Debunking the myths behind cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies and exchanges are a fast-growing sector that tend to attract support and affirmation, as well as the token criticism, usually based on a lack of understanding of the system and technology at play. Andy Cheung, Head of Operations at OKEx, is quick to put any concerns to rest


Okex is a major cryptocurrency exchange based in Malta. Can you explain to our readers what is it you do?


OKEx is a world leading digital asset exchange. We are the people who believed in the blockchain-empowered economy, hence a fair and transparent Financial Ecosystem on Blockchain is our future. There are 3 pillars that keep our core values.


1.  Apply blockchain technology in the global economy to allocate society’s resources in an efficient and cost-effective way

In view of multiple layers of intermediaries in traditional financial market, operating a functional system would take high cost and long processing time to verify a transaction, blockchain technology can better allocate society’s resources in a more efficient and cost-effective way. OKEx has taken the lead in innovation on blockchain technology – OKChain / OKDex, as well as launched OK Jumpstart, a token-sale platform to support quality projects and promote the blockchain community.

2. Traditional financial market and digital asset market

Issue with over 5B of global population have no bank account nor access to financial services because of the silo, clumsy and expensive traditional financial system has brought us concern. Digital decentralized financial system works mutually beneficial with traditional market in substantially lower the operation cost and cover area that traditional market cannot cater. This is the reason why OKEx serves as a one-stop show with products that caters all level of users (C2C as an entry step to crypto, Spot/IEO to understand trading process, Derivatives for professional trading). Also, we never rest in enhancing the risk management system that compatibly fit the market along time.

3. Compliance

It is essential to set up clear compliance to provide credibility and trust to a digital asset exchange, hence, to cultivate a fair and transparent trading market, e.g. KYC, regulation. We uplift the industry standard: be ethic, be transparent, be self-regulated; set up example to the industry, to tackle the unique challenges in crypto through working with different stakeholders and encourage crypto acceptance to counter the misconduct behavior and guide the industry to operate in a more complied manner

Malta touts itself - and has been described - as the Blockchain Island. Is this still true? How is Malta staying ahead of the competition?

Malta is home to the headquarters of the top cryptocurrency exchanges around the globe — thanks to its lucrative tax incentive system, government initiatives on crypto trading, and a clear and friendly crypto regulation policy.

Malta has been leading the charge in creating the world’s first regulatory framework for digital innovation to regulate technology arrangements, and blockchain is merely a start for them to move into the new innovative technology niches.

Our vision is aligned with the prime minister of Malta. We both believe that cryptocurrency is the future. Malta is an important hub for us to connect to the European markets. This year marks a significant milestone for us. Over the year, in Malta, we have been working closely with legal and compliance experts, and local authorities to prompt the development of OKMSX. This joint venture marks our confidence in the Maltese government as well as our commitment to providing an efficient, secure, and transparent blockchain trading environment to clients worldwide.
How do you respond to criticism that cryptocurrencies are a means for investors to avoid control and compliance?

This is a nonsense critic. People have to realize that this is not a sole case happening in crypto. In traditional financial market, misconduct and market manipulation behaviour is everywhere. This is an industry challenge that every stakeholders are facing. As crypto industry is still maturing, it requires enormous efforts from us all in terms of technology and regulations until we can perfect the industry.

It also brings back to our key focus, we strive to uplift the industry standard to be ethical, transparent, and self-regulated in order to promote the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency and eventually make a positive impact to our world.
Does the decentralised nature of the blockchain make it more secure? Is there any disadvantage to using a blockchain?

Blockchain is still at an infant stage where it got high flexibility in shaping according to the market needs. Given the nature of decentralization, blockchain offers network nodes that could support globally, not suffering from one single node failure.

Also, as open-sourced ledgers, every single transaction is recorded where the integrity of blockchain systems is monitored. However, indeed there are some fundamental problems needed to be solved. For example, a large size of data storage could be the reward of limiting the speed; the higher the security could result limiting the scale of the block.

Technology grows in lightning speed that blockchain would definitely use a fundamental upgrade to solve the trilemma - Scalability, security, speed. In view of this, we start seeing new generation of blockchain projects where it could potentially take blockchain to a new level.
How do you imagine DLT will change FinTech in the years to come?

FinTech is growing at lightning speed and it is indeed removing barriers in the financial world. With the prompt advancement of DLT, it certainly has attracted increasing attention from regulators and investors. Traditional market tend to be at a more centralized yet high-cost operation, with DLT as an alternative solution, developing fully fledged financial instrument with reasonable price-strategy on crypto where traders can freely come up with their strategy would be a key to becoming a major player in this sector.

We have seen adoption over big industry players in the financial market and even governments from different regions too, we hold a positive belief in such to bring further advancement to the industry.

Malta is a major player in the gaming industry and is being promoted as a “blockchain island”. However, industry players are complaining about the obstacles faced when it comes to basic ancillary services, such as banking, transport and education. How big of a problem is this? And what do you advise your clients who have these concerns?

Malta is a home to us and we see thriving projects taken in consideration to drive the blockchain initiative. We prompt this as a start and we understand this would be a long journey in perfecting the industry.

In recent research there are over 5B of global population have no bank account nor access to traditional financial services because of the silo, clumsy and expensive traditional financial system. This is where we can join in to demonstrate how decentralized financial system works mutually beneficial with traditional market in substantially lower the operation cost and cover area that traditional market cannot cater. At the same time to justify and balance volatility on the investments from an infant market.

At the same time, mass adoption requires general understanding of the subject, in which OKEx provides insight analysis to the market and provide traders in further reference to justify their pricing strategy. Such initiatives aims to provide a clearer picture of the “game” and hence, create trust to the community.

What do you expect will be the biggest challenges the local financial services sector will face in the next 10 years?

As in traditional financial markets, issue with middle-men and agents from traditional market requires high operational cost and long processing time to verify a transaction.

Decentralised finance can substantially lower the operation cost and speed up the settlement, which can better serve mass audience to fully access to financial market. Defin – fractional ownership of real world asset, substantially increase mass adoption of asset allocation, and enhance diversification
Why is Delta Summit important?

Markets expect that this Delta Summit in Malta will give a sneak peek of the latest development in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. Backed by the strong support from the Maltese government, Delta Summit is one of the world’s most important blockchain events. We look forward to bringing in more insightful discussions and sharing our upcoming plans with the world during the conference.

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