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Exchange Problems and Solutions
Below are just a few issue we see with current and new exchanges, along with a short explanation of
- Lack of good customer support
Most of Apollo’s team is made up of cryptocurrency investors and traders that use exchanges such
as GDAX, Poloniex, Bitfinex, Bittrex, CHBTC, YUNBI, and more. Some have even tried less popular
exchanges like Liqui, BitShares, CEX, and Cryptopia. With most of these exchanges, you get no immediate
customer support and instead they make you wait for an email response that could take days,
weeks or, especially with GDAX, 3 months. Some traders may never need customer support, but when
something goes wrong and you do need urgent help, few of these exchanges will be there to help.
Option 1: Support categories and limiting users who abuse the system
This will be our initial approach to customer support. We want to be prepared for massive migration
to our platform, and will be hiring 200–500 customer service agents, costing up to $40 million a year.
Support with categories isn’t new and so is limiting users who abuse the system. The idea is to provide
different levels of urgency for a support request. If a user needs urgent help, they can select urgent and
be connected immediately to an agent via email, chat or phone. A user can also choose other levels of
urgency to get a response within the day, a few days, or a week via email. Fairly simple.
The catch is, however, a user could be banned from using urgent or semi–urgent support if they abuse
the system. Abuse would be choosing not to wait a few days for a response on an issue that clearly
wasn’t an urgent problem, or wasn’t going to cost a user money. (Typically, questions that could be
answered using our knowledge base).
If our agents think a issue using urgent support would not qualify as urgent, then our agent would ban
the users account from urgent support for a few days up to a few weeks.
When/if this happens, management would review the support case and verify if the agent was correct
Option 2: Offer support with categories and require a deposit
If our support system ends up being abused too often or it costs Apollo more than we make in revenue
to support all of our users, then we will use this option. This is the same option as above, except
we would charge users a small fee to initiate any urgent customer support. The fee would be around
$1–10. The fee would be refunded after the initial contact if the support case was indeed an urgent
Issue. If not, we will keep the deposit to pay our support agents.
Option 3: Pay for urgent support or manager support
As a last resort, we feel it would be better to have users pay for urgent support instead of not offering
it at all. Therefore, if the time comes that we can’t afford to keep urgent chat, email and phone
support, then we will work out an average cost per case based on previous analytics. This amount,
shouldn’t be too expensive, we estimate it would be in the $1–10 range.
In the end, we understand that if our platform runs perfectly, then a vast majority of users should
never need to contact us. Having too many support issues would usually mean we have a problem
with our software and need to fix it. Before using options 2 and 3, we would make sure there is nothing
wrong with our systems first.
- Low liquidity (mostly new exchanges)
There is one main issue with new and smaller exchanges: very low liquidity. It could take years for a
small exchange to get enough users to increase the liquidity on their books. It’s the main hurdle new
startup exchanges have to face. They may have a better platform with a few more features, but it may
take years for users to migrate to the exchange since they can’t offer the volume users need to trade
without massive price swings. To increase their order book, some exchanges offer zero–fee trades, or
even pay for users to trade on their exchange!
Everyone loves free trades, but it’s not financially practical. Like we said above, customer support
should cost $40 million or more, and a team of 75 managers and developers would cost around the
same. How will an exchange pay their employees, or pay for better tech, servers, security, insurance,
or other overhead costs if they charge really small fees? Some will say, “less fees, more users, more
volume, more profit”. Sure, that may work for a while, but eventually the cost per user will overtake the
revenue per user, if the company scales up as users increase.
Connecting to other well know exchanges and sharing order books will be our solution. We have many
options for connections, and you can read more about them in our longer white paper. The basic
idea is to use backend API connections to trade users orders on other exchanges if the volume is not
available between Apollo traders. Everything is handled on our trading engine with under 1 sec
execution times. Users don’t have to specify anything when trading, our engine will automatically get
them the best trade possible from our exchange or the exchanges we connect with.
These connections also double as protecting our users from flash crashes. By offloading massive orders
equally across all connected exchanges, a malicious trader would have to place huge trades to get
a coins price to drop low enough to cascade margin calls and stop loss orders.
- No market information
Almost all exchanges provide no market information or insight. Go to any exchange and look for information
on assets such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum and you will find that they probably don’t tell
you what it is, how the coin or asset works, what makes it popular, where is it being used, or what its
roadmap is for the future. You can even visit the asset’s website and not find all of that information. We
agree that users need to do their own research on assets, but we also think that an exchange should
provide information on coins that are trading on their platform and keep that information up to date
with any news. This allows for an informed trading market instead of an impulsive market.
Create a trading information center:
We will be adding a place for traders to research coins, projects, teams and etc. It’s basic knowledge
that traders should have before investing into any altcoins. We also want to provide more intel on
where the majority of traders think a coin’s price is headed. We may integrate a platform like santiment
- Market manipulation
Trading crypto is awesome. However, crypto trading is full of market manipulations. You have tons of
pump and dumps (PnD), spoofing, flash crashes, phishing and etc. It’s a big problem for most traders
There are a lot of ways to try and limit market manipulations, and we explain a few in detail on our long
white paper if you wan to read more. In short, to stop pump and dumps, we don’t plan on listing any
coins that are prime for such actions. To fight spoofing we will hide orders from accounts that are suspected
of spoofing. With flash crashes: use exchange connections to spread out massive orders and
use a market index price to determine when to enact margin calls. Phishing: use Remme.io technology
to eliminate fishing for users that don’t use Civic.
Exchange and customer security
With more exchanges popping up, some may wonder what security measures the exchanges use to
protect their company and user funds. Most will choose to keep a big portion of their funds offline in
cold storage and hold 1% – 5% of funds in a hot wallet. This is great, but not sufficient. Exchanges
need to implement security standards better than the standards used by banks, stock markets and
forex markets. They should encrypt everything, change keys frequently, restrict access to keys directly,
store keys on hardware security modules, use Two Factor Authentication (2FA), change passwords
regularly, and takes steps to prevent phishing.
The best advice any long–term cryptocurrency holder gives new investors is: “Don’t leave your coins on
exchanges.” We want to provide a more viable alternative to this. Users on Apollo will have their funds
protected and secured better than most users could do by themselves.