Recently, we had the opportunity to address our questions to Stella Chan, the COO of a global cryptocurrency exchange Phemex. Stella shared the unique advantages of Phemex and their groundbreaking Soulbound Token (SBT) technology. Inspired by Vitalik Buterin’s concept of nontransferable “soulbound tokens,” SBTs are set to revolutionize the operations of crypto exchanges. The primary objective of SBT technology is to elevate the security and protection of user funds. Join us in this exclusive interview as we delve deeper into this exciting development.

U.Today: Could you please provide some information about your background prior to becoming the COO at Phemex?

Stella Chan: I have quite diverse experience, both during my time at Phemex as well as before I joined the company. My educational background is actually in foreign languages, such as Arabic. Through my studies, I had the fortune of traveling to and living in various places around the world, from Dubai to Poland. 

Prior to joining Phemex, I worked in quite established internet companies in Asia such as Alibaba and Xiaomi, and I oversaw marketing as well as foreign markets for them. I’ve always kept my eye on the crypto industry because I found its mission of decentralization very interesting.

At Phemex, I started as the marketing director of global and emerging markets, then transitioned into chief marketing officer before recently becoming the Phemex COO. I oversee the strategic development of our Web3 project as well as the day-to-day operations of business teams. I also find great joy in mentoring and developing other managers and executives within the Phemex team.

U.Today: Phemex is a crypto trading and investment platform. What can you tell us about its advantages? 

Stella Chan: Phemex is a top five global cryptocurrency exchange that offers both contract and spot trading. With an extensive selection of 150+ contract and 200+ spot pairings, we empower traders of all levels to leverage market opportunities. On Phemex, proficient traders can benefit from leverage up to 100x with contract trading pairs, while newcomers enjoy a smooth start with industry-leading low credit card fees and a grid trading bot feature that automatically executes buy and sell orders at preset prices.

U.Today: How do you plan to combine CeFi and DeFi in one exchange?

Stella Chan: Phemex is pioneering a semi-centralized platform model by infusing decentralized mechanisms with existing CEX operations. The blockchain space is constantly developing. Cryptocurrencies initially arose to address financial use cases, but Phemex believes that the ultimate evolution of Web 3.0 must extend beyond financialization to encompass other fundamental elements of society, such as digital identity, trust building and permissionless collaboration. 

We take inspiration from Vitalik Buterin’s concept of nontransferable “soulbound tokens” and apply it to our new Phemex Web3 project to achieve a new milestone in decentralized governance. This way, we can combine centralized efficiency with decentralized decision-making.

U.Today: How does Phemex ensure the security and safety of user funds and personal information? 

Stella Chan: We use a Hierarchical Deterministic Cold Wallet System to process and store our user funds safely, without any risk of hacks by being connected to any network. This system is proprietary and has helped us avoid any hacking throughout the entire life of our exchange. Furthermore, in the spirit of transparency and trustworthiness, we update our Merkle-Tree proof of reserves and proof of solvency every single month. In addition to simple PoR, we also publicize a portion of our cold wallets so any user can check that our assets are greater than our liabilities at all times.

U.Today: Tell us about your token, Phemex. Why did you choose Ethereum to build it on?

Stella Chan: The Phemex Token is our upcoming platform utility token. We’re the only top 15 cryptocurrency exchange that has not yet issued a platform token, so we’re seeing a lot of interest and buzz surrounding PT. As an on-chain ERC20 token, PT will offer a diverse array of benefits and use cases, including staking yields, trader bounty rewards and Phemex DAO governance. We chose to build it on Ethereum because our project was partially inspired by Vitalik Buterin’s philosophy of a decentralized society, and also we felt Ethereum offers the highest-potential network with an existing user base and decentralization.

U.Today: Can you give us more details about Soulbound Token (SBT) technology?

Stella Chan: Sure thing! Soulbound tokens are individual on-chain tokens that cannot be transferred. So you can think of them as non-tradable NFTs. At first glance, this concept may sound counterintuitive because many think the worth of a token rests in its financial tradable value. However, soulbound tokens unlock greater transparency and authenticity precisely because they cannot be transferred. The Phemex Soul Pass is our platform’s innovative soulbound token that our loyal users have already started minting and receiving exclusive benefits from. Your activity on our platform can be stored on the PSP, and we’ll reward you based on that. Because the PSP cannot be transferred to another wallet, we know that these exclusive benefits are always going to the right person. 

U.Today: Are there any specific benefits or advantages for institutional traders or high-volume traders on Phemex? 

Stella Chan: There sure are. We recently revamped and launched our new Phemex Institutional page, opening up lucrative new opportunities for brokers and market makers to work with us. Our broker program offers partners up to 50% commissions for referring users to trade on Phemex, while our market maker program grants institutional funds heavy discounts based on their trading volume. At higher volumes for contract trading, we’ll even give institutions rebates, or negative trading fees, for their trades. Similarly, our standard VIP program opens up similar benefits to regular users. The more you trade, the higher VIP level you earn and the lower trading fees you can enjoy. Fee rates as low as 0% are possible for high-volume traders.

U.Today: Can you tell us about recent updates and upcoming features that users can look forward to on the platform?

Stella Chan: The biggest thing users have to look forward to is the launch of the Phemex Token in late November 2023. We’ll be kicking off the Phemex Token to the Moon event with an airdrop party, where users will get an early access opportunity at the Phemex Token. The actual launch will be through our PT Bidding event, in which users can experience a fair launch through Dutch auction mechanisms. After launch, the Phemex Token can be staked for a healthy yield and holders can get vePT (vote escrow token) in return for voting in the PhemexDAO. Phemex Token holders can make decisions regarding the operations, growth, partnerships and treasury management of our platform.

U.Today: Do you have a crypto portfolio? Name for us at least your top three positions.

Stella Chan: I’m a big believer in many crypto projects. Like many others, I have strong positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum, as they have proven to be the projects with the most longevity. They also have some of the most decentralized networks. 

Third, I have a big Phemex Token position because I’ve been able to premine xPT, which will convert automatically 1:1 into PT after our token launch. With the success of Phemex Web3 so far, I am firmly confident in the prospects of the Phemex Token.

U.Today: What are some of your personal favorite projects in the crypto field?

Stella Chan: Of course, Phemex is the project closest to my heart. I’ve been overseeing the development and progress of Phemex Web3 since its inception at the beginning of 2023. I’ve also taken inspiration from POAP and Galxe to enhance the soulbound token concept and authentic on-chain reputation building.

U.Today: What tips would you offer to people aiming to secure leadership roles in blockchain companies?

Stella Chan: The blockchain industry is one of the fastest-paced industries on the planet. So, it’s critical to keep learning every single day and keep abreast of the latest trends without being swept away in FOMO. Therefore, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you think the crypto field will move toward in the long-term, then tailor your decision-making to that. In terms of internal leadership, it’s important to challenge your team to constantly innovate and reflect as well. The blockchain industry can be both overwhelming and highly engaging, so it’s up to you as the leader to set the pace for your team.

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