The Cryptonomist interviewed Bittrex Global CEO Tom Albright to talk about the expansion of the exchange, DeFi and how the platform is facing the COVID-19 crisis.
Have you experienced an increase or loss of users due to the pandemic?
Since COVID-19 hit, we’ve seen an increase in our users as well as an increase in trading volumes. The global pandemic and the stimulus provided in response by central banks around the world are driving lots of interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.
Aside from the pandemic, this spike in activity is also a reflection of our recent upgrades. In order to cater to the increasing interest in crypto, Bittrex Global has diversified its offerings.
We recently launched Euromarkets and enabled VISA credit and debit card deposits in an additional 125 countries, addressing the global shift towards crypto adoption.
In recent times we have seen various attacks against DeFi. What do you think about DeFi? Is it ready or is it too dependent on the Ethereum blockchain?
DeFi, or decentralized finance, aims to disrupt the current financial system by providing new solutions on a public blockchain. As a nascent technology, DeFi is working to reshape existing traditional financial systems.
The technology takes the issue of trust out of the hands of humans and uses the code it runs upon to create total security. By using blockchain technology, single points of failure are eliminated as the data is recorded instantly and spread across thousands of nodes, making malicious attacks or corruption nearly impossible.
As a crypto exchange whose mission is to foster innovation in this space and increase adoption of blockchain technology, we keep a close eye on innovative tech solutions built on blockchain and are interested to see how it evolves to continue to support safety for consumers.
What is your opinion about the US Government printing huge amounts of money, will it or will it not favour bitcoin and crypto?
The U.S. Government is not the only one printing large volumes of money – many central banks have been injecting liquidity through quantitative easing. In the short term, these measures help boost the local economies and reduce the economic damage from the pandemic. However, unfortunately they also create long term consequences, as they diminish the value of money.
We are seeing tremendous interest in Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies as consumers look to “digital gold” as a safe haven from inflation caused by money printing.
How are the volumes of your OTC looking?
Over-the-counter trading, where trading is done directly between two parties without the supervision of an exchange, is becoming more and more important for Bittrex Global. By offering OTC in conjunction with our custody solution and our other trading solutions, we are catering to the needs of our institutional investors.