Founded with complete transparency and compliance in 2018, BitMart has remained a top-tier cryptocurrency exchange that continues to attract venture capital worldwide.
Now with more than nine million users, BitMart is stronger than ever and continues to look toward future challenges with optimism. Regardless of what setbacks occur, BitMart is confident in its ability to innovate and incorporate the best solutions to move boldly forward.
To coincide with BitMart’s Fourth Anniversary celebration (March 15 – 29), reporter Awais Ahmed had the opportunity to interview the founder and CEO of BitMart, Sheldon Xia, and present his visions for his crypto ecosystem to the world.
01 BTC could Change the World
Many people consider the original Bitcoin whitepaper as the “Crypto Bible,” and Sheldon is undoubtedly a believer.
According to him, he first came across digital assets in 2013. After reading “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” the idea that “Bitcoin could change the world” came to his mind. Even though this idea seemed absurd to many during the time, he had no qualms about introducing ‘Bitcoin’ as an emerging asset to people around him. Of course, those who recognized that this technology would change the world either became a HODLR or joined the crypto industry to build the necessary infrastructure. Still in his twenties and eager to dive deep into all the crypto industry had to offer, Sheldon made a bold choice: he wanted them all.
In the early stages of the crypto world, the infrastructure could only meet the basic needs of crypto investors, and there was not even any user experience. Crypto users who wanted to invest could only do so by sending money to the exchange’s personal account, which Sheldon had experienced. “My personal crypto experience coupled with my optimism about the industry eventually prompted me to enter the niche track of building an exchange. After experiencing the chaos of the industry, it made me prioritize the user experience at the top of my list, and put compliance at the core of BitMart’s development.”
02 Compliance is an Attribute engraved in BitMart’s DNA
Why did BitMart choose compliance as a breakthrough point at its inception?
Sheldon’s answer is that “it has to do with my personal experience and team’s DNA”.
In 2015, Sheldon started using Coinbase for quantitative trading while studying in the United States. Out of curiosity about the product, he went to study the history of Coinbase and learned a lot from it, but he also felt the difference between Western exchanges and Asian ones.
“In the current crypto world where exchanges are the core component, exchanges naturally carry strong financial and service attributes. Therefore, in the mainstream educational and socio-cultural environment of Western countries, the first reaction of tech-driven engineers, when they think of exchanges, is to move towards compliance and embrace regulation.” Sheldon said, “after all, regulation is not exactly a bad thing in the development of the crypto world. At this stage, embracing regulation can allow crypto assets and technology to better interact with the traditional world, improving the acceptance of the crypto industry by traditional financial investors and even the general public, which essentially gives a boost to the industry.”
With the CEO’s active promotion coupled with the fact that most of BitMart’s employees have financial and technical backgrounds, BitMart has a positive attitude towards regulation. So on the first day of the exchange’s existence, the compliance process was already one of the priorities in the early days of its development.
“In the early stage, our plan was to become the ‘ Asia’s version of Coinbase’. This strategy was based on the trending spot market and user demographics at that time. We wanted to take a certain market share in the Asia of the crypto market while seeking compliance in the region.
While BitMart’s crypto market share in Asia was increasing, we also noticed that the proportion of BTC settlements in Asian countries was declining. Hence, we promptly adjusted our strategy by shifting our focus to Europe and America. It proved that changing the company’s development strategy at the right time to adjust to the rapidly developing market is a necessary survival skill for a company.”
With its compliance attribute coupled with the ability to adjust, BitMart is favored among users and capitals. In November 2021, BitMart received Series B financing led by Alexander Capital with Alpha Square Group and Chaos Ventures participation.
03 Expand the Ecological-breadth Horizontally & Explore the Product-depth Vertically
After four years of growth, BitMart is now ranked among the top 10 exchanges in the crypto industry. On top of providing basic trading services to users, BitMart has also been enriching its product lines in order to meet the growing financial needs of all types of crypto users. BitMart’s current product lines cover spot trading, futures trading, leverage trading, savings, staking, and a premium launchpad serving more than nine million crypto users worldwide. Early this year, BitMart was ranked sixth in the [2021 Digital 100 – U.S. Financial Services].
Talking about the expansion of BitMart’s product ecology, Sheldon adheres to the attitude of stability amid progress. He believes differentiated products should be provided to users in various development phases instead of launching fancy products just for gimmicks.
“An exchange is an infrastructure that provides basic services for users, only an exchange with credibility, usability, security, where users can profit from and get their needs satisfied can be called a ‘good’ exchange.” “We have constantly been tutoring our users about cryptos and paying great attention to the spot trading sector in the past four years. With the prosperity of the derivatives market in the traditional financing sector and the development of the crypto industry, I think it’s time for BitMart to march towards the derivatives market.” “ Along with this, we will also be strengthening our presence in the spot trading market.”
The momentum of BitMart’s ecosystem development will undoubtedly drive up the value of BitMart’s native ERC-20 token, BMX. Due to the BMX’s close alignment with BitMart, BMX tokens also sky-rocketed in 2021, with an annual increase of more than 1500%. Sheldon said that BitMart would explore the decentralization sector in the second half of this year, in which BMX may serve as the core fuel. “ The application scenarios for the BMX token will significantly increase.”
Meanwhile, the establishment of the BitMart investment fund – Cipholio Ventures has also added impetus to the development of the BitMart ecosystem. Sheldon hopes to explore and support early crypto projects through investment funds, further promote the development of the crypto industry through incubation of new tracks and new projects, and accelerate the replenishment of the BitMart ecosystem in many aspects.
Besides all the mentioned above, security will also be a major focus for BitMart. Sheldon did not evade the hack that occurred in 2021 and spoke openly about how it has helped the company move forward. As he said, “it is never too late to mend, and only when problems are exposed and solved under rapid development can BitMart move forward.” The unfortunate incident also enabled BitMart to upgrade its security system in all aspects. Not only had BitMart introduced new systems and external partners, it had also upgraded its staffing internally. Sheldon said that “providing users with secure and easy-to-use crypto services is BitMart’s continuous pursuit.”
04. BitMart aims to become the Underlying Facility of the Metaverse
When asked about how he sees BitMart in the future, he answered: “I hope that when people mention the word ‘metaverse’ in the future, the first exchange that comes to their mind is BitMart.”
Sheldon has his own exciting explanation for his answer. He explained that the businesses BitMart wants to focus on are three parts: cryptocurrency trading services, infrastructure, and an open financial system. With these three parts integrated into one, it becomes the entrance to the metaverse and Web 3.0.
Sheldon is optimistic about the future of the metaverse, and he said that it provides a similar function to cryptocurrency. “Just like how BTC provides a peer-to-peer online payment method that solves the payment problem of cross-regional and cross-system asset transfer; how the smart contracts provide the idea of using codes to solve the issue of trust in the blockchain industry.” “The metaverse provides a new entrance and exit for the emotional needs of human beings in the future. Although the metaverse is still in its early stage, we see recognition and experimentation from a wide range of industries.” As someone with a background in computer science, Sheldon sees what metaverse can offer and solve, despite its very early stage.
Sheldon especially emphasized that “as a concept that requires the collaboration of software, hardware, and infrastructure, the existence of the blockchain industry is crucial.” “And only the blockchain is used as the underlying system, can the underlying economic system for the metaverse be completed, where people and economy flow freely in the metaverse world. Therefore, what BitMart wants is to become the infrastructure of the metaverse and build the underlying infrastructure.
In Sheldon’s vision of the industry, the metaverse will become something beyond the scale of the current Internet in the next 5-10 years. The role BitMart aims to play is what a game hub is for the video game, where users can enter different virtual scenarios, switch between different account IDs, and where assets can be exchanged, traded, and stored. Bitmart aims to act as a transportation hub for Web 3.0 and the metaverse and provide services to users across the world.
One of Sheldon’s favorite books is Principles by Ray Dalio, in which the qualities of extreme truth-seeking and transparency are emphasized. It is also his philosophy in running the exchange. He believes full transparency is not only applicable to the company’s management but is also the core of the blockchain concepts. With these philosophies, Sheldon hopes to make the right decisions and seize the opportunities. And make BitMart the underlying facility of the metaverse and Web 3.0.