Newton is an exciting new mobile cryptocurrency exchange start-up being launched specifically for Canadian traders. It promises instant approval for trading, and no commissions. Currently it is in development for iOS mobile devices, but Android and web support will soon be offered as well.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts will be able to link the app directly to their bank accounts and then trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin fee-free. The cryptocurrencies can remain within the native Newton wallet, or can be moved to a wallet of the users choice. And Newton will convert these three cryptocurrencies back to Canadian dollars at any time.
Newton Review: The Team
Newton was started by a team of experienced Canadian entrepreneurs and has strong financial backing. Their goal is to set a strong example for good corporate citizenship in the cryptocurrency space.
The founder and CEO of Newton is Dustin Walper, who found success with his telehealth start-up Akira and is now looking to tackle the equally challenging cryptocurrency industry.
“In my mind there’s a lot that crypto has to offer, and in my mind the technology behind it can change the way our financial system works. But in order for it to get there, it needs to stop being seen as this weird niche thing… it’s gotta be something more mainstream,” said Walper.
“That means there needs to be proper oversight, companies that are complying with requirements for anti-money laundering, [and] they’re helping their customers pay their taxes.”
Mainstream Cryptocurrency Trading
Newton made a conscious decision to create their platform as a mobile offering rather than web or desktop based. They believe mobile is the future and a mobile app is far more accessible to more people.
And if they are correct, then Walper believes Newton will be part of shaping regulations in this new industry, helping to push cryptocurrencies to become a legitimate asset class, just like precious metals or fiat currencies.
Success might not come so easily however, as other Canadian start-ups have found that making cryptocurrencies a mainstream asset isn’t as easy as it seems.
Toronto based Coinsquare has struggled with the regulatory environment in Canada, and has been working diligently to get the trust of the masses. And just recently the Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank have both blocked the use of credit cards in cryptocurrency transactions.
Walper knows that currently cryptocurrency “is kind of a sketchy area.” And he wants to change that.
The Changing Face of Cryptocurrencies in Canada
To help improve the trust and usage of cryptocurrencies in Canada Newton is basing a good part of their identity on transparency. The company website says that Newton is PIPEDA-compliant, FINTRAC ready, and offers an exportable T5 statement.
Newton also values security and will store 95% of the digital currency it holds offline, as well as performing daily off-site backups. Walper says the security considerations are similar to what he experienced at Akira, where patient privacy and security was a top concern.
“From a security and privacy perspective, that’s something that we already have. And personally, I like to get involved in industries where what we do can make a really big impact on people’s lives… When we look at tech like bitcoin or blockchain-based currency and smart contracts, there’s so much potential for that to democratize finance both in Canada and globally.”
Newton is also moving away from the fee based structure of exchanges, giving its users lower trading rates. The company will make revenues through the spread between the bid and ask rather than directly charging commissions or fees.
How to Get Started with Newton
The Newton Platform is currently in invitation only beta. You can sign up for early access from their website.
Invitations will be sent a first-come, first-serve basis. There is a sneaky way to cut in line, though: make a donation to the Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation and then send them the receipt!
The company chose to launch as invitation only to avoid becoming successful too quickly, which would strain the financial resources and infrastructure of the platform. Newton’s management wants everything to remain ideal, from the trading experience to customer service and onboarding. A controlled beta is the most sustainable way to accomplish this.
Newton Review: Conclusion
If you’re Canadian you might be getting excited about the Newton platform. The rest of us will have to make do with existing platforms.
Since Newton is in a closed beta period it’s difficult to say how successful they will be once they launch, but if the past success of Dustin Walper is any indication this could become a leading cryptocurrency platform in Canada.
If Newton can make the deposit/withdrawal and trading process as easy as they promise then Newton will go a long way in bringing cryptocurrencies to the mainstream attention. Let’s hope they’re successful and the first of a new wave of startups to bring cryptocurrencies to the masses.