- KuCoin, now the fifth ranked trade, have been valued at $10 billion following current $150 million fundraise
- I interviewed its CEO Johnny Lyu, who asserts the European market is essential for KuCoin
- Market is at present in new crypto winter however KuCoin well-placed, Lyu states
- Lyu additionally affirms that KuCoin has no plans to go public, specializing in innovating and lowering crypto barriers-to-entry as an alternative
KuCoin is the fifth-ranked trade per CoinMarketCap, with some fairly explosive progress since its launch in 2017.
Earlier this 12 months it raised over $150 million in a pre-Collection B spherical, inserting its valuation at a lofty $10 billion. Another bulletins have lately taken my eye, too. One I significantly discovered attention-grabbing was the launch of a bunch of Euro buying and selling pairs, which as a European is good to see.
The dominance of the greenback (in addition to the much-criticised greenback stablecoin USDT) because the go-to onboarding fiat forex for crypto is really staggering, and a truth made all of the extra poignant because the USD continues to understand towards different currencies (DXY index up a colossal 11% this 12 months).
For this and different queries, together with the potential to go public, the 2020 hack suffered by KuCoin, regulation, decrease charges throughout the business and comparables to Coinbase & Binance, I interviewed KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu for CoinJournal.
It was a really attention-grabbing interview, significantly given we at the moment are coping with a bear market in crypto, with a pullback in quantity throughout the area and free-falling costs. The total interview transcript is beneath.
CoinJournal (CJ): You this week launched a number of euro buying and selling pairs (which was a lot appreciated for me, coming from the eurozone!). Why did you do that, and what do you consider is the rationale that the euro has been to date behind the greenback almost about on-ramping into crypto?
Johnny Lyu (JL): The European crypto market is one in every of KuCoin’s key markets, and KuCoin is dedicated to offering an easy-to-use crypto buying and selling service for European buyers. In March, KuCoin built-in SEPA funds, permitting customers to deposit EUR into KuCoin and for following cryptocurrency purchases.
To develop fiat-to-crypto buying and selling companies, KuCoin provides EUR buying and selling pairs that allow crypto customers to make immediate conversions between Euros and cryptocurrencies. By supporting these EUR-fiat buying and selling pairs, KuCoin strengthens its presence throughout the European crypto market, which continues to see robust progress.
As for the rationale why EUR has not fared higher than the Greenback relating to on-ramping into crypto, to start with, it’s as a result of the Greenback, as a world reserve forex and is dominant in lots of fields.
However, the adoption metrics of crypto within the US market are significantly better than within the European market. In line with the Into The Cryptoverse report launched by KuCoin, as of March of 2022, 27% of US adults aged 18-60 are crypto buyers. However in Germany, probably the most cryptocurrency-friendly nation in Europe, the determine is barely 16%.
However good issues take time, and I consider as crypto adoption rises within the European market and extra modern merchandise emerge, EUR will transfer quick to meet up with the Greenback almost about on-ramping into crypto.
CJ: Your spectacular fundraise in Might valued KuCoin at $10 billion. Was it a aid to safe this funding and valuation simply earlier than the market commenced its most violent downturn?
JL: This financing is inspiring. The brand new inflow of capital will permit KuCoin to transcend centralized buying and selling companies and develop its presence in Net-3.0. In the meantime, this funding will assist us efficiently navigate the downturn within the business, at the same time as we’re well-positioned for a protracted bear market.
CJ: How nicely positioned are KuCoin to climate a protracted bear market, and has quantity fallen off greater than you’d have anticipated throughout this sell-off?
JL: The crypto market is in a brand new crypto winter, with vital declines in market capitalization and buying and selling quantity. However for KuCoin, based mostly on our steady enterprise growth and steady world format, our buying and selling quantity and consumer progress within the first half of 2022 are nonetheless spectacular: Within the first half of 2022, KuCoin’s buying and selling quantity, together with spot and futures buying and selling, has exceeded $2 trillion, a rise of 180% in comparison with the identical interval in 2021. completely different markets, Europe outperformed others by way of the pace of progress, attaining a complete quantity of $481 billion with 381% progress in contrast with the identical interval final 12 months. In Latin America, and Africa & the Center East, a complete quantity of $453 billion and $392 billion have been achieved, and the expansion price is 189% and 152%, respectively.
So for us, the bear market can meet extra challenges. Nonetheless, with a correct route and agency perception in growth, we’re 100% assured of breaking by way of extra for customers and the business in a incredible method.
CJ: Do you’ve any plans to comply with Coinbase’s lead and go public? Has the downturn affected your ideas on potential timing to go public?
JL: We’re at present focusing our efforts and sources on growing modern merchandise to decrease crypto market entry limitations for customers and promote world regulation efforts of KuCoin to raised serve world crypto customers. So, within the quick time period, we’ve no plans of going public.
CJ: Why would you advise prospects to commerce on Kucoin versus Coinbase, Binance or among the different exchanges?
JL: For this query, the very first thing I wish to say is that we respect each competitor. The continual progress, breakthrough and progress within the business, along with our opponents, has undoubtedly promoted the speedy growth of the business.
Throughout these years of growth, KuCoin has been dubbed the “Folks’s Trade” by our customers, which additionally exhibits an important options and benefits of KuCoin. Listed here are only a few of them.
At KuCoin, customers can benefit from the lowest transaction charges within the business. The buying and selling charges on KuCoin begin at 0.1%, for each makers and takers. As well as, when you use KCS to pay for buying and selling charges, you might be entitled to a 20% low cost.
In KuCoin, VIP customers (Lv 12) can get pleasure from a -0.005% Maker payment and 0.02% Taker payment on the most. As a house of hidden gems, KuCoin offers customers the chance to be the primary to the touch many crypto gems. We now supply over 700 digital belongings. And we offer many passive earn choices in KuCoin Earn, resembling staking, Burning Drops and extra for customers to earn below low-risk, which is extra handy within the bear market.
CJ: One current pattern amongst exchanges has been a battle over lowering charges. What are your ideas on this and the way does KuCoin’s technique tie in right here?
JL: That is nice information for customers all over the world. On this regard, we’ve all the time been proud to supply the bottom buying and selling charges for world customers, which can be robust proof of KuCoin’s ambition to supply companies for all lessons of buyers and decrease the business threshold for world customers.
We now have been lowering buying and selling charges for customers in all facets. For instance, we at present present new customers with a newcomer reward bundle value as much as 500 USDT in order that customers can begin their crypto journey easily. Customers who maintain KCS can get pleasure from a further 20% buying and selling payment low cost.
Customers with completely different VIP ranges and buying and selling quantity necessities have corresponding payment reductions, and so forth. Buying and selling payment rebate coupons are additionally often supplied to our customers with completely different buying and selling preferences, thus, a greater buying and selling expertise with much less price might be loved from many facets.
CJ: KuCoin suffered a hack again in 2020, but recovered a big portion of the funds (and made prospects entire for any shortfall). Ought to any unlucky incident happen once more, is that this your apply going ahead and do you suppose going public might assist assuage concern with new prospects that safety could also be a problem amongst cryptocurrency exchanges?
JL: The 2020 incident was a hard-learned lesson for us and the business as nicely. However what issues in the long run is that we have been in a position to show to our world customers that our group’s fast response timing and easy course of decision result in an awesome resolution throughout a brief interval below the watchful eyes of the whole world.
And in our opinion, assuaging customers’ issues about safety by going public is helpful to some extent certainly on a psychological stage. However a strong safety system is extra essential. So, we’re extra keen to give attention to the development of a world safety skilled group, the continual optimization of the system, and the indestructible safety protection of the platform always in order to constantly convey the last word safety expertise to customers.
CJ: Many exchanges, resembling Binance, have had well-publicized battles with regulators. Do you worry or welcome elevated regulatory scrutiny within the area?
JL: It’s the accountability and obligation of each world trade to respect the legal guidelines, laws, and insurance policies of various nations and areas, to fight terrorism, and keep anti-money laundering resolutely.
It’s also important to push the crypto business in the direction of progress in a greater method, and that is the basement KuCoin holds and has adopted from the very starting of its institution as nicely. As well as, KuCoin closed a $150 million pre-Collection B fundraising spherical, which is able to help KuCoin’s world regulation efforts to raised serve 18 million customers in over 200 nations and areas.
Generally, we’ll proceed to be the “Folks’s Trade”, simply as our slogan says, which suggests we’ll evolve based mostly on our prospects’ wants.