The Digitex Futures exchange has to be a truly great product if it is to survive and thrive. Anything less than that and success will be very difficult, if not impossible. I have known this from the very start. Remember, we could already have launched a product. We had that bag of spanners that Spotware delivered to us in April. Technically, it kind of worked – sort of. But the big problem was that it was a stinking pile of s**t and it was impossible for me to change or improve anything. Users would have signed up, tried using it once or twice and then they would have given up on it. Digitex Futures would have died a certain death shortly after.
Turning a New Page with SmartDec
Canceling the launch at such a late stage was a very difficult decision to make, but we had no choice. The only sustainable way to make it in this business is to create a great product. I knew that the best marketing in the world wouldn’t help us if the product was not good. I needed to create a great product if Digitex Futures was to be the game-changing exchange I knew in my heart it could be.
Amid the turmoil and uproar following the canceled launch in April, I traveled to Moscow in a last-ditch effort to save the project by hiring some of the best developers in the business, SmartDec. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds.
SmartDec is a highly respected company with strong ties to the Ethereum community and they were acutely aware of the sh**storm that was going on around Digitex. They also knew about all the accusations against me personally that I was a scammer who had just executed a vaporware fueled pump and dump.
Over the course of two weeks, there were a lot of office and dinner meetings with the owners of SmartDec while they asked a lot of questions and looked me in the eyes as I was answering them. They needed to know for sure whether I was real or not because they had a lot to lose if I wasn’t. They had done several small jobs for Digitex since our ICO so they already knew me, but now I was asking them to commit on a much grander scale.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been grilled extensively by old-school Russian businessmen, but take it from me, they don’t miss anything! But eventually they were satisfied that I wasn’t a criminal mastermind and we agreed to move forward together.
Digitex Futures Development Moved Forward
When people ask what my biggest regret is, my answer is that we didn’t hire SmartDec as our developers in January 2018 immediately after the ICO. But mistakes and bad decisions have been made. All we can do is deal with them as best we can and not give up. What matters is that we have SmartDec now.
Fast-forward to the present day and I’m living in Russia working with a dedicated team of 26 developers in SmartDec’s Moscow office. The testnet launch date of 30 November is almost upon us, but we’re confident of launching a truly great futures exchange.
A lot of difficult decisions go into creating something that is great. A lot of smart people with a lot of opinions inevitably creates some bruised egos and raised voices along the way. But that’s all part of the process. And having been an integral part of the development process this time around, I’ve realized why most other cryptocurrency exchanges are as crappy as they are. Turns out it’s really f**king hard to build a really great product!
But that’s exactly what we’ve done. And we’ve done it by focusing on the two things that matter most: the matching engine and the User Interface. Everything else is bells and whistles that can be added on later. The most important thing is that the exchange is robust with lightning-fast trade execution and that the user can submit trades quickly and easily. If we get those fundamentals right then we have the makings of a great exchange. That’s why I’ve focused most of my time so far on the trading interface.
The image below is a screenshot of the latest UI design that our testers will start using soon. I felt that our old ladder design had gotten a little dated and I wanted something that looked cleaner and more modern, but without sacrificing any utility.
The Digitex Futures UI
I think it looks awesome. It’s exactly what I wanted and it just looks and feels so “Digitex.” Traders can submit buy and sell orders at their desired price with a single click of the mouse and without needing to use the keyboard or take their eyes from the price action.
Bids and offers move up and down the central price column, allowing the trader to get in the zone and stay in the zone, jumping in and out of the market as often as they want at whatever prices they want without paying any commissions.
And another really exciting development is that we’ve built some amazing social features into the exchange that will be a complete surprise to everyone. We have built such a large and dedicated social community in the last year and a half that it makes perfect sense to build features that capture that energy.
Trading in the pits was always a very social experience for me and I wanted to create an exchange that can in some way replicate the social aspect of interacting with other traders whilst trading. That’s all I’m saying for now, but I’ll be revealing more about the social features before the testnet launch.
I’m so excited to be this close, it’s taken forever but we’re finally about to launch exactly what we’ve been promising for so long. Once again I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has stuck with us through it all, I can’t wait to start onboarding the first testers in the coming weeks and to finally make the dream of commission-free futures trading a reality for everyone.