Bitcoin2022 speaker exclusive: Joe Ziolkowski, Relm CEO

Insurance set to take off as “there is more crypto adoption globally now”, says Ziolkowski

Portrait of Joe Ziolkowski, CEO and co-founder of Relm                                 
Joe Ziolkowski, CEO and co-founder of Relm – Photo:Joe Ziolkowski
                                

Joe Ziolkowski, CEO and co-founder of crypto industry insurer Relm, has exclusively told Currency.com that he believes crypto is a “long-term sector that is here to stay”.

His comments came after he spoke at a panel session at Bitcoin2022 in Miami, Florida, along with officials from Gemini – the crypto exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – and alternative asset management firm Valkyrie.

Relm, which was set up to embrace new and emerging business categories, can offer directors and officers (D&O), liability, cyber and commercial insurance to crypto companies – which Ziolkowski explained if “you are a crypto exchange, you are going to need all four of these”.

The CEO said Relm has provided insurance and worked with some of the biggest names in the crypto space. Without revealing which crypto exchanges, Ziolkowski said that they have worked with exchanges present in more than 30 countries.

Crypto is more sensitive than traditional stocks

Ziolkowski believes that cryptos are more sensitive than other regulated stocks to geopolitical events and referenced events such as when China outlawed crypto.

In September 2021, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced that “virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities”. This had an immediate negative impact on the price of cryptos.

Prior to that in May 2021, the Chinese government banned financial institutions and payment firms from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions, arguing that virtual currencies “are not supported by real value”.

Insurance can make crypto feel more ‘familiar’

As crypto is not regulated, Ziolkowski believes that offering insurance gives people something they are “familiar with, which makes up for the lack of clarity” in the crypto space. He added that by having insurance, people know they have a safety net “and feel more comfortable”.

When asked to predict when crypto insurance will become more widely offered, Ziolkowski said: “It is coming, there is more crypto adoption globally now.”

The CEO added that “the market needs more protection than just what Relm can offer”. On the 6 April, Relm announced the launch of Relm II, the world’s first fully regulated collateralised reinsurance business that can accept both fiat and crypto as collateral.

Other notable speakers at Bitcoin2022 are Serena Williams, the US professional tennis player who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Cynthia Lummis, an American politician serving as the junior US senator from Wyoming, and Cathie Wood, CEO of American investment management firm Ark Invest.

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