Interview with Jared Grey - CEO of Bitfineon GmbH (ALQO)
- Can you tell us more about Bitfineon and why we need another cryptocurrency exchange? What’s the added value of Bitfineon in comparison with other competitors?
Given the profitability of the top exchange platforms in the industry, there has been a recent wave of exchanges being built and launched in the hopes of grabbing some of that market share. The vast majority of those newly created exchanges are by and large, indistinguishable from one another, do not offer any added benefits over their competitors, place very little emphasis on user-friendliness, and customer support, and in some cases completely copy one another in terms of design and functionality. We call it the “exchange white noise” phenomenon and is likely a result of the recent exchange bubble.
We don’t believe in bringing a product to market unless it can offer unique, tangible value to end users and institutions. One of the core principles driving Bitfineon’s market strategy is the simplicity embedded into its user experience. The idea is to make it as easy as humanly possible for newcomers to participate in this growing industry and eliminate any potential barriers to entry. Our 24/7 professional support team, fast-turnaround KYC department, direct bank payment integrations and simplified checkout process will create a hurdle-free environment and promote outside participation.
Another critical step is to increase merchants’ willingness to accept cryptocurrencies by offering them a seamless revenue stream. Bitfineon will facilitate that using Payinx, our in-house payment process that will be linked directly into a merchant’s Bitfineon account and rely on our exchange’s liquidity banks and fast order fulfillment engine.
Hopefully that paints a picture of not only our approach to the market, but also why it is important to the space as a whole to see the introduction of a robust, end-to-end on-ramp platform and a point of integration into the traditional financial world, rather than yet another crypto exchange, which tends to be a very basic service for buying token A using coin B.
2. Why not a decentralized exchange?
This has mainly to do with performance-related concerns. We’re very vocal supporters of decentralization over at Bitfineon and believe that decentralized, trust-less networks will become the key infrastructure to managing ownership, permissioning and trust related commercial functions. Having said that, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room when it comes to decentralized networks, namely performance and scalability. Modern cryptographic networks that are genuinely decentralized have not yet reached a point where they can maintain the transaction throughput required to support an ultra-high-performance exchange platform like Bitfineon. Our proprietary trading engine is designed to handle around 1 million transactions per second, and no little than 70,000 transactions per second under the strictest network conditions, and there are simply no decentralized network designs to date that we can use to power it without sacrificing user experience and order fulfillment accuracy.
With that in mind, our R&D team is reviewing the possibility of deploying a custom hybrid solution, where execution logic occurs on centralized servers and crypto fund management on decentralized nodes. We will release more information for public consumption when ready.
3. What are the use cases you are looking to cover with ALQO and what part does it have in the Bitfineon ecosystem?
Design-wise, ALQO isn’t planned to be just an integral part of Bitfineon; it’ll serve as the very lifeblood running through its digital veins. Every significant interaction on the Bitfineon platform will have some touch point with ALQO, whether it’s to secure a project’s listing fees, secure its candidacy in an upcoming community vote, for users to vote for said coin(s), to receive trading fee discounts, loyalty and referral benefits and take part in Bitfineon’s SharePool, a revenue sharing program where 50% of all revenue generated on the platform is exclusively distributed to ALQO holders, and other related use cases.
Fundamentally, ALQO was created with a primary goal in mind, being an accessible currency ready for mass adoption. To do this requires not only security, scalability, low transaction fees and intuitive endpoints such as wallets and mobile apps, but also liquidity. For this reason we’re creating an entire base market for ALQO with every coin that gets listed on our platform, with heavily discounted fees. It’ll also be directly integrated into our upcoming service, Payinx, a fast, low-cost liquid payment processor to allow merchants to accept ALQO for goods and services. As you can see, we have big plans for ALQO and Bitfineon will reflect this reality.
4. How can Bitfineon help simplify the usage of crypto for mass adoption?
Our thesis is that mass adoption will only come when it is no more difficult for the average person to buy crypto than to order pizza online or tell others about your day on social media. As a result, our two key areas of focus for mass adoption outside of crypto’s existing sphere of influence are having a streamlined and intuitive buying and selling process for average investors using bank transfers and credit cards, and broad merchant adoption for goods and services.
In order to create an ecosystem of hyper-fast, accessible, low cost global payments, suitable infrastructure is needed. For that we plan on launching an integrated financial network with Bitfineon at its core and with ALQO being its connective tissue. Bitfineon will connect traders with new investors, liquidity providers with merchant demand, and payment processors with 3rd party service providers to create a frictionless transfer of capital across the ecosystem. With Bitfineon doing the heavy lifting in the background, anyone will be able to create an account on our regulated platform and find that paying for everyday items using ALQO is easier, faster and cheaper than with their traditional payment channels. We believe that this end result is the very reason why cryptocurrencies exist to begin with, and will create the necessary infrastructure around ALQO to see this vision realized.
5. What makes Bitfineon unique and better than other exchanges?
With crypto being a very broad industry in its capital-intensive application, our aim is to leave no stone unturned, and that also applies to our go-to-market strategy. Our goal is to service every layer of the emerging crypto industry by creating a marketable service on our platform to match, without sacrificing quality or focus. When the platform launches and matures, it will become a tightly-interconnected and seamless aggregation of services, each appealing and suitable to their own target audience, regardless of their capital goals and interests profile.
Whether you’re an average retail investor with no working knowledge of cryptocurrencies and just looking for a fast and easy way to invest in leading assets, a high-volume trader looking for the reliability and performance needed to execute high-precision trades, or a startup in need of an end-to-end launching and crowdfunding platform to bring your idea to market, Bitfineon will have everyone well covered.
With our ultra-fast proprietary trading engine, enhanced order fulfillment feature, in-house banking API engine making Bitfineon fiat deposits and withdrawal arguably the fastest in the industry, SharePool revenue sharing program, and customizable high-volume trading contracts, there’s very little chance that anyone will be left wanting or seeking a 3rd party platform to satisfy their needs.
Among others, Bitfineon’s service offering will be characterized by the following:
- Fast, 24/7 professional support — The customer always comes first. Period. We really cannot stress the importance of a reliable and responsive support team enough when it comes to high volume exchanges. Having average support response times of days and weeks is unacceptable in this industry. Bitfineon will have a fully staffed support team that will response via e-mail, phone and online chat.
- Bitfineon’s SharePool Program — As part of the ALQO ecosystem, Bitfineon will be distributing no less than 50% of trading revenue to ALQO holders, offering a direct economic incentive for investment. ALQO holders will therefore be given several passive income vectors, whether derived from operating a masternode, staking their ALQO coins or storing them in their Bitfineon account for daily revenue distributions.
- Extreme global redundancy — in this capital-intensive industry, any downtime or lagging deposits and withdrawals cost investors unbearable amounts of money. During liquidity events in some markets, even mere seconds can represent significant lost opportunities. Bitfineon’s infrastructure is based on a global, high-redundancy, high-availability network with near-instant fail-over and load distribution properties ensuring virtually zero downtime for our users and partners.
- Easy integration process — being the team behind ALQO, a no-ICO, community-driven project, we know exactly what it’s like to operate in a competitive industry with very high barriers to entry. Our goal is to promote innovation, not impede it. One aspect of our scalable architecture is therefore having an easy integration of any coin, whether of Proof-of-Work, Proof-of-Stake, ERC20, NEP5 or any other formats. We will also offer competitive listing fees and vectors to projects that truly create unique value for the space.
- Customized Over-the-Counter (OTC) contracts — while exchanges are required for cross-market standardization, certain segments of the market will always have different needs. Our answer to that is our in-house trading desk service, which will not only allow participants to trade in large quantities directly without impact book liquidity, but to do so with highly customizable terms.
- Simplified, streamlined checkout process — Tying into our mass-adoption strategy, we intend to make it as easy as possible to purchase leading crypto assets, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others. All anyone who wishes to purchase these assets will have to do is create an account, choose the asset, specify the amount, upload their ID and their newly purchased coins will be waiting for them in their secure accounts, with easy withdrawal instructions. Simplicity is always key.
6. How much funds does the core team have in terms of budget for development and marketing?
As Bitfineon is a derivative of the ALQO planetary ecosystem and being a community-driven, no pre-mine or ICO cryptocurrency itself, our funding is in part made up of its dev fund, being a 5% portion of all block rewards, with a recent increase to 10% as we ramp up our marketing and development pace to accommodate for our upcoming release schedule. Aside from that, we also have our own funds as well as close, capital-interested parties who are glad to assist in bringing this ambitious platform to life.
Having come from a no-ICO background in a competitive environment where projects are funded in the millions, we are no strangers to the concept of lean corporate financial balancing, and see it as a positive outcome that will help guide our future development into producing sustainable growth.
7. Who is the team behind Bitfineon? What are their backgrounds?
Bitfineon’s team is as diverse as you’d expect a community-oriented project’s to be. On the corporate side, our executive team consists of 3 key individuals, each with rich experience and background in his respective domain. Jared, our CEO, comes from a long and successful track record of sales, business development and management and is no stranger to running 7-figure operations. Kevin, our CTO, is an expert developer and engineer and is the lead architect behind Bitfineon’s robust infrastructure, making sure it functions flawlessly at scale, and Moritz, our COO, who heads up our business development, partnerships and compliance departments to and facilitates the level of growth we seek to achieve.
Other team members, including Samuel, Raphael and Igor have contributed greatly to our efforts in the areas of community management, marketing outreach and core development tasks, and we see them as a solid extension to the corporate team. You can read more about our team over at: https://alqo.org/team.
On the community side, we have a very large pool of talent, assisting us in tasks of varying scope and function, ranging from graphic design, through marketing and exposure to core development. We are extremely fortunate to have received the level of assistance, contribution and resources that our community has been happy to grant, and are very proud of the collaborative culture that the ALQO project has successfully cultivated.
8. Thinking about the future, do you have any roadmap with relevant upgrades or partnerships?
It’s only natural that having our unique scope and areas of interface with multiple layers of the industry means that our pipeline is very heavy in terms of both development and future partnerships. There are several high-impact, unique market services that we plan to launch later this year and have not covered in this session, as we have to keep those under wraps for the time being due to increasing competition. Let’s just say that the next few months are going to be very interesting for Bitfineon and our user base.
Thank you for your time.