Bitget's Five-Year Journey: Struggles, Triumphs, and Our Vision
Bitget, founded in 2018, has reached its fifth anniversary, marking a remarkable journey in the cryptocurrency industry. Over these five years, we've weathered the storm of volatility, experienced highs and lows, and remained steadfast in our belief in the potential of this industry.
As we celebrate this milestone, I want to share five stories that encapsulate our journey, offering insights into our past experiences. In the midst of a challenging market, we hope these stories inspire those dedicated to the industry, reminding them that our past efforts were not in vain. Together, we await the dawn of a new era.
Starting in a Bear Market: Persistence and Choices
Bitget's founders, with backgrounds in finance, entered the world of fund investing in 2015, primarily focusing on the TMT sector. They encountered blockchain startups, often dismissed by the financial world as a "tulip bubble." However, in the summer of 2018, Ethereum sparked a crypto boom, unveiling the innovative potential of cryptocurrencies. Recognizing this potential, our founders invested their initial capital of a few million dollars and established Bitget.
The early days were challenging, especially because we began during a bear market. We explored spot and futures trading but faced limited success with a small team of just a few dozen members. By the end of 2018, we realized the need to focus our efforts and resources on our core business. We made a tough call to halt our spot trading service as the company had been operating at a deficit for a year, and our initial capital was dwindling.
In July 2019, we identified strong user interest in Linear Futures, becoming one of the first major platforms to launch this innovative product. Trading volumes quickly exceeded $100 million, marking a turning point. After more than a year of effort, Bitget started to generate profits. In appreciation of our employees' dedication, we distributed bonuses and continuously improved various aspects of our operation.
Perseverance and strategic decisions were key to our success, and we remained dedicated to crypto futures trading. In 2021, confident in our futures contract business, we made the strategic move to revive our spot trading business, and now our spot trading volume has entered the top 10 among all CEXes. Our unwavering commitment to our core beliefs propelled us forward.
Secluded Training for Enhancing Copy Trading
Bitget's growth journey can be likened to an uphill trek, with the triumphant launch of Linear Futures in 2019 as our first significant milestone. This product provided stability to our ascent. The introduction of copy trading further aided our progress, evolving into our flagship product.
While dedicated to promoting crypto adoption through education, we observed that newcomers often struggled to understand the crypto industry and trading. Many learned through hands-on experience, facing occasional setbacks and scams. Bitget aimed to change this by allowing experienced traders to share their strategies, which newcomers could easily adopt using professional tools. In late 2019, we began developing the copy trading feature, officially launching it in May 2020, where it gained immense popularity.
However, the initial version had its share of complexities. We reached a point where the growth of our copy-trading business hit a bottleneck. While some users found value in the product, others were put off by its intricacies. We firmly believe in the mantra that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." To achieve widespread adoption, a product must be user-friendly and accessible to all.
So our management team and product managers had a secluded meeting at a remote hotel over a weekend to conduct a comprehensive analysis and review of the copy trading feature. We removed some unnecessary functions, aiming at enhancing its user-friendliness, capacity, and flexibility. We continually refined and expanded this feature, extending its scope to include spot trading and introducing complementary tools like the Strategy Plaza.
Empathizing with partnership">Messi's Growth Path
In 2022, the crypto industry saw widespread attention during the World Cup, providing an opportunity for partnerships with football teams or players. Bitget, having achieved significant growth, chose to collaborate with Lionel Messi. Messi's journey from adversity to greatness resonated with Bitget's startup story. Although gifted in football, Messi had barriers against him becoming the GOAT. Yet against all odds, he persevered, and with strong conviction and hard work, to become the football legend he is today, inspiring millions around the world.
His resilience, unwavering work ethic, and relentless self-improvement embody the values that Bitget holds dear and actively strives to uphold. Working with Messi not only elevated Bitget's visibility but also provided us with a platform to convey the potential and future prospects of the crypto industry to a broader audience. It stands as a testament to Bitget's steadfast belief that in the forthcoming crypto landscape.
Interestingly, our journey to select Messi as our partner was not a solitary one. We initially considered various national football teams, all formidable contenders with a shot at World Cup glory. After meticulous evaluation and internal discussions, we arrived at the unanimous decision to join forces with Messi. In a revealing internal survey, we discovered that a significant number of our team members were avid Messi fans, eagerly anticipating his triumph.
Messi's achievements in football, combined with his reputation as a devoted family man and team captain, aligned with our values. We saw parallels between his path and our own as a startup founded during the 2018 bear market. Both journeys required hard work, determination, and resilience. Our partnership with Messi elevated Bitget's visibility and allowed us to convey the potential of the cryptocurrency industry to a broader audience.
Earning Customer Trust Through Honesty After the FTX Fiasco
The crypto industry witnessed dramatic events in 2022, including the downfall of FTX. Still remember on November 8th, as I was getting ready for Token2049 in London, my phone alerted me to the "Binance Acquires FTX" breaking news. I quickly skimmed through Twitter posts by SBF and CZ, and their statements seemed to be at odds. SBF appeared to declare the acquisition as a done deal, while CZ did not give a confirmation. At that very moment, I realized that FTX's problems may be much more severe than publicly perceived, given that SBF was willing to engage in discussions with CZ, who partly initiated this tumultuous saga. I immediately shared our perspective on Twitter. https://twitter.com/GracyBitget/status/1590042346632409088?s=20
I asked my team to closely monitor this event, particularly focusing on our proof of reserve release. During the flight, I reflected on a crucial question: If FTX were to collapse, where would the cryptocurrency industry head, and as another centralized exchange, what steps should we take to rebuild user trust?
Amidst uncertainty, we committed to transparency by publicly pledging to publish Bitget's reserve proof within a month. We fulfilled this promise in December, providing a detailed breakdown of our reserves. Additionally, we bolstered our Protection Fund and established a Builders Fund to support those affected by the FTX collapse. These proactive steps aimed to rebuild trust and confidence among users and the market, demonstrating our commitment to advancing the industry, even in challenging times.
Adopting a Marathoner's Mindset to Go the Distance
In the fast-paced crypto industry, we emphasize the importance of a marathoner's mentality. Bitget strives not only to be an exchange but to build an entire ecosystem, adapting to industry trends while maintaining a long-term perspective. Many ask me about how Bitget managed to emerge as a leading global platform. I think two things deserve careful thought: what we do and how we do it. We believe that patience, endurance, and a focus on our vision are essential for success.
At Bitget, I've really felt our team's marathon mentality. Once, discussing the FTX saga with an industry veteran, he remarked: "It was a 100m sprinter - fast, flashy, but business is longer than 100m. With crypto derivatives roots too, Bitget's more a marathon runner - not as flashy at first, but steady, patient, and persistent. Those qualities build true value over time."
Quoting a recent trending research about happiness, directly chasing happiness often backfires, with happiness more a byproduct of effort. Just as a marathoner doesn't pursue happiness directly but finds it in the effort, we understand that real growth comes from sustained dedication. In this dynamic landscape, we do the same in running a company. To remain steadfast, staying on the right course with mindfulness and perseverance, ready for the journey ahead.
Gracy, Managing Director at Bitget
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