According to Haipo Yang, Founder & CEO at CoinEx Chain, blockchain will reshape the entire fintech segment in the near future.
Catch this complete Global FinTech Series interview to unlock interesting thoughts on the evolving global fintech market and what challenges fintech entrepreneurs like Haipo often face in their day to day business.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Haipo (including your hobbies!) and what your fintech startup journey has been like so far. How did the idea/inspiration for CoinEx first come about?
In 2011, I first learned about Bitcoin from an article – “Bitcoin: The Most Dangerous Open Source Project”. Now, to me, it seems that Bitcoin deserves this title.
After graduating from Northwestern Polytechnical University of China in 2012, I first worked as a developer at Tencent Weibo and then FUTU. In 2013, I began to invest in cryptocurrency. Between 2014 and 2015, I started my career in the cryptocurrency industry and led the R&D team at ZeusMiner, the former Top3 Scrypt miner in the world. In April 2016, I committed myself to the development of ViaBTC mining pool and released the initial version after two months of intensive coding effort. Fortunately, ViaBTC has received Bitmain’s investment and support, and has developed rapidly.
In 2017, we launched ViaBTC exchange. Since we took the lead in supporting Bitcoin Cash, it developed very fast. However, it had to be closed due to policy reasons. After that, we relaunched CoinEx, a new cryptocurrency trading platform for global users. It has been more than 2 years since CoinEx was launched, and we have listed hundreds of high-quality tokens and supported a variety of derivative tradings.
In terms of CoinEx Chain, the idea came to me as I wanted to create a DEX that is completely decentralized, requires no licenses to issue tokens and features high performance and good user experience. As there was no public chain that met our needs at that time, we decided to develop a new public chain by ourselves. CoinEx Chain is arguably the world’s first public chain exclusively designed for DEX, and its mainnet was launched in November 2019.
We’d love to know what some of your top FinTech predictions for 2020 are?
It’s hard to predict the whole FinTech industry, however, when talking about the areas that I focus on, I think three major application scenarios of DeFi will achieve explosive development in 2020. The first is stable coin. I look forward to the advent of Libra; the second is lending platforms; and the third is DEX.
Can you talk about some of the most innovative fintech apps and platforms in the global payments and banking industry that according to you are set to create new benchmarks for this segment?
One of the startups that impressed me is Simplex, a FinTech company providing guaranteed fraudless payment processing solutions by AI technology and machine-learning algorithms. It provides a fiat onramp for cryptocurrency exchanges, which lowers the threshold for new comers to cryptocurrency, and enables them to buy cryptocurrencies with their credit cards. It provides an easier and faster way for people to trade and won’t be hindered by the complicated processes of exchanging fiat to stable coins, and then to other cryptocurrencies.
A fiat onramp is very important in the crypto world, and I’m also happy to say that, CoinEx will also soon integrate a fiat onramp to our platform.
How according to you will AI and other innovations impact how Finance Technology Solutions for global payments will evolve in future?
In recent years, the Fintech industry has shown explosive development thanks to emerging technologies, and blockchain is one of them.
Because of the features of decentralization, traceability, and non-tampering, blockchain technology has a huge potential in the financial sector and can be applied in many areas, including central bank digital currency, clearing and settlement, trade finance, supply chain finance, digital bills, and credit investigation.
In these application scenarios, the use of blockchain can bridge the trust and information gap between parties at a low cost, making the transaction more secure and reliable, and effectively improving the operating efficiency of financial institutions.
Nowadays, 1.7 million people in the world have no bank accounts; however, among them, two thirds are smartphone users with huge demands for financial services. I’m surprised with those numbers when I first learned about that. However, blockchain will empower Defi applications’ development and popularization, not only help more companies to seize the huge market opportunity, but also to bring lasting transformations and improvements in people’s lives.
So in conclusion, I’m sure in the future, Blockchain technology will reshape the financial industry.
What are some of the biggest challenges in fintech that innovators and other startups often face, what are your top best practices that you’d like to share to help future fintech entrepreneurs in this space?
It’s not easy to run a fintech startup, as we have to deal with a lot of issues and challenges, such as building teams with relevant knowledge, dealing with high costs of running the startup, and gaining credibility. Most people are not finance or technology savvy, and lack trust of fintech companies, as these companies will be involved in their financial operations. So it takes a lot of effort to educate and build that trust.
For entrepreneurs, I think the most important things are to discover the real needs and make a clear profit model, as well as continuously polish your product and improve capabilities to meet customer needs. It’s also important to effectively distribute clear content to your audience, to make them understand your concept.
Entrepreneurship is a process of continuous growth, thinking and improvement. Lay a solid foundation, and the time will come for you to shine.
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the fintech industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
It will be great if Mark Zuckerberg could share his opinions of Fintech and Libra with us!
Your favorite FinanceTech quote or motto?!
I want to take this chance to share with you my favorite quote, also my motto: “Keep on going and never give up”. It’s normal and one will definitely encounter many difficulties in starting a business. Especially in the cryptocurrency industry, startups often suffer from double blows from markets and policies. I think the most important thing is to stick to it, face up to difficulties, and never give up.
We’d love to know what some of your future plans for CoinEx Chain are! Any other startup plans or fintech startups in mind?!
For CoinEx Chain, one of our major focus in 2020 is the Smart Chain.
In the second quarter, CoinEx Chain will support cross-chain protocol in April and complete the development of the Smart Chain virtual machine, and there are plans to support the transfer of tokens between DEX and the Smart Chain in May so that users will be free to trade CET on the two chains. Meanwhile, a new version of the DEX wallet will be launched.
In August, the Testnet of the Smart Chain will be launched. CoinEx DEX will be undergoing a “Jerusalem” hard fork upgrade in September for smart contract token transactions.
In October, the Mainnet of the Smart Chain will be launched online and tested. In December, the Smart Chain virtual machine will support the Cosmos ecosystem, which means that CoinEx Chain’s smart contract can support all public chains developed on the Cosmos protocol.
After the Smart Chain is officially launched, it will complete the CoinEx Chain ecosystem and provide a complete smart contract solution for the Cosmos SDK ecosystem. Integrated with smart contract functions, it will achieve the goal of programmable currency and support complex financial applications such as Defi.
Talking about whether I will start a business again, it’s hard to answering this question. Entrepreneurship is a journey full of difficulties and bitterness, and it’s very exhausting. I admire Elon Musk very much. He has been in entrepreneurship all his life, working on multiple projects at the same time, and has achieved great success. I think he must have paid extraordinary efforts to bear the pressure, which is actually a difficult thing for ordinary people. When this journey finally comes to an end in the future, I must take a complete rest and relax for a while! However, I will definitely embark on a new journey again, because I believe I am a person destined to change the world.
As a global and professional cryptocurrency exchange service provider, CoinEx was founded in December 2017 with Bitmain-led investment. It is a subsidiary brand of the ViaBTC Group, which also has a mining pool that is the fifth largest of BTC mining and the largest of BCH mining in the world. In November 2019, CoinEx received the operating license from Estonian.
CoinEx supports spot trading, margin trading, futures trading, options trading and other derivatives trading, and its service reaches global users in nearly 100 countries/ regions with various languages available, such as Chinese, English, Korean and Russian.
Haipo Yang is the Founder & CEO of CoinEx Chain