Back in January 2018, the cryptocurrency space was in the grip of ICO mania. That month alone, blockchain and crypto startups raised a combined total of $1.9 billion. In the time since, the ICO itself has become all but obsolete. It’s also the case that many of the projects accounting for a share of that $1.9 billion have also vanished.
Not all of them, though. One of the ICOs that raised just over $5.2 million in January 2018 is Digitex Futures. CEO Adam Todd started the company with the vision of launching a cryptocurrency futures trading platform that doesn’t charge a commission to its users.
Now, two years and four months later, the Digitex Futures exchange is about to launch on the main net on 27th April. Coin Rivet caught up with Todd to get the lowdown.
Third Time Lucky?
First off, we tackled one of the trickiest questions – what’s different this time? In the two years since the ICO, Digitex has had a couple of false starts when it comes to launches. In April last year, Todd controversially pulled back from a mainnet launch with less than a week to go, citing issues with the platform that an external development company had delivered to him.
He explains that over the past year, Digitex has been working with a different development company, Moscow-based SmartDec:
“Since we’ve been working with the new developers, we’ve taken a completely different approach. I’ve been working alongside these guys in Moscow while they’ve been building the platform, and the project has been completely development-led.”
Moreover, users have been able to see the status of the development progress with their own eyes, thanks to a public testnet that’s been running since November last year. Digitex has run trading contests on the testnet to simulate volume, which hit $11 billion contracts in 24 hours, according to a February tweet from the company’s Twitter account.
So how has the testnet been progressing? Todd has been happy with the user feedback so far, stating:
“A testnet is never going to be perfect – that’s the point of it, after all. Our users have been helping us identify the bugs and glitches that needed to be fixed before we can go live, so in that respect, it’s been very successful. But we’ve been blown away by the positive feedback from our users, particularly around our ladder trading interface, which means users can trade using a single click. For short-term and scalp traders, in particular, this feature is desirable as it means you can always keep your eyes on the price action and react the moment it changes.”
So as things stand, it looks like it could be third time lucky for Digitex with the mainnet set to launch in the last week of this month. Todd cautions that Digitex supporters shouldn’t get too excited about being able to trade immediately, explaining that they’re planning a phased onboarding. He elaborates:
“We’ll be onboarding an initial group of 20 traders who’ll be able to go in and start using Digitex from April 27. Then, assuming all goes well and the development team is happy with the progress and readiness, we’ll be gradually adding more users in stages over the following weeks, before we finally open up to the general public in late spring or early summer.”
How Does Zero-Fee Trading Work?
Traditionally, crypto exchanges cover their running costs and development by charging users a per-trade commission fee. In contrast, Digitex’s USP is that it’s a zero-fee platform. While this sounds great from the user’s perspective, how does Digitex plan to cover its costs?
As Todd states, Digitex isn’t planning to operate as a charity. Instead, Digitex will be funded through the DGTX token. On the exchange, users’ account balances, profits, and losses will be denominated in DGTX tokens, meaning its a requirement to own DGTX to be a user of the exchange. The principle is that demand from traders wanting to benefit from zero-fee trading will drive up the token value.
Until June 1, 2021, Digitex is releasing 10 million tokens per quarter for sale from its Treasury, providing a direct source of funding for the exchange. After that, Todd explains:
“The exchange will have been operational for more than a year by the time the Treasury token sales come to an end. After that, we plan to fund the exchange by minting a fixed number of DGTX tokens, which will be determined by price and demand.”
Minting tokens will, of course, have an inflationary effect on the value of DGTX. However, Todd believes that this will be negligible and temporary. He points to scalpers and short-term traders as groups who will prize zero-fee trading above the risk of a slight dip in token price, saying:
“At the moment, scalp traders who want to make a profit from incremental price movements are literally priced out of the markets because all their profits get eaten up by commission fees. At Digitex, they’ll be able to trade without paying commissions, which gives us an edge over all other platforms for that particular group.”
Given that the Digitex funding model is currently untested, it will be intriguing to see whether it proves viable for an exchange. In any case, DGTX HODLers are likely to have all eyes on the mainnet launch at this time. If Digitex is successful in its mainnet launch, it will be a significant milestone for those who’ve waited patiently since the ICO.
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