Bitfinex Has Made Security the Overriding, Number One Priority of the Exchange: Paolo Ardoino

Manu Shankar
Manu Shankar is the Editor of The Coin Republic, who oversees the content that is produced on the website. A former journalist himself, Manu has more than 15 years of experience in Journalism working with leading national dailies such as Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Mail Today and Online media such as NDTV, Rediff. As the Editor, Manu brings together his passion for blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and fintech.

Paolo Ardoino is a man who has donned many hats and always managed to leave a mark of his own. Paolo’s passion for developing programming languages and passion for distributed systems, high-performance computing, and cloud platforms can be judged from the fact that he started coding from the age of 8.

After his graduation from Genoa’s Computer Science University in 2008, he went onto work as a researcher for a military project, which was focused on developing self-recovering networks and cryptography. Later in 2013, Paolo founded Fincluster and worked as a Chief Technology Officer there. 

The company was involved in developing a comprehensive, cloud-based financial application for advisors, fund managers & institutions throughout Europe. Paolo then moved over to Bitfinex in 2014 in the capacity of Senior Software Developer in 2014. There he was responsible for developing a trading engine and ensuring that it was highly scalable. In 2016, he was promoted to his role of Chief Technology Officer.

Today in an exclusive interview with The Coin Republic’s Manu Shankar, Paolo spills beans on his Bitfinix’s journey so far and what are his expectations from the launched a new lending platform Lending Pro. 

Excerpts from the conversation:

Manu Shankar: Tell us about Bitfinex’s journey so far in 2020.

Paolo Ardoino : The year 2020 has been a challenging one for everyone. Despite the ongoing crisis, we have remained focused on the mission to build a transparent and scalable infrastructure of innovative financial products. In line with our mission, we’ve been working hard to deliver products and features for the benefit of our users, the cryptocurrency community at large, and even those who are not yet familiar with the cryptocurrency industry.

Bitfinex is the most liquid exchange for bitcoin and Ethereum and was one of the few exchanges in the space to successfully manage the extreme market conditions that we’ve witnessed this year, such as those seen during the March 12/13 crash. During that period, Bitfinex processed $2 billion of trading volume within 24 hours.

We have launched several products to meet the varied needs of our growing community, such as Bitfinex Pulse (which has hit over 5,000 users), paper trading, and our Staking Rewards Program. We have onboarded a crypto hedge fund, Fulgur Alpha, which cemented Bitfinex as the go-to venue for major crypto funds, market makers and arbitrageurs. We also launched a post-trade service for institutional investors in collaboration with Koine.

We have enjoyed our journey so far in 2020, and we look forward to continuing to serve our growing community. We will continue supporting projects that can help achieve mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and serve the wider digital asset ecosystem.

Manu Shankar: There seems to be some debate amongst the circles that USDT Tether’s Stablecoin may not remain relevant with other stablecoins such as USDC, Paxos, True USD, Gemini USD still considered safe bet. What’s the take of Bitfinex on the same?

Paolo Ardoino :  We’d rather not comment directly on the other stablecoins in the market that you mention. Notably, Bitfinex has multiple stablecoin pairings — not just Tether — but the market appears to have decided. As the most liquid, stable, trusted and successful stablecoin, Tether continues to grow in market capitalization, and recently surpassed $12 billion. Tether is gratified by the trust and support that it has been shown by the wider community in the digital asset space. Bitfinex will continue to focus on what its customers want to trade, and that includes Tether.

Manu Shankar: Bitfinex had recently launched its new lending platform which is designed to automate lending to enhance the efficiency of capital allocation. What are key features of this lending platform and how can it benefit the market participants?

Paolo Ardoino : Yes, we recently launched Lending Pro, which is a highly-customizable tool that utilizes automated technologies and advanced features to manage lending based on a user’s specifications and market conditions. 

Some of the key features include a Calculator that provides a Standard and Compounded Summary for users to make better projections on their potential earnings and a Today’s Earnings panel that enables users to track their earnings and value per currency for that specific day. In addition, a Distribution panel allows users to evaluate lending distributions and identify the tokens offering the best rates to fund. Lending Pro provides our users with a tool to automate peer-to-peer lending, and earn passive income on their crypto. By deploying advanced automated technologies, our growing user base can maximise their earning efficiency on the crypto held on our exchange.

Manu Shankar: Bitfinex last week announced that it is offering up to $400 million in rewards for the recovery of almost 120,000 bitcoins. What has been the response to the same?

Paolo Ardoino : We look forward to receiving more information that can help connect us with the hackers responsible for the unauthorized transfer of almost 120,000 bitcoins from the exchange in August 2016. In the meantime, Bitfinex has made security the overriding, number one priority of the exchange. As an exchange, we know we owe our success to a customer base that has loyally supported us through good and bad times. 

Manu Shankar: How are Bitfinex’s plan to increase market penetration and what are the key initiatives that yet to come from the company?

Paolo Ardoino : We will continue to take a community-first approach to our market expansion plans and new product releases. This is evidenced in our commitment to the Lightning Network and RGB, a layer 2 protocol to issue assets on top of the Lightning Network. We remain true to the ethos of the early pioneers in the space and are attuned to the many opportunities latent within this nascent technology. This will be reflected in new product launches and future collaborations with our peers and friends within the industry.

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