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Norway’s first crypto exchange

Thuc Hoang23/01/2021

Creating Norway’s first crypto exchange has not exactly been easy. There are several reasons why it took so long from the first prototype to launching a platform that we thought was good enough for the Norwegian market. We started back in November 2017, while cryptocurrency was still undergoing extreme price increases.

Everyone was talking about cryptocurrency, newspapers were writing about it on a daily basis, and we were garnering huge interest from friends and colleagues over the project we were working on.

New rules

A lot changed during the spring of 2018. Instead of everyone talking about cryptocurrency heading for new heights, the subject now was the huge downturn and people who had lost money. Which certainly put a dampener on our motivation.

There was also a lot going on in the political sphere in Norway that would also affect our delivery process: GDPR in May and the introduction of the new Money Laundering Act in October. There was a lot of resistance and plenty of challenges to say the least, but why continue with Firi when it was easier just to give up? Had it not been for the foundation we had laid by doing a good job with the administrative side of things, we probably would have given up back in the summer of 2018.

Solid infrastructure

It was easier to get a foothold once we had a Norwegian bank account, access to BankID services and KYC/AML tools which our platform is extensively integrated with. We also thought that the most difficult thing was not building the platform, but building up the market with people who want to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. For some, active day trading is a source of income, even in a bad market. Others engage in arbitration, while all others want to do is sell their cryptocurrency when times are tough.

It helps, of course, that we had registered with Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority, Finanstilsynet, as a service provider for exchanging and storing virtual currency in Norway in the spring of 2019 as Norway’s first crypto exchange. This means a lot for us in terms of a starting point. We are working and will continue to work closely with public bodies in Norway to make cryptocurrency safe and easy to use in all areas. And of course will contribute to the discussion whenever the opportunity arises.

Norway needs a place where users can feel safe through openness and no false hopes. We haven’t promoted ourselves before for good reason; we don’t want to promise something we can’t keep, and this is what we will continue to do. On this blog, we want to look at interesting topics and to be open about our processes as far as possible. And we want to show Norwegians how to buy cryptocurrency.

We depend on feedback in order to give our users the greatest possible value. We encourage those of you who have something on your mind to come to us with your positives and your negatives, and maybe something you want to read more about in the future!