Operation of an OTC Desk as Mentioned by the CEO, Aminhossein Rad

PRESS RELEASE
Published January 31, 2023

Rad, who is now in his mid-20s, was born into a Middle Eastern household and was raised

Rad, who is now in his mid-20s, was born into a Middle Eastern household and was raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He enrolled in a program in electrical engineering in 2012 at the American University of Sharjah, which is located close to Dubai. He spent three years studying in Sharjah but wasn't totally happy with his opportunities. He had dreams of traveling to the United States and got accepted to Stanford and the University of Texas at Austin to pursue his electrical engineering studies. Despite what would have seemed to be a good opportunity, Rad chose against moving to the US because he felt a stronger pull to launch a business back in the UAE. Due to his lack of interest in engineering, he made the decision to drop out.

Rad remembers, "I wanted to get into the technology business, but I didn't know where to start." Around that time, he overheard conversations among his friends about Bitcoin and blockchain. He says, "I was interested, so I independently continued to learn about this technology — blockchain and decentralization."

“There was no example in this region that I could follow — all the blockchain entrepreneurs were in China and the USA. There was no one here who was doing blockchain entrepreneurship.”

“A lot of them were non-serious, and a lot of them were scammers”

He quickly discovered a business opportunity: brokering Bitcoin transactions may bring in money. Rad began identifying and connecting persons who were interested in buying or selling cryptocurrencies. “It took five months until I made my first deal. For five months, I kept encountering non-serious people and scammers — a lot of scammers.” he recalls, adding that filtering serious traders from time-wasters was a drain. He advertised himself as a broker, solicited business by word of mouth, and also used internet directories like LocalBitcoins. He frequently gave referral bonuses to anybody who brought in new customers.

According to Rad, OTC transaction margins were greater in the beginning, with 2% to 3% being typical in 2016 and 2017. Rates have decreased as volume has increased, and "now, there are more rivals in the market." The exact percentages vary frequently depending on market demand, but for high volume transactions, "the ideal number is half a percent," whereas retail dealers with lower volumes might anticipate paying twice or triple. Even though he calls $1 million and $2 million deals usual, Rad asserts that "anything over $1 million is considered high volume."

“we can work in a regulated space instead of a gray one”

Initially, business was informal, then Rad came up with the moniker for the Crypto Desk in 2018. Early in 2021, the company obtained a license for crypto trading, which, according to him, makes the business simpler and safer “because we can work in a regulated space instead of a gray one.”

Since the beginning, more than only margins have altered. The majority of transactions on the OTC market are being made in USDT, according to Amin, a change from the past when most users sought to purchase or sell precise amounts of Bitcoin. On both centralized and decentralized exchanges, it is simple to convert USDT into any cryptocurrency or back into fiat currency. While USDC and Dai seem to enjoy greater favor among DeFi and NFT circles, Rad acknowledges that "the majority of USDT users are not very conversant with blockchain, and are afraid to switch to another stablecoin." After all, USDT was the first stablecoin.

Since Crypto Desk only transacts in UAE dirhams, whose parity with the US dollar has been fixed at 3.6725 since 1997, exchanging USD stablecoins and AED is a pretty simple operation with minimal exchange risk.

Crypto Desk's daily transaction volume ranges between $4 million and $5 million, but it is the result of numerous transactions, says Rad, who also notes that all of his customers are based in the United Arab Emirates. According to Rad, there is a natural balance in the cryptocurrency market, with UAE residents typically being buyers looking to invest money in the space while those from other countries are typically sellers looking to sell cryptocurrency "in order to purchase real estate, cars, and pay their living expense in the UAE."

Rad envisions his regionalized business model prospering globally in the future. Despite the fact that major firms currently dominate the industry, Rad contends that "local exchanges have superior awareness of the local market's needs and laws."

“Most scammers have branded items, and most serious people try to keep a low profile,”

What about the hypothetical purchaser seeking $100 million in cryptocurrencies?

They are real. Crypto Desk can facilitate up to $30 million per day, but I encounter such a volume very infrequently," he claims, adding that the maximum volume he typically expects in a day is $5 million dollars. It is Rad's responsibility to determine whether a huge order is legitimate when it is received; according to him, this process only requires two or three minutes.

"When I see them, I know if they are a $100 millionaire or not." Rad states with obvious assurance. He believes that speaking is a more reliable indicator of seriousness than dress.

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