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Liquid is Taking Big Strides as a Business: AMA with Head of BD Seth Melamed
Table of Contents
Last week we took to Reddit and Telegram to collect questions from the community for Seth Melamed, Liquid Head of Business Development and Sales.
Watch the video to see Seth respond to these questions, or read the summary below.
How will withdrawals be improved?
- We are excited to announce that we have already implemented Multi Party Computing (MPC) technology that will help us to improve our crypto withdrawal services.
- Our goal is to process one withdrawal every 5 minutes, every day, 24/7.
- We have already started this process with MPC tech for Bitcoin and Ethereum withdrawals, which have been processing roughly 10 times per day on weekdays and once or twice on weekends. This will ramp up to a full suite of withdrawals 7 days a week.
- We will expand the scope of the currencies covered by this solution. By April we want all currencies on Liquid to be included.
- We have not made any security compromise. Client assets are still in 100% cold storage. Fast withdrawal assets are a small percentage of Quoine’s cryptocurrency assets.
- We are looking to introduce withdrawal fees in some regard. We will align with global practices and with our users interests. This will only happen once our highest level of service is on-going. We are also considering having slower free withdrawals available.
Will more fiat currencies be added?
- As we grow, we have made major investments in our infrastructure to expand the scope of fiat currencies that we can offer.
- GBP trading pairs are coming.
- Additional fiat currencies will be added over time based on our global user base demand
Is Liquid considering partnerships in the UK?
- The UK is a center of finance. We recognize its importance.
- We are looking to partner with payment providers to make the on-ramp and off-ramp faster and easier for UK clients.
- We want to introduce faster payments for quick withdrawals and deposits for UK users.
What are you excited about working on?
- We are working on a partnership with a large Japanese merchant to integrate with them, to make Bitcoin, crypto, and even QASH a method of payment for the products that they are selling.
- We think if we secure this partnership it will be great for the awareness of crypto.
What do institutions think about crypto?
- I found out about Bitcoin when i was working at a big bank in 2014. Mario sent me some Bitcoin. That started my journey. By 2015 i was attending conferences about blockchain which were very small - 5 or 6 people, little advertising. After attending one of these conferences I started drawing up how we could use blockchain to settle FX transactions at Goldman, where I worked.
- In 2019, most financial institutions are aware and understand the possibility of how they can improve settlement. What we see today is financial institutions are waiting for their end users to demand crypto as part of their investment strategy or settlement strategy, so it’s still a work in progress.
- Wide scale adoption requires a good custody solution for these large financial institutions. Custodial vendors are starting to develop, and we are working on making our own custodial solution which will be different from the rest.
What sets Liquid apart from competitors?
- Don’t underestimate the importance of having a licensed and regulated exchange. We have seen a lot of exchange downfall recently - and they lacked regulation, licenses, and good governance. We are here for the long run.
- Segregation of client assets: every day we must demonstrate that all obligations to clients are either met or exceed. On the fiat side this means segregated bank account balances, or on the blockchain side, a designated wallet balance that exceeds the sum total of all of our clients crypto. We do this daily. We can prove to a regulator that all of our client’s assets are accounted for.
- We have the ability to interact with banks around the world and provide fiat options
- We can spread liquidity with the world book, which we are gradually rolling out around pairs on the exchange
What about QASH?
- I own a lot of QASH. I invested a lot of my own funds in the QASH ICO and I still hold the vast majority of those QASH tokens. Speaking for myself and management, we are all very invested in the success of QASH. It does drive our development somewhat.
- We have dedicated management and engineering resources to implement QASH utility, with a new blog post scheduled that will outline new utilities.
- We will be tying in the introduction of withdrawal fees with benefits for QASH holders.
- We are well aware of the QASH price action and we are determined to bring the value to you QASH holders, coming as early as this March.
How important are faster withdrawals to customers?
- It is important. People rightly think that cryptographic assets should have fast access, which provides confidence in us.
- A survey of our clients shows that faster withdrawals will encourage more trading on Liquid - which brings more liquidity and a better service for all. We knew this informally, but the survey reaffirms our beliefs.
Is there interest in the advisory services Liquid offers?
- We have seen interest.
- For the unaware, we have launched an advisory service for startups that want to get involved in Japan.
- Japan is the first country in the world to develop a framework for what cryptocurrency is, and a licensing regime for crypto exchanges - they are very progressive.
- We think there are going to be more regulation that build upon the progressive attitude - so startups are interest in Japan
- The market is not simple, there are regulators, bespoke AML/KYC requirements etc - based on our operating record we believe we can provide a helping hand.
- We will be speaking more about this in future announcements.
When will other tokens such as ADA be listed?
- I can’t speak to one specific token, but we recognize that there are interesting technologies being developed.
- We are looking at introducing new protocols on Liquid. We have to follow a rigorous progress to list new tokens or coins.
- We are always looking for new technologies. We know there is a huge interest in Hashgraph, Mimblewimble, Cardano - these are all things we are looking at, but we aren’t making announcements at this time.
Are there any plans for a custody solution?
- Yes, we are working on a custody business.
- I want to be clear, we are going to approach this different to traditional entities in this business. We are not looking at the traditional build of data centers, bringing in Hardware security modules (HSMs) and custody service level times of 36 hours. We think we have a technology that is more secure and gives better service levels.
- Once we build this framework with our new withdrawal service we will extend this into a custody solution that we will be offering to institutions, hedge funds, high net worth individuals and more.
- We are under NDAs with several large custodians around the world that are well known players. With our new technology we have a very compelling offer. I can’t wait to offer this solution.
Are there plans to create a Liquid bundle similar to the Coinbase bundle?
- We are looking at these types of products. I am not sure on the demand.
- We are thinking about the Liquid 10, an amalgamation of the top 10 market cap cryptocurrencies that would allow investors to gain exposure to this market without having to own the underlying assets - similar to an ETF.
- We are looking, with no planned date. We are open to suggestions here too.
How does Liquid manage its finances?
- We segregate assets and monitor account balances and work with regulators on this on a daily basis. This is a real differentiator of Liquid.
Why is the crypto market in such a downtrend?
- We are in crypto winter. We got here because with new technology expectations run far ahead of the actual utility, which is what I think happened. Value speculation ran wild.
- Enthusiasm ran out of steam, and that’s okay. Bitcoin has had many cycles. The real question is: How do we get out?
- We head into spring by focusing on projects and use cases that bring value to people's lives. We are focusing on our merchant services business in this regard. We think crypto can disrupt traditional payment systems.
How eventful will the next six months be compared to the previous six?
We are always running very fast at Quoine, but I do hope that we will start to roll out some of these really important features:
- We are working on an easy ‘Quick Buy’ feature
- QASH utility
- The Liquid merchant services
- Custodial offering
- Improving withdrawals, aiming for sub 5 minute withdrawals
How significant will enabling fees be for Liquid's customers?
- Historically we haven’t had trading fees. We have been looking at this very carefully.
- Introduction of fees anywhere on Liquid are being accompanied with equal and offsetting improvements to our services - for both withdrawals and trading.
- Fees will be made more palatable for our users.
Message to the community
I want to thank everyone for listening and giving great questions. Sorry I couldn’t cover all of them. We are really excited, and we think the best days are ahead for crypto and blockchain.
I am honored to be part of this industry and part of a team that is really building a business and helping to build an entire ecosystem that will eventually serve a better way of life.
Right now market sentiment isn’t the best, but it’s not always a smooth path upwards. The important part is we are committed to serving our clients and QASH holders, and helping to develop blockchain to be adopted in the mainstream. I’m as excited today as I was a year ago when I came to Japan to join Quoine.
We appreciate all feedback and engagement, and we take it all onboard. Thank you all.