The number of crypto exchanges has been booming rapidly, recording over 20,000 exchanges globally — more than the number of ICO projects! Competition is getting more intense, and the industry is growing faster than anyone could have imagined, but OKEx has been proudly occupying the top seats on the Coinmarketcap ranking, with an average of $1 billion daily trading volume.
The OKEx Story
Who is OKEx? In 2017 when the entire crypto industry has been facing criticism on lack of transparent information, several visionaries at OKCoin started the OKEx team with the support of some shareholders from the company.
OKCoin and OKEx are essentially under OK Group, while OKCoin focuses on global compliance of crypto trading, OKEx’s major business is crypto derivatives trading. This working relationship enables both brands to contribute to the blockchain ecosystem in different areas.
So how did OKEx got its name? The word “okay” is believed to be originated from the term “zero killed”, used by American soldiers for reporting death toll during the First World War, to indicate that there were no casualties suffered after a battle. It then became a popular slang for wishing each other luck in the battles. As time goes by, nations no longer engage in armed battles, battlefields have been shifted online, financial battles on currencies or trade wars are the norm today. Most people still long for “zero killed”, and that’s what OKEx strives for — a fair, safe, and win-win trading environment for digital asset traders.
How Blockchain Redefines Traditional Finance
The traditional finance industry has been facing drawbacks: the South Sea Bubble of 1720, the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, the subprime mortgage crisis, the Internet bubble, etc. all showed the flaws of the traditional monetary system. This is when people started to find alternatives to the existing system.
In 1901, Belgian poet Maurice Maeterlinck questioned the order of the bees after observing beehives in his famous work The Life of the Bee. Kevin Kelly, a US writer, addressed the very same question in his book Out of Control, where he argued that intelligence is not organized in a centralized structure, but much more like a beehive of small simple components. Kelly later applied his view to bureaucratic organizations, intelligent computers and to the human brain, offering a critical approach to analyzing the matter.
The hive mind theory established that a complete distributed ledger system that operates in “absolute democracy”. Beehives are in a remarkably united manner, no one is in control, yet everything seems organized. The same applies to blockchain — in an often failing and centralized financial system, a peer-to-peer distributed ledger is a way out.
The traditional financial system runs in a centralized model, whereas blockchain works similarly to the hive mind distributed system. After the 2008 financial crisis, a group of disappointed cypherpunk created their own version of digital money — that’s how a new chapter of financial system with blockchain and cryptocurrency began.
Figure 1: Differences between cryptocurrency and traditional currency
In 2010, we saw the first-ever Bitcoin transaction by American programmer Laszlo Hanyecz, who purchased two pizzas with 10,000 BTC. Yet down on his luck, Bitcoin price skyrocketed at an incredible rate in less than a year later. The Bitcoin ecosystem started to pick up the pace, flourished with traders, miners, various of BTC wallets and shopping sites that accept the crypto, etc. At the same time, its trading volume continued to rise, traders were desperate in need of trustable exchanges to handle the large number of transactions, but it was not a task the traditional stock exchanges could support, as crypto transactions are 24/7 and borderless.
So, a new type of exchange was born. Digital asset exchanges aim to align with traders’ value and interest by offering easy-to-use trading and risk hedging tools, such as derivatives contracts and options, to cater to their needs. OKEx was among the first to support digital asset trading, hoping to reconstruct a global trusted network to tackle the inadequacy of today’s financial system.
Figure 2: OKEx Trading Products
Figure 3: OKEx’s product spectrum
Figure 5: Sizes of ICOs from 2014 to 2018 (source: CoinDesk)
Today we live in a tokenized world where centralization and decentralization coexist. Smart contracts facilitated the development of decentralized financial products, such as stablecoins, DeFi, crypto wallets, margin lending, and insurance, etc. The DeFi ecosystem is growing at an incomparable speed in the West, but there are still 8% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to a safe banking system, especially in South Africa where 80% of the countries are facing financial chaos.
Figure 6: Unbanked population by region
But who are OKEx-ers? We are believers of blockchain and cryptocurrency. We believe that Bitcoin and peer-to-peer distributed ledger can rebuild human trust and empower everyone. We are proud to witness and become a part of this world-changing economy.
We value integrity and transparency. We dedicate our efforts on serving our customers with better technology and services, and we are constantly on the road of perfecting our systems, especially in safeguarding users’ assets. We never sacrifice safety for profits.
We’ve been through ups and downs on this crypto journey and had faced serious accusations of wash trading, clawbacks, flash crash, system downtime, API instability, slow transaction speed, etc. Some steamed from misunderstandings, some were due to immature technology at that time. But with every accusation, we will only grow stronger and better.
Stay tuned to our upcoming articles on the journey OKEx been through, the problems we encountered, as well as the future development of our products. We look forward to hearing from you — any suggestions are welcomed because we care.