Mandala Exchange : A short history.
Joe Reiben joins us to discuss trading cryptocurrency with confidence on Mandala Exchange.
Joseph Reiben is the Chief Executive Officer of Mandala Exchange, as well as a regulatory, business, and tax attorney based in Denver Colorado, and St. Paul, Minnesota. Joseph received his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he received his BA in business, and his JD from Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Before Mandala Exchange, Joseph has worked for law firms in Cleveland, Chicago, and Denver, specializing in civil litigation, bankruptcy, tax, and business law prior to starting his own firm in 2016. Since founding Reiben & Velvis before Mandala Exchange , later Reiben & Reiben, Joseph has focused on regulatory and compliance, business, and tax issues surrounding emerging markets such as blockchain, hemp, and cannabis for both domestic and international companies. Alongside Mandala Exchange Joseph has been actively involved in furthering these markets as well, appearing in interviews on the NASDAQ floor and for other blockchain and cannabis publications, discussing compliance and regulatory issues and challenges facing the industries moving forward. Currently, Joseph is focused on overseeing Mandala Exchange, as well as assisting start-ups and working in multiple emerging global markets.
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The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:31:07 – 00:00:57:09
Joe Reiben: Yeah. My name’s Joseph Reiben, I’m the CEO of Mandala. Been around this company since its inception in 2017, 2018, where I was actually the outside counsel for it to start. We do have a very interesting story, which I would love to share with you guys over the next 25 or 30 minutes here, trying to see if we can get this presentation to work right, because we do have a nice little promo video. No, I don’t want to do that.
00:00:57:14 – 00:01:29:21
Joe Reiben: I tell really bad dad jokes as all my friends that are here and family from Minnesota and from Denver and from New York know, so, I’m definitely not doing that. Let me know when we’re ready, guys, yeah? No? No, well, alright, this is supposed to have really good music behind it, give a little promo, but we’ll dive right in after this. No. What?
00:01:36:16 – 00:01:58:21
Joe Reiben: Alright. So everyone, first live event back in over a year. This is so awesome to be here. I haven’t been down in Miami for the Crypto Conference since 2019. Also came in 2018, representing both my law firm at the time, as well as Mandala. So, this is really cool to see all you guys out and see all you guys about, you know, interacting with all of us being live at this event.
00:01:59:20 – 00:02:13:06
Joe Reiben: So, let’s get right into it. What is Mandala? It’s the first privately owned and operated exchange built in conjunction with Binance Cloud developers. What does that mean for us? I’m going to go over that throughout here, but what it means is really cool.
00:02:13:08 – 00:02:46:29
Joe Reiben: We have full liquidity, full order books, full depth and full trading pairs, on Mandala, of Binance rather, like you see on the next slide. We’re based out of Seychelles. We focus on full international compliance and regulation. We are a centralized exchange, right? We’re built on Binance Cloud. We follow all the Binance protocols. What that means for you guys is that your funds are safu. Your, you know, your trading peers will never be illiquid. You know, and it operates obviously 24/7 in this Crypto world, very smoothly here.
00:02:47:19 – 00:03:18:10
Joe Reiben: We have a solid and resilient foundation with a community centric model. Our community has been very key to rebuilding this exchange from the ground up, really, and in our partnership with Binance. And we do put our users’ needs first as well, which is really important to us as an exchange. With a lot of exchanges what they do and as you guys have seen with a lot of other projects being rugpulls recently in the DeFi space or being projects that will just, you know, kind of go dark and steal users funds. We did the opposite.
00:03:19:28 – 00:04:00:08
Joe Reiben: We had, I don’t know why this presentation’s not working, I’m sorry guys. There we go. Why do we have Mandala? What we were talking about. We have over 1,100 trading pairs, we have the full Binance liquidity, order book depth and market. And we also focus on and this is really important to us, leveling the playing field for the retail and institutional investor alike. What does that mean? We have many high value traders that are API traders that are, you know, big algo traders, as well as traders that want to trade maybe a couple hundred bucks every week or maybe a couple of hundred units of Ripple or Mandala or Dai or you know, whatever they want to trade. It doesn’t matter.
00:04:01:18 – 00:04:50:23
Joe Reiben: We like to make the playing field level so that everyone feels like they have a stake in the game, everyone feels like they are on the same footing and everyone can trade with confidence. Okay. Our token utility, we have a multilevel utility for our token. First off, we have a really nice referral program for our users where if you do lock your token on the exchange and you have hit one of our five, you know, token lock levels are 20, 40, 80, 160 and 320,000 tokens, you get a piece of the action back from anyone you refer out of their trading fees. And you can share with your users, you know, to bring friends on and trade with you. You can share up to 10 percent of your referral fees based on your lock level. Your token lock on the exchange also allows for reduced trading fees, as we were discussing.
00:04:51:06 – 00:05:36:25
Joe Reiben: That 320K lock in, you get .05 percent trading fees, which is best in the industry and it’s really beneficial to those people who are high volume traders because they’re going to save a ton in fees. The way that works, it’s a 30 day lockup period. You get the rebate at the end of the 30 days and it comes in the form of MDX or USDT, your choice. So, you don’t have to take our native token, you can take, you know, stablecoin and trade it on the exchange for any other token you want. MDX Launchpad or Mandorla Launchpad, we are going to be doing something very similar to the Binance Launchpad where we are going to help IEO’s develop. We are going to help other projects, you know, develop and launch from the ground up, where we’re going to have development teams, a legal team and marketing teams to work with you guys as you build your project.
00:05:37:05 – 00:06:30:07
Joe Reiben: And last but not least, this is a point of pride for us and where the Crypto community, I think needs more work is the educational aspect of Mandala University, which is going to be quarter three of this year. We are going to open up a huge social platform where we have educators, we have traders, we have, you know, anything from the Cryptocurrency beginner to the experienced trader to be able to teach and tip in Mandala, so, you can learn about what you’re doing on the platform and not just blindly throw money against the wall and hope it sticks on a project. Here’s some of our highlights from the first quarter. Sorry about this. For our first quarter, what’s happened in our first quarter? We’ve gained a ton of users, we’ve had really strong market growth through our global marketing campaigns.
00:06:30:09 – 00:07:00:13
Joe Reiben: We are internationally based, so, at this time, US users are not allowed. However, we do have options for US users to hold our token and we are working on the back end on developing a US side of our exchange late 2021, early 2022. Our growth and trading volume, as you’ll see on the next page, has been astounding to me. I mean, we’ve built this company from, you know, sub a penny a token to about 50 cents in the last three months. Not only that, we’ve built our overall trading volume on the exchange exponentially because we’ve been bringing in a ton of users.
00:07:01:07 – 00:07:57:07
Joe Reiben: Implementation of trading with Binance, smart chain pairs, as the first privately held exchange on Binance Cloud, we are one of the few that are able to offer every VSC pair to every trader, providing even more options for you outside of the regular options who we might provide. Okay, so growth. In terms of volume, let’s see. Alright. So, our volume in terms of USDT, this is as early as recently as December of last year when we launched. We were only at 7,000,000 in volume for December. We’ve got 78,000,000 in January, 157,000,000 in February and over 300,000,000, March, and even more going into April, really.
00:07:57:23 – 00:08:26:13
Joe Reiben: It’s been just a crazy rise for us and I’m really proud of our whole community and our team, you know, helping us build this thing. From our community, we have hired, you know, marketers, we’ve hired developers, we’ve hired creative. I mean, the list goes on. Our CTO, our COO, we were all former community members or outside employees of this project and we’ve really helped build it up. Even more so, our user base has been growing exponentially as well.
00:08:27:03 – 00:09:02:06
Joe Reiben: We’re projected to hit over 35,000 users by the end of this month. And it’s just been a blessing to have our community really push this project for us and really work on our behalf to make this one of the, hopefully leading exchanges here in the whole Crypto community. Thanks guys. Okay, looking forward, we have a ton of stuff on our road map that we are either in development for or about to implement. First with futures trading, we’re going to be bringing futures trading to our exchange, so, that high value traders and large algo traders can get in their trade futures. That should be implemented about mid-May.
00:09:02:29 – 00:09:33:08
Joe Reiben: We have hummingbot integration, too, for our API traders, which is really cool. Our team pushed for the last competition in the last hummingbot update, the .39 release and all Binance Cloud products. One that pretty much our team is working on that on the front and back end, so, that’s ready to go. We are going to have our own exclusive token listings outside of Binance, so, we’ll be able to bring you pairs that Binance can’t even bring you. Margin trading and staking are going to be implemented quarter two and quarter three as well, so, we’re making it into a really robust exchange.
00:09:34:05 – 00:10:14:00
Joe Reiben: Expansion of exotic order types, we’re getting we have all our typical, you know, order books right now, but with this rebuild of the exchange and relaunch of the exchange, we’re also adding all your stops, all your, you know, all your take or make your orders, any kind of order type that is outside of the typical, you know, basically market and limit buys and sells that you see. And then, like I said, Mandala University and Mandala Launchpad are slated for quarter three and quarter four as well. So, here’s where to buy MDX. At this time, we have a few different options. Obviously, for international users, our exchange, Trade.Manadala.Exchange.
00:10:14:12 – 00:10:41:28
Joe Reiben: Our US users, we do have a UniSwab pool that was started by our community, all community raised, all community driven. We’ve had over 1,000,000 bucks in it in terms of liquidity in the last few weeks. It probably sits at an average of six to 800,000 a day at any given day. There’s plenty of trading going on there, as well as obviously our Binance listing application, which is underway and we are waiting on their approval and their listing. So, that’s that part.
00:10:42:28 – 00:11:08:29
Joe Reiben: That’s a little overview of what Mandala is. Thanks guys. What I really want to talk to you about today is not this. What I want to talk to you about is the community, the trust, the importance of building a strong team and the importance of actually valuing your customer base in this industry. One of the big things that Mandala provides is not just a great platform to trade that is safe, that is backed by Binance, that’s partnered with Binance through all this.
00:11:09:09 – 00:11:53:10
Joe Reiben: What it is, it’s a team of members that you can find on our Discord, on our Telegram, on our social media platforms every day and talk to. I mean, myself as a CEO, I’m on every day answering questions for people that come up, whether it’s newbs or experienced traders, experienced people in the Crypto community. Our team that we’ve put together, our CTO, Zach Daniels, is somewhere around here, he’s a Crypto OG. He’s been around since literally the dawn of Crypto, 2010, 2011, as a developer, as a coder, worked on a ton of projects and he’s one of my best friends in the world. My COO, Rich Howe, who couldn’t be here, is back in Denver, used to work as a project manager for other exchanges and other, you know, basically other projects since about 2014.
00:11:54:02 – 00:12:12:13
Joe Reiben: My father, Rich, who’s our CFO, as well as part of our general counsel, I’ve been working with him on the legal side since 2015, 2016 in Crypto and, you know, I’m so happy to have him on board because it’s really cool to get him. I’m sorry dad, you’re 71. It’s amazing. He’s an amazing individual. Please get to talk to him if you can.
00:12:13:01 – 00:12:51:18
Joe Reiben: But it’s so cool to have a broad spectrum of ages and, you know, abilities and knowledge base on this team and it’s just been a pleasure to build this up. So, community, community building. One of the biggest assets we have is our community. We’ve built a community of over 30,000 users at this point, no bots, no nothing and they will go to bat for us because we went to bat for them. When this project was dead, literally dead on the ground, our token was worth about one one hundredth of a cent, maybe in 2018. A lot of missteps were made. Basically, old management dropped the project and left it for dead.
00:12:51:25 – 00:13:16:02
Joe Reiben: My dad, Zach, Rich and myself said, No, this isn’t happening. We can do better.” We have 28,000 people buy into our ICO. We sold out our ICO. I was like, we need to take care of these people. And this is what’s important in Crypto today is not rugpulling, is not being the person that walks away and scam’s people. It’s being the people that are there for you when the project’s down and you see them working hard.
00:13:16:12 – 00:13:57:13
Joe Reiben: So, we took this project up in 2018, brought it to where it is now, really on the backs of our community. They’re not only employees for us and independent contractors, they are also our investors. We went to them arms open, performed a second raise and within a week we had, you know, enough money raised to secure a two year contract, a renewable contract with Binance as a first Binance Cloud product, as well as secure our market maker, secure our devs, secure everything you need to really develop the exchange. And I am really proud of my community for that. So, if any of you guys are in here, please give yourselves a hand. Love you guys for that. Incredible. Yes, absolutely. Please.
00:13:58:21 – 00:14:33:11
Joe Reiben: So, I mean, and that’s been our rock really. Now we have about 16 or 17 employees. We’ve hired creative, we hired, like I was saying, marketing, we’ve hired our whole biz dev team, two biz dev teams actually, as well as brought in, you know, outside people, but who were actually token holders that we didn’t even know about. So still, we’re from our community, but not active on our Discord. And if you go talk to them at our booth, if you see them around, you might know them. They’re all, you know, old OGs in the industry. And it’s one of those things that it’s been really special to see the rise of this exchange.
00:14:33:16 – 00:14:57:16
Joe Reiben: And I’m really proud of this comeback story because of the fact that we have performed as the anti-scam or anti-rugpull. And, you know, that’s one of the things in the industry today. To everybody, we we’re talking about safety of funds before and being your own custodian and being, you know, safeguarding your wealth. Be very careful about what you invest in this industry these days. There are, as you’ve been reading, a ton of rugpulls.
00:14:57:22 – 00:15:25:23
Joe Reiben: There are a ton of companies that will just raise money and walk away. And I’m so proud of us and everybody in our community that has helped us not do that and really turn the tide against that and bring everybody a successful product. Now, in closing, I will say it’s so cool to see, how many of you guys are first time at a Crypto conference? Raise hands. Oh, my gosh, that’s so awesome. Yes, absolutely. Guys, that’s an incredible thing to see.
00:15:25:28 – 00:16:09:13
Joe Reiben: You know, we used to have these conferences 2017, 2018, when this first wave really came, the first big wave and, you know, boom and bust. And it was like, maybe a quarter, a fifth of the people were new. To see over half the people in the room be new at their first conference and experiencing the first, like we were saying, live event in over a year and a half is just so heartwarming to me. And it just shows that we’re really picking up, you know, steam in adopting really mainstream adoption for Crypto. But like I said, with that comes the word of warning, just really research your projects, really make sure you know what you’re putting your money into, because the last thing I want to see is people get scammed or get disheartened in this industry, even though it is obviously volatile.
00:16:09:26 – 00:16:37:27
Joe Reiben: I want to make sure that everybody trades safely, which is why we’ve put an exchange together that’s powered by Binance Cloud and has the safety and security of Binance Cloud. And trade somewhere that’s reliable, which is also why we partner with Binance Cloud. So please, I hope you guys, in closing, I hope you guys enjoy yourself while you’re here today. Please make sure you go to all the booths and check out all the wonderful sponsors and projects, many of whom are my dear friends of a long time. I’ve known forever in this space, forever being five or six years. Obviously the space is only about 10, 12 years old.
00:16:38:10 – 00:16:46:04
Joe Reiben: And please enjoy yourselves. If you have any questions, we’ll be at our booth. And I look forward to seeing all of you hopefully trading on Mandala Exchange. Thank you guys for your time today.
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