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Centralized cryptocurrency exchange platforms came into existence before DeFi, before AMMs, and before most other things we see in the crypto world today.
A major volume of cryptocurrency trading occurs on centralized exchanges. And these exchanges play a pivotal role in shaping the growth of cryptocurrencies and building trust around this new asset class.
Speaking of crypto exchanges, one of the oldest and most trusted names in the industry is Gate.io. The exchange was originally founded under the name of Bter in 2013 by Lin Han and was rebranded as Gate.io in 2017. The exchange has since become one of the top ten crypto exchanges worldwide.
I interviewed Marie Tatibouet, the Chief Marketing Officer at Gate.io, to explore an insider view on how crypto exchanges work, how decisions are made, and more.
Q1: Every startup and every person has a unique story of how they started out in the blockchain and crypto space. What's your crypto story?
Let me start with my story. Soon after I received my major in finance and marketing, I founded a marketing consultancy that exclusively worked with tech companies.
It was around 2016 that I stumbled across cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. I just dove head-first into this space. Two years later, I got the opportunity to drive marketing at Gate.io, and the rest is history.
I have been leading Gate.io on the marketing front ever since. As the CMO of a world-leading exchange, and a true blockchain and crypto believer, it has been a prime motto for me to spread knowledge about the importance of not just crypto but also blockchain technology to the masses.
Simplifying its technicalities for everyday users, and indexing on the security and transparency aspects of blockchain and crypto evolution is something I’ve wholeheartedly enjoyed.
Q2: Gate.io is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. What things played a key role in the success of Gate.io?
Gate.io was founded in 2013, at a time when crypto had barely made any headlines except for a few bad ones. It aimed to enable a new generation of global traders with the tools to access the revolutionary age of cryptocurrencies.
As the world of crypto grows, our mission to prioritize user security and experience while providing quick and easy access to digital assets at the cheapest possible price. This constant work we do at Gate.io to always offer our users the highest quality services is one reason that helps us maintain a top spot in the list of crypto exchanges.
Along with that, we focus on other aspects of trading to provide a wholesome trading experience. We allow users to interact with the Gate.io community via our social layer, which includes Gate.io Live, our in-app live streaming platform, and Leaderboard, where users can create and apply ready-made strategies.
We have hosted over 100 live streaming sessions with leaders from various projects such as Travala, YOP, Polkadot, etc. - so that our users get first-hand information on the tokenomics and value proposition of the projects we have listed.
Keeping our users informed and ensuring their preferences over everything else is what we believe has had the biggest impact on the growth of Gate.io.
Q3: Since its launch in 2013, what have been the biggest hurdles Gate.io faced in terms of expanding across Asia and throughout the world?
Crypto space has been and is volatile. This has been a significant obstacle for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies in general. Plus, there are always the usual suspects – the 2018 bear market, the industry hacks, and wishy-washy regulations have also been annoying road bumps on the road to growth for Gate.io.
However, over the last few years, our growth has been steady. It is important to note that the crypto space is way more mature than it was in 2017. It is no longer the "wild west," so to speak.
But thankfully things are changing. From the regulatory aspect to how the common population sees cryptos… there’s a great deal of change we’ve noticed and it has only helped subdue the challenges we face. In fact, our 2020 year-end reports suggest that a significant percentage of our new users are from outside Asia.
I wouldn't say that it's a surprise because we have been working hard in our expansion, but it was still nice to know that our efforts are paying off!
Q4: There are more than 6,500 cryptocurrencies in the market and Gate.io lists 487 of them and 1101 crypto pairs. What's your process of whitelisting or blacklisting cryptocurrencies for the exchange?
The process of listing cryptocurrencies on Gate.io is divided into two parts. Firstly, we are a community-first exchange, so we consider any project that our community wants to list, provided they have enough support.
To do that, we have a “listing vote system”, and if a proposed project gets enough votes, it gets whitelisted for listing.
Plus, our listing team is constantly researching new coins to make sure that we only list credible projects on our exchange. Lastly, all the project listings go through a strict vetting process by our listing team as we do not charge any listing fee to keep it fair, and there is no shortcut to a project listed on Gate.io.
Q5: Ripple (XRP) was sued by the U.S. SEC in December and some exchanges including Coinbase delisted the cryptocurrency. What is your opinion on the regulatory crackdown on XRP? What has prompted you to continue offering XRP trading to your users?
We believe in an innocent until proven guilty approach. Unless the court validates explicitly SEC claims, we don't have any reason to delist XRP. We are here to provide a service to our users before everyone else.
Q6: When choosing a crypto exchange, security is one of the biggest concerns for users. What measures does Gate.io take to ensure maximum security for its users? What do you do differently as compared to other crypto exchanges?
Gate.io has always emphasized security, giving main priority to asset security.
Last year, Crypto Exchange Ranks (CER) rolled out their August' Top 100 Exchanges by Cybersecurity Rating,' in which we obtained 9.65 points on their Cybersecurity Score. In fact, we topped the list as the most secure crypto exchange. Plus, we have also been handpicked as one of the top 20 most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges on CER.
So, why are our security ratings so high? It is because of a three-pronged approach that we take to our cybersecurity.
Firstly, we comply with all the industry norms around Know-Your-Customer (KYC), domain security, and web security.
Secondly, we have an in-house team of top-notch cybersecurity talent from some of the biggest internet-tech companies, such as Alibaba and Tencent.
Thirdly, we run periodic security audits to fill up any potential gaps in our overall cybersecurity posture. We have recently received a 100% "proof of assessment" certificate after completing a thorough audit performed by the leading accounting firm Armanino LLP. We also teamed up with cybersecurity consulting firm Hacken to boost Gate.io's security mechanisms.
Q7: There have been a few alarming incidents where crypto traders took extreme steps after losing huge sums on leveraged trades. What is your opinion on offering leverage for crypto trades and how does Gate.io limit users from losing any unexpected amount of money?
The volatility in the crypto market is both the most exciting and frustrating part of the ecosystem. This is particularly the case with new projects. Everybody wants to invest in the next Bitcoin, but what if the project in question ends up being a Bitconnect instead? We have all heard horror stories of people losing their life savings for investing in the wrong project.
As an exchange, we make sure that we can reduce exposure risks for our users as much as possible. This is why we launched a new feature earlier this year called "Observation Zone."
The idea here is pretty simple. A list of new coins will be listed in the Observation Zone. Users may observe and watch these projects before making serious investment decisions and lower overall portfolio risks. Users who don't have much trading experience will not be able to buy large chunks of these coins. This has been specifically done to reduce risk exposure as much as possible.
Q8: In terms of crypto regulations, which countries are the easiest to operate in and where do you face the most difficulties dealing with regulations? What may be the reason for this?
Before I answer this question, I must make one thing very clear. At Gate, we are all for regulations. We want cryptocurrencies to be regulated but fairly. We don't want countries to treat cryptocurrencies like a joke, nor do we want them to treat them like a scam.
We want governments to take a proactive approach to regulations and carefully think out the framework required to regulate them.
So when you look at the global landscape, we can see that countries often end up in three buckets when it comes to regulations – fully regulated (South Korea), unregulated (India), and somewhere in between (Turkey).
Ideally, a government should treat cryptocurrencies as a separate asset class and provide regulations that allow its citizens to trade in them without giving the bad guys a method to launder their money.
Q9: DeFi has fast become a multi-billion dollar industry. What do you think has prompted this exponential rise in valuation? How can a regular user participate in this market?
Only a few things make me as happy as watching the growth of the DeFi market over the last two years. Since the beginning of last year, the overall TVL of the DeFi market jumped from $670M to almost $40B as of writing.
The use cases of the DeFi ecosystem are so immense that we can only expect this space to grow even more.
There are multiple places today where regular users can easily participate in the DeFi economy. For one, we offer our users access to the DeFi ecosystem through Hipo Defi.
Hipo is an automated market maker (AMM) that allows users to lock up their tokens in various liquidity pools. Plus, GateChain, Gate’s permissionless blockchain, has started building a sustainable and healthy ecosystem.
One of the best things about GateChain is the low gas costs, which should give developers the freedom to create highly sophisticated apps.
The blockchain is powered by our native token GT, which acts as your gateway into the Gate Chain ecosystem. All the fun DeFi stuff we just discussed… Gate Token can give you easy access to all those and many more.
To boost the DeFi ecosystem Gate.io Labs has also pledged $50 million (in crypto) toward funding rounds ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. This will help us support and promote the development of high-quality DeFi projects.
Disclaimer: The sole purpose of Unhashed is to unhash (decode) information about projects innovating using blockchain and cryptocurrencies and share it with the community. The writer does not have any vested interest in any of the projects covered herein. Not that this article shares any, but still, taking investment advice from strangers on the internet is not a wise thing to do.
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