“Covid-19 has boosted crypto development” — BitBay CEO interview
2020 is likely to be considered a watershed year, if not for the state of the world, then for how crypto has been tested by its first global economic slowdown. We spoke with Sylwester Suszek, the BitBay exchange’s CEO, to discuss the state of the market and where BitBay is heading next
When we think back on the very short history of the cryptocurrency market so far, 2014 can seem like a ancient history in a market that has changed so much — Bitcoin’s high that year reached $700 (much to the envy of today’s investors) and there was no Binance in sight for another three years.
Since that time, there has been a great deal of consolidation and change in the industry, see BraveNewCoin’s list of 43 exchanges that are no longer with us to see just how many did not survive the 2010s.
BitBay still operates to this day, and has arguably done so by adapting and changing its business plan to keep in line with the industry as it matures.
A member of the Polish Bitcoin Association, Suszek founded BitBay in 2014 with a group of friends and managed to build a platform that has survived the highs and lows of crypto market turbulence over the last six years. Here’s what he had to say:
With so many exchanges to choose from, what makes BitBay stand out from the crowd?
BitBay is a place where many people have their first contact with cryptocurrencies, because we enable crypto purchases with fiat currencies. Currently, BitBay supports PLN, EUR and GBP.Payment can be made via bank transfer or credit card. We also have solutions tailored to the level of advancement for our users, including a mobile application and a pro mode.
What has been the most surprising thing in the crypto space this year in your opinion?
I think the most surprising and interesting issue in the world of cryptocurrencies in 2020 was the response of the markets to the prevailing pandemic. In fact, this situation helped in their development. During the pandemic, the subject of Blockchain has gained popularity, which has been reflected in the cryptocurrency market.
For example, Bitcoin’s price in May dropped to around $7,000 but has recovered quickly and has now reached its record high since 2018. The greatest increases in interest in cryptocurrencies were observed at the end of April and June.
As we approach the backend of 2020, what plans does BitBay have for 2021?
At the beginning of 2021, we plan to make Swiss accounts available to our users, which will ensure 100% security for deposited funds. We intend to enter the market of several European countries, as well as the UK. We also want to introduce new cryptocurrencies and functionalities to the platform, but I will leave that a secret for now…
What are the benefits of using a BitBay Pro account?
BitBay Pro has more transaction options for advanced users. At the beginning of 2020, the chart was linked to the TradingView platform. In this mode, you can also display up to eight graphs at once. Best of all, the pro version of the platform is completely free.
Do you think there needs to be more or less regulation in the crypto space?
Regulations allow us to operate our exchange properly and legally. Every exchange must comply with the provisions of AML (anti-money laundering) directives. Regulations are required for platforms to ensure the safety of users and their holdings.
After the spike in interest for the crypto space seen earlier this year, does BitBay expect this trend to continue into next year?
This is what we would like. It is for users that we develop the exchange and new cryptocurrencies and new functionality. The liquidity of the markets is essential for the users that make up the market. I think that our efforts and the progress of our exchange will have a very positive impact on increasing interest in our platform and for crypto in general.
Do you think that public trust and adoption of cryptocurrencies is better than it was? If so, why?
Definitely, confidence in the world of currency conversion has increased over the years. I have noticed this especially since I’ve been running our exchange myself. More and more people make online payments, including through bitcoins or other crypto. Regulations have also been introduced that have helped people have more trust to take the leap into crypto.
What are some of the challenges of running an exchange with offices spread across the world?
It’s a big challenge to keep the business under control, with hundreds of employees. International business is constant work. If I didn’t have a great team as I have, it certainly wouldn’t be easy. In order to further develop the exchange, we must examine each project carefully and check that it will produce the results we assume.
In an interview with Cointelegraph in 2014, you said that BitBay was created to allow people in Polandto sell the coins they’d mined — how has BitBay’s mission changed since then?
This mission is still up-to-date, but has been expanded. We want the cryptocurrency market to become more common and not be seen as a threat. Cryptocurrency is the future, and I want to show it can function as well as fiat currencies in our daily lives.