In this episode of the DeFi Download, Piers Ridyard talks with Oliver Linch, CEO of Bittrex Global, about the advantages and disadvantages of centralised and decentralised exchanges, the company's history of operating in the cryptocurrency market, and its legal challenges with the SEC.
Bittrex Global is a successful cryptocurrency exchange that grants global users access to over 650 tokens. However, the company is currently facing legal challenges from the SEC, despite being regulated in Liechtenstein and Bermuda.
CEO Oliver Linch has a legal background in traditional financial regulatory law. He emphasises that his background reflects Bittrex Global's commitment to doing things the right way. Linch also stresses the importance of regulation and legal frameworks in ensuring that people can engage in commercial activities with confidence. To create appropriate regulations, successful regulatory regimes must analyse the risks and challenges of crypto.
During the discussion, Linch and Piers talk about the future of the crypto industry and its regulation. They argue that a balance between regulation, security, and innovation is necessary. Both centralised and decentralised exchanges have a role to play. They also touch on the challenges of verifying smart contracts and the significance of trust in both systems.
[01:18] Oliver Linch’s unusual for a crypto exchange CEO background as a lawyer
[02:08] The story behind Oliver Linch's journey to becoming CEO of Bittrex Global
[03:49] How is Bittrex Global handling the SEC's lawsuit while building its business? How are they considering the US regulator while operating globally?
[07:42] Why is Bittrex Global being sued by the SEC despite providing services to non-US citizens from a regulated jurisdiction?
[10:36] The implications of the SEC's lawsuit against Bittrex Global for the crypto industry
[11:39] What is Oliver's opinion, from a jurisprudential perspective, on the impact of regulation? Is regulation entirely beneficial or only partially so?
[13:15] The necessity of a legal framework in facilitating interactions between people
[15:18] Is regulation in crypto necessary only when something goes wrong?
[17:19] Trust-minimization and transparency in DeFi: Are decentralised finance (DeFi) and decentralised exchanges (DEXs) a threat to centralised exchanges?
[20:01] How does trusting a regulated process differ from trusting a coder for an exchange regulated in a different country than the user's residence?
[23:14] The risk of internal fraud in regulated crypto exchanges
[24:08] The trustworthiness of banks regulated in different countries
[24:30] Verifying entities in the crypto industry: Smart contract audits and auditor reputation
[25:29] The importance of validation and auditing in both centralised and decentralised exchanges
[29:05] The future of the crypto industry and Bittrex Global's next steps