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Transparency and Technical Expertise

Published on March 19th, 2014 by Hayden Gill
Transparency and Technical Expertise, Or: How to Build the Right Bitcoin Trading Platform By Hayden Gill If there is a universal lesson about business, it is this: Be transparent – in everything you do and say. By that standard, a company may rise or fall, its supporters may wax and wane, and critics may applaud or assail individual actions, but there will never be any confusion about where an institution stands. In the world of Bitcoin, which is rife with debate, analysis and the instantaneous delivery of news, this universal currency has its own advocates of a universal language. Respectful towards tradition and deferential to national customs, this voice (with more than a million different dialects) is the same everywhere. It communicates through the beauty of mathematics and the convenience of easily executed transactions, a foundation infused with integrity and governed by honesty. I refer, specifically, to BTC.sx, the first Bitcoin derivative trading platform. For BTC.sx is a prime example of the union between transparency of information, to inspire users and educate observers, and technical expertise. Or: If you seek to study a financial exchange – one that is efficient, reliable, communicative and compliant – then look beyond the physical architecture of conventional finance and the cast iron tribunes of the (not so) Almighty Dollar. Look, instead, at what you do not see: No fiat money. No arbitrary release of documents about minting additional coinage and printing more paper currency. No oblique statements, legitimized by a government seal and an oath to power. I give you, dutiful readers, BTC.sx. (Full disclosure: I am a self-confessed fan of BTC.sx, which is a Seedcoin-incubated startup, because, with regard to transparency – the fact that everything of note is public, free and available online – this fact is a testament to a culture of ethics and a commitment to innovation.) Indeed, it is that very spirit – quantifiable by volume, with more than $40 million in trades since its inception in April 2013, and measurable by the intensity of supporters, with a 45% spike in users during the last four months – it is this intuitive FX-style trading platform that enables individuals to profit from or hedge their positions in Bitcoin. Allow me, also, to expand on this recurring theme about transparency. I am a believer – a passionate one – in this rule because the most impressive professionals, the grand cosmologists, economists, chemists and biologists among us, are the ones with the gift to make complex ideas intelligible; to reduce relativity to a simple equation, the labor market to an elegant curve, a medical breakthrough to a model of molecular perfection and life itself to an illustrated march of progress. And, while the founders of BTC.sx may demur at the idea of their inclusion in this pantheon of brilliance, I nonetheless celebrate the brilliance of their transparency. Transparent in Words and Truthful in Deeds: Earning the Public’s Trust Transparency is one thing, an essential component, but the words themselves must be truthful. Predictions can vary and people's opinions can differ, but facts are immutable. Meaning: The single most essential ideal to always honor, which is also the most effective way to disarm the enemies of Bitcoin, is to be a champion of the truth – and an apostle of decency. This admonition applies to all businesses, in all industries, even if only a few companies – in a few categories – have the wisdom to do the right thing. In this situation, given the events within this dynamic environment, the truth is the undisputed way to validate the legitimacy of Bitcoin and to forever vindicate the soundness of digital currency in general. All of which requires the willingness – and the ability – to communicate with consistency and, yes, transparency. On a practical level, and here I congratulate BTC.sx on their recognition of the obvious (which, alas, is opaque to others), these tactics involve everything from quickly acknowledging and answering queries from traders, investors and reporters to distributing relevant news to all interested parties. To repeat my own words, which I share with the Bitcoin community on a regular basis: Silence is not an option, period. Follow the precedent established by BTC.sx, or recall the timeless verities of probity and common sense, and engage your respective audience. Give them solutions, above all, and never avoid their questions or ignore their presence. For inaccurate information, or its absence entirely, feeds upon itself; it is the stuff of wild conjecture, innuendo, conspiratorial chatter and a target for condemnation. Let us, therefore, be traders on BTC.sx. But let us never be traitors – to the proverbs of justice and cooperation.

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