Crypto Regulators, Are You Listening? Bitget's Managing Director Gracy Chen Has Some Advice For You
Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange Bitget’s Managing Director Gracy Chen has expressed optimism about seeing progress on the policy front for the cryptocurrency industry over the coming years as policymakers “continue to understand” the challenges and opportunities presented by the industry.
In an interview with Benzinga, Chen said that regulators need to be more willing to engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation with industry participants to form regulations in the interest of innovation and market participants.
“As of now, there are different agencies like the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission)taking steps to regulate different aspects of the cryptocurrency industry. Some [referring to SEC Chair Gary Gensler] refused to comment on whether Ethereum is a security or not while others [referring to CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam] consider it to be a commodity. To clear confusions like these, they need to talk to us and take a collaborative approach to regulate the industry,” she said.
Chen said only through dialogue can regulators understand the challenges in the cryptocurrency space.
“I think a regulatory framework will be an important discussion in the space for the upcoming few years, at least five years,” she added.
Asked if Bitget was impacted over the last year amid a “crypto winter," Chen said a crypto winter is the best season because it is a golden window for growth.
She added that, during a bull market, if a company is doing something well, everyone can see it. However, it is only during a bear market that people tend to leave rather than build, she added.
“In the last year, Bitget has grown from 10th in exchange ranking, to the top five. We have a clear goal. We want to continue to serve more and more users and become a top-three crypto exchange in terms of trading volume in the next three to five years. So I think more visits to our platform is a good start. And also building a stronger ecosystem is another important step we are taking towards that,” she said.
Last month, Bitget committed $100 million to a new fund focused on supporting Web3 projects in Asia. Through the Asia-specific fund, the exchange seeks to support projects that work on real-world problems and have a clear roadmap.
Asked if the exchange truly has surplus funds to invest millions amid a banking crisis, Chen said that, while she was unable to reveal the actual numbers, Bitget has “enough” surplus funds to simultaneously have a $400 million fund for cryptocurrency projects outside Asia. “However in Asia, we see a lot of improvements in regulations in Hong Kong ... and there have always been a lot of projects going on in Asia, especially Southeast Asia. So we want to tap into the potential of the Asian market, home to a growing number of crypto users and innovators,” she noted.
Chen added that the U.S. has always been a hub for innovation in the cryptocurrency space, even in the early days of Bitcoin.
“Now, a lot of countries across the world are embracing crypto and blockchain technology. The hub now is shifting from the US to everywhere globally. In Asia, there is a lot of growth in countries like India, China (including Hong Kong), Korea, and the Philippines, and there are lots of major players in the crypto industry,” she said. In Europe, governments are also taking a proactive approach in the industry, she added.
Asked if the SEC’s approach towards the crypto industry is driving out growth, Chen admitted, “It does have an effect.”
When asked which cities could be the next cryptocurrency hub if anti-crypto policies were to drive U.S.-based companies toward other markets, Chen said Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, London, and Paris in Europe could be poised to see tremendous growth, especially if entities shift their base there.
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