Bitcoin Forum

Bitcoin => Press => Topic started by: ezak on December 02, 2015, 10:57:25 AM

Title: [2015-12-02] He left a cushy finance job to build the Goldman Sachs of Bitcoin
Post by: ezak on December 02, 2015, 10:57:25 AM
He left a cushy finance job to build the Goldman Sachs of Bitcoin

If you want to work in finance, then you’ve probably got your sights set on institutions like Citibank or Deutsche Bank. Those are the kind of places where, once you’ve got a foot in the door, you’re not going to leave without a good reason (cue “One does not simply walk from a job at Citibank” meme).

That’s what makes the story of BitMEX co-founder and CEO Arthur Hayes interesting. After graduation from Wharton Business School in 2008, Hayes moved to Hong Kong to work in both Deutsche Bank and Citi. But he left the big banking world in mid-2013 to devote his time and energy into what he thinks will be the future of finance: Bitcoin.

Specifically, Bitcoin financial products. It’s one thing to swap out some USD for the digital currency and use it to buy items online, but it’s quite another to use Bitcoin to play the stock market or get into derivatives. Building a platform to facilitate that type of transaction – and getting people to trust it – is no light undertaking. But Arthur, along with his co-founders Samuel Reed and Ben Delo, decided they were the right team for the job.
From an idea to $5 million per day

BitMEX – or “Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange” – was first devised by the three co-founders over some beers in early 2014. Within six months, Samuel – the company’s CTO, with a background in creating complex real-time web interfaces – had a beta off the ground. By the beginning of this year, the site was live.

BitMEX is a real-time Bitcoin-based trading platform. As of publication, the service is still limited to currency futures trading, but programs for stock derivatives and other financial products are in the works. For now, BitMEX’s main use is as a Bitcoin-based platform to speculate on the future values of digital currencies.

Even in its early iteration, though, BitMEX has not gone unnoticed. Since launching in early 2015, it has garnered 3,400 registered users. That’s not a huge number, but that small pool of users has traded upwards of US$250 million worth of financial products since the site launched. BitMEX is now trading an average of US$5 million each day, and Arthur says they’re aiming for US$50 million per day by this time next year.

BitMEX charges a commision on each trade – the rate varies – and has already become profitable.

The program has a particular appeal to Chinese users, who are both Bitcoin-savvy and eager for access to international markets.

“A Chinese investor cannot invest in Chinese firms like Tencent or Alibaba that are listed on foreign stock markets,” Arthur says. Currently, most Chinese citizens are cut off from global financial markets. Currency speculation, derivatives trading, and buying non-Chinese stocks are off limits to all but the wealthiest and best-connected Chinese investors.

“China has the most users and traders of Bitcoin globally,” says Arthur. Despite Chinese regulators’ occasional unease with the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has seen a boom in the Mainland. “Chinese Bitcoiners are hungry for more trading products using Bitcoin, and BitMEX aims to serve them.”