The war against the Yeerks was over, both the Andalites and Humans races enjoyed a time of blossoming peace, trade, and prosperity. The Humans faired well in the aftermath of the war, Earth being spared mass commitment or damage, and little loss of life. The Andalites were advanced, but weakened, from the long war against the now defeated and subjugated parasitic slug-like race of Yeerks. The part deer, part scorpion, part human looking Andalite race was slowly recovering from the war and wearily exploring new opportunities for trade with its new "friend", the Humans.
The Andalites are a powerful race, with some of the best technology in their explored corner of the galaxy. A warrior species at heart, Andalites are well developed for combat, with 4 eyes, 2 of those eyes on bendable stalks, 4 strong legs, a deadly fast tail with a scorpion blade, and a bright mind. Though fairly gentle hearted by nature, the Andalite's 100 million or so members nonetheless appreciate the role of the warrior more than almost anything, other than maybe family, being that they live in close knitted groups in their outdoor homes called "scoops".
The Andalites were fairly proud race, and some may call them arrogant about their abilities, technology and their species. They did not think all that much of the Human race and what they could bring to the table, and were naturally suspicious due to the Yeerks betrayal of the Andalites in the past. The Humans, however, proved themselves to be very able at waging war, with a paltry 5 human teenagers and 1 Andalites cadet managing to topple the powerful Yeerk empire with well-timed guerrilla attacks and smart thinking, combined with illegally gifted Andalite morphing technology from the war-price Andalite hero Elfangor.
The Human race lost approximately 90,000 souls from the Yeerk infiltration of Earth. The slug-like Yeerks, who takes over their host's brains and bodies, can perfectly mimic a person and use their memories and brains to help them do so. Thousands of people were killed by their controlling Yeerks who rathered go out fighting then be starved to death from lack of their precious Kandrona rays generators. While few Humans were killed during the actual "war", there were some deaths from the Animorphs guerrilla fighters vs infested humans and free Human vs Yeerk forces. Tens of thousands of civilians were also killed during suicidal bombing attacks on Yeerk infestation centers by the small teenaged Human guerrilla force and their Andalite companion.
The Humans proved themselves to be tenacious, determined, adaptive, quick learning, and good in a fight. Surprising everyone, the Human race managed to beat back an invasion from a species most Humans had no idea existed. Humans did not just beat back the invasion, they managed to take over a pool ship, and transferred its command codes to the Andalite, allowing them to snap up a major yeerk fleet and the Yeerks top ranking general. With the Yeerk high command in turmoil, their top generals all dead or captured due to Humans, and in some cases civil-war between other yeerks, the Andalites were able to use the stolen Yeerk command data and a promise of morphing out of their bodies to subdue the Yeerks and blockade their homeworlds.
Humans were new to the galactic scene, but already were making waves, Human body morph permissions and foodcourt establishments on the Andalite homeworld promised Humans a big bargaining chip in trade with the Andalites. The Andalites did not have mouths themselves but could morph to human to experience taste, and it was becoming a booming trade, helping secure technology transfer deals to the Humans benefit. The technology transfers were coming somewhat slowly, but, Humans were already making giant leaps and their first faster than light spaceship was already under construction. Humans also reversed engineered some captured yeerk technology, circumventing the Andalites refusal to trade weapons tech.
The Andilites were somewhat wary of the Humans, while most Andalite civilians loved that Humans and Andalite cooperate well together and wanted good relations, Andalite command was less warm to the upstart and primitive race of humans. Andalites viewed human technology to be laughable, with every piece of human tech shocking Andalites with how old school it is, how dangerous it is, or how Humans even managed to get that far yet. Andalites high command viewed Humans as unpredictable, self-serving, primitive, and very weak looking creatures. Humans only had 2 legs, and 2 eyes, and looked as if they could barely stand up, lacking any tail! Humans were helplessly weak and had no real advantage to their bodies, the only reason yereks even wanted Humans was that they were too weak to resist, had fairly good senses and hands to handles technology, and had a supermassive 6 billion hosts bodies available. The one thing Andalite command hated the most about Humans, however, was that they could be competition.
Humans, as stated before, are in a laughably primitive state compared to Andalites or any other spare fairing civilization, such as the Skirt-Naa or the Leer. Most Andalites would be surprised to learn that a Human even knew about black holes. Most Andalite would be surprised that Humans invented books before the computer, as if the idea of powerless instantly accessible data was simple to think of. Most Andalites would be surprised to learn that Humans went from their first flight, to their moon, in just 60 years, 3 times faster than the Andalites. And most Andalites would be a bit nervous, more so than surprised, to find out that Humans went from having a man walk on their moon to discovering and inventing a Zero-space faster than light communication device in 50 years, right around the middle of the invasion of Earth by the yeerks.
The Human race works well with Andalites, both feeling a kindred with one another easily. Even before the invasion of Earth, a pair of teenage Humans would frequently surprise the to-be War price Elfangor when he was a cadet. Elfangor would be constantly surprised at how the soft, weak, and unsteady looking human body could take an amazing amount of punishment and still recover. and could be surprisingly strong and capable with their powerful and well-adapted arms and hands. Even the Humans unstable-looking 2 legs could be rather effective in giving the Human mobility in terms of running, jumping, and dodging. The young Elfangor found that both of his Human charges, kidnapped from their home planet, were rather determined. In fact, both of them had a key part to play in setting the stage for the eventual invasion of Earth. One for good, and one for evil. Truth be told, chances are the yeerks would have come either way, but, even 2 Human teenagers can have a huge impact on the galaxy many years down the road.
Peace now reigned, but it was to be short-lived, the Kelbrid bordered Andalite space, and may have killed an Andalite prince and former Animorph. Prince Aximilli, Elfangors younger brother, had survived the war on earth as a cadet and sole Andalite on the Animorphs team, and sole Andalite on earth, in general, most of the time. As a new prince and war hero, "Ax" was given the task of hunting down a rouge Yeerk force in a powerful "blade-ship" class cruiser. Ax's Andalites cruiser broke a treaty to stay out of each others space that was brokered with the Kelbrid, and after entering Kelbrid space Ax's cruiser was inspecting a craft it found via boarding party when the ship opened fire on Ax's vessel. Ax's ship had no choice but to run, and was subject to further attack, with only 1 survivor saved to tell the tale of Ax's capture on the strange ship they encountered during the search for the Blade ship.
The Andalite could not risk a war by entering Keldbrid space, even though they knew their hero was likely captured on a potentially Kelbrid ship. With 1 primary Animorph in addition to all the handicapped child auxiliary Animorphs killed, due to various suicide attacks at the end of the Yeerk war, 3 out of the 4 remaining Animorphs go on a mission to save their friend Ax, and all of them, the 3 rescuers and Ax, are killed in a suicide attack by the would-be rescuers, after learning their friend Ax was twisted into an abomination of a new sort, and that they were outclassed and under-prepared. The last known transmission from the Animorphs leader on the rescue mission was, "Ram the blade ship." There is only one confirmed Animorph left alive from the over 20 prime and auxiliary Animorphs during the war with the Yeerks, the intuitive tree hugger, Cassie. All known Animorph deaths have occurred due to suicide attacks, with the exception of one, and the possible exception of a second, (depending on if a suicide wish was granted to ease an evil traitor Animorphs pain of being stuck in rat morph to his arch-rival Animorphs who hovered on the edge of good and going too far down the path of becoming a monster herself. Nobody knows if she granted his death wish.)
With all known Animorphs dead, save for 1, and the Andalite war prince Ax believed dead, tensions rise in the command rooms for both Andalites and Humans, especially for the Andalites, who territorial space bordered the Kelbrid. The mission to rescue Aximilli lost Humanity its best heroes, and the Andalites lost their greatest war hero for good this time, the little brother of war-prince Elfangor was dead, as was almost the entire Animorphs team. Even Arborn, a fellow cadet and friend of Elfangor who was trapped in Taxxon morph, was dead, shot by a poacher on earth, after the war with the Yeerks ended. All the heroes who beat back the Yeerk invastion of the galaxy, with the exception of the tree hugger Cassie, were now dead, and not even the powerful time warping Ellimist would be able to bring them back this time, not being allowed in his comic game of chess to do them any other favors. The Andalites now had to worry about the fallout of the incursions into Kelbrid space, and both races would have to explain their Heros mysterious disappearances to its people using lies and tall tales.
As the Andalites desperately tried to predict what the Keldbrid race would do next, Humans continued to advance into making the transition to a galactic civilization. The moon was colonized with bases, thousands of humans now lived there in science and military outposts. Humanity continued to advance, the first "Zero Space" was launched, a second and third launched a few months later. With new each ship made, Humans modified, optimized, and resigned them to be better, faster, and more spaceworthy. Weapons on human spacecraft were still unheard of, but Human leadership was planning on adding those soon, the Human-modified dracon beams taken from the defeated yeerks being renamed "phasers" and given better damage and longer burst rates thanks to Human ingenuity. As the Andalites became to scan their borders fervently, Humans began to learn the art of weaponizing their space-ships with laser weaponry and began exploring captured shield tech and learning how it worked.
Years past, Andalite and Humans are rarely found in each other territory anymore. The Andalites have become recluse, nobody knows why, but they claim its to protect their species identity in these news times of species to species contact. The Humans and Andalites were working together on various business and governmental endeavors when suddenly, the Andalite high command issued orders to cease most contact with Humans, citing cultural identity concerns and the need to slow down and take more time to build trust. Humans were confused, the Andalite military folks could be a bit arrogant, but, Andalites and Humans got on pretty well, and Humans did not understand the sudden pullback in Andalite policy. Secretly, despite all the talk about "trust", Humans began to spy. They wanted to know what exactly was going on with the Andalites, and it did not help for Human leadership to secretly know that Andalite high command was planning on glassing planet Earth in a scorched earth policy during the war to stop the yeerks, and only reluctantly change gears after the Animorphs handed them a whole Yeerk fleet and the top general of the Yeerks.
The Andalites grew more distant, and Humanity watched from afar, using their secret Z-space telescopes to spy on Andalites planets and military movements. The Andalites were not an expansive race, having little desire to conquer new land, they only had 3 planets under their control. 20 years after the war with the yeerks, Humans were in the middle of terraforming Mars, and the moon was a full-fledged base of Humanity, with over 100,000 souls living there in domes and enclosed buildings. Humans had no real military space force, but the moon did contain powerful plasma turrets on its surface, with enough fire-power in its somewhat primitive model to surprise the Andalites, had they bothered to keep tabs anymore. The Andalites knew about the plasma turrets of course, but they did not care too much to check them out, and assumed humans had no real ability other than fighting wars limited to their own planet, and only shadow-based wars at that, believing humans to be unable to stand up to an advanced force of any kind with real numbers supporting them. The Andalites were occupied with something... Else... And Human leadership wanted to know what.
Andalite fleet movement had been detected by Human Z-space spy telescopes, lots of it, and Human leadership knew what it must be... War. They were not sure who the Andalites were gearing up to fight, but, Human leadership suspected it was the Kelbrid, knowing of the secret missions Andalites had taking place in their territory. The Kelbrid were considered to be advanced, powerful, and savage, but were known to keep their agreements, they would likely be very angry about their borders being intruded by Andalites after the agreement they made to stay out of each other's way. The Human leadership know what the signs pointed to, Humans had spent its whole existence fighting and killing, and it knew a fight brewing when it saw one. Humans made upgrades to their z-space spy scopes to take a better look at Andalite territory, what they found, was scary, if not surprising. The Andalites were indeed at war, and losing, badly.
The Andalites were in a panic, one of their worlds was burning, millions of Andalites dead, and the whole system it resided in was lost. The Andalites lost nearly half their fleet in trying to save their third planet and newest acquisition. After downsizing their military only 20 years ago, the newest generation of Andalites was tapped for war and hundreds of new ships were built at a frantic pace. The Andalite cadets knew what was expected of them.
Humans watched the development with great interest, they saw the third planet of the Andalites, Teeassic, burn. None seemed to be left alive, and the fleet around its orbit was devested. Humans watched as the Andalites pulled back to their remaining 2 planets, and build new more defense platforms to ring them. The Kelbrid were clearly a powerful foe, their ships massive in size, though old, and having massive firepower and defense shielding on their ships. Even the mighty Andalites dome ships, with shedder lasers that could punch a hole in a moon, were hard-pressed to stop even 1 Kelbrid battlecruiser. Humans watched as the Kelbrid matched the Andalites with 1 capital ship for every 3 of the Andalites own. The Andalites, while powerful, had clearly met their match, the Kelbrid was stronger than the yeerks and could push the Andalites back with their fierceness. Andalites, however, are brave to the point of ridiculousness, much like Humans, and the Andalites did not hesitate to self-sacrifice to attempt to win the war. Out of honor for their people, the Andalites forces again and again committed themselves to suicide attacks, fights that led to the self-destruction of the vessel they resided on, and just generally INSANE acts of heroism to try to stop the Kelbrid. But it was not enough, and the Andalites found themselves pushed out of open space and huddled around their 2 remaining planets.
All this time, the Andalites pretended nothing was wrong to the Humans. Civilian contact was cut off years ago, and Andalite military command, that acted as the species overall government more often than not, would send less frequent ambassadors, who nonetheless insisted everything was "fine" and the Andalite just wanted to take things slowly with Humans. For a time, Human leadership, consisting of the semi-centralized new earth government, took them at face value but grew less and less accepting of the excuses over time. The Humans did not want to admit to spying, but, it was a non-invasive long-range visual observation method, using holes in space-time, so they did not feel too ashamed of themselves for admitting it. Besides, the Andalites were losing and clearly needed help, badly. After witnessing a failed but close contested attack on the Andalites second planet, Luaminoa, Humans knew the Andalites were risking destruction and felt compelled to do something and say something.
Planet: Earth Year: 2022 Ambassador to the Andalites office, Washington D.C.
An old, haggard-looking Andalite of 160 years walks through the tall and wide door to the Ambassador's office, finding their species could not properly sit down like humans, a comfortable carpet would make due instead of a chair for the Andalite ambassador. The Andalite faces a middle-aged human of 40 years old, the blue-furred Andalite looks at the Human man standing before him, a man with bright blue clears eyes and a smile but sad smile on his face.
"Hello ambassador Theor-Getil-Illii", says the Human, using the Andalites full name rather then the shortened version. The Human did not shake the Andalites hand, knowing they are more fragile appendages than the ones Humans have. , said the Andalite telepathically, with a modest bow of its stalk-eyed head and human-like torso. , asked the Andalite. The small smiled faded off the Human ambassador's face, and in its wake was just sadness. "Theor", using the Andalites shorten named, "What is happening to your people?" The Andalite paused for a moment, seemed slightly taken aback, and responded. "Yes you do", the Human ambassador responded. "Your people are at war, and you are losing". The Andalites 4 eyes, trained on the Human, got big and his body tensed. The Human, not waiting for a response, continued. "We know you are down to 2 of your planets and are in a defensive position around their orbits, and we know about the Kelbrid and what is going on." The Andalite looked at ambassador Paul, and after a moment, asked,
the Andalite asked incredulously. "Well..." said the Human. "They really are more like micro cameras that look through micro holes in Z-space.", the Human explained. "Using just a tiny amount of energy, we can create a high-speed tunnel through Z-space, with nothing in the tunnel but a simple stream of quarks. The force of those quark streams keeps a small rift open that we peak inside of using a tiny camera that picks up on photons that enter the Z-space hole created as the quarks squeeze out of it.", the Human lectured. "This allows us to send tiny mass through Z-space at extremely high speeds, allowing for near-instant observation at the end of the tunnel created by the mass exiting Z-space at the target observation area." Shocked, Theor-Getil-Illii simply started at the Human, for a long time. The Human waited, and after a time, the Andalite seemed to find his thought-speak voice. , the Andalite babbled. , said the Andalite, trying to sound calm.
The old Andalite ambassador read Aximillis report, but could hardly believe it, let alone allow its impact to truly wash over him. However, the truth of Human now started to dawn him, and his body grew cold as his smart mind did the calculations and he thought to himself. The Andalite looked again at the Human, , the Andalite said slowly and half-mindedly> The Human nooded, understanding how the Andalite must feel, "Yes, we know we are the type to advance quickly compared to the most races we have learned of, it's just in our nature.", the Human said slightly sadly, "We just hope for the best", Paul said. Looking at the quite Andalite, Paul said, "Now, have you considered asking us for help? We would be willing to aid you, freely." Theor took a moment to think about that statement, before responding, Theor-Getil-Illii replied, borrowing the Human phrase to express a problem.
, Theor asked while taking a deep breath. "Certainly", said Paul. Theor started. Theor continued. Theor finished off. Theor said in thought-speak. Theor bristled. , ended the Andalite firmly. The Human ambassador looked on, knowing this would be a tough job, but one he would have to do.
"What if we offered you a million soldiers right now?" Paul asked. "Well trained, and we could even provide weaponry and supplies for them." Paul looked at the old Andalite. "We could even give you 3 million soldiers, armed and with some armored support, within 3 months time," Paul said. "China has already agreed to give a million soldiers today on the spot, and the United States and its alliances can provide 2 million after we formalize things a bit," Paul explained. "You could station them on Luaminoa, to use in defense in case of a troop based invasion.", Paul finished. The old Andalite stared, thought briefly, and said, Ambassador Paul nodded, but countered, "But you could still use the help when they try to take the planet as their own by troop invasion.", he said plainly. The Andalite ambassador countered, "Your people would all die." Ambassador Paul looked Theor in his 2 main eyes on his head, and said, "Yes, we know, but we are willing to do it to help you anyway. Out of friendship between the kin we know we have between our races.
The Andalite ambassador stood there that night, attempting to fall asleep in the middle of a moon-lit grass field, isolated and protected by security agents from the worlds cooperative governments for official Andalite guests to sleep in. No deal with struck today, just talk, the Andalite asked for an early recess to think and contact Andalite command. Theor-Getil-Illii would have preferred a tree to sleep by, in the half-asleep trance manner his forest and plains based species were accustomed to. The open field would have to do, however, not that his mind was letting him sleep. <3 million soldiers, in less than 3 months time?", he wondered to himself. The entire Andalite military force consisted of about 18 million Andalites, and that is even after the addition of female soldiers and higher than normal recruiting. A huge portion of the Andalite population was involved in the military in some way. It was like that in the time of the Yeerks, but now even more so, as the Kelbrid was a terrible enemy, and were using the entrance of 2 ships of Andalite belonging as a reason to continue to ignore any peace treaty and keep on the attack. Andalites understood their anger but believed this war to be a vast overreaction on the part of the Kelbrid.
3 million soldiers, the Andalite ambassador thought to himself, as he drifted off to sleep. It would be enough to nearly double the ground forces on their second world. It was a tempting offer, if the reports of humans being good ground-based soldiers were true. Allegedly Humans were tenacious ground-based combatants, who would not give up a fight easily and would use strategy and tactics as well as a wide variety of primitive but effective weaponry. Theor did the math, <3 million soldiers, out of over 6 billion people. That leaves them with 5 billion 997 million left, bare minimum.> Theor let the shock of that information wash over him. 3 million soldiers is a lot to Andalites sensibilities, and since yeerks were dependent on host bodies to do anything, it was a lot to the yeerks also. But to Humans, 3 million soldiers was a drop in the bucket, as Humans say it. It barely took a scratch out of their numbers. , the old Andalite thought to himself as he fell asleep. Humans had a vast population, and could make for very effective military use, should they be able to use weapons and have good mobility and senses. And they were primitive, vastly outmatched by all the other races in terms of technology, and bodies that could little to no damage to most creatures as well. And yet, somehow, Human minors, with the ability to morph from the Andalite Elfangor, were able to adapt and engineer the defeat of the Yeerks through guerrilla warfare. Theor-Getil-Illii slept while still pondering what to do about the Humans offer of soldiers and aid...
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Alan Booth is the CEO of one of Cryptopia, an exchange regarded as having one of the widest selection of tokens. Founded in 2014, Cryptopia is one of a handful of blockchain-focused companies in New Zealand.
The Cryptopia team is often tasked with researching hundreds of projects to determine their efficacy before any other major exchange has touched them. The exchange lists many projects in their early stages and post-ICO.
As an entrepreneur and business consultant for over 50 years, Alan Booth’s story is fairly atypical of that of many entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency world. His perspective on the cryptocurrency is grounded in decades of business development experience, and he views the cryptocurrency exchange realm as one of the most exciting opportunities yet.
In the following interview, we dive into everything from cryptocurrency psychology, the coin listing process, and blockchain entrepreneurship. How did you get introduced into the crypto world?
That’s interesting. I was consulting for Cryptopia or consulting to assist them in their development path for several months when it became obvious that they needed some senior leadership to move them from where they are, which was basically a reactive technical focus to a more business global focus on how we develop their business model. We are very conscious of the fact that you need a higher level of thinking. You need a global perspective, particularly from New Zealand because there’s not a lot of us down here.
That probably predicates why we’re a global business grown out of such a small population. We’d known each other for a while, certainly six months or so, and when the opportunity came up, why wouldn’t I move from a very safe, comfortable, fun job that I had previously, which was the chief executive of an international flying school. Nothing really scary goes on there.
I am at the latter end of my working life, somewhat semi-retired and all my colleagues went, “You’re going to do what? Are you kidding?” Of course, the blood pressure went up and I said, “yeah, I’m going to have a go at this.”
So, it’s really about the opportunity when you’ve learned so much over 40 or 50 years of developing business models and floating companies and taking them to the world, which is primarily what I’ve done. To find something that’s new and a full of excitement and fear and trepidation and where is all this going? Then it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up. So, it’s just the daredevil saying let’s go. The risk and the general fervor for the industry have gotten a lot of people very excited. What are the top concerns for exchanges moving forward from your perspective?
They are many fold and they are variable based on feedback from the community and somewhat driven by legislation, driven by corporate requirements. The FinTech world, we’ve got to look at that as well as the coin world. If we want to grow and deliver a product that the average consumer can consume, then we have to deliver all the things that they would typically expect. So, if you went into a retail store to buy a heater, you expect to have a warranty.
You expect to be safe, you expect to be treated well with clarity. And typically, the coin industry to date has not been very good at that because it’s been evolving and mostly evolving from a technical perspective with probably less weight put on the public consumption of the coin. It’s being technically driven as a technical product when you look at it. When you go to the exchange, some of them take a fair bit of thinking about before you can operate.
So, for us, the first thing is trust. If people can’t trust your brand, and that means every part of it, you’re not going to succeed
. So, we are very proactive here in New Zealand, talking to legislators, government agencies in and out of New Zealand. KYC, AML, CML, all of that stuff. We are drafting our own internal rules and then most cases they exceed the requirements of our banking partners. So, they look at us and they go, wow, you’re way ahead of where we thought it would be. So, developing a trust relationship with our consumers and business partners is vital. The next thing is developing a stable and functional platform.
I don’t just mean the coin exchange itself, but all of the underlying technology. Will we be up? Do we have latency? Are we speedy? Have we purchased the right partnership relationships for our equipment and how do we continue to be able to scale at will and not risk failing to deliver a result? That means helping people get an exchange done, their coins on and off. I suspect it’s the same as every other exchange.
Only thing is, down here, we have really focused on three things to move us very quickly forward. One is the public-facing components. That’s the help desk if you get stuck. We want to be able to respond very quickly. And like the other exchanges, we headed enormous influx in the early part of the year and that was debilitating. Nobody was ready for it. We employed teams of people to come in and train as support operators. We’ve since then spent a huge amount of money on a new ticketing system, which actually went live yesterday.
So, this morning when I come in, there’s smiley faces trying to get their head around it going, wow, this is amazing. So, we triage all the tickets on the inbound route now and puts it in a good space for our response team to reply as quickly as possible, I want. At the moment, we’re not there. Instead of being 40 or 50 hours and all these horrible delays, I want people to have a response from us immediately and I mean within seconds saying we’ve got your ticket. I can’t answer it right now, but we’re on you. Then, within hours, get back to those customers and fix their problem. They don’t deserve to wait 24 hours or 48 hours.
People are anxious. Ticketing, we’ve done something about it. Highly trained staff, we’re employing all the time. We’ve developed foreign offices to beat the time zone thing. We now have a support office in the UK that we have had for some time, actually. The next thing is just the stabilizing of our software and hardware.
When you start these things, the enthusiasm and the inexperience of the development team may not know what’s here to them and now we’ve bought in bigger, stronger, international teams. So, that’s great what you’ve got, but let’s do this. So, that’s the phase we’re on now. We’re spending all of our money. In fact, every penny that we generate in this business goes straight back into furthering and developing the products. Nobody’s racing home in Lamborghinis or flying their jets around. They’re just piling into it.
So, that’s how I am in terms of producing a high-quality product. It’s not a decision we just made. It’s always been there, but we are now articulating it internally, that we want to be in the top five of crypto exchanges and digital asset exchanges of some form within the next two years. In the top five, bar none, in every respect. Would you say the number one component of being thought of as one of the top five would be trading volume? Is that the primary metric?
I absolutely agree with you, but you can’t have trading volume unless you provide the other things first, like security, safety, a good trading platform.
If you want trading volume, I have to have a reason for you to trust me, which has to be if I have a failure, will my ticket, be answered? If you do those things, you will get trading volume. I don’t believe you look at it the other way and say, hey, let’s create trading volume because if that comes at you hard and sharp, how are you going to cope with it when something breaks?
It’s technology, things will break. It’s how you address things that go wrong that made you successful, not what you put in place to drive that business in. That will happen if you’re good. The word gets out saying this is a great exchange. They fixed my tickets, they’re fast, they’re responsive, it’s safe. That will create trading volume.
Trading volume for us is income and of course, we want it. We have actually slowed down on coin listings. We’ve slowed down on taking new customers and we’ve slowed down on developing relationships with partners simply to get our platform in better shape so that we can become the most reliable, trusted partner you can have. That will create trading volume, no doubt about it. Although trading volume does bring in a sizable amount of revenue, there comes a point where it just becomes a vanity metric where people are using an exchange simply because there just aren’t any better alternatives out there.. So, if there is an exchange that can offer all the features that you’re talking about and a premium level of service, then the trading volume will trickle down. There’s no real loyalty for exchanges other than preferences.
Absolutely. We wouldn’t ask for that. Why would you say to somebody, hey, you got to be loyal to us? That’s just silly. You will be loyal to us if I offer you a great experience. That means volume of coins, a huge range to trade through. Ease of trading. One click, two clicks. How about some trading tools just like you see in a modern foreign exchange opportunity? Some arbitrage tools, some tools for measurement, some nice desktop tools.
We want to introduce other things. It just means that you’ve got control over your own reporting and your own desktop environment. It can become a very powerful tool to use as long as we listen to the customers and say, hey guys, we can develop that. Give us a couple of months, let’s put it in front of you. What is the coin listing process for you guys? What’s the process for someone who wants to get their coin listed on Cryptopia?
We’re just reviewing that and we’re being very focused on changing the way we list coins and who we list. We’re very conscious to gain trust. We are actually your first port of call for particularly those people who don’t know much about coin, so they have to trust their exchange partner. Therefore, we have to make sure that if we list a coin, it’s a viable trusted, honest coin that’s going to give value.
Not just to us as an exchange but it’s not a scam coin. It’s not something just to raise money, pump and dump thing. We have coin listing teams who are very tough. I have introduced people as the CEO to my coin listing team and I can’t get it through them. I’ve said, but these are great guys and I have a great story and I met them in Vancouver and boy, they’ve convinced me.
My coin listing technical team does all the due diligence. Everything from GitHub, Facebook pages, normal stuff like that. If it doesn’t look like a viable product to us on many levels, then it doesn’t get listed. That’s the end of it.
If [the coin] gets past that, we do further due diligence. We’ll actually interview the company. We’ll ask why do you want to list? Why do you want to list with Cryptopia? What’s your plan for the coin? What do you want us to tell customers because they’re going to be relying on us?
So, we’d like to do more than just have a coin called 21 Million sitting on the exchange. How about if we had a link to that with some of the criteria we use to judge whether that was a good opportunity. Whether it was a good coin. We might have a 10-point plan and we might say, hey, this coin passed at 9.7. This coin is in, but it only got in at 2.4. Whereas the negative coins, the coins that have gotten negative plans, negative equity in our mindset, they just don’t get on the exchange.
We have a very large number of coins at the moment. We want to remain in that space, be the leader. That means that clearly, we’re not going to get it right all the time because we make mistakes and actually, so do the some of the honest and reliable coin generators. Their plans might not just happen, so they get the benefit of the doubt for a while.
As long as we see that they’re not doing something deliberately to disrupt the market or just to take money, then we’ll support them until they get their business model right. But we’re very focused on a coin listing to us is actually a business partnership. We’re not just going to throw coins up there. I think 2018 is the year of reckoning, wherein 2017, pretty much anything got listed anywhere. It didn’t really matter how functional the coin was or whether it was legitimate or not. So, it’s really cool to see the trend in exchanges making a stance against that because if the ax falls, it doesn’t fall on the anonymous coin team that could be in Switzerland and Ethiopia. It’s falling on the CEOs and the exchange teams that are allowing access.
People come to us and they say, hey, I haven’t got my money. You’re the exchange. I go, well actually, the coin that we listed, I’m afraid the wallet’s faulty or they didn’t do this, or they ran away. People don’t care. They’re relying on us. That’s why Cryptopia has to be a business partner with each and every user, not just a provider of some coin listings. That would be unethical. Absolutely, and it’s good to hear. Speaking of regulations, how do you think that’s going to evolve for exchanges, especially being out of New Zealand?
I welcome a regulatory intervention for many reasons. The primary one is that as soon as the regulators start imposing their will and taking notice, it means that it’s a genuine opportunity. They don’t waste their time on something that’s not going to affect global economies or our economy. For example, the New Zealand regulators, we’re working and we’re working with them because they recognize that somebody has got to work with them to tell them what’s going on.
The other side of the fence, that’s us. We have to work with them to say, you can’t do that because it won’t work in this environment. So, working with regulators is critical, in my opinion, and we’re doing that very well.
Regulation has to come.
It was just announced in New Zealand a few days ago that we’re going to start, this is unrelated to coins, collecting GST, which is our equivalent of your local taxes, on online purchases. So, typically anything up to $400 that you buy online from Amazon, for example, in New Zealand, you wouldn’t pay tax on and they’re changing that. They’re taking the same view with coins. So, the government is saying, how do we tax revenue? When do we tax revenue? What should it look like? How do we make it fair for you, the exchange and how do we make it fair and manageable by the consumers who may have to declare a capital gain if they’re going, for instance, as an equity or a property as pure speculative fun like betting? And if that’s the case, when should we do this? Should we backdate all that stuff?
Every country is going through this and some have jumped in and made decisions that they’ve had to backpedal on. They were a little bit hasty. In New Zealand, in particular, we have a great relationship with the regulators and all the powers that be, right down to the banks, and are all looking at the space saying, you know what? We don’t quite know what to do, but let’s start doing something and I welcome it.
And the more understanding and control we have on these things at this early stage these next few years, the neater and cleaner will be over the next few years. Just as banking has become very stabilized through regulations, so will this crypto business, whatever it ends up looking like. New Zealand has its advantages because a smaller population could make building direct relationships with regulating authorities easier. Tim Draper, for example, is investing in Papua New Guinea to try and make this whole digital citizenship country. The Binance guys just moved over to Malta. The global landscape just opened up, and governments will have to start offering distinct advantages to attract companies that could hypothetically set up virtually anywhere.
That’s great because that’s exactly what online trading is about. It’s online and it’s global. We have to join the global party, but we better start from a position of understanding and strength in our own environment. Make sure we have our own stuff together before we start yelling about what someone else should do. Yeah, absolutely. Shifting gears a little bit, what do you think about decentralized exchanges and how they’re going to affect the whole exchange thing?
The quick and easy answer to that is it will definitely affect the global exchange market. It will definitely affect FinTech because if people who are regular investors and that’s people with mom and pops with a few dollars, right up to institutional investors, if they can see a way of generating revenue and it’s safe, they’re going to move there. They’re not going to discard their other investment opportunities and they’re not going to discard regular exchange-traded equities or working on the stock exchange. But there’s a space here that we haven’t quite worked out who that’s going to work for or how, but the more we regulate, the more we make the tools visible.
The stronger we look to the market and the more professional we look. That doesn’t necessarily mean just wearing a suit into a meeting, but the more gravitas we have behind those discussions demonstrating that we’ve done on the work and that we’ve got smart people here and the technology’s good. We’re ready to come and meet and talk equitably to investors and traditional investment houses. Then there will be a way that they join up. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, it can’t be helped. How about the lightning network and atomic swaps where you could pretty much exchange peer to peer. You could trade Litecoin for Ethereum directly in one single transaction without an exchange. Centralized exchanges have their benefits, like for example, there’s someone you can knock on their door and say where’d my money go? I need customer support. So, there are advantages there, but then the advantages of a decentralized exchange are just the efficiency. I’m wondering how is that viewed for the centralized exchange world?
I don’t want people to take away my income opportunity. We’re building a business. We would argue, and I think it could be demonstrated to date until the blockchain comes up with some technical solutions. We’re building a trust environment and we are taking on, at considerable cost, the responsibility for providing the trust. First, it’s a coin that we like and here are the reasons. We’ve done the due diligence on your behalf. We allow the transactions to take place and here’s how we regulate, manage and deliver that transaction and manage the wallet relationships.
Cryptopia’s Coin Information display
That’s a role we take on. So, if you trade with a centralized exchange, you’ve got a whole lot of advantages that you don’t have by trading peer to peer. It’s fairly obvious what a peer to peer relationship looks like. If that’s on a personal level, that risk is much greater. If it’s on a more corporate structured level, I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I think we’ve got a long way to go before we could move from centralized exchanges to peer to peer simply because there’s going to have to be some regulation around it. How would the regulators engage in that space? Who are they engaging with? Every single person who wants to trade?
At the moment, they can deal with an exchange that has potentially 2,000,000 to 10,000,000 customers. That’s not easy for a regulator or a tax authority. So, there’s the regular regulatory component. That’s got to be there. Then there’s the trust management and then there are just a few more technical issues that I think have yet to evolve. It all comes down to running a business. It takes money and capital to get all these users you want to get. If the technology works, that’s great, but onboarding users take resources. How do these projects plan on doing that? It’s just a missing component of every single white paper that tries to go after that who isn’t trying to build a centralized business to oversee it.
I think philanthropy is wonderful and when people are talking about decentralization. It’s a great idea and it’s philanthropic and it would be wonderful if the world could work like that. But there’s never been a business model that has worked without generating revenue. There isn’t one. Everyone’s tried, but you can’t name one that doesn’t have to generate revenue at some point or another.
Even if that revenue is simply generated to make the action happen, the hardware, the software, the bandwidth, someone’s got to pay. So, if you’re decentralizing, how do you get paid? How do you police it? How do you manage it? Why not stick to a model that works? And it’s not just about centralized coin exchanges. It’s not just about front-end institutions. This is a model that’s worked since the first inhabitants of Earth swapped a bean for a stick or can I give you my dinosaur to cook while I bring you a giraffe? I don’t know, but you can’t have a society without an exchange happening of some value in exchange.
Even if I go to a coffee bar with you, here’s the simplest thing. I would say, hey, I’ll meet you for coffee, on me I might pay for the coffee, but guess what? We’ve sat down and exchanged information. I’ve gotten something out of it. How do you do stuff without exchanging value? It’s push and pull between advancing technology and proving the model works but then what’s the incentive to run it and popularize it because you’ve got that whole chicken and egg problem. We need a bunch of users for this to work efficiently, but we’re not going to make any money doing it. Hopefully, we’ll see how things play out in the next couple of months or years or decades.
I’m down for decades and a lot of failures. We’ll be there watching them saying we’ll help you if we can and hey, go and play guys, but come back here when it doesn’t work because we are going to be here. What are your thoughts on Bitcoin dominance in general compared to all the other coins out in 2018? So, what does a cryptocurrency landscape look like if Bitcoin happens to fall down to, let’s say, 15\% or 10\% of the market?
Does Bitcoin really dominate or is it just big? If you look at the exchanges and watch the traffic, can you see as much traffic taking place and as much interest in the CoinCash or 21 Million or Kenya or any of these things? They’re all there and people are trading them for various reasons. Mom and pops are going to be doing this to buy a new car.
Someone else purely looking as a store of wealth and other people are looking to dominate a market. So, I’m not sure that you could say Bitcoin dominates. It might be the largest store of wealth at the moment. Does it dominate people’s thinking? I’m not sure about that. If you’re a coin developer, it’s your coin that’s dominant in your mind and you’ll go after a particular vertical, even a geographic market. So, you have the potential to develop your store or your story within that business scope.
Why does Bitcoin dominate? Simply because it was seen as an opportunity? Is it dominated because the people who trade in Bitcoin put so much faith in it being a store of wealth or an opportunity for capital gain? But a lot of those people have run away. That’s why it’s not $20,000 at the moment. It’s just trading between 8,000 and 10,000 in there. So, it stabilized. So, what if it fell over? Some people will lose money.
It’s not going to change the blockchain, it’s not going to change our thinking about cryptocurrencies. It’s not going to change Cryptopia’s approach to the market. It might dominate in volume. I’m not sure it’s the dominant force supporting cryptocurrencies. I see what you’re saying. It might just be a dominance of user acquisition because there’s a larger chance they heard of Bitcoin instead of Ethereum if they have heard of cryptocurrency at all. So, it’s like the gateway crypto.
Take care that people aren’t saying Bitcoin just like a Hoover, the vacuum cleaner. Every vacuum cleaner for 20 years was called a Hoover. That was the dominant brand. Hey, I’m going to Hoover the floor. What they meant was I’m going to get my vacuum cleaner of which there are 80,000 different makes out there now and they’re going to vacuum the floor, but they just called it a Hoover. So, I trade in Bitcoin.
I’ll bet you someone who says, yeah, I trade Bitcoin, he’s only saying bitcoin because he knows or she knows that people understand that you’re referring to a cryptocurrency. If you say to someone I trade in Clearpoll or CoinMedic3, they have no clue what you’re talking about. They go what is that? Oh, it’s Bitcoin. Oh, I get it. If you went home to your mom and dad and they asked what are you doing? You’d say, oh yeah, I’m trading cryptocurrency. They’d go, oh? What’s what? You’d go, Bitcoin. They go, oh, that thing. Bitcoin Cash is competing to be known as the Bitcoin for a reason. In the next four or five years, there are millions of people that haven’t even heard of crypto that would probably receive a lot of benefits from being onboarded into the cryptocurrency world. I’m not really sure how what they get onboarded to first matters immediately, but I know it plays a substantial role for a lot of people.
It’s an initiator. It’s a keyword that attracts them to the space that we’re in. It’s simply because it’s got brand dominance in the public persona. If you say a Bitcoin, most people know you’re talking about that strange online thing that no one understands and there are a few other coins, but we don’t know what their name is. As soon as they hit an exchange, if they really want to try it, they’re going to look at the next one down and say oh, I didn’t know that existed. They’ll make their way right to the bottom of the 2,000 list.
So, I really don’t think we should worry too much about dominance or anything that’s measured in that way in the space because the variables that change our value perception on any of these products is a mystery to everyone. A rumor can cause change overnight and things like that have happened. Guess what? They also happen in traditional exchanges.
Go to the London stock exchange and you’ll see a piece in the paper tomorrow that prices rocketed or have fallen over the next day because the public is there. The public is there late, remember. If you see it in the news, it has already happened. That’s the same thing for this. So, what are your favorite projects out right now?
It has to be blockchain focused. I mean, coins seem to be a tool that are being used to raise capital, raise awareness, create hysteria over or some fun. Some of them, and I believe it’s very few of them, I wouldn’t like to statistically put a number on that, but I think it’s very, very few have actually got a basis of a typical good investment. Is company strong behind it? Do they have good ethics? Why are they doing this? What’s it for? Or is it just to raise money?
When they’ve got money they can go, oh, look how much money we’ve got. Let’s do something. That’s not the way to grow a business. Somebody has to have a good story that’s technically supported. It has to have social value these days. And that means is it good for mankind? Is it going to save the planet? Will it do something? Create manufacturing? Whatever it is.
Hey, I’m not a philanthropist. I’m not saying you’ve got to do something to save the planet. But the youth of today are much more conscious about anything we/they do is about social conscience and social values and responsibility. So, for me, any of those projects, whether they be blockchain based or coin based that do something more than just making money for a bunch of guys, so they can go buy a Lamborghini, gets more of a look and support from us than the others.
There are ways of going and creating wealth for yourself than preying on opportunities that exist simply because exchanges listed them. So, we’re very careful about that. So, I wouldn’t like to say at this stage, we have anyone in particular. We do have some businesses we’re looking at, but they all are very well rounded in terms of their sales pitch. It’s ethical, it’s got a good background.
They have strong management, a history. They’re well-funded already. They’re not just grabbing money to then decide what they’ll do with it. Well said. The one point you made about how these projects need to be ethical and how that impacts those business models because again, you tap into to the same vein of projects that are looking to substantially change industries that had been stifled by inefficiencies or corruption.
It stretches a long way. If you find a solution that bugs business and usually if it bugs a business, it bugs and effects people, consumers, in some way. That might just be, where it’s blockchain related, securities and tracking things to make this whole trust environment that we live in. The point is we say we can trust but we can’t trust.
Everything we do is about trust. We get lawyers to look after our trust issues and we shake hands and we still wonder whether it’s a deal. So, solving trust issues globally is probably one of the biggest benefits to mankind because once we solve the trust issue, you can then be positive or confident that something that you want to happen and agreed to happen is actually going to happen. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not just about the broken trust. It’s then about the finances involved before you got there.
That’s all gone. The future has all gone around that business model. So, trust management in blockchain and around coins and around exchanges, decentralized exchanges, is probably the biggest thing we have to deal with. Which takes me back to my core development program right now, which is developing a trustworthy exchange. Make it clear, unambiguous. Make it reliable, deliver what we said we were going to do. What does a day in the life of Alan Booth look like? What do you do for fun when you’re not doing exchange type things? If there’s even time for fun.
If you’re running an exchange, it’s 26 hours a day to run an exchange. If you can squeeze another hour in, you might find some fun. This is probably my last employment opportunity. I’m in my 60’s. I’ve spent 50 years being an entrepreneur and an arm waver. Wave your arms and see who’s taking notice and make something happen.
So, fun for me is actually the exploitation of a business opportunity. I go to bed hoping that I wake up in the night with an idea to scribble on the pad. I come to work a very early. I’m up at 5 am. I get here at 7 am if I can with the work already done. I don’t want to arrive at work and look at emails. If you’re looking at email and other stuff, it’s other people’s requests on your time. I’m going to arrive here being creative.
I want to arrive every day going, I’ve got nothing to do except be creative and compel all of my employees and partners to support that creativity and bring their own creativity to it. So, you couldn’t have more fun than that, could you? What else is there? Just to make stuff and see people get excited and give them the opportunity.
But when I’m outside of this, hey, I liked to fly light aircrafts. I ride fast motorbikes. I do guy stuff, and when I’m not doing guy stuff, I’m at home helping my wife in the garden. Just an ordinary guy. Most of my daylight waking hours is about being that global entrepreneur with regard to this huge global opportunity which is let’s change the world.
It’s like moving from coal to steam, steam to mechanization, mechanization to electronics, and now we move into the digital age and we’re in it. What a fantastic place to be. So, how exactly do you do that? Do you just wake up earlier and just get everything done at 5:00 AM?
There’s never enough time in the day. What it is, it’s being super critical about what’s actually important. If you open your email when you get to work, I will guarantee that you will sit there procrastinating and jump between emails. Most people don’t work from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top. You’re a little bit selective, so already you failed to do what people expect you to. Email and inbound inquiry are other people’s expectations of how to use your time.
They’re imposing their requirements on you. So, you’ve already allowed yourself to be managed by outside rules. You’ve got to arrive at your office with nothing that interferes with the creative process of why am I at this office? Why did I come here? I came here to understand what we’ve got. So, that’s a constant job. To work with the clever people that you have employed. I have a major role in employment and myself. Only employ smarter people than yourself, only.
Because if you’re employing people that aren’t smarter than you, you’re going to have to tell them what to do and you don’t have time for that.
Now, employing people smarter than yourself, for me, that sets the bar quite low, that’s easy, so I get really good pickings. But, generally speaking, you need to employ the best people and get them going and then you’ll be so busy running around trying to keep up with him, not them keeping up with you, that you actually have no time for all that outside noise. You’ve got to impose on the world what you want, not the world imposing on you what they want. Turn it around.
Every time I have a conversation with somebody, it’s about what I want, in the nicest possible way. We will listen to inbounds but we already have a path to follow. If you start following other people’s paths, you’re not going to get where you want to go.
Here’s the thing. I’ve been a business mentor for probably 20 years.
Mentoring basically new CEOs. New CEOs, it’s the loneliest job in the world because it might be your first CEO job, so you can’t talk down because those people below you expect you to be the boss, so you can’t ask them. You can’t talk up because you’re the CEO. It’s no good asking the board, they’re looking down at you. You can’t talk sideways because they’re your competitors. So, the first year or two as a new CEO is the loneliest place on the planet.
So, what you have to do is be entirely focused on what you need to get done and that is by changing what you used to do before you became a CEO or a boss. What you used to do is respond to every bit of noise that came at you and it filled your day up until you went nutty. Thank you!
Cryptopia CEO Alan Booth on the Cryptocurrency Exchange Realm
CoinCentral's owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on CoinCentral is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.
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