Q1: The last few weeks we have seen a decrease in price, trading volume, and distribution pool. Although we are still significantly up compared to a few months ago, the decrease in volume is something I am worried about. If we eliminate the trading volume of the bots, we are maybe around 50M organic volume a day. What are your plans to increase this? We haven’t seen a quality listing of new projects (of course we got ADA, Dash, but that does not immediately result in more users). Valor, for example, has literally brought nothing. You mentioned that there are a lot of user acquisition plans in place, but until now with limited results. There are no quality new projects in the last few weeks, I know you will respond the same as all admins "stay tuned for announcements" but it’s just a fact at the moment now. Curious about your view :)
George Cao: Decreases of volume was largely because we stopped mining for 2-3 weeks. After mining resumes, the mining output was about 1/2 of what it is. The non-mining volume was actually increased compared with what we had in April. After we had a big system upgrade, we’ve been working on bringing more liquidity providers to the platform in the past few weeks. As you may notice, our spread and depth have been improved a lot compare with what we have 1-2 month ago. BTC, ETH, BNB, HT, and EOS all have been significantly improved. Another important improvement we have that is transparent to users is that we rebuild our network architecture. Now we have a dual network setup so that Chinese users and non-Chinese users are using two separate networks. The purpose of that is that we are suffering from user retention in China as we were blocked by the Chinese network. Therefore, it’s hard for us to compete with Chinese local exchanges as our roundtrip time is so much slower. Now the project has achieved its first milestone and we are set to be more competitive in China
Regarding listing, we have a full pipeline. We are rebuilding our BD and listing procedure as Shane Molidor, former Gemini veteran and the head of Business Development of FGB Capital joined us and started running our Business Development Department in May. The thing I like about Shane is that he doesn't want to push to close deals, but rather to build a solid and structured BD/listing process that is beneficial for the listing process in the future. Now the project is also done. We now have a full listing schedule ahead. Many good projects, some of which you may have already heard, will join BitMax family. Now the quiet period is over, we will run with our full speed again.
Q2: Last AMA I asked something about a potential rebranding, and you agreed that it is necessary for the future of BitMax. I recommended a team here in Amsterdam. They wrote down their ideas about BitMax on paper, and since then I heard nothing back. Any response on that?
George Cao: Rebranding is something we have already kept in mind. I did review the deck you send over. Just not sure if that fits our position. However, I am not an expert anyway. Rebranding involves legal, business, technology, and media/PR, so it is not a small project. We have to evaluate our current plate which is always full, and prioritize things. But we do appreciate your feedback and we are grateful to have your support.
Q3: In the menu, the word “market/exchange” is switched to “cash”. Could you please explain the reason for that? This is a really strange adjustment as cryptocurrency are nothing like cash.
George Cao: Cash is a word we use to differentiate from margin. In traditional finance, we have cash account and margin account. We borrow the terms here. I am not sure it’s the best term to use but I hope people can understand:)
Q4: As for reducing counterparty risk, if both long and short are allowed for all volatility cards, all pairing of long and short will reduce exchange's counterparty risks. Exchange could take a fee from both sides for providing the matching services without any counterparty risk.
George Cao: I would say the volatility card launch has been very successful so far. People send me private messages saying that it is addictive:). However, it is still in test phase. We will 1) enable more coins, for example, ETH 2) enable buy and sell from users. Meaning you can buy or sell. However, it takes some time to develop the supporting system. Please bear with us.
Q5: Do you have any statistics about the volatility cards yet? How many are used, how many BTMX lock-up we had as a result?
George Cao: On average, we sell 1-3k cards per day. Over 130k BTMX tokens have been permanently locked as of now.
Q6: Hi George, thanks for taking your time to do AMA. As you know recently BitMax is doing badly: the volume is low, ARD is decreasing (not so important), BTMX price is super weak. I am sorry if you have to deal with these concerns countless time, but they are real, we can't just close an eye on them and mask them with “long term” talk. Long term starts with short term, and right direction. We don't see growth recently. Could you and BitMax please take the performance of BTMX more seriously? Thank you.
George Cao: Yes, there are people and users who have reached out to me and expressed their concerns. First, I want to thank you all for caring about us. The team is extremely grateful to having so many supporters. We feel the expectation and pressure and that’s why we are working hard every day to make the platform better. Like what I have said earlier, in the past 6 weeks we have been focus on 1) infrastructure upgrade 2) liquidity and depth of big coins 3) network rebuild 4) listing and bd process re-design. At the same time, we launched our first series of volatility products. All those efforts were focusing on client retention part, which doesn’t have immediate result of bringing on new clients. However, those are necessary steps for us to take in order to grow from a good exchange to the top-tier. It will help us keeping more users once we launch more new client acquisition campaigns. For new client acquisition, we will follow what we did in the past, which was also proved to be successful. Therefore, there will be 1) new primary listings 2) promotional public sales and 3) new financial products.
Q6: What happened to the initial plan to have all mining completed no more than 1.5 to 2 year?
George Cao: The plan stays unchanged. We don’t plan to mine out all tokens.
Q7: Now it takes 3-5yrs for mining to be completed, then BitMax charges 18% fee for 4x accelerate? Then now no more accelerate, 6% fees for BTMXP?
George Cao: It won’t take 3-5 years. Well, I don’t have a specific date in mind. But my plan was to finish in 1-2 years. We won’t have all tokens mined out. Once mining is finished, we will unlock private sale and BTMXP tokens based on permanently locked speed.
Q8: What's next? It seems like tackling more fees to the private sale, which helps to support the project in the beginning. In the beginning, George was very transparent on telegram. Now, it feels like sketchy decisions are being made in dark that would negatively affect the private sale contributors.
George Cao: I am always transparent. Please keep in mind that BTMXP helps private investors to get investment back sooner. Also, it’s optional, meaning if you don’t think it makes sense, you can choose not to do it.
Q9: With current mining output, what encourages peeps to buy BTMXP if it takes 10 years to convert into BTMX?
George Cao: Like I have said previously, mining is just one way to get tokens released. Once we stopped mining, BTMXP can release with permanently locked tokens. And if you read our announcement, team tokens, foundation tokens, and equity investors tokens won’t be eligible. Also, BTMXP price is correlated with BTMX price. You can make profit on secondary market too.
Q10: Thank you for your answer. I hope things will fall into place soon. Another question many users and I can't figure out is why isn't BTMX a base asset? Like virtually every single exchange coins out there. You can lower fee for BTMX/BTC, BTM/USDT and other coins/BTMX, so to encourage people to get BTMX as a currency to purchase other coins. Great use case which is right there to pick up. Could you please elaborate why you don't see the benefit as you have mentioned during previous amas? Another note is that all people I know are super scared entering BTMX with the pending 3B supply (some thought 6-7B), I know it won't be 3B but that's a huge when-how much uncertainty (the U in fUd), do you have any plan to clear this self-fund?
George Cao: We did consider using BTMX as a base currency, however, we checked other exchanges and found the volume was small. Even Binance doesn’t have good liquidity on BNB pairs. We can do it but I doubt how much it can help. I don’t know the ultimate circulation myself yet :) But I know it won’t be 6-7 b, it won’t be 3b either. I am trying my best to limit the circulation supply to a reasonable number. I think we will have a clearer picture by the end of this year.
Q11: Can I know what happens to collected USDT profit from volatility cards? Also, I don't think people have enough capital to buy BTMX from miners selling BTMX, have you considered the option for miners to sell BTMX via reverse mining only? ( i think releasing more BTMX from private sale is more important at the moment)
George Cao: We took the profit. However, it’s not a huge number, a few thousand USDT so far. Also, miners need to collect their funds back ASAP so I don't think we can limit them from selling
Q12: I can imagine you want to differentiate normal trading from margin trading, but that can be achieved by calling it: Exchange / Margin as well, right? Cash is traditional finance, and IMO shouldn’t be confused with cryptocurrency. Regulatory-wise they agreed that crypto is not cash. Let's hop on to the subject of BTMXP / BTMX - what are your current plans if we talk about total circulation supply (what is your end-goal in total BTMX as supply), what are the plans for speed acceleration for BTMXP release (x4) :)?
George Cao: I know many people are concerned about the mining speed and circulation supply:) Like I said many times, we want to speed up mining and release as much as it doesn’t exceed market demand too much. Mining too fast only results in big selling pressure and price depreciation.
Q13: Can we have a coin promotion where you can only buy with BTMX?
George Cao: It depends. The project, and the market conditions. I am very conservative on coin promotion.
Q14: This is a thing you should have decided beforehand. Disabling acceleration is disappointing. You can't keep changing terms after terms stick to one and just remove mining and make a new model. BitMax doesn't need mining.
George Cao: What we are doing now has no precedent. We don’t have enough data to support our decision. Therefore, trial and error often times is the best thing we can do. All want their money back as early as they can. What we can do is 1) team has never sold one token 2) nor did we collect one-dollar reward 3) based on 1 and 2, we have to balance different parties' interest. I understand your concerns; however, I also want to protect people who buy from the secondary market. Let’s work together to build a top-tier exchange. Grow the pie together so that everyone can share our success. We do need everyone’s help to promote us to your friends, your community so that we can achieve our goal sooner. Thanks for the feedback!
Q15: Why don't you just remove this mining thing? It's been quite a time since BitMax launched it and now it has really grown significantly. Mining was a push and BitMax has got that already. Now remove that mining from BitMax and focus on private sale unlock.
George Cao: The only thing that prevents me from stop mining is the release of listing private sale tokens. I have already designed an economic model without mining. However, the precondition to enable it is to double our current non-mining volume, which is our target of the year. Hopefully, we will get there sooner.