08/12/2020 - Barter Trade AMA featuring Trent Richards and Anurag Yadav.
Trent: Hello and welcome to today’s AMA with Barter Trade.IO My name is Trent. I am the director of business development and partnerships with Metrix Coin.
With me today, I’d like to introduce you to Anurag Yadav. He is the CEO of Barter Trade. How is it going today, Anurag?
Anurag: Hey thank you, thank you Trent. Thanks for having me here today. Yeah, it’s been going very well. So, as you can imagine pretty busy times for us. You know, the public sale is about to commence in the next couple of days. So, lots of things going on. But it’s a pleasure to be here despite all that’s going on in the background.
T: Yeah, fantastic. Well, in todays AMA we are going to find out a little more about Barter Trade.IO and we have community questions answered by the CEO himself so that’s pretty exciting. So, I’d personally just like to thank Anurag for taking the time to answer these questions for us to educate our community about Bater Trade. So without further or do, let’s get into our first question. Are you ready, Anurag?
A: Yep, yep, yep. Is it a rapid fire or something?
T: This is rapid fire.
A: I’m all game for it. Go for it.
T: Question one, can you tell our viewers about yourself personally and a little bit about your background and why do you exchange?
A: Okay. Background wise, I am basically an engineer from IIT here in India, it’s one of the top notch engineering institutes. And you know, being in the business for almost 13 years, working for companies like 3M, and other large corporations, primarily in sales and marketing. And also the last straw was a position out of the UK, and I was heading global marketing product management and technical services for that company. For the past 7 years, I’ve been running my own business, primarily in the emerging technology space. We build products for our clients. And when I say emerging technology, that is how we sort have got introduced to blockchain in 2015. And in 2016 is when we finally started projects on blockchain. And 2018 and onwards, we have done a lot of work in blockchain, AI, and IOT intersection combination and now a lot of that results on video analytics and on blockchain. So, really cutting edge cool projects in the blockchain space in the past years. In between, I don’t know how I managed to, but I managed to get some time off and I went to the business school at Stanford and did my Masters there. So that is basically about me as far as background and academics. And obviously this whole idea of an exchange came about when we got introduced to this space and we started looking at the state of exchanges. Having a little bit of a background primarily in trading. I mean, not really a full-time day trader but, you know, a little bit of equity in investments and stocks here and there. And that is how I realized that the experience compared to that is broken and thats when I thought “hey man, I think we need to do something to come up with a better version of what the world is having today.” And that is how Barter Trade came about.
T: Wow, okay, so at the end of the day, a wealth of experience. I think you can cover it, but a wealth of experience.
A: Thank you. Thank you, Trent.
T: Okay, so, Barter Trade as I understand started back in 2017, and the exchange is obviously getting ready for launch. So, what has the team been up to over the past few years as far as your launch?
A: Well, I think to be honest when we conceptualized this idea in 2017, that was the hype of the ICO’s at that point. Anything, you know, that you put a whitepaper to raised millions! And, uh, we debated internally as a team whether that was the right thing to do or if we should actually do something, and then go to the world with an actual functioning project rather than just a project on paper. And we decided collectively that that was the right thing to do, so instead of just going with that way when trying to raise some money, we went and tried to put a specific team together for that project and put all the time together trying to understand what areas, all features, and all the things we need to be focusing on. How do we become better? How do we prioritize? And at what stage should we go public?
And of course, right, there have been like hundreds if not thousands of iterations to our original plan from 2017, but, you know, we stick to our vision of making sure that we have a product which the community actually values and they would really benefit from immensely. And then I think that only get that much money from the market which is going to make sure that the project goes to the next stage and continues to evolve from there rather than take, you know, tens of millions of dollars and then sit on it, trying to figure out what to do with that money. So, we basically decided to do it the other way around and I am very pleased that it is all coming together very nicely.
T: Yeah. For sure. And you talked a bit about the team, so let me ask you to tell us a little bit about the team you have put together to form Barter Trade, as far as their experience is concerned.
A: Yeah, so obviously as I said, is a team with a core focus in technology, headed by Priti who is the CTO. Obviously, she has immense experience. 23 years of custom technology competing against the likes of Microsoft Sales Force [inaudible], so she brings a lot of technical strengths to the product. And then coming to the market side of things, we decided to have people who have a lot of expertise and knowledge in the trading community. A lot of our team members have rich trading experience, you know, and they have gone through the various cycles and also have seen the various challenges and issues. Importantly, few of the team members are not only from trading and crypto, but they are proper traders in stocks, so they have that understanding of what works and what doesn’t work. What the issues and challenges are, so there is immense experience, knowledge, and know-how which is there with the team. That is what has contributed to helping shape the project to where it is today.
T: Yeah, for sure. And you have probably already touched on this next question already a little bit in your intro, but the question is why Barter Trade decided to plunge into the market when it is already crowded?
A: Yeah, so as I was trying to earlier point out, the primary reason why we decided to come into this market was our own frustration with the existing exchanges. We saw that the entire experience is not very nice, especially for somebody who is a first-time trader, like if I can say that nightmare is the right word to use for this conversation?
I saw that there is something that needs to be done there about this, right? So, that is what sort of encouraged us and was the early motivation for us as we saw things sort of shape up. The system has evolved since we conceptualized, likewise we have evolved as well, but the point and the vision is still the same to bring -- and I keep telling this to other stations is that I am looking for that day when Barter Trade is going to be so easy that my granny can go and start trading on the mobile app, right? And that is the vision, you know? If that happens I can stand satisfied. At that time, it will really be that simple, but the end goal is to make it really, really very easy and simple in terms of how people view this whole crypto space because there are various reasons why people stay away.
One is obviously they don’t understand crypto. Secondly, whoever tries it for the first time says, “Enough of this. I don’t want to go back to try.” I want to take those things away from the system to give them a beautiful system.
T: Fantastic. And you have pretty much answered the next question, but I’ll ask anyway. What will set Barter Trade apart from other exchanges?
A: Right, well as I said, there are features that work primarily on ease-of-use and security aspects, in particular, trying to bring in transparency. That’s all covered in the whitepaper, and in depth on our website. That apart, one thing I do want to sort of give a message out to, especially since you asked, and I want to answer that question, we try to follow a little bit of a, I don’t know if that’s the right word but maybe, I’m gonna skip that. *Smiles*
The idea that we try to follow is that we do not want to compete with anybody. We want to build a system which actually people like and then are naturally attracted to the platform. Importantly, not just attracted, but when they see the family and community, they in effect become our own spokesperson to bring more people and users to the platform. So that is the sort of vision we are trying work on, you know? We are trying to create our own niche. Then, make it so useful for our entire community that they then try to bring others in.
Coming back to the ecosystem and where we stand, I think that there is and probably always be enough space, as much as some of the other big exchanges might think that they can dominate the world, but you look at the traditional exchanges, you know, commodities exchanges, stock exchanges. There are like 2-3-400 globally. And they are always going to be there for a variety of reasons. So, I think this space is only just beginning to evolve and there is space for good projects. Of course, it is becoming harder and harder because obviously the market is saturated. I would say, well, all my team has done the research on that and always throw a number out in the high 90’s of how different exchanges are clones and copies. How they wash trade and fake volumes, blah blah blah, but I’m going to steer clear of that. What I am going to say is that I feel a sizeable number of projects out there are definitely just look-alikes of various projects, right? There are questions about integrity of how they are running their business. Again, I don’t want to get into that, but I think that is how I’m going to set myself apart. Trying to do the right thing, which we have done by putting in our own money and building a product, you know, when we were being pushed to raise money, we said no we are going to build it. And that’s what we are going to do moving forward as well.
T: Yeah...it’s a very different concept when you are using your own money to get started.
Now, you’ve pretty much answered this, but I’ll ask if anyway. Incentives to use Barter Trade over KuCoin or Binance?
A: Yeah, I think similar things as I was telling you in my previous response. It’s primarily along the same lines that there are a variety of features which make it very easy for any newcomer as well to seamlessly go and start trading from day one and that’s just the beginning. Then, the number of features: the Social Trading, the PIE Algorithm, the EazyPay, there are like a host of things that are listed out there which some are in progress, for instance our DEX, as DEX is becoming more and more popular, our plan which hopefully you will see the whitepaper at the end of September/early October for our DEX, will again be similar to our centralized exchanges be a very unique decentralized exchange. So, we have already been working on that in parallel, putting some of the blueprints together, and once this public sale event is over and we are actually then running our business, one of the first few things amongst that is the DEX along with Social Trading which has been a very big, you know, ask from the community as well.
T: I’ve got some questions to ask about that [Social Trading] shortly, actually. Question 8. Is how would Barter Trade assist Metrix with global adoption, and as an example, talking about social media posts, maybe influencers, and/or marketing to assist?
A: Yeah, great. I think it’s a combination of the various options you just mentioned. Some of the things which we’ve already been working on is the cross-pollination of the communities. And also cross-promotion which means like the conversation we are having today, and we know we would love to have these conversations in our community channels with members of your community. So, I think these sorts of things are what we are looking at. Secondly, what we are also looking at is the coin in particular. The market for your particular coin is the early phases for when you are going to be listed. You know, we will be looking at various options for the pairing. One is obviously with yours. As the liquidity begins to come up, we would also look at a fiat pairing for partner projects. So, there are a number of things which you have lined out and as they say, once you kick the can down the road, there will be lots of things that will be planned.
Few things are, but I shouldn’t be commenting at this point because we are also getting legal approvals from our legal council, but I think within the month of September to October you will see some of these bigger announcements about some of the bigger steps. Especially, for partners that’s where we want to start and then obviously it will go on to other aspects like newer projects that continue to come to the platform.
T: Fantastic. And yeah, I understand that. That’s no problem. [regarding legal approvals]
So, let’s talk about the security of the capital. Obviously, that is extremely important these days. What have you guys done to tackle this issue to keep funds safe?
A: So, there are definitely a host of things we have done, especially to secure the platform, and obviously feature-wise you have the 2-factor, 3-factor...whatever you can think up. We have all of that integrated, but importantly, we have not cut any corners in terms of building the tech and likewise, once the tech has been built, we have had immense...what is the right word…the actual review of the code by a variety of folks. I’m including [inaudible] who has done a little bit of review, but then there have been multiple other third-parties who we have gotten various other security measures checked. And all the usual suspects have been checked because we take security very seriously as an exchange.
T: When will we likely see the exchange actually open, and with an MRX pairing?
A: So, exchanges should definitely be opening up in September, more or less. I’m saying definitely, you know you shouldn’t be saying definite about things but those are our internal plans. We are looking at the 3rd and 4th week of September to basically have it up. And in terms of the pairing, I think that for the first few pairs, most likely, they will definitely be from your community. Your platform. If not, then definitely in October. So, September/October is the timeframe when we will start to rollout all these pairs one-by-one.
T: Fantastic. And, I’m not sure if everyone picked that one up, but there might be a little priority there for Metrix, so thank you for that. *Laughs*
So, do you plan on making Metrix easy to buy, and also easy to find on the exchange?
A: Yea, so, I think that question would apply to all the projects on the platform, and as I said, our aim and intention is to make it very easy and that is what we have been working on. The UI, the user experience part, has been very, very important for us. Yes, so from that perspective, for Metrix, but also for all the other tokens and the pairings that are going to be there, in general, I think that is the objective, to make it very easy and seamless for people to find and then trade on it.
T: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Now, this next one we pretty much touched on, but I’ll ask about it anyway. Will there be any key alignment between Metrix and Barter Trade outside the standard pairing to draw both parties forward?
A: Yeah, as I was telling, I think we are definitely looking at a variety of things, especially with our partners. Obviously, the communities know about each other, and I think the idea is to take that level of intimacy up to the next level and get both communities to know about things and features that we are rolling out. Basically, have those announcements ahead of time, so the people are aware. And also to conduct events together. Conduct events on each other’s platforms. So, I think that that is basically the idea that we are working on.
T: Yeah, fantastic. I think that is such a powerful strategy these days. Okay, so now I understand that you have got some exciting new releases coming out over the next 12 months, and you’ve touched on a few earlier. But, let me ask you a little bit more about Battle Grounds and Social Trading?
A: Okay, yeah! Those are my favorites. *Laughs*. They weren’t my ideas. They came from my team members, but I really love their concepts. Battle Grounds is primarily along the lines of, you know, having daily, weekly, monthly trading tournaments on the platform, and obviously the winner gets certain rewards in terms of the tokens. So, that is how we have designed that, and we would love to have that rollout as quickly as we can. That’s the first one.
Social Trading is...so I think what happens is people pay a lot to follow or get advice from certain traders to say, “Hey, so how should I go about trading? Blah, blah, blah.” I think what we have done is instead of somebody who may or may not be trading on a regular basis, we are rather stating that if you are coming to our platform, there are regular traders who are doing extremely well, so we are going to build some bio-tech relationship between those successful traders and those people who are trying to benefit from their trades. Let them follow that trader, right, so you get some benefit from following them. So, you pay some amount of your earnings, you know, very small amount, to that lead trader, and that lead trader this is how he benefits. This is how he is incentivized to continue to share his insights. There are aspects of that on copytrading as well to where you can literally you can just go and say, “Okay, now I want to go an copy these trades.” And you basically start to follow, so there is a whole host of things which we are basically trying to do with this social aspect.
Again, you know, some of the things since we are trying to get certain approvals internally from the other folks, the legal folks, we are not really saying here. However, the whole aspect of socialization and gamification...there are a lot of things that we are working on. So, it is very exciting for us, and those particular aspects.
T: Yeah, and it really brings a community in. It’s not just a trader sitting behind his computer. You are really getting that community involvement which is fantastic.
A: Yes. Yes. To be honest, I think that was the real original intent. How do we get people really? So when we say we are community centric, people first exchange...what does that really mean? When you don’t have all these things? It is not really people and social first, so that is what I think basically helps define this whole social trading even further.
T: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Okay then, the following year, I understand that you are going to have Barter DEX, you are going to have Eazy Pay, and even DTA. So, if you can maybe give us a bit more of an understanding on these?
A: Right, right, right. So, Barter Trade DEX I think I just mentioned to you, the whitepaper will be released I think in two months time. Again, it is going to be a one-of-its-kind DEX which is going to be different from what the crypto community has seen so far, and we have been thinking about it for almost like a year as to how it...I mean, we always take years to… *Laughs*
So, I think it is all coming together. Once I think this public sale is over, it’s going to be the first priority along with Social Trading, which will also get a look at with the DEX. The next you asked about was Eazy Pay. Eazy Pay is again community aspect, peer-to-peer. [inaudible] So, imagine what you have to do if you buy using fiat and trade in crypto and vice-versa, there is always as soon as you have a checkout, with a fiat processor involved there is always heavy fees involved, right? And we are trying to take that friction away. One, it is peer-to-peer, and secondly, all these trading fees and number of days of settlement we are just trying to take that off. So that is on Eazy Pay. And what was the third thing you were looking at?
T: Uh, DTA.
A: Okay, so DTA. This is again inspired by some of our folks who have been traditional traders from the stock exchanges. That is what we are looking at to basically see that DTA tool and how we can apply it to our own platform. It is a very comprehensive software which we are massaging to basically bring it to the crypto community.
T: Okay, okay...fantastic. Now, a little bit closer to home. Barter Trade has their own token, BART. I believe the ticker is BART. Okay, so I understand BART holders will receive a discount on trading fees. Now, is this like a Binance thing where if you hold more BART you get a larger discount, or is it just holding a simple amount of BART gives you the discount? How does this all work?
A: Yeah, so I think that the discount mechanism is again sort of listed out to a high level, and the finer details will be shared shortly. Two aspects though here in the question. One, if you have more how do you benefit from that? So, for all those who are listening to this, and who will be listening to this to this conversation, we are going to be having staking out there very soon, right? So, that is a big one which again I think the community wanted it, so we went back quickly and turned to ask our technical folks how to go about it.
A: And so I think as early as of September I was taking on the platform. So once that happens it’ll just be the benefits, the more tokens we have will sort of benefit from that. Now, the discount part of is gonna be of certain countries es that is what we are thinking of. But more details will be shared on how all those things are going to work. And it is not just on the trading fees but various other things in which you benefit, you know. Especially, if you look at the token, you can literally, we talked about Battle Grounds and Social Trading or whatever. So everywhere you can use your BART to sort of benefit in terms of lower fees, right. Lower this lower that, right. And I think it’s not just about the discounts, I think at the end of the day our objective is very simple. We are just trying to have more people trying to follow and do things together. In both the exchange but more importantly between themselves. Because as I said we are looking and it’s the first people-focused sort of exchange, and that is how we are looking at ourselves. It is to get in as much benefit to people so that can continue to enjoy the various features. We are not being greedy, and we will never be greedy. We are very clear on that, that’s it’s not a lot of money, but it’s a good exchange that obviously sets itself apart and based in the community. People make it different, not really the team members, in terms of using it and popularizing it.
T: Yeah, for sure for sure. Well, you answered that really well and you’ve probably answered my next question about the BART utility benefit there is probably not a lot more you could answer on that one but let me ask you one more question, actually, this is my last question. I understand there is a buyback plan for BART that was in circulation, is that still in play, where do the funds come from and how does this work?
A: So the buyback plan was always there, and it is there, and the funds for that are we are going to be earmarking our profits from whatever trading or whatever the business accumulates from the revenue, and that is all going to be used on a quarterly basis or whatever eventually comes out, and that will be used to sort of roll back at any. Our long-term plan is to basically have only 50% of the tokens in circulation, and the rest would be bought back. So, I think that is something you want to give back to the community from that perspective, and as I said, obviously the business is going to pay for that. Eventually the business revenue comes in goes against that.
T: Fantastic, fantastic. Cool. Well, you’ve done well, and you’ve answered all my questions. I think the community is going to learn a lot, and huge amount from this. So I think it’s really good answer. I’ve been to own AMA in the past, and you get one or two word answer which doesn’t really help anybody but you’ve been very, very helpful.
A: Thank you, thank you, thank you,
T: Absolutely. So to our Metroid’s community, I’m sure you have a better understanding now about how this partnership is going to work, and as well as have the listing of MRX coins on the exchange. Is there anything you’d like to add before we wind up the interview?
A: Yeah, so I think the details about our public sales are definitely out there. We would obviously love to have the word out to the community that there is definitely a lot of excitement out there and we would love, at least for our partner communities, to benefit from it as much as they can in terms of the utilization of the public sale. And we are all hoping to make this all big together with our various communities.
T: Absolutely. Look what I’ll do is, when we post this, because guys we’re not live we are pre-recording it, but when we post this I will put some links in just so we can share all of that, and so everyone has got the benefit.
A: Right, right, right. That would be very helpful.
T: Okay well, anyway thanks again...really great interview. I love doing these AMA’s it’s just so insightful for everyone. It’s obviously a great new partnership for the both of us, and we are looking forward to getting the Metrix coin on the platform.
T: Alright, thanks again, and from Australia we say “Cheers!” Good to meet you, buddy. Thanks very much.