This week DeFiRev.com caught up with Johnny Lyu, the CEO and Cofounder of KuCoin.
First, I want you to take a moment and appreciate how far bitcoin and cryptocurrency has come this past decade. Did you ever believe you would see such growth, interest, and adoption in such a short period of time or has it completely surprised you?
JL: In early years, Bitcoin was popular only among a handful of computer geeks. As the price of Bitcoin has risen, more people are showing interest in it. The cryptocurrency has developed rapidly in the past 12 years, we’ve witnessed the most expensive pizza in the world, and we’ve also seen the price of bitcoin exceed $20,000 in 2017.
Recently, the number of people searching for Bitcoin on Google has reached a record high. And I am increasingly aware that the boundary between cryptocurrencies and traditional finance is blurring. As a practitioner in the blockchain industry, I am very proud about this because it represents a maturation of the crypto market. But I am not shocked, because this is an inevitable trend. The decentralization of crypto can make up for the shortcomings of the traditional financial system, which gives the crypto a bright future. And this is what we are working for at KuCoin. We are bullish on crypto in the long run.
At what point did it hit you that bitcoin was history in the making?
JL: For most people, perhaps they are more interested in price. When the price of Bitcoin is close to $20,000, they begin to believe in the value of Bitcoin. While for me, from the moment I entered the crypto industry, I realized that Bitcoin is making history.
How did you first get into bitcoin & cryptocurrencies?
JL: Before joining KuCoin, I used to work in the auto and luxury industries for many years. It is our founder Michael who led me to the crypto world. We are high school classmates. Michael used to be a Bitcoin miner and a user of Mt.Gox. He bought around 1,000 BTC at the price of $10. And all these BTC went away with Mt.Gox. Actually, that is one reason why we wanted to create an exchange that is super easy-to-use and secure, which is why we now have KuCoin.
Tell us more about your Lending Services!
JL: KuCoin Lending is a peer-to-peer platform where you can borrow major crypto at a reasonable rate from other users to do margin trading. Also, you can lend your spare assets to others and earn some interests.
KuCoin Lend has a few competitive advantages. First, it now supports 15 coins, including BTC, USDT, ETH, ADA, ATOM, XTZ and more. Second, it charges a very reasonable fee and it’s super flexible, you will be able to repay your borrowing anytime you want. Also, the platform has a comprehensive risk control system to ensure that the obligation for both borrowers and lenders can be performed as expected.
How tough is it to stay competitive in a landscape that is ever-evolving?
JL: Not an easy job to be honest. There’s a joke that most exchange owners can hardly fall asleep at night, worrying about both the fierce competition and the hackers.
The industry is changing rapidly. From ICO to IEO, from staking economy to DeFi, the trends change over time and only those make the most of each trend can survive.
One of the spirits at KuCoin is to “Embrace changes and act quickly.” That’s why we now have Spotlight (token sale), Pool-X (staking), KuChain (DeFi) and more interesting products coming up.
KuCoin recently added credit card support for 17 new fiat currencies, and have done a major push to Latin American and Eastern European customers. Tell me more about this.
JL: We are proud to say that KuCoin is one of the most global exchanges. And we’ve seen a big surge of traffic from Latin American countries lately. By simplifying the process of buying crypto with fiat, it will be easier for more people around the world to buy cryptocurrency, further promoting the mass adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
KuCoin has always been expanding its fiat gateways. In May of this year, KuCoin added support for 11 fiat including Hong Kong dollar, Singapore dollar and New Taiwan dollar to purchase crypto assets. In June, Kucoin added support for 17 fiat including Indian rupee and Argentine peso to purchase crypto assets. One week Later, we have reached a partnership with PayMIR, a well-known fiat on-ramp service provider in Russia. The partnership enabled new and existing KuCoin users worldwide to purchase crypto with Russian Ruble (RUB) using their credit and debit cards.
Now, We support 50 fiat currencies like EUR and AUD to buy crypto through Simplex, Banxa, PayMIR and our P2P Fiat Trade. By the end of this year, we plan to support more than 100 fiats.
DeFi has taken the world by storm this year. What most excites you the most about DeFi?
JL: I’m also excited about the recent hype for DeFi while probably my thoughts are not that in line with most others. I personally think currently most people overestimate the value of DeFi at the moment, DeFi does have great potential as it allows all people to join financial activities equally but presently it is not advanced enough to make that happen. Many investors who invest in DeFi have not used any DeFi service, which is not a good sign for the industry development.
But the good thing is that the attention as well as the funds along with it will also help DeFi projects to develop faster and better. At KuCoin, we are also supporting many potential DeFi projects like COMP, KNC, LUNA. And in our recent voting for listing program, we have also chosen two promising DeFi projects to be listed on KuCoin.
Tell our viewers about some of the new exciting promotions that you have currently.
JL: Recently, we have upgraded the “Gold Rush” Super Referral Program, hoping that crypto fans and enthusiasts can participate in our global brand promotion and user growth, which in turn will help to promote crypto to the masses.
Another thing we’ve been planning for a while is the 3rd anniversary of KuCoin! Stay tuned please.
What has been your favorite moment in crypto history thus far?
JL: KuCoin is committed to bringing all the hidden gems in the crypto to our users before anyone else. Actually each time we have a new project listing on KuCoin, it’s really memorable for me.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun? What are your favorite hobbies? play game？
JL: Actually work takes up most of my time. And I suppose many people in the crypto world work almost 2/74 like me. When I have some free time I will go for table games like Texas Hold’em or digital games on PS4 and Switch.
What are a few of your favorite books (Can be fiction or nonfiction)? Favorite Films? What are some that have made a long-lasting impact on you?
JL: My favorite book is the Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixinl. From the point of view of the universe, humans are very small. Whenever I feel tired at work, I look at the world from a cosmic perspective, filter out the noise of the world, and find my own inner direction.
Is there anything you would like to share, unveil, or tease in terms of new features or releases for our viewers regarding KuCoin this year?
JL: We will have more updates about KuChain and Kratos (KuChain testnet) in the second half of the year. Kratos is co-ordinal with KuChain in concept, architecture and resource. Providing an experimental environment, Kratos encourages decentralized financial product pioneers to test and prove their innovative technologies and notions, as well as try out and contribute to KuChain’s various functionalities spanning governance, staking and validating.
Kratos builds a four-layer network based on the needs of DeFi and DEX, modularizes the protocol and functions, improves the ease of use of Kratos, reduces the threshold for developer participation, and solves the problems in the DeFi field. Kratos will bring a mass adoption of blockchain and new changes to the industry.
Will Users ever be able to earn interest if they hold KuCoin Shares?
JL: Sure, we now have a daily KCS bonus for all KCS holders. Also, on Pool-X, they could stake KCS to earn POL token. After the mainnet launch of KuChain. Staking KCS to earn KCS + POL will also be possible.
Tell our viewers more about your P2P Fiat Market.
JL: I recently figured out that P2P Fiat Trade is not that familiar to western investors, but actually it’s quite popular in Asia. Many users like it because it’s safe, fast and almost free. Our P2P Fiat Trade now supports USD, CAD, CNY, IDR, VND, INR and more fiats like AUD, EUR, THB are on the way. Also, supported payment methods include PayPal, wire transfer, Alipay, WeChat Pay, Interac e-Transfer and Payoneer.
What does a customer mean to you? How do you keep them happy?
JL: As the People’s Exchange, we always put customers first. We are the first exchange to support 10 different languages and 24/7 customer support. We now have nearly 20 global communities in which our users could get support in their local languages.
I think what an investor expects from an exchange is simple. Their funds are safe. They can trade easily and effectively, like no overloads when the market fluctuates dramatically. And when they need any help, they can find someone from the exchange to talk to ASAP. That’s it. And those are the things we are working on consistently. By improving our matching engine and trading system, working with partners like Chainalysis and OnChain, expanding our global communities, we are making KuCoin the real the People’s Exchange that you can rely on.
Where do you see KuCoin in the year 2025? What does that look like and what goals do you want to have accomplished?
JL: Our mission is to realize that everyone around the world can participate in financial activities equally. To this end, we need to further strengthen our product and conduct plenty of education regarding crypto and blockchain. By 2025, we hope KuCoin can be one of the most well-known fintech brands in the world.
What are you most excited about for the future of DeFi and where do you see the space in 5 years?
JL: It is sure that DeFi will gradually penetrate the market of CeFi, while this does not mean DeFi is perfect now. We still need to further improve the infrastructure, especially the efficiency and security of DeFi services. This is why we are building KuChain, which aims to provide a more user-friendly blockchain to empower financial innovations.
BONUS: What advice would you give our viewers regarding DeFi, business, motivation, or life in general?
JL:We believe that one day everyone will be with blockchain. The industry is still in an early stage, HODL and you won’t regret it.
Thanks for your insightful, thoughtful, and highly interesting answers Johnny! Until next time!
-The DeFiRev Team
Comment below with the projects you want to see listed on KuCoin!
DeFiRev.com is #1 in DeFi News. Check back in soon to find out the latest in DeFi News.
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BriFitDance: Up Close and Personal with DeFiRev.com
BriFitDance took the world and Crypto Twitter by storm with her epic and what will surely be a time capsule in bitcoin’s history. Did it spark the bitcoin Golden bull run?
If you haven’t watced the video, watch it right now:
DeFiRev.com: Tell us about your origin story and how you got to where you are today. When and how did you first learn to dance?
BriFitDance: I am originally from Ecuador. My family and I immigrated to the United States in 2009, learning and exploring the USA journey. Since I was 3 years old, I’ve been staying active by dancing, swimming, riding a bike, and running. I’ve always loved to be in the fitness field, but my passion is dancing, especially belly dancing. I am also learning to hoop dance to incorporate more dancing activities in my videos.
DeFiRev.com : Where did you grow up and what’s your favorite type of music?
BriFiDance: I grew up in the United States as in the state of Maryland, as a teenager and as an adult. My favorite type of music is pop music. I do like all kinds of music, I think it soothes the soul, relieves stress, and lifts up the mood a great amount.
DeFiRev.com: Do you usually come up with the lyrics to the songs first or start with the music or dance moves?
BriFitDance: I work with a video producer from MidAtlanticTV.com We start with the lyrics, then work on a beat, record my vocals with a professional recorder, practice the choreography and then perform the music video with the dance moves.
DeFiRev.com: How did you first get into bitcoin?
BriFitDance: I got into Bitcoin in the beginning of this year, buying and holding, also accepting donations. No altcoins however.
DeFiRev.com: What has been the video you had the most fun making so far?
BriFitDance: I had a lot of fun making the Crypto_Bitlord Tongue song because it had a few acting moves and loved performing it.
DeFiRev.com: What has been your favorite moment in crypto history?
BriFitDance: The Bull Run since my Saylor Bitcoin Bull song.
DeFiRev.com: When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun? Favorite hobbies? Anything that would surprise us?
BriFitDance: I like to walk with my family and help my parents edit their videos, because they aspire to be YouTube stars as well.
DeFiRev.com What are a few of your favorite books? What are some that have made a long-lasting impact on you? (Can be fiction or nonfiction)
BriFitDance: Animal Farm by George Orwell and Human Development: A Cultural Approach by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Lene Jensen. Animal Farm has helped me realize that with teamwork and trust, dreams and goals can be accomplished and work in the future. The Human Development book has provided me with the knowledge and information, as well as understanding the foundation and statistics of human development in all countries. I have an interest in Psychology and love this subject. I would definitely recommend others to read these.
DeFiRev.com: What are you most excited about for the future of blockchain technology and where do you see the space in 5 years?
BriFitDance: Hopefully Bitcoin will be in the hands of one billion plus users.
DeFiRev.com: What are your personal theories of who Satoshi was or were?
BriFitDance: I have no idea. All I know is he/she/they is/are very smart!
DeFiRev.com: At what point did it hit you that bitcoin was history in the making?
BriFitDance: The first time I heard Michael Saylor talk about Bitcoin.
DeFiRev.com: What advice would you give our viewers regarding blockchain, business, motivation, or life in general?
BriFitDance: Buy and HOLD Bitcoin!
It has been a historic week for bitcoin and we at DeFiRev.com wanted to thank BriFitDance and congratulate her for being the DeFiRev.com PERSON OF THE WEEK!
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Huobi top official arrest – Are these rumors or a reality?
CryptoQuant, a crypto information provider, has indicated a significant increase in Bitcoin funds outflows from Huobi global. This is a development that comes when the firm has issued in public denial about rumors of an arrest of one of its executives. But as per the Chinese media, crypto exchange Huobi Chief Operating Officer (COO) Robin Zhu was under investigation by the Chinese people.
In a tweet thread that was posted on November 2, Huobi quashed rumors about the supposed arrest of a Huobi senior executive. It came out with the clarification stating:
“All of Huobi’s management team members have been accounted for and have not been detained or arrested,” the firm said. “We understand that the spread of false information can lead to concerns about the safety of user assets, but please rest assured your assets are safe.”
CryptoQuant mentions that the outflow increase peaked after midday on Monday.
Huobi is a global exchange with monthly trading volumes above $170 billion. It has assured its users and the media that nothing such as this has happened. It so happened that Huobi COO Zhu Jiawei was reportedly unreachable on Monday evening and immediately after that rumors were afloat in the circles that he was being arrested. All of the social media was swirling with the news with local news channels also reporting on the rumors.
The exchange said that Zhu was on a flight returning from a conference in Guizhou and that he would be attending a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday morning.
But, the assurances of Huobi haven’t stopped users from withdrawing funds and now they are viewing themselves in the same boat as users of OKEx. In fact, many hours before it directly addressed the rumors of an arrest, Huobi tweeted that it uses a multi-signature process for withdrawals so that the users did not have to rely on a single key holder. As for the rumors, the exchange claimed that Zhu was on a business trip and would be here this week for an important meeting. Huobi said that its operations were unaffected by these unsubstantiated rumors as per an earlier statement on its Chinese website.
Bitcoin removed from Huobi rapidly
A greater likelihood is that the rumors are false but users are not taking any chances. As said earlier, there is a mass exodus of Bitcoin with its outflows hitting 4,241 BTC which is growing rapidly.
“Looking at Huobi Netflow, BTC outflow has soared in the last eight hours.”
In the month of June, there were rumors that Dong Zhao, the co-founder of the Chinese crypto lending platform Renrenbit apparently cooperating with the police for investigations which is now a new trend in the Chinese markets. OKEx announced in October that the founder Star Xu also has been under investigation for weeks, and following that OKEx had suspended withdrawals of crypto assets from the platform. The statement came out at least one week after he was detained by the police and users are still not able to withdraw their funds.
Huobi Token price today is $3.58 with a 24-hour trading volume of $257,890,383. HT price is down -6.6% in the last 24 hours as per CoinGecko.
Rumor or reality?
Huobi is surely the largest target for Chinese authorities and watchdogs cracking down on crypto exchanges, and all this has added to the jitters of the crypto investors. As of now, there has been no evidence proving that the COO had been arrested and the company has plainly denied allegations. But nonetheless, the markets reacted.
But as far as evidence and other events surrounding it happened, the rumors have been baseless. The Bitcoin and crypto trading platform also confronted these claims in a tweet thread stating that they could share it with strong confidence that they are false. The exchange further stated that they have accounted for all of their executive team members and reassured users that all their assets are safe.
“All of Huobi’s management team members have been accounted for and have not been detained or arrested. We understand that the spread of false information can lead to concerns about the safety of user assets, but please rest assured your assets are safe.”
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Harvest Finance Hack Explained. Here’s how it happened.
Unscrambling the Harvest Finance hack and its aftermath
Harvest Finance, the Decentralized finance protocol was hacked for a staggering $24 million. The attack was a reminder to the crypto community that DeFi has sure risen to prominence but it has its own share of loopholes, and it is this that the attackers take advantage of.
Harvest Finance attack details
The attacker directly attacks the protocol’s liquidity pools leading the arbitrage attack using a large flash loan – a type of uncollateralized loan. The attacker later returned $2.5 million but in a mere seven-minute act, the entire hack was complete, leaving the protocol stakeholders bewildered.
In further addition to the details of the hack, the protocol revealed that the hacker manipulated prices on one money lego which is the Curve Y pool. This was done to drain another money lego farm USDT (fUSDT), farm USDC(fUSDC) multiple times.
The attacker then converted the funds to renBTC and later excited to Bitcoin. renBTC is not synthetic because it does not rely on any liquidation mechanism and it is certainly not the price of Bitcoin on Ethereum. It is a one-to-one representation of Bitcoin on Ethereum which can be redeemed for BTC at any time and in any amount.
The native token of Harvest Finance, FARM fell 54% to $101.79 when the news of the hack came forward. Following the attack, the amount of money that was locked in the protocol plummeted from $1 billion to $575 Million On October 25th. The investors were so fretful that they pulled their deposits back.
Harvest Finance acted accordingly and withdrew all the funds from the shared pools almost immediately after it had completed a fine evaluation of the attack. It began with reconstructing the processes which included DAI, USDC, USDT, TUSD as well as WBTC and renBTC. The funds are currently present in the vaults safely so that they are not exposed to further market manipulation. The hack did not involve DAI, TUSD, WBTC, and renBTC, and the depositors in these vaults were not affected.
How was the hack carried out?
The mechanics of the protocol has allowed for the execution of such an attack. Let us see how:
The investment strategies used by Harvest involves calculating the real-time value of assets that are invested in the base real-time protocols. The value of the assets is then used by the vaults to calculate the number of shares to be used to the user depositing the funds. The same value of the assets is also used when the users take out funds from the vaults.
Payout is then calculated upon the user exit. What also needs to be noticed here is that the assets inside some of the vaults are deposited into shared pools of underlying DeFi protocols. These are subject to market effects such as impermanent loss, arbitrage, and slippage. This means that its value can be manipulated through larger volumes of market trades.
The attacker knew this well and had exploited the impact of the impermanent loss of USDC and USDT inside the Y Pool of Curve.fi by manipulating the asset value to deposit funds into the vaults and obtain the shares for a beneficial price.
The aftermath of the Harvest Finance Hack
Harvest Finance’s Twitter account has been buzzing with messages and activity. The protocol has taken full responsibility for the engineering attack and has ensured that in the future such attacks will be countered and mitigated. The protocol has made it clear that formatting a disaster management plan to assist those who are affected will be the top priority for the protocol.
The protocol is investing its resources to catch hold of the scammers and has already provided a list of Bitcoin addresses of the hacker where it believes that the stolen funds may have moved. It also had taken immediate action by asking prominent exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Huobi to block the attacker’s addresses. It further said that there is:
“A significant amount of personally identifiable information on the attacker, who is well-known in the crypto community.” Not willing to dox the cyber-thief, Harvest Finance is now offering a $100,000 bounty “for the first person or team to reach out to the attacker”.
Harvest further tweeted that the $2.5 million returned by the hacker will be distributed to the affected depositors on a pro-rata basis using a snapshot. The attack on Harvest comes only six weeks after the attacker escaped with $8.1 million in Bitcoin from another DeFi protocol BZX, however, BZX managed to recover the funds.