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‘I started my own crypto app to make investing easy’

Bette Chen sees her own cryptocurrency app as a second chance to become a creator of the new internet age.

25 May 2022

Software engineer Bette Chen says you need to look at Bitcoin as a bit like the calculator.

“It’s cool, but it only does one thing,” she says.

But crypto has now transformed from a calculator to a mainframe computer, which means you can start building and connecting the whole world.

This is what Chen did with her new business Acala.

Acala is a new and improved way to invest digitally. It works within an entire ‘ecosystem’ of cryptocurrency, using blockchain technology, says Chen.

If you’re shaky about the technology behind cryptocurrencies, Blockchain works as the ledger that records transactions and tracks assets on the crypto business network.

But it’s decentralised and it’s not run by a third party.

“If the internet empowered corporations, the blockchain world empowers the individual,” says Chen.

In simple terms, Acala offers the tools people need to use and participate in the new world of investing in crypto assets.

The application uses Polkadot, an improved crypto, which connects all the blockchains together.

Chen admits it’s a difficult technology to use, but it creates a lot of opportunity to build wealth, mainly because it works to merge previously incompatible networks of currency.

Despite thinking in a whole new dimension, it’s still working with people, she says.

Chen describes the way Acala works as a ‘decentralised monetary reserve’.

“Acala works a bit like the Reserve Bank but is native to the blockchain,” she says.

For example, in the real world, investors can use collateral from a house to borrow cash, which may be used to buy more property or increase the property’s value through renovation.

“We are able to do this in real-time, on the blockchain, without using third parties,” says Chen.

But instead of using your property as collateral, you use digital gold like Bitcoin.

It’s the same process, but with no bank, no lending criteria, and no paperwork. Acala serves as one open store for investing in crypto assets.

“The environment we created on the blockchain is more transparent and rates are better,” Chen says.

Once you have a digital dollar you can reinvest it for a higher return relative to risk.

For example, the return ranges from 15 to 30 per cent, from low risk to high.

Chen started working on the concept of Acala almost three years ago. Before that, she was putting her degree in engineering software to use in the financial services industry.

She and her team were early Polkadot builders, looking for a stablecoin.

Inevitably, Chen crossed paths with other early builders of the same technology. That’s how Acala was born.

Chen describes her business as her “second chance”.

Chen started with Bitcoin as just a personal interest but after a few years of research and dabbling in the crypto world, she took to it professionally.

She says she felt like she might have missed the first boat of crypto. But this new generation of crypto is her second chance to be one of its pioneers.

“How many people have the opportunity to have a second chance at the internet age and try to become one of the creators?” she says.

“For us, Acala is like that,” she says.

“We get to be part of it and building it. We may not get everything right, but we want to be a part of it and build our future.”

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