Exclusive Interview: M2’s CEO Stefan Kimmel on the Launch of Platform and UAE’s Crypto Revolution

In an exclusive and highly anticipated interview, UNLOCK Blockchain sat down with Stefan Kimmel, the CEO of M2, marking a new development in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. 

This marks the very first interview since renowned Shark Tank investor, Kevin O’Leary, made the bold declaration that M2 has the potential to surpass giants like Binance. 

While UNLOCK Blockchain may not necessarily agree with his assessment at the moment, we share the collective wish for M2 to thrive and potentially outshine this established exchange. Nevertheless, this anticipation is not without reason, as M2 emerges from one of the most esteemed jurisdictions in the digital asset space, poised to make a lasting impact on the world of cryptocurrency.

M2’s Regulatory Commitment

M2, as a fully regulated crypto exchange and investment platform, takes its commitment to compliance seriously. The exchange is registered and licensed in various jurisdictions, including the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), where it holds both an exchange license and a custody license.

Additionally, M2 is expanding its reach into Spain and other European countries to offer comprehensive regulatory coverage. M2 has also recently obtained a license in the Bahamas.

Stefan explains that this commitment to regulation serves as the foundation for all of M2’s operations, emphasizing transparency, security, and the safety of customer deposits.

Moreover, security is a top priority for M2. In fact, the company has assembled a strong cybersecurity team and implemented banking-grade security measures. External audits and penetration testing further confirm the platform’s security.

Team Diversity and Expertise

M2 prides itself on having a diverse team that combines expertise in traditional financial services and the crypto space. This holistic approach enables M2 to create innovative products in a secure and reliable manner, serving as a bridge between the traditional financial world and the rapidly evolving crypto space.

High-Yield Investment Products

One of the standout features of M2’s offerings, under the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, is its focus on high-yield investment products. As mentioned, M2’s Earn platform offers customers the opportunity to earn substantial returns on their digital assets. For instance, M2 provides an earn product that offers up to 10.5% interest on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and an impressive 11.5% on USDT. 

Stefan explains that the key differentiator is M2’s dedication to offering above-market yields while ensuring the utmost security, transparency, and regulatory compliance.

Behind the Scenes: M2’s Yield Generation Mechanism

Stefan shared that M2 boasts an in-house asset management team responsible for managing the assets committed to the Earn platform. The team employs four key avenues to generate the yields on offer:

Bitcoin Mining: M2 leverages its connection to Phoenix, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin miners, to access privileged mining capacity. Bitcoin mining plays a vital role in generating these high yields.
Algorithmic Trading and Market Making: M2’s trading team is actively involved in algorithmic trading and market making across multiple crypto assets. This strategic trading approach contributes significantly to the platform’s yield offerings.
Collateralized Lending: M2 also engages in collateralized lending on the platform, providing users with an additional avenue for earning returns on their digital assets.
Proof of Stake (POS) Staking: M2 participates in staking for various POS protocols, offering users a chance to earn returns by participating in the validation of blockchain transactions.

The Role of MMX Token

The native utility token of M2, MMX, serves multiple purposes within the ecosystem. Users can use MMX to boost their yield on the Earn plans by converting it into higher returns. Additionally, MMX can be earned through the platform, and holders can benefit from a share of the exchange’s profits on a quarterly basis. This unique feature provides an additional incentive for MMX token holders.

Preventing Insider Trading and Market Manipulation

Stefan addressed the critical issue of insider trading and market manipulation. He said that M2 employs extensive trade monitoring and surveillance programs to prevent these activities. Additionally, the regulator conducts its own trade monitoring, ensuring that the markets remain fair and orderly.

Separation of Custody and Trading

In the interview, Stefan provides valuable insights into M2’s unique approach to separating trading from custody, a strategy that’s not only unusual, but also essential in the cryptocurrency space. 

He explains, “They are actually two different legal entities and two different licenses,” highlighting the significance of this segregation. 

Stefan’s reasoning behind this separation stems from the lessons learned from past experiences, recognizing the potential conflicts of interest and risks associated with keeping everything under one umbrella. In fact, ADGM has mandated this separation as a requirement for registration, emphasizing its importance. 

M2 has taken this to heart, maintaining entirely separate teams, platforms, and tech infrastructure for custody and trading, ensuring that they remain distinct entities under a common holding structure. This approach prioritizes the safety and security of customer assets while adhering to regulatory standards. 

Moreover, Stefan acknowledges the growing interest in custodian licenses for digital assets within the financial industry, including discussions with banks and wealth managers. He respects the various viewpoints and interests in custody solutions, noting that while some prefer complete separation for the highest security standards, others may choose different models.

The UAE’s Role in the Crypto Space

Stefan’s enthusiasm for the UAE’s position in the global cryptocurrency landscape stems from the nation’s remarkable regulatory clarity. With a well-defined and supportive framework established by ADGM, the UAE has become a leading global destination for cryptocurrency projects and exchanges. This regulatory precision eliminates ambiguity, providing a safe and efficient environment for innovation in the blockchain industry.

Stephan reassures that the UAE’s proactive approach has propelled it to the forefront of the crypto revolution, offering a clear and welcoming path for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Future Licensing Plans

M2’s expansion strategy includes obtaining licenses in Spain, France, and the UK. While cautious about entering the US market due to regulatory uncertainties, M2 is exploring opportunities in emerging markets.

As M2 continues to navigate the intricate terrain of cryptocurrency exchanges, its fusion of regulatory adherence, enticing high-yield propositions, and a dynamic, multidisciplinary team establishes it as a prominent participant in the cryptocurrency realm. 

M2’s comprehensive approach, characterized by a commitment to innovation and security, underscores the blockchain space’s fundamental principles of transparency, reliability, and financial advancement.

The platform is positioned to be one of the industry’s forward-looking entities, as its ongoing journey garners the attention of blockchain enthusiasts and investors alike.

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