Interview with Ivan Poon, CEO & Co-founder of Switcheo

Asia Blockchain Review
June 21, 2019

Asia Blockchain Review recently spoke to Ivan Poon, CEO & Co-founder of Switcheo, about the company’s milestones over the past year, its introduction of Switcheo Accounts and Switcheo Chest, the key partnerships driving the company’s projects forward, and its plan to educate the wider community on the different types of crypto exchanges on the market.

Asia Blockchain Review: Can you tell us about co-founding Switcheo and the company’s long-term vision?

Ivan Poon: We started Switcheo in 2018 when we were contributing to many ICOs. One of our major pain points was not having the certainty of having a market to buy and sell the tokens we hold. Furthermore, we could never be sure of the safety of our assets after transferring custody of it to centralized exchanges, even after listing.

We felt that an exchange that could swiftly list new projects regardless of blockchain platform, while guaranteeing the safety of funds, was critical for this space and thus created Switcheo.

 

ABR: What have been some of the accomplishments of Switcheo in Q1 2019?

IP: In the last quarter, we launched Switcheo Account which is an easy-to-use multichain and multi-authentication non-custodial wallet that is specially customized for Switcheo. We also launched the world’s first Atomic Swap (HTLC) market between Ethereum and NEO that is powered by automated market makers. On top of that, we’ve integrated our 3rd blockchain, EOS, with the help of our technology partner, Obolus.

 

ABR: Tell us more about Switcheo Account. What are the firm’s future targets for this feature?

IP: We realized that users who are new to cryptocurrency do not readily pick up concepts such as “digital wallets” or “private & public keypairs”. Since users would have to find and interact with one of these per blockchain that they want to trade on, it was a barrier to entry on Switcheo when compared to centralized exchanges.

Switcheo Account gives these users the familiar username and password model, streamlining the user experience without changing the custody model of their funds. Once users understand the technology well enough to secure their wallets or private keys in the proper manner, they are also able to “eject” into the advanced mode.

At the moment, almost 20% of our trading volume goes through Switcheo Accounts, and we expect this number to grow.

 

ABR: How does the Switcheo Chest work? Do users enjoy the reward system?

IP: We wanted to understand the interest of our community regarding their potential participation in the staking system for the consensus mechanism in our upcoming side-chain technology, Switcheo Chain.

So far, this has been a success, with over 125 million Switcheo Tokens (12.5% of circulating supply) committed to Switcheo Chest, giving us a good indication for how to model the staking protocol in Switcheo Chain.

 

ABR: How does your partnership with Obolus offer services that are different from other EOS DEXs (decentralized exchanges)?

IP: Our EOS DEX is unique from other EOS DEXs in that we do not hold custody of users’ funds. Many other DEXs simply delegate certain permissions to the exchange’s account.

Obolus’s expertise in the EOS blockchain as well as in professional financial trading systems has given us the opportunity to launch a true, non-custodial smart contract that also comes with a fully transparent, on-chain, order-matching system.

We have also gone to great lengths to ensure that we have the best possible user experience by allowing our users to create EOS accounts and trade without having to learn about the intricacies and concepts of the EOS blockchain, such as “CPU,” “RAM,” and “NET.”

 

ABR: Can you tell us more about Atomic Swap services? What has been the feedback from users?

IP: We recently launched Atomic Swap markets between NEO and Ethereum, allowing our users to swap their digital assets across different blockchains in a trustless manner. This is backed by an automated market maker system, which provides users with liquidity at all times.

The reception from our users has been great, and we’ve had multiple inquiries regarding participation in our liquidity pool. We look forward to opening this up to the public, as well as opening Atomic Swap markets for EOS.

 

ABR: What are some of the latest developments in the fiat gateway subsystems? Have there been any challenges in this project?

IP: There have been some unforeseen technical issues on the fiat gateway provider’s end and we’ve had to postpone the launch. However, there has been some good news recently, and we’re currently in the process of finalizing the launch of our fiat gateway – stay tuned for that!

 

ABR: What are your plans for educating the wider community about decentralized exchanges and dispelling common misconceptions?

IP: The concepts and technology behind our exchange are quite complex and we want to first and foremost ensure that our users are able to fully utilize our exchange. We’ve done this by simplifying complicated technical features into a familiar user experience with a relatable interface.

This is especially important for decentralized exchanges like us that interact directly with the blockchains at a very intimate level. I think the reception from our users to features like instantaneous order confirmations and Switcheo Account has shown that we are on track in this aspect.

However, we still have many more ideas up our sleeves in terms of outreach and product design that will show how we are a step ahead of centralized exchanges, rather than behind.

 

ABR: What is your projection for the crypto market for the rest of 2019?

IP: We have seen an increase in general interest in the crypto markets after the harsh conditions of 2018. Switcheo expects mass market adoption sooner rather than later, and our immediate goal is to ensure that our brand is out there, backed by a superior and polished product that will become the preferred exchange for the next million cryptocurrency users.

Both our marketing and product direction for 2019 will be geared towards these new users that will join when the market recovers.

Check out Switcheo Exchange here


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