Interview with Maria Carola - CEO at StealthEX

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

SafetyDetectives spoke with the CEO of StealthEX, Maria Carola, about trends that are shaping the crypto industry, ways to stabilize the exchange, how DeFi is affecting the crypto industry, and more. 

Can you talk about your background and what you’re doing at StealthEX?

My name is Maria, and I’m the CEO at StealthEX. My background is full time crypto. I have been working as the Chief Marketing Officer on a variety of crypto projects for the past 8 years – that included crypto wallets, crypto exchanges, and aggregators.

As you spend time in the crypto space, you can see how it has transformed and became a more user-friendly and more accepted area. Crypto used to be considered very shady, but now places like my home country, Lithuania, is accepting blockchain projects, and Europe wants to embrace the regulations, as we can see with the recent news of the new suggested crypto laws.

Can you tell me about StealthEX?

StealthEX is a non-custodial cryptocurrency exchange, and we hold more than 1000 cryptocurrencies. We do crypto-to-crypto swaps and work with major liquidity providers like Binance, Kucoin, Huobi and so on. Essentially, we are kind of a proxy for centralized exchanges. Allowing to use Binance, Kucoin, and other exchanges, for those who cannot use them or don’t want to use them for a variety of reasons, which can include:

  • Mandatory KYC and majority of centralized platforms. We don’t have that you don’t have to register on the platform to perform the swaps.
  • Some exchanges, like Binance, for example, are not allowed in many countries, and may have different regulations and so on, so many people are essentially like unbanked, but “uncryptoed”. So, we operate in these regions as well allowing people to perform swaps that they want.”

As for how we work, we don’t hold the users funds on the platform, unlike centralized exchanges, for example, so it enhances the security of the swap that you perform. Users come in with own their registered wallet or their own noncustodial wallet that only they have the access to and then you don’t have to trust us with your funds, it goes through automatic processes which go straight to exchange. and we don’t touch them.

With centralized exchanges you have to kind of trust them the way that you trust banks for exampled. So you put the money in there, and then they have essentially access to it, which can be good because they can recover the crypto if you send it to the wrong address. However, if something goes down, then it goes down unfortunately, but we are able to prevent this from happening.

What are some of the major trends that are currently shaping the crypto industry?

Currently, I’m closely following discussions surrounding legislation and regulations in the crypto industry. I’ve actually recently participated in conference talks and panel discussions on this topic. There’s a lot of attention on the developments in the United States, as it appears there may be a significant crackdown on cryptocurrency services. This reaction can be attributed to recent events such as the FTX incident, the collapse of several services, and the ongoing bear market.

However, there have also been non-natural occurrences, such as hacks and issues related to anti-money laundering (AML) measures. In the United States, the response seems somewhat reactionary, where the inability to prevent such incidents has led to a desire to shut down everything in order to filter out potential harm. This regulatory trend is aimed at achieving full control over the crypto space, which is not ideal for those working in the industry. Since the crypto industry operates with decentralized projects, this centralized approach is not favorable.

In Europe, a similar trend is emerging, with a desire to align the crypto space with the rules and regulations of traditional finance. While increased transparency and project audits are positive steps to reduce scams in the industry, the idea of gaining access to personal wallets, similar to how banks operate, undermines the core principles of blockchain technology. Although the future of decentralized projects may face some challenges and potential setbacks, I believe they will continue to exist and evolve rather than fade away completely.

Regarding technological trends, we have witnessed the emergence of numerous new networks recently. Networks like Optimism and the tokens built on them have generated considerable hype. The blockchain space is known for constant innovation, with new developments occurring frequently. However, when a major trend emerges in terms of new chains, it becomes evident through the activities and transactions observed on our platform. While Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other established cryptocurrencies remain popular, we are also witnessing the introduction of exciting new additions to the ecosystem.

Given the volatile nature of the crypto market, what strategies do you guys have installed tax to ensure the stability and reliability of the exchange?

To ensure stability and reliability of the exchange, we have implemented several strategies. Firstly, we have a stop-loss system in place for users. If the exchange rate drops more than 3% during the transaction, we halt the exchange and offer the user the option to proceed at the new rate or request a refund. This helps mitigate the impact of unexpected rate fluctuations on users.

Additionally, we offer a fixed rate option, which provides users with a 20-minute window to send their deposit. This ensures that users receive exactly what they input, regardless of any market volatility. This feature is particularly useful for making payments using cryptocurrencies, allowing users to send the exact amount in the desired currency.

Another approach to address market volatility is the use of stablecoins. Stablecoins are pegged to specific assets, such as the dollar, euro, gold, or oil. They provide a way for individuals who hold their assets in cryptocurrencies to avoid excessive risk. By swapping their cryptocurrencies for stablecoins, users can maintain their value without being exposed to market fluctuations. However, trust in stablecoins varies among individuals in the crypto space – we don’t tend to trust the physical world too much.

From the perspective of our service, we have also taken steps to ensure stability. Given the prolonged bear market and the uncertainties surrounding it, we have made financial planning a priority. We understand that many services have not survived this challenging period, possibly due to inadequate financial planning or the assumption that profitability would remain consistent. We are committed to the stability of our service, and we have taken measures to navigate the market conditions effectively.

While the crypto market can be unpredictable, we strive to provide a reliable and secure platform for our users, implementing strategies to mitigate volatility and maintain the stability of our exchange.

What role do you see DeFi playing in the future of cryptocurrency?

This is a good question. SteahlthEX is actually somewhere in between as we connect DeFi and centralized exchanges in our interface. But we keep coming back to the whole regulation thing. DeFi projects will face more scrutiny compared to centralized exchanges (not to underestimate the pressure the’s put on CEX’s). So from this perspective, the life of DeFi projects might be tougher. Firstly, centralized exchanges are just that—centralized. It’s in their name, and they abide not just by rules but by the laws of specific governments. They work with governments to provide services, and they’re more transparent in this aspect. With DeFi projects, things can get a little more confusing, but I don’t think they will perish. They will keep growing, but probably they’ll have to find their place in, well, I don’t want to say a gray area because it sounds negative, but more like they’ll have to find a way to comply with regulations and navigate them because they still need to operate in some form – there’s clearly a demand for this.

The good thing about DeFi is that there will always be people who need it and don’t see crypto solely as an addition to traditional fiat currency. There are people who genuinely believe in the power of crypto and blockchain and how it can be utilized in unbanked regions, for example. They will continue to turn to DeFi and use it. Moreover, I believe that DeFi projects are often more user-friendly in many cases, which is also good.

About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.