The Coin Republic sat down with another exclusive interview with Adrian the CPO and co-founder of bitHolla Inc. We plan to better understand the user-friendliness of the HollaEx Kit and how easy it would be to start your own exchange and crypto coins with the kit, then, build a brand around it. Here are the takeaways from the interview :-
1)How easy is it to create your own exchange with the HollaEx Kit ? Is it as easy as dragging and dropping?
Firstly, thanks for this chance to do another interview with The Coin Republic. After the last interview we saw a great uptick in usage for the crypto exchange system that is HollaEx Kit and I’d like to share what’s resonating with new users of the software.
To be straight to the point, yes it is as easy as drag and drop. What I mean is that when it comes to crypto, as you might know, things can get complicated with esoteric text strings, cryptic command-lines interfaces and blockchain protocols.
A big thing missing is exactly what you’ve mentioned, a drag and drop like user-experience or rather a point and click experience.
What the HollaEx Kit does really well is guide the user, in a step-by-step fashion through an exchange setup, asking you what your exchange name is, what coins you’d like on your exchange. You just have to point and click and your coins are added.
At the final stages of the setup you will be asked where you’d like your exchange to be hosted. You can either let the system host it automatically or host it yourself.
If you’ve ever used WordPress or Squarespace, HollaEx Kit is designed in the same way— point, click, host.
2)How can someone create an exchange with the HollaEx Kit and polish up their USP against the traditional big exchanges?
Going back to the website builder example, take WordPress, it allows anyone to make a website, but what is put on the website has to have a unique selling point in order to work. Same can be said about coins and crypto platforms, the operator or coin creator for that matter have to build their own unique selling point and the kit handles the rest. The main difference is that the kit takes the tech challenges away.
For example, users of the kit often create tokens that can represent something related to their existing business and these tokens can be used as a claim on goods and services or traded for something of value such as another currency. Having an exchange system is great for these business coordinations.
Saying that, businesses with an audience already are in a prime position to leverage an exchange and coin system. Creating a liquid market won’t be as difficult as an established client base exists to use the exchange.
Another obvious selling point is for operators in countries that do not have infrastructure and crypto services. This in of itself is enough of a selling point because the exchange kit system is drastically cost-effective for places that are still developing their financial systems. Simply setting up a bitcoin only exchange where there isn’t one is going to bring great value.
Keep in mind that an exchange includes a wallet and so offering the wallet service alone might be enough of a value add to some communities that have yet to interact with coins. For example, you can turn off trading functions on the HollaEx Kit and just have the wallet alone and allow people to save in crypto.
3)Can the kit be an alternative means to getting a coin listed?
For many, this is the only means for their coin to get listed, as listing on your average crypto exchanges costs range from $10,000s to $100,000s… It can even cost millions of dollars during bull market conditions on the big brand name platforms!
In this regard, of course operating your own marketplace is a no brainer if you have a new coin to list.
Let’s take Uniswap for example, it has taken coin listing and markets to a new level, so has the HollaEx Kit that allows for full order book trading with precise real-time price bidding and asking. Only difference is you have much more branding and tokenomic control with the kit on your own exchange.
It is worth noting that listing your a coin with HollaEx Kit can greatly help getting your coin registered or listed on global coin price sites like CoinMarketCap or CoinGecko.
Once your coin is listed on CoinMarketCap or CoinGecko many other websites will automatically reference the coin. That’s great for SEO, marketing and gaining legitimacy and many businesses leverage HollaEx Kit in this way.
4)How easy and safe is it to integrate a payment gateway with the HollaEx Kit?
There is a plan called Fiat Master that requires an application to be filled out. Once done, it is very safe adding payment gateways and requires signing up to your own payment processing service local to you and attaching the plugin for that gateway.
Just like any other financial service it may require business registration among other requirements and it all depends on the country’s laws and regulations.
In general, the fiat on and off ramps are getting easier, with the specially designed crypto HollaEx Kit plugin system. For example, it can be done reasonably easily today with the Australian Dollar or AUD, as many exchange kit customers from Australia have created that demand naturally.
Alternatively, the HollaEx Kit does provide markets for USDT and other stablecoin assets that are quickly becoming the de facto “fiat currency” within crypto finance.
For example, with HollaEx Kit, anyone can do USDT deposits and withdrawals on the TRC20 (TRON) protocol. This means cheaper transactions in and out.
Of course the HollaEx Kit works for USDT ERC20 and other future stablecoins.
5)How much does it cost to get started with the HollaEx Kit? Is there a retainer fee?
The way it works is rather flexible. And there are feature driven plans. For example, if a fiat on-ramp is required there is a Fiat Master plan for that, if only crypto is required then there is a Crypto Pro plan.
There is also a do-it-yourself path that’s completely free to use for people that put in the work and set up the exchange themselves on their own computer. This is called the DIY exchange or DIY exchange hosting.
The other method is to subscribe to a cloud exchange plan. This is beneficial for those that want speed and don’t want to handle the technicalities of exchange server management. Cloud also comes with other added features that the DIY hosting does not have right now such as landing pages and other locked features exclusive to paid cloud exchange subscribers.
Simply put, a crypto exchange on the cloud can cost as low as $300 monthly which covers the machine server costs and labor in management of the server.
Keep in mind, the BTC/USDT and even Ethereum markets come with activity on all exchange plans, even DIY exchanges.
6)What about liquidity? Should someone put up their own capital to make their exchange orderbook look full and active?
Liquidity is covered and the market prices are internationally competitive. The orderbooks and charts are completely full for your users to trade and means activity is on the platform from day one.
Having an active market is where it clicks for people. Once they see the running liquidity on their own exchange and it works, life for them gets 100x easier when it comes to attracting new users. Why? Because users want the reassurance of other market participants, hence this feature is inbuilt for all exchanges.
The free liquidity works for the largest coins being Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano and even Dogecoin. Visiting HollaEx Exchange is a good way to see what you’d get as it is pretty much a replica of what is inside the HollaEx Kit.
For newly created coins, with no users or holders, a specialized market making service would likely be required and is an outside service of the HollaEx Kit at this point. Saying that, in the coming years with the HollaEx Kit DeFi system being built there are liquidity solutions on the horizon for new coins and tokens.
7)Why was the kit open-sourced?
Open-sourcing is part and parcel with the spirit of crypto. It does have its practical applications.
Crypto was designed for everyone and it was only natural to keep this tech visible and accessible to anyone.
First, by opening the exchange software to all users to affordably test and self-verify it helps curb skepticism.
Second, HollaEx Kit becomes much easier to share, secure and service as a community run exchange software. Naturally, people are more willing to contribute to the codebase now that it is open-sourced.
Even non-coders can start contributing today through the HollaEx jobs section on the forums with content creation, design and answering questions.
To add, by opening up the kit, even self-taught exchange engineers fluent with the kit are assisting others with their exchange deployment. Ultimately being open leads to more crypto infrastructure globally.
8)We noticed that there is a token called XHT or HollaEx Token, how does the token play into this whole HollaEx exchange world?
The token is still a relatively new thing in that we have not pushed or marketed it very much. Suffice to say, we purposely left the token last so that we could battle-test the software first, but now the XHT token acts as a sort of fuel for all the exchanges within the network.
XHT in the past was primarily used to activate the whole software and was just one of many ways to use the software, that’s being phased out now and instead XHT is used to unlock certain software features. Having to unlock features with XHT more effectively binds the exchange network together as it allows for more participation.
For example extra software features like activation for new coins, accessing lower trading fee models and even future DeFi features can be unlocked with XHT. In this respect, XHT is a redeemable payment token for unlocking exchange features.
XHT, like any typical token, can be staked, but what is interesting about staking with XHT is that it ultimately feeds back into the HollaEx ecosystem in the form of network liquidity. This helps stabilize pricing for the token and software itself.
Of course, those that stake XHT are rewarded XHT overtime in return for their commitment. These earnt XHT are produced from users of the HollaEx Kit, these users generate trading fees on other peoples exchanges. XHT is also paid forward to stakers everytime exchange operators activate features which require XHT.
9)Where is HollaEx Token traded? And where can XHT information be obtained?
Most XHT pairs are traded against USDT for the convenience of pricing and value which is at about $0.183 USDT for a single XHT token today.
10)How do you address the inherent security concerns by incorporating various security features?
From day one security was taken seriously, which is why we open-sourced the software to get it into the hands of as many battle testers as possible. By putting the exchange kit through the wringer this way the software got a large dose of real world use.
For those that want to exercise their own security measures they can run everything completely independently with an enterprise license. That might be fitting for operators that may have strict compliance issues to address, in which case the on-premise licensed exchange is the solution for them.
Of course standard practices around cold, warm and hot wallets apply and on top of that all the common security features such as two-factor authentication and email confirmations are applied thoughtfully to all sensitive actions.
As a side note, we are always looking for ways to secure the HollaEx ecosystem even further and we’ve done that by partnering with IBM where work is being done for system integrations into IBM’s unique crypto HSM mainframe computers. These are the same systems used by the military and banks today to secure sensitive transactions and to guard keys.
People can look forward to more announcements on these cyber security developments early 2022.
11)How do white-label crypto exchanges enable overall business growth?
For individual businesses the biggest gain for using white-label solutions is not having to invent the wheel again. The savings run into the $100,000s or even millions if you count all the listing fees and extra services. I recommend learning more in this CoinTelegraph article that goes into the costs of running a cryptocurrency exchange and how white-label solutions drastically reduce costs.
One recurring issue in the crypto industry is the talent pool to draw from is tiny and If you want to hire a team with experience you are going to be hard pressed to find them right now. This is due to the relevely recent interest in crypto business and their tool base. Thus white-label crypto tool kits like HollaEx Kit can help alleviate the human resources problem.
Personally I believe the more crypto tool kits out there the better. It will reduce the steep learning curve overhead plaguing crypto businesses and bring down the entry barriers. This will lead to increased competition amongst tools kits thus leading to more crypto platforms which inturn means more businesses that generate economic growth.
12)How feasible is it to modify core kit configuration while setting up the crypto exchange since it’s pre-made solutions to launch a crypto exchange?
The kit is getting more and more customizable. For example, with a plugin system, it is possible to create features that otherwise aren’t included in the pre-made HollaEx Kit. That’s the power of an open exchange kit.
We also have an ever growing community of exchange engineers who are willing to contribute by helping others launch their own exchanges. These engineers as they become more fluent with the exchange software might offer custom exchange work.
13)What would be a good exit strategy for businesses that have utilized a white-label exchange?
Today exchanges are pretty much the leading business type in crypto and so I would say exiting won’t be hard as long as the business has grown. I foresee in the future more crypto companies exiting and getting acquired and so using a white-label solution is perfectly set up for that to happen. Even going with an independent license may make sense to make the process of exiting or getting acquired even easier.
14)How can you build a better transparency, security with KYC, AML (Anti-Money Laundering) & CFT (Combating Financing of Terrorism)?
Today, you can find many ID services that handle the KYC and AML detailing for you but the kit already has an inbuilt manual ID service that allows users documents to be uploaded which in turn can be manually verified.
A coming special KYC plugin that automates the verification is also available at an extra cost but sourcing an outside system and attaching it via the plugins is also possible.
15)What are some things to look forward to, things in the works with the HollaEx Kit, XHT and the exchange network as a whole?
Soon there will be an inbuilt staking system. This will make XHT easier to stake and can even be done on your own exchange. As a by-product, this means exchange operators can set up their own staking system within their own exchange for their own coin.
With this inbuilt staking system, exchange operators can reward and distribute their own tokens to their users in a way that is common in other DeFi platforms today.
In the future, HollaEx Kit will combine the best of both CeFi and DeFi worlds. Giving the crypto entrepreneur the tools they need to connect their business to the blockchain.
16)What are the things to consider before starting a crypto exchange?
I’d recommend researching as much as possible, then getting your hands dirty with the software itself.
Search terms like ‘white-label crypto tool’ or ‘white-label open source crypto exchange’. Alternatively, read general guides on starting a bitcoin exchange.
At the end of the day, there is no substitute for setting up the system yourself and using your own exchange. See how trades, deposits and withdrawals all function. See how the back-office or admin works.
If setting it up yourself is not possible then get a trusted tech team member to do it. Only then can serious decisions be made on your white-label crypto tool.
16)How about advice for coin starters?
When it comes to coins it is a bit tricky because on the one hand, starting a coin as early as possible is great because it starts the long journey of price discovery. Price discovery can only happen with time.
On the other hand, managing a coin early isn’t straightforward. Tokenomics, coin distribution, communication and generally marketing can be a big drain, especially if there isn’t much to back the coin.
Regardless, in general, an exchange is always a good place to start because at any time a coin can be added and the tokenomics, distribution and pricing mechanisms around that coin can slowly be rolled out as needed, all in one place.
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