FinTech Interview with Sofian Berrahal, CEO of Nexdesk

FTB News DeskMarch 12, 202420 min

Explore Nexdesk’s transformative journey in redefining B2B digital asset OTC trading.
Sofian Berrahal, CEO of Nexdesk

Sofian Berrahal is CEO of Nexdesk, a B2B self-service digital asset OTC trading desk, available to all users across Europe. Before launching Nexdesk in 2023, Sofian as CBO was running business development in Nexpay, a Vilnius-based provider of banking infrastructure for digital companies, and managed a multinational team at Dukascopy Bank SA, an innovative Swiss bank.

1.Sofian, as the CEO of Nexdesk, please provide an overview of the platform’s mission and key offerings in the B2B self-service digital asset OTC trading space.

Nexdesk was founded to transform the OTC crypto trading landscape by building a seamless, secure, and transparent platform tailored to the needs of businesses. We offer a service that enables our clients to effortlessly transition between the fiat and digital asset worlds without any hassle. We leverage technology to drive liquidity, ensure robust compliance, and provide businesses the tools to navigate dynamic regulatory environments.

Since our inception, we helped hundreds of businesses by continuously adapting our offerings to evolving market demands – from adding new crypto assets to integrating with licensed financial partners like Nexpay. Those well-versed in digital assets turn to us for our convenience, competitive pricing, exceptional service, and our comprehensive 2-in-1 product offering with Nexpay (eliminating the need for multiple platforms). For businesses new to digital assets and eager to explore the advantages of this technology, Nexdesk facilitates this transition in a secure environment. Looking ahead, we remain committed to being the go-to OTC partner for sophisticated traders.

2.Can you share the motivations behind Nexdesk’s creation and how it has evolved to meet the changing demands of the blockchain sector since its inception?

As crypto adoption increases across retail and institutional environments, the maturity trajectory of cryptocurrency financial services closely mirrors the early stages of traditional electronic trading. Nexdesk aims to be at the forefront of this evolution as the partner of choice for sophisticated traders and asset managers seeking secure, compliant, and seamless access to this rapidly evolving asset class.

Surging interest from institutional investors on top of rising mainstream crypto adoption is driving tremendous growth for OTC trading services. The influx of asset managers and funds is increasing the adoption of regulated, centralised OTC desks for their robust compliance, security, and support.

At Nexdesk, we specifically service sophisticated traders by providing deep liquidity across blue-chip and emerging crypto assets, competitive pricing through aggregated feeds from multiple trading venues, industrial-grade compliance tools, and dedicated support and advisory every step of the way.

By relentlessly innovating and anticipating client needs, we ensure our users trade with confidence and peace of mind as market infrastructure continues advancing.

3.With the rise of decentralised OTC Desks, how do you see the landscape of OTC trade evolving, and what new trajectories do you anticipate in this space?

The OTC crypto sector is branching into two key trading profiles: centralised desks catering to institutional investors and decentralised protocols focusing on privacy. Both models can mutually coexist as they meet distinct demands. We anticipate tighter regulations will continue increasing the adoption of centralised OTC desks by asset managers and funds, drawn by robust compliance and support. In parallel, we expect to see the standardisation of decentralised protocols to address liquidity and transparency issues while retaining autonomy and security benefits.

4.Nexdesk facilitates crypto OTC trading. What factors contribute to the mounting demand for crypto OTC trading, and how does Nexdesk address the unique needs of businesses in this realm?

Several interlocking trends are fueling tremendous growth in demand for crypto OTC trading services. Most fundamentally, major financial institutions like asset managers, funds, and trusts are rapidly embracing crypto as an investable asset class following recent approvals of the first cryptocurrency ETFs. These large institutional players need secure pathways to discreetly acquire and offload substantial crypto holdings without excessive price impact – something exchanges struggle to provide.

In parallel, crypto awareness and adoption among HNWIs continues rising exponentially, creating another key customer base for OTC trading. These large individual holders equally need to discreetly cash in or out of positions with minimal public visibility.

Nexdesk is purpose-built to service these growing institutional and sophisticated crypto traders. We offer unparalleled liquidity depth to enable desk-sized trades across blue-chip cryptos and emerging niche assets without moving markets. Our pricing is highly competitive derived from aggregated feeds of both public exchanges and private OTC pools. We allow direct fiat conversion through our EU-licensed banking partner Nexpay. And our account managers provide dedicated advisory and smooth settlement execution from trade to custody.

Most crucially, we enable all this within a fully compliant framework, implementing rigorous KYC procedures, transaction monitoring, and reporting that is compliant with the latest regulatory guidelines so that clients can trade with total confidence. Nexdesk is Crypto OTC trading reimagined for institutional traders navigating a dynamic landscape.

5.Could you elaborate on the strategic partnership between Nexdesk and Nexpay, the Lithuanian licensed Electronic Money Institution (EMI) where you serve as CBO? How does this partnership empower users and streamline crypto and banking operations on a single platform?

Users can forget about having to juggle platforms. Our strategic partnership with EU-licensed payment provider Nexpay allows complete integration between crypto and fiat operations on our platform. Users can securely deposit, withdraw, and switch between popular crypto assets and fiat currencies on Nexdesk to substantially simplify payments and treasury management. By collapsing the barriers between traditional and digital asset financial services, we offer unparalleled convenience to our users.

6.In the context of decentralised OTC, what are the boons that businesses can harness, and how does Nexdesk assist in mitigating associated risks?

Decentralised OTC desks offer enticing benefits like transactional autonomy and privacy but can struggle with irregular liquidity and piecemeal compliance requirements. Nexdesk aims to deliver the best of both centralised and decentralised worlds by providing robust identity verification, smart contract-secured transactions, advanced regulatory tooling, and access to deep liquidity across both public and private markets.

7.Considering your role at Nexpay, how does Nexdesk navigate regulatory landscapes, particularly in the area of high-risk industry payments such as gaming and gambling?

Comprehensive regulatory adherence is fundamental for Nexdesk’s institutional clientele and long-term success. Our rigorous compliance program includes mandatory KYC verification, transaction monitoring procedures to identify suspicious activities, direct integration with our EU-licensed partner Nexpay for reporting obligations, and ongoing guidance as regulations shift across our global footprint. By investing heavily in compliance, we build enduring trust.

8.As a platform dealing with digital assets, security is paramount. How does Nexdesk ensure the robustness and security of financial transactions and user data on its platform?

As a digital asset trading venue, security is an unconditional priority for us. We leverage cryptography, cold storage protocols, stringent access controls, and hardware-based authentication combined with regular auditing procedures and multilayered authentication protocols to safeguard client funds and private data to the highest global standards. We are committed to continually evaluating and implementing emerging security best practices.

9.Can you share success stories or use cases where Nexdesk has played a pivotal role in facilitating B2B digital asset OTC trades for businesses navigating the blockchain sector?

Nexdesk has helped businesses discretely acquire mission-critical crypto assets, seamlessly convert holdings to fiat to fund operations, reduce transaction costs relative to spot exchanges, and proactively navigate complex cross-border regulations. Our proven execution and unmatched experience speak to the trust institutional clients place in Nexdesk as their OTC partner of choice in a dynamic market environment.

10.How does Nexdesk envision its role in the evolving blockchain and crypto landscape, and are there upcoming features or partnerships that users can anticipate for a more seamless experience on the platform?

Looking ahead, Nexdesk is focused on cementing our position as the leading institutional-grade OTC trading desk across both centralised and decentralised ecosystems. We are aggressively expanding our crypto asset offerings to remain a one-stop-shop, exploring integrations with emerging decentralised finance protocols to offer clients cutting-edge deal structures while managing risks, and actively forming strategic partnerships to continue delivering an unmatched trading experience.

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