Interview with Digitex Futures Exchange
Digitex: NON-CUSTODIAL Zero-Fee Futures Exchange
Emil Sterndorff: Hello guys! Thanks for chatting with us today. I was ﬁrst introduced to you in a call with Mav and Doc from the YouTube channel ReadySetCrypto.
These guys are no joke, so when they said you guys were something special, it caught our attention.
First of all, let’s take a quick dive into Digitex. Could you give us a quick introduction to your project, and what sets you apart from the others?
Sure. We are a zero-fee, non-custodial futures exchange launching in Q2 2019. With those two features alone, you should already get an idea of how different Digitex is.
We are removing all trading fees and allowing retail traders, especially short term scalpers and high-frequency, low volume traders who like to accumulate small profits over time the chance to make a living.
When I was a pit trader back in the 90s, I would often see profitable days turn into losing ones and I dreamed about an environment in which traders didn’t have to lose part of their profits to the house. When I discovered Ethereum and the possibility of creating your own token I realized that it could be possible.
In the Digitex Futures trading platform, all traders must purchase DGTX to trade. This increases the demand for DGTX and also the token price. It also means that for the first time in history, the exchange’s interests are actually aligned with the traders. We both want the same thing: token appreciation. That is how we make money, not through hidden fees or additional services, but through the rise in token value.
We’ve also come a long way since the beginning in which we decided to launch with BTC, LTC and ETH futures contracts against the USD. We’ve realized how huge the futures trading market is and so we are going to be adding additional futures markets as well, like tech stocks, forex, incides, gold, bonds, and shares, etc..
To achieve non-custodial status and decentralized account balances to offer all traders security in light of the overwhelming amount of hacks and issues in the industry, we are integrating plasma technology into the exchange. This will be rolled out in Q3 of this year. We will also be offering commission-free spot trading as well, and a mobile app.
So, there are a billion things about Digitex that stand out! But if you take nothing away from this, just with the fact that traders don’t have to pay commissions and don’t have to trust us with their money should be enough.
Who’re the team behind, and how did you get the idea to start Digitex?
Like I said, I was always hit by commission fees as a scalper and launching a commission-free trading platform was always a dream of mine. After I left the pit, I went traveling around the world for a few years and later designed popular betting software. But I always had this nagging idea in the back of my mind about commission-free trading.
Discovering Ethereum was like an epiphany for me! It was like the missing piece of the internet. It allowed us to create DGTX, hold an ICO that sold out in 17 minutes, raise funds and build an exchange that we are launching in just a few weeks time.
We have a strong team with a background in building robust telecommunications and betting software. We have taken on the best smart contract guys in the business in Moscow, and we also have a UX guy from Silicon Valley. We have been ramping up the development department lately to be able to deliver some surprises upon the public launch.
We also have some great marketers on our team. Everyone has heard of Digitex! We have one million people signed up to our waitlist and banging on the doors waiting for us to open for business.
Are you planning to expand your business portfolio from being more than just an exchange, and can we get an idea of what it might be?
We like to consider ourselves not only as innovative but ahead of the curve, so, never say never! We don’t have plans right now to be more than an exchange. But we do have plans to be more than just a cryptocurrency exchange and more than just a futures exchange.
As I said earlier, we will be adding spot trading commission-free, which will bring more traders in, and we will also be adding traditional futures markets. We think that with this, the audience for Digitex will be huge.
We have cryptocurrency enthusiasts and traders and we also have retail traders who are currently paying high commissions to brokers or exchanges and who would love the chance to trade futures without paying commissions.
We are already a big community at Digitex and it is the Digitex community that decides over policy moving forward.
To ensure that we can cover costs of the exchange, we vote on token minting once a year and it is the community who decides when and how many to mint. This has a small inflationary effect on the token price, but this is offset by more traders coming to the exchange and buying and trading with DGTX.
Who would you compare yourself to, in terms of quality, and how do you ensure scalability through liquidity and ease of use?
There is not really any exchange out there like us! We actually did a competitor line up recently. OKEx and BitMEX are probably the biggest players in our arena, but they both charge fees, they both have usability issues and complaints from traders, and they are both custodial.
There are exchanges like Deribit and IDAX, but they either don’t allow for margin trading or leverage or only offer one crypto asset. They are also very small and we don’t aim small!
We wouldn’t compare ourselves to Bakkt or Nasdaq, either though. While we think these projects are extremely bullish for crypto, we are capturing different markets. We are after retail investors and traders and not institutional investors.
We ensure liquidity through the fact that all traders need to purchase DGTX to trade, thus the token is in constant demand. We also have 100 million DGTX (10% of total supply) allocated to automated market makers to ensure liquidity and keep tight bid-ask spreads.
And we already have one million people signed up. If just 5% of these people actively trade, even small amounts, that is already 50k traders, and already a busy exchange.
Do you fear the wave of DEXs entering the market, with increasingly similar user experiences to centralized exchanges?
Not really. We admire them but believe that the technology isn’t there yet. If we felt that we could deliver ultra-fast instant trading experience through a DEX, we would kick off with a completely decentralized model. However, our order matching engine is designed by some of the brightest talents in the industry and the trading interface ladder system will change the way that people trade cryptos for good.
We combine the best of centralized servers with the best of decentralized technology. Traders don’t get a compromised user experience and they get ultimate security for their accounts. But it will be interesting to see how the DEX UX evolves and whether it can provide such a fast and seamless trading experience in the future.
What’s the coin or token listing process on Digitex, and what do you usually look for in a coin project?
We are starting off with Bitcoin futures and adding other markets as we see fit. As I said, we were going to start with three pairs, but will also be adding traditional futures markets now as well.
As far as adding new coins and tokens, we will see. It will most likely be by demand and based on whether we believe they will be a good thing for our exchange. We are also discussing the possibility of holding this to a community vote.
Maybe ask me this question again in a few months time when we are spot trading and adding tokens!
What are some of the achievements you’re most proud of having accomplished in the history of the project?
I am incredibly proud of how the community has come together and supported this project. Just 18 months ago, it was an idea in the back of my mind. I started writing the white paper and showing it to people wondering if they would laugh at me, but it was really well received. The more people I showed it to, the better the response and things started going crazy!
We had one-quarter of a million signed up to our ICO list and it sold out in 17 minutes. That was an awesome achievement. Then, just watching the team come together to resolve problems, watching the token price explode and people get excited about and interested in the project has been amazing.
In the harshest market conditions ever, our token price exploded and made CMC’s top 100 list and we are still 400% up from our ICO price.
Also, getting to work with the plasma guys to be the first hybrid exchange to use the technology is another one of my high points of last year. Now we’re just dying to launch the exchange and prove to people that we can really deliver what we said we would. And even bigger and better than we ever thought.
What’s been the greatest challenge to overcome?
We had to delay the onboarding of the Beta version and this really upset our community and our token price took a hit. We were accused of holding exit scams and lying, and being a scam in general.
It was hard for the team, but we had made a development-led decision that we would place all our resources into the public launch and make it better than expected rather than divert all resources to the Beta.
We are overcoming it, the token is still holding its own in a savage market, but once we open our doors people will understand how undervalued it is right now.
Assuming you have a plan for upcoming developments, what are three of the most exciting initiatives people should be aware of?
The public launch of the futures exchange, spot trading, mobile app, plasma, traditional futures markets.
Currently, what has been some of your most impactful partnerships, and going forward, what are the kind of partnerships you’re looking for?
ReadySetCrypto will be releasing a futures trading course based on what we are doing. Then we also have an important partnership with SmartDec and plasma.
How can we connect with Digitex, or otherwise support your project?
Go to our website digitexfutures.com, contact us through Telegram, buy DGTX through one of the exchanges or from us direct, follow us on Twitter and sign up to the waitlist.
Thanks for taking the time to go through this interview with me — it’s been an absolute pleasure. Do you have anything to add before we ﬁnish?
Just that this project is going to be a game changer and there really is nothing like Digitex out there. For sure, we will set a new standard in the industry and there will be plenty of people trying to copy us, but we hope to help bring cryptocurrency to the masses by adding traditional traders and opening their minds to crypto.
We’ll also be making the user experience so much smoother and safer, that we think we will play a huge part in overcoming the barriers of taking crypto to a wider audience.