The cryptocurrency market has been rather interesting to monitor over the past few months, in the eyes of the typical crypto trader. There’s been a lot of action around the price of Bitcoin, crypto regulations, security, and even institutional interest.
Amid all this, Cryptopotato had the chance to do an exclusive interview with Ben Zhou, the CEO of Bybit exchange. Recently hitting the 4 billion USD mark in daily traded volume, the exchange is quickly catching up to speed. It has managed to establish itself as one of the more liquid exchanges in the derivatives trading market.
10 Years It Took Forex To Get Regulated
One of the exciting topics that Zhou touched upon was on the matter of existing and upcoming regulations. Coming from a background in Forex, he shared that “it took about ten years for it to be completely regulated.”
In terms of cryptocurrencies, he stated that as of now, there aren’t any existing frameworks that regulate Bitcoin derivatives trading.
“We are not regulated simply because there isn’t a regulation fit for crypto in Europe at the moment. With that being said, if there is a regulation fit for the business or industry, we will love to apply and get regulated. Clients feel a little bit worried when it’s completely unregulated. I think it would help, at least for exchanges, because it would help them onboard more clients.”
In this regard, Bybit doesn’t accept US-based clients because the law is “very unclear over there.” It’s not only Bybit – earlier this year, Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, also announced that they would restrict US-based traders for compliance reasons.
Unlike the USA, China recently stepped in as President Xi Jinping urged the country to get more involved with blockchain technology. According to Zhou, this would also have an impact on regulations.
“China is taking a big stance on blockchain and crypto. Although it’s very good news for education, I think China is going to make burdensome regulations. Now they are opening the gates, and I think regulation is, in a way, inevitable.”
No Chance For Personal Details Leakage
We can’t finish this interview without asking about the recent email leakage incident which happened with Bybit’s biggest competitor – BitMEX. Tens of thousands of BitMEX users’ emails were mistakenly sent out on the CC field (instead of the BCC one).
Speaking on the matter, the CEO of Bybit said:
“I think it’s the responsibility of any business to keep its clients’ data private. It’s not only for them; I think that if any business had an incident of leaking its clients’ private information, it’s a huge deal. And it’s even a bigger deal in crypto because everyone is here because of the anonymity. I don’t want to go through KYC because I don’t want people to know I’m using crypto. But then, if you leak this information, it’s very problematic.”
He also said that the accident with BitMEX rang an alarm while adding that “what keeps me up at night is the security of the exchange, and this includes the privacy of the clients.” This is why they have worked out a solution that takes a lot of the risks away. Bybit built their very own, in-house Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
“Nobody can see our clients details. Even though we have customer support, who sends emails to clients, what they see is only an encrypted email. If we want to send a call or a notification for liquidation, for example, the number is hidden, and we connect the VoIP phone directly through our system.”
In other words, the only people who have access to the users’ account information are part of the high-ranked company personnel. Moreover, they’ve also hired the head of security at Ping An Insurance Group, which is a Shenzhen-based, major insurance company in the country “in bids to strengthen the internal security measures.”
Bakkt And Its Impact On The Market
Another exciting development in the field was the recent launch of Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures platform, and it offers physical delivery (unlike CME and CBOE). According to Zhou, this has little to no impact on retail investors because “they don’t really care about it. They care about a working product that they can open and close positions as quickly as possible.”
However, he also noted that it’s a step in the right direction because it’s geared towards institutions.
“I think for the market to mature, you need all types of players. So it’s very good what they are doing. I hope that one day they will become very big. This also means that Bitcoin is more widely adopted.”
The Future of Bybit
Currently, Bybit offers perpetual contracts on its platform that represent regular futures contracts but with no set expiration date. This allows traders to open and exit positions at will. Moreover, the contracts are now settled in Bitcoin or native tokens. Zhou shared that Bybit intends to introduce USDT as a stable point.
“We are working on a linear contract, introducing USDT as a stablecoin. […] So we are going to offer a linear contract, and traders can use it to settle everything in USDT, and they can use that USD as a portfolio margin to trade all pairs at the same time.”
According to him, this would bring the best way to utilize the trader’s margin.”The best part of this is that if you have a floating PNL (Profit And Loss), which is, let’s say in Ethereum, you can use that to trade Bitcoin or other pairs. So it’s the best way to utilize the trader’s margin.”
They also plan to introduce is additional hedging capabilities through a so-called dealer contract. “Another thing on top of it is we are offering hedging abilities. Right now, all the positions are merged, but after we release our dealer contract, traders will be able to hedge so they can have long and short at the same time. This will be a complete innovation. Nobody has that product.”
He explained that the user would be able to open two opposite positions and set stop orders, so when the market moves in either direction, it will get rid of one of the positions and ratchet the profits going on.
“These changes will be coming out in January, and I think everyone is excited about that. After it, we will probably offer some futures products and regular futures. Bybit is also running a promotion right now for our newly registered users who will receive $10 to start trading for free. We also have a 30% lifetime affiliate commission.”