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Why we Invested $30m in DeFi Wallet Bitkeep –  Gracy Chen, Managing Director of Bitget

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As a cryptocurrency exchange and digital asset trading platform, Bitget has begun to explore new vistas of opportunities as it hopes to collaborate with BitKeep in order to leverage the respective strengths and advantages of Decentralized finance in its global operations. Gracy Chen, Bitget Managing Director, in this interview with Ugo Onwuaso, speaks on why it invested $30 million in BitKeep, among many other issues.

Bitget Managing Director Gracy Chen

Bitget Managing Director Gracy Chen

Excerpts:

Hi Gracy, good to have you here. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and when did you join Bitget

Formerly, I was an anchor and producer at the technology and finance channel of Phoenix TV, one of the largest Asian media conglomerates. That’s also around the time that some of my friends (who are famous crypto entrepreneurs and investors today such as He Yi, co-founder of Binance, and Tim Draper, whom I studied from when I was at Draper University) introduced me to the crypto industry. In 2014, I started to invest in cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, and XRP, not in huge amounts. I think people should build portfolios with small percentage investment in crypto according to their own experience and risk-tolerance level. And it’s only since 2017, that I started to invest more in the primary and secondary crypto market. For example, I‘ve been an investor in the early days of BitKeep, Asia’s leading decentralized wallet and Bitget’s sister company. So in this journey, I have witnessed the brand’s development and growth throughout the years. Hence, I decided to join Bitget in 2022, changing the role from an investor to a builder.

Can you tell us about the recent Bitget investment of $30 million in BitKeep

The investment is beneficial for both Bitget and BitKeep as they collaborate to connect DeFi and CeFi, leveraging their respective strengths. The integration of BitKeep Wallet with Bitget’s business domain will enhance the exchange’s product offering and expand its business into the wallet sector, providing native storage and asset management services.

Furthermore, BitKeep’s substantial user base of over 8 million in 168 countries will enable Bitget to tap into a new pool of potential clients. Additionally, BitKeep’s impressive range of services, including access to diverse DeFi protocols and NFT projects across various blockchains, will allow Bitget to transform from a prominent derivative exchange into a comprehensive and holistic exchange with a growing ecosystem, thus delving deeper into the Web3 space.

We have seen you giving speeches in different events talking about Bitget flagship product copy trading. Can you tell us more about Social Trading and how Bitget is helping its users with this innovative product? Do you follow any traders on the platform, any tips you want to share

With the vision to increase financial independence, we focus on transforming the way people connect and trade with social trading. We believe in the power of social trading and make it our quintessential feature, allowing us to differentiate among exchanges such as Binance and OKX, offering users valuable services.

High barriers to crypto investment hinder its mass adoption. Copy trading with more social interactions will be the key. Launched in May 2020, Bitget is the first crypto exchange to introduce copy trading features. It now supports copy trading in the spot market, futures market, and copy a strategist. Since its launch, the copy trading feature on Bitget has attracted more than 80,000 elite traders to share their strategies and more than 380,000 followers to copy, making it the largest crypto copy trading platform. As of Jan 2023, the number of profitable trades through Bitget copy trading is over 47 million, with gains from profitable trades reaching 300 million, and profits shared by elite traders reaching USD 20 million.

“Bitget Insights”, is a new feature on our platform, which makes social trading more accessible to everyone. The feature is acting as a mixture of “social media + trading”, and its curated “lead traders” can post their chart analysis, technical strategies, and articles, to share their insights with followers and help them make smarter financial decisions. As of Jan 2023, over 500 trading experts are sharing their crypto market insights on the platform with nearly 10,000 posts generated.

In the future, we will continue to bring innovative products and services, providing more trading strategies and skills for our users and helping beginners to learn more about the industry.

Changing topic, in this period it is inevitable to talk about the banking crisis. How do you see this impacting the crypto industry? What would you suggest to all our readers considering that there might be more banks on the verge of collapse

I think there will be inevitable development in the space after this wave of bank closures. We are living in an increasingly multipolar, interconnected and multicultural world. Since the 1980s, financial institutions and financial markets have no longer been operating within an enclosed geographical space. Instead, we are trading in a global and highly networked business arena. In this financial context, it is not realistic to think that we can continue to rely on siloed and immutable financial systems.

We need flexible, elevated open-source algorithms, time-efficient financial structures that cut settlement times as well as costs, and transactions that are not only frictionless but also borderless. Digital currencies offer exactly that. So, cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges have been portrayed as an alternative to traditional banking, but actually we are expanding the financial offerings with the more advanced ecosystem. Most of the traditional banking businesses, such as loans, mortgage and credit cards etc, will still need banks to perform, and crypto exchanges can provide some innovative financial services with its infrastructure.

Bitget did great in 2022 while the market and several crypto companies were collapsing. What’s the secret sauce you have been using to grow rapidly and fast

The year 2022 was one of the roughest in the crypto industry. The collapse of Terra LUNA, Celsius, and FTX, consequently wiping out over US$2 trillion from the crypto market. Despite the hardships in the market, Bitget grew in all aspects; the company made great strides in building our team, brand, and business over the last 12 months during the crypto winter.

Some key development areas of the company included:

  1. Climbing the chart ranked as the Top 3 exchange according to the Boston Consulting Group report, in terms of crypto derivative trading volume.
  2. According to the latest TokenInsight report, Bitget’s market share in the derivative market increased from 3% to 11% after the collapse of FTX
  3. Over 300% increase in total transaction volume, with the popularity of copy trading products
  4. The workforce grew from barely 200 people at the beginning of 2022 to over 1300 employees now
  5. Became the exclusive crypto exchange partner with Lionel Messi

Bitget is the first and largest crypto copy trading platform, connecting beginners with professional traders. Launched in May 2020, Bitget now supports copy trading in the spot market, futures market, and copy a strategist. Since its launch, the copy trading feature on Bitget has attracted more than 80,000 elite traders to share their strategies and more than 380,000 followers to copy.

These figures of growth attribute to our endeavors on not only service improvement and product innovation, but also the global expansion and adoption of top-notch security and protection measures.  Previously, the company focused on serving customers from a few Asian countries alone. However, by the end of 2022, the exchange had acquired over 8 million users in more than 100 countries, with footprints in Turkey, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Bitget is safeguarding users’ funds on the platform with a series of security policies, including a $300 million Protection Fund, a Fund Custody service, pledged to be fully reserved back by the Merkle Tree Proof of Reserves model. 

Can you tell us more about funds security at Bitget? Do you provide any audits

In Bitget, securing users’ assets on our platform has been our top priority since day one, and we have taken plenty of measures on this end. The first response we have done with FTX’s collapse is to launch a US $5 million builders’ fund to assist affected partners, and increased our Bitget Protection Fund to US $300 million with transparent wallet addresses and guarantee no withdrawal for 3 years. As far as I know, our Protection Fund is the second largest among all CEXs so far.

The next thing we worked on is our Proof-of-Reserves. We have developed a verification tool “Merklevalidator” internally and with free access to open-source codes on GitHub. Not only showing reserve status as a whole in the company, users can also verify their own account’s proof of reserves with the tool, and proving our exchange reserve to users assets is at least on an 1:1 ratio.

Aside from financial measures, Bitget’s team has also been working strenuously on platform security as well. Bitget’s security team adopted measures such as mature risk control systems, advanced security governance, trusted wallet encryption and many more to keep cybersecurity threats under control.

 

 


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Alleged Debt: Court Freezes Accounts of Swift Networks

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted Union Bank Plc. an interim order of Injunction restraining Swift Networks Limited and its agents from accessing funds and assets in all banks pending the determination of a Motion on Notice in an alleged debt recovery suit.

According to a certified true copy of the order, it was issued by the court on June 19, 2024, based on the application filed on June 11, 2024, and after hearing Gbenga Akinde Counsel for the Plaintiff/Applicant, Union Bank, moves a motion ex-parte.

Union Bank listed Swift Networks and its Managing Director Charles Anudu as the Defendants/Respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1010/2024.

Following Union Bank’s latest application, Justice Bogoro restrained the Defendants, their Directors, Staff, Management and Agents from tampering with, operating, withdrawing from, and/or dealing with the Defendants’ funds (whether held directly or by proxy) in any bank and/or financial institution within Nigeria pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

The judge also directed all Banks/Financial Institutions harbouring the defendants’ accounts to depose on oath and furnish the plaintiff or its firm of solicitors, the details of the credit outstanding in the defendants’ account within seven days of receipt of the order.


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Layer3 Implements World-Class Upgrade for WACREN Cloud Infrastructure

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Layer3 has announced the successful implementation of a state-of-the-art private cloud infrastructure for the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN). This pivotal project, hosted in Nigeria, is supported by the AfricaConnect3 project, co-funded by the European Commission.

Layer3 was selected for this prestigious project after an international bidding and tendering process. The newly established private cloud infrastructure will serve universities, research and education networks across the region, providing a robust, secure, and scalable platform designed to meet the unique needs of the academic and research community.

Key features of the cloud infrastructure include its high performance and scalability, engineered to handle large-scale data and computational needs, ensuring seamless scalability as demand increases. The platform also incorporates cutting-edge security protocols to ensure high-level data protection and integrity.

Other features in this state-of-the-art infrastructure include:

  • Reliability and Redundancy: Equipped with multiple layers of redundancy and failover mechanisms to guarantee high availability and minimal downtime.
  • Customizable Solutions: Offers tailored services adaptable to specific institutional requirements, supporting a diverse range of academic and research activities.
  • Ease of Integration: Facilitates seamless integration with existing IT environments and other cloud services, enhancing operational efficiency.

This world-class private cloud infrastructure is a significant milestone for the educational and research sector in West and Central Africa. By providing a dedicated and sophisticated cloud environment, the project will:

  • enhance research capabilities as researchers and educators will have access to powerful computational resources and collaborative tools, to facilitate groundbreaking research and innovation that will ultimately lead to development in the region
  • improve educational outcomes as universities can leverage the cloud platform to offer more dynamic and interactive learning experiences.
  • boost regional collaboration: The cloud infrastructure will enable regional research collaboration as researchers in different institutions in different countries can work on joint research projects and educational programs.
  • drive digital transformation: By adopting cutting-edge cloud technology, institutions can accelerate their digital transformation journeys and stay competitive in the global education landscape.

“We are honored to have been selected by WACREN and the AfricaConnect3 project for this transformative initiative. Our team is excited to have delivered this world-class cloud infrastructure that will empower the educational and research community in West and Central Africa, driving innovation and excellence. This project underscores our commitment to providing top-tier IT solutions that support academic and research excellence.” said Layer3 CEO, Oyaje Idoko.

According to WACREN CEO, Dr. Boubakar Barry, “This WACREN Cloud upgrade marks a significant step forward for us as it will enhance our capacity to serve national research and education networks (NRENs) and their communities across our region.

“We will leverage the capabilities of this new cluster to drive our suite of community-driven platforms and services.  We look forward to the tremendous impact the expanded infrastructure will have on fostering research and innovation excellence across West and Central Africa.”

For more information about Layer3 and its services, please visit www.layer3.ng.

Layer3 is a leading IT and cloud solutions provider in Nigeria, specialized in delivering innovative technology solutions that drive business growth and efficiency. With a focus on quality and customer satisfaction, Layer3 offers a comprehensive range of services, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, AI-driven network solutions, and managed services.


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NITDA, FCT-UBEB, Collaborate To Foster Digital Literacy In Schools

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In a significant development in Nigeria’s educational sector aimed at boosting digital literacy among school children, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is set to collaborate with the Federal Capital Territory Universal Basic Educational Board (FCT-UBEB) towards revolutionising the way young Nigerians engage with technology and equipping them with necessary skills to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

NITDA

The forgoing information is contained in a press statement e-signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations at NITDA, Hajia Hadiza Umar.

As per the statement, the Director-General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi , made this known when he hosted a delegation from the Head-to-Head Debate Committee of FCT UBEB led by its Ag. Executive Chairman, Dr Alhassan Sule, at the Agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja to discuss possible areas of collaboration.

Mallam Abdullahi , who was represented by the agency’s Director of the Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions (ITIS) department, Oladejo Olawumi, stated that the collaboration aligned with a pillar of NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2.0) 2024-2027 which was to Foster Digital Literacy and Cultivate Talents.

While stating that the pillar was key to the proposed educational board’s debate competition, the NITDA DG emphasised the importance of integrating technology into education to capture the interest and potential of young people.

“Children today, often referred to as digital natives, intuitively use technology and unlike us, who are digital migrants, these children seamlessly adapt to new gadgets and platforms. Therefore, it is essential to embed digital knowledge in their learning environment,” he noted.

Abdullahi disclosed that the agency had been providing infrastructure and resources to facilitate educational transformation as well as digital learning centres across all states of the country.

He added that the Digital Literacy for All programme was a national initiative of the agency which was designed to extend digital education resources to all corners of the country and urged the visitors to key into the programme while he asserted that it would be instrumental in enhancing digital literacy skills among students and out-of-school children alike.

Highlighting the agency’s focus on emerging technologies, Abdullahi stated that extensive research and development were being conducted in areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics which were pivotal for future skill sets.

While referring to a recent collaboration between the agency and the Abuja Enterprise Agency on a Robotics competition organised for secondary schools in Abuja to spur interest in Robotics and technology among students, he said “I think we can work together in this area and make sure that Robotics interest is geared up among the youth.”

Elaborating on the Agency’s ongoing initiatives toward achieving 70 per cent digital literacy in the country by 2027, he further disclosed that the agency was working to integrate digital literacy into the national educational curriculum and providing hands-on experience with technologies like AI and Robotics.

While stressing the importance of addressing the needs of out-of-school children, he mentioned “We are developing programmes in partnership with various stakeholders to attract these children through incentives like school feeding, coupled with digital literacy and other educational training.”

Abdullahi noted that the multifaceted approach would ensure that children were not only fed but also equipped with essential digital skills that would pave the way for a more inclusive and technologically proficient future.

In his earlier remark, Dr Sule commended the agency for their various strategic initiatives to ensure a sustainable digitally transformed economy in the country.

While stating that the head-to-head committee was saddled with the responsibility of conducting the FCT Basic Schools debate competition, he noted that 900 students in the FCT would contest in a debate.

Sule said that finalists from the competition would be moved to a reality house which will be aired live on different media platforms where they would be trained on AI and Robotics.


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