Five Questions with Alexander Höptner
We are excited to ask Alexander Höptner, CEO of BitMEX, five questions. Alexander joined BitMEX earlier this year and has been spearheading changes to their platform to accommodate the rapidly changing regulatory landscape that crypto fintech faces.
Get to know a little bit more about Alexander and BitMEX in this edition of “5 Questions”.
Questions & Answers
Q: First of all, thank you for taking the time to give your valuable insight about the challenges BitMEX has overcome and still faces. People either loved him or hated him, Arthur will always be a big part of BitMEX’s history. What does the current leadership shakeup mean for the longevity of the brand?
Alexander Höptner: My mission as the CEO is to take what the founders have created to the next level – transforming from a crypto derivatives exchange to something bigger. Earlier this year we announced that we will expand our service offering by adding five new global business segments including Spot, Brokerage, Custody, Information Products, and Academy. That, though, is just the starting point with many more ideas in the pipeline.
Our transformation has just begun, and the BitMEX brand is very strong. Part of my mission is to expand and deepen understanding of what we stand for, and what we think is right. That includes our vision for the crypto ecosystem as a whole and building understanding of digital assets and crypto among as wide an audience as possible. So we’re continuing to support Bitcoin development, and also setting an example of being responsible innovators.
Q: We’ve seen powerful regulating bodies around the world clamp down on cryptocurrency trading in unison. Why should your former and prospective clients embrace KYC/AML during the maturation of the cryptocurrency industry?
Alexander Höptner: The scrutiny attracted from global regulators is proof that the market is growing significantly as well as maturing. In particular, we are seeing more institutional players recognising the opportunity cryptocurrencies represent – which we think is a good thing.However, that scrutiny is proof that if we aspire to the ideals of cryptocurrency to transform financial services, we need to work cooperatively with regulators around the world. We cannot and should not operate in silos from the rest of the financial services industry so we need to work closely to ensure we create a system that benefits those who matter most – the users themselves.
KYC is a prerequisite; it builds trust with users and regulators. As the first crypto derivatives exchange of our kind to be fully KYC-ed, we’re glad to see other industry players embrace KYC and AML policies.
Zooming out, we see education and open dialogue with regulators as essential to industry growth and, as you said, “maturation”. We are now in active conversations and have established collaborative relationships with regulatory authorities in a number of jurisdictions,
Q: Coming from Börse Stuttgart as the former CEO seems like a natural fit as you transition to BitMEX. Besides overcoming regulatory issues, what improvements to the performance and stability of BitMEX’s trading engine can clients look forward to?
Alexander Höptner: In terms of the BitMEX trading engine, we have been working hard to scale up platform capacity to handle orders, and we are focused on continuing to upgrade and enhance the platform. The net result is a stable, safe, and secure trading experience for our users even during times of extreme volatility, as we have seen over recent months.
Our ambition, though, is to transform BitMEX to go beyond derivatives, and we appreciate the loyalty our traders have given us and which is such a fundamental part of our growth.
Q: Being that BitMEX is the inventor of the perpetual swap, one of the most traded crypto derivatives products, in what other ways will BitMEX continue to innovate with products?
Alexander Höptner: As you say, we created the perpetual swap so innovation is in our DNA. We’re bringing a positive change to BitMEX in the next few weeks with the introduction of Tether-margined contracts – something users are going to be really excited about.
This summer we also made progress rapidly listing more Altcoin products, something our users have been asking for.
Other products include the BitMEX Basket Indices which cover both the Altcoin (.BALTMEX) and DeFi (.BDEFIMEX) markets.
But now is no time to rest and say ‘job done’. As I said earlier, we’re rapidly expanding our products and services and in the near term you’ll see some even bigger announcements from us with the goal of expanding the choices our clients have on the BitMEX platform. Stay tuned.
Q: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you see a trader make early in their career?
Alexander Höptner: While I won’t offer any specific trading advice, I do believe that traders need to have conviction in their core investment thesis, standing by it whatever headwinds come their way.
I also think it’s important to self-assess continuously and be prepared to adjust a strategy or position when those headwinds start to chip away at underlying assumptions that support your thesis.
That’s a fine balance to pull off – staying true to your conviction while having the self-awareness to know when to change tack – but I think that’s what marks out successful traders.
BitMEX is the next-generation cryptocurrency trading platform, which supports leveraged trading via Perpetual and Futures Contracts. Our mission is to professionalise the trading of cryptocurrency derivatives. We offer a fast, safe, and liquid way to trade and hedge cryptocurrency risk.
For more information, visit bitmex.com
Five Questions with Bill Xing
We are excited to ask Bill Xing, Head of Financial Products at Bybit five questions. Bill leads Bybit’s effort to develop and release new products as “one of the most user experience and trader focused platforms”. Get to know Bybit through Bill in this edition of “5 Questions”.
Questions & Answers
Q: What are some of the past or future products from Bybit you’re most excited about?
Bill Xing: I am excited about our strategy alert feature on the mobile. Super convenient and useful. Crypto is 24*7 and very volatile, without a tool like strategy alert, it’s almost impossible to manage risks or capture opportunities. We are also going to add features that allow you to automatically place orders once alerts are triggered. A way to capitalize on the signals immediately.
Q: What separates Bybit from other spot and derivative trading platforms?
Bill Xing: Super deep liquidity and user-friendly interface for traders from starters to advanced ones. Also, we have a world-class mobile app 🙂
Q: How does Bybit plan to continue to play a large role in making cryptocurrency safer and easier for retail clients to trade?
Bill Xing: I would say technology investment in-house and user education effort. We have hundreds of top-notch engineers in-house who are working on trading platform performance and security. Also, we have great content creators writing blogs to educate users on crypto, trading, and risk management. https://blog.bybit.com/en-us/
Q: What can clients who participate in World Series of Trading (WSoT) expect during one of these trading competitions?
Bill Xing: A lot of fun and trading experience. If you are really good at it, you could make money by winning prize as well.
Q: With the global push to legitimize cryptocurrency trading platforms with regulating entities, what can clients expect to happen with AML/KYC on Bybit?
Bill Xing: We have already supported KYC features on the platform. For AML, we have built all sorts of tools and procedures in place to prevent money laundering.
Bybit is a global cryptocurrency derivatives exchange established in March 2018 and registered in the BVI. It is headquartered in Singapore and has offices in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We have users from all over the world including North America, Europe, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. We are focused on serving everyone from individual retail clients to professional derivatives traders. Our technology team includes experts from numerous leading companies such as Morgan Stanley, Tencent, Ping’an Bank and Nuoya Fortune.
Our liquidity ranks second because we put our clients first.
Our matching engine never overloads with over 100,000 TPS dedicated to every single trading pair, and our servers are never down with our grey release feature and hot patches released on the go. Lastly, all funds are kept safe with our Hierarchical Deterministic Cold Wallet System storing all assets. All of these and much more are what makes Bybit committed to creating a fair, transparent and efficient trading environment for all.
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Five Questions with Johan Eleveld
We are excited to ask Johan Eleveld, Chief Marketing Officer of Deribit, 5 questions. He brings years of legal and creative power to the Deribit team. Get to know a little bit more about Deribit with Johan in this edition of “5 Questions”.
Questions & Answers
Q: First of all congratulations on your transition to Deribit as CMO. Can you give us a little background about where you’re coming from and how you got involved with crypto fintech?
Johan Eleveld: After finishing law school, I started working as a creative in advertising for over 15 years. John Jansen (our founder and CEO) is a long time friend of mine. He told me around 2014 that he would build the first crypto derivatives exchange in the world. That’s how I got involved.
Q: A driver of rapid growth for Deribit was delivering a stable and performant trading platform during a time where volatility would take an infamous competing platform offline. How do you see Deribit continuing to achieve strong user growth?
Johan Eleveld: We will always be focusing on being the most technologically advanced platform. Crypto derivatives are complex products. One way to achieve user growth is to get more people interested by explaining our products better through education, hence our extensive free options course. Another way is to add less complex products to our portfolio in the near future.
Furthermore, from a development perspective, we will remain focused on continuous performance increases facilitating further user and messages per second growth and platform stability.
Q: How should trading platforms like Deribit aim to drive efficiency while at the same time staying ahead of the curve with innovation? Is it possible to do both?
Johan Eleveld: We deliberately choose to keep our team relatively small. We believe that we have a good balance between enough innovation power and enough agility to be efficient. We like to see ourselves as a small but robust ship.
Q: We’ve seen powerful regulating bodies around the world clamp down on cryptocurrency trading in unison. Why should Deribit’s former and prospective clients embrace KYC/AML during the maturation of the cryptocurrency industry?
Johan Eleveld: I think that it’s a natural evolution. Mr Benz invented the car, and afterwards, there became a need for traffic rules. We have many big institutional clients, and no one left because we voluntarily introduced a strict KYC/AML. Our new clients wouldn’t join Deribit if we didn’t have these strict rules. Over time we have expanded our KYC/AML requirements and monitoring and we recently announced to join Veriscope to be able to abide by Travel Rule requirements. When you’ve been driving in a busy country with hardly any traffic rules, you’ll learn to appreciate them.
Q: It was not too long ago anything crypto related would fall under a global advertising ban on the majority of traditional marketing channels. What marketing challenges do you see Deribit facing in the next 6 months?
Johan Eleveld: That isn’t easy to predict. We are based in Panama, and this week Gabriel Silva unveiled a bill to make Bitcoin a legal tender in Panama. If crypto gets more accepted by governments over time, the marketing challenges will also slowly disappear.
Our former CEO Andras Caron chose not to do aggressive marketing but relied on a reverse solicitation model where the client comes to us instead of the other way around. A wise decision. Deribit always focused on the product, education and things like excellent customer support. Some competitors may have grown faster, but got into a lot of problems also. We will try to be on the safe side, no need to poke the bear with a stick.
Deribit was founded in Amsterdam in 2016. It is a global cryptocurrency derivatives platform and the leading crypto options exchange by volume and open interest. High matching engine capacity, low latency, advanced risk management, and high liquidity make Deribit a unique industry player that has been tested by time and trusted by its users. It offers numerous futures and options products and is among the top crypto derivatives exchanges in the world.
For more information, visit deribit.com
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Five Questions with Matt Mamigonian
We are excited to ask Matt Mamigonian, Business Development Manager of Bitstamp, 5 questions. Matt is no stranger to finance as he holds a Master of Science with a major in Finance, including Series 7 and 63 FINRA licenses. Get to know a little bit more about Bitstamp with Matt in this edition of “5 Questions”.
Questions & Answers
Q: Bitstamp holds the title of longest standing crypto exchange, and similarly we are the oldest crypto trade automation product dating back to late 2013. How does being a veteran in the crypto space influence the business relationships and social responsibility that Bitstamp pursues?
Matt Mamigonian: Being the longest standing exchange globally means we have the responsibility of providing a mature approach to the way we run our business and the relationships we pursue and maintain. We work with an incredibly large number of clients globally and ensure that security, reliability, and ease of use are all at the forefront of the client experience. Finally, since we operate with a compliance first approach, global regulation and operating within the letter of the law is of utmost importance.
Q: With your background at J.P. Morgan, BNY Mellon, and currently Bitstamp, do you see cryptocurrency fintech replacing traditional investment vehicles and infrastructures that you previously worked with?
Matt Mamigonian: To say that I am bullish on crypto would be an understatement. The current total market cap of the asset class currently sits at about $2.1 Trillion, which is less than the market cap of Microsoft or Apple. Traditional financial infrastructure will be disrupted, the capital raising process will look different, and more value will accrue to the end users and not the rent seekers. Capital markets will truly become global in nature and we haven’t even seen more than 1-2% of what this space is capable of achieving.
Q: Bitstamp boasts over 4 million clients; it’s known that whales and professional traders choose to trade with Bitstamp. In your opinion, will Bitstamp need to offer new products, like derivatives or margin trading, to compete with other growing trading platforms?
Matt Mamigonian: I believe that we will need to continue to innovate, add products and services, and expand our platform to keep our current institutions and clients happy as well as win more business. We continue to look at new products and services to offer – within the regulated framework we operate – and derivatives, futures, and options could be considered. We currently offer a margin product in partnership with Silvergate Bank and we have onboarded many firms who are using it day in and day out.
Q: Being in business development, you have a lot of conversations with startups and established companies in crypto fintech. Are there any themes that stand out over the past 6 months? How has your role changed?
Matt Mamigonian: There are a few themes that stand out. Startups and fintech players are seeking to more natively build crypto into their product at launch vs. adding features after they’ve been established. They want to build more natively in crypto – and want that to be the foundation or building blocks of their product or service. It’s become much more accepted, and dare I say, mainstream then it was a few years ago as well. Another theme would be building certain products and services to fit a market – or said differently – localizing a product. My role hasn’t changed that much in the last six months; however, I would say it’s only expanded and now encompasses a larger variety of incumbents.
Q: Are there any new partnerships, sponsorships, or projects with Bitstamp that are coming up that you’re excited about (and can publicly share)?
Matt Mamigonian: The next few months are going to be incredibly busy for us and there isn’t anything I can formally announce right now. The best way to follow us would be our Twitter Handle @Bitstamp or our Blog!
Bitstamp is the world’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange, continuously supporting the crypto economy since 2011. With a proven track record and mature approach to the industry, Bitstamp provides a secure and transparent trading venue to over four million individuals and enables a range of institutional partners to enter crypto markets through their time-proven infrastructure. Whether it is through their intuitive web and mobile apps or arsenal of industry-leading APIs, Bitstamp is where crypto enters the world of finance.
For more information, visit bitstamp.net.
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