As part of the Digital Currency Council’s Continuing Education partnership with Inside Bitcoins, the DCC’s VP, Sarah Martin, had the opportunity to interview the thought leaders who spoke at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in Hong Kong on May 14-15, 2015. Today, we share an interview with Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX.
Sarah: How did you get interested in Bitcoin?
Arhtur: I was an equity derivatives trader at Citibank in Hong Kong until May 2013. I was laid off, and I wanted to transition into a different field. I had heard about Bitcoin and began researching it. I saw the potential in the currency and thought about how I could get involved. I began trading Bitcoin on a variety of spot and derivatives exchanges initially doing arbitrage trading.
Sarah: What prompted you to start BitMex?
Arthur: I was unsatisfied with the derivatives offerings, and thought I could create a more professional derivatives exchange using my prior experience. I don’t have a technology background so I found my two co-founders through former colleagues and mutual friends. I pitched them the idea for BitMEX and we began building the exchange in January 2014. BitMEX is the world’s first centrally cleared derivatives exchange offering Bitcoin futures products that allow businesses and individuals to lock the future value of Bitcoin and eliminate the price volatility.
Sarah: How’s it going so far? What challenges are you facing?
Arthur: The biggest challenge of getting any exchange off the ground is the initial liquidity. Our unique product offerings allow us to attract high quality market makers who provide liquidity on the exchange. Over time as we establish ourselves as the market leaders and experts in the Bitcoin derivatives space, our liquidity will grow.
Sarah: What gets you most excited about the prospects of Bitcoin?
Arthur: I am most excited to see how legacy financial institutions are waking up to Bitcoin and crypto currencies. Marquee banks and financiers are entering the space and conferring the legitimacy that many participants crave. I can’t wait to see the new and innovative ways Bitcoin and the traditional financial services industry can collaborate.
Sarah: Where do you see the greatest challenges for the industry?
Arthur: The greatest challenges come from governments. Bitcoin and the crypto currency movement are attempting to separate the creation of money and transfer of value from government control. If achieved, this will be a monumental step forward for human civilisation. Some governments will embrace change, and many will attempt to stymie it. Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and I hope we as a community have the strength to prevail against governments that are not so enlightened.
Sarah: What’s next? What can we expect to see from BitMex in the coming years?
Arthur: We aim to be the vital component that allow businesses to transfer value using Bitcoin and the Blockchain without worrying about price volatility. Remittance, global payments, and settlements companies using Bitcoin and the Blockchain will be able to use BitMEX products to hedge their risk, and disrupt these industries.
Sarah: Thanks for your time, Arthur.