas having a greater preference in using crypto due to banking issues (such as slow processing times and high fees), currency controls or due to high rates of inflation. 

GI: Last year, the company rebranded from Moneybite to Payhound. Can you explain the decision behind the rebranding? 

ED: Moneybite served us well until a point when the team felt the need for a refresh and better alignment with our company’s identity, our status as a licensed Virtual Asset Services Provider, and our core strengths. Payhound was chosen to reflect our speed of processing which is inherently a major aspect in the services we offer to our clients. By incorporating the term ‘pay,’ it further aligns with the idea of the company acting as a payment provider of choice to its clients.

The new brand mantra From Zero to Paid in Seconds encapsulates our essence and has inspired us to continuously expand. We aim to improve our banking partnerships and grow our liquidity partners worldwide, all with the sole aim of enabling clients to benefit from the speed of crypto.

GI: How do you ensure your services are safe and secure for your customers? 

ED: Crypto has always been perceived as a difficult and complex field, with security threats making it vulnerable without proper safeguards in place. We guarantee the safety of our clients’ funds and have been constantly working to build a safe environment for all parties involved.

We are also ISO 27001 certified and have been for the past two years. We are actively and rigidly following the regulatory requirements in terms of AML obligations and best practices, and we are using blockchain forensic tools to monitor any transactions that interact with our system. 

GI: What do you think is the growth potential of crypto payments in the gambling industry? 

ED: A vast number of operators in the industry are either already offering crypto as a payment option or in the process of doing so with the purpose of appealing to new crypto-savvy audiences. There is also an emergence of operators which are also looking to set up crypto-only brands. 

Moreover, from a B2B perspective, crypto can allow the settlement of payments in an instant manner, which improves business partnerships and solves issues of geographical matter. This is particularly helpful for paying commissions or invoices, even to hundreds of companies at the same time. I would say crypto is already extremely relevant in the gambling industry and will only grow from here. 

Not to mention that the upcoming regulatory changes in Europe also indicate a widespread interest in the usage of crypto, not only in our industry but across any other industries that may make use of crypto in their daily operations. 

Elton Dimech started his journey with Payhound in 2019 when he made the transition from the banking sector to the cryptocurrency space. Over his 15+ years career, Dimech gained a wealth of experience which today translates into the success of Payhound. As Managing Director, he drives the company’s business strategy across all departments whilst playing a key role in maintaining customer relationships.

Article originally published by GI Friday on May 3rd, 2024.

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