Today we are talking with Jay Hao who is the CEO of OKEx.
- OKEx is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and provides hundreds of token and futures trading pairs for traders, and serves millions of users in over 100 countries.
We’d like to kick things off by asking you a couple of questions regarding your formative years.
1) Firstly, can you tell us the things which interested you the most throughout your childhood and teenage years, and what brought you the most happiness?
Interesting question, thank you for having me first of all. I would say building things has always been in my genes and I think that is something that been ingrained in me since I was a kid. From being obsessed with legos, to enjoying tearing things apart and putting them back together just to learn the process of how things are made, this is something that has always kept me busy. I remember always being the guy to fix things among my friends as a kid, helping them fix things like their bikes and toys. Naturally I eventually studied engineering and still enjoy learning processes and operations today.
2) Who were your biggest influences growing up, and why did they have such a profound effect on you?
I would say my biggest influence in my life has always been my father. Coming from his time of such struggle and hardship yet working so hard his entire life in order to bring our family to US as immigrants, I have always had a profound respect for him. Today, my work ethic and attitude towards life is very much learnt from him.
3) Teenage years are often a turbulent time for many, so on this note, can you name a time which was tough for you, and how you managed to overcome it?
The first year arriving the states. At that time, I didn't know how to speak English and I had a really tough time blending in. I don't understand the culture, my stomach got upset with the local food...But somehow I just survived. I am quite flexible and adaptive to changes. I don't really spend time on being emotional and blaming the reality. Because this doesn't help the situation. I'm always good at adapting and I think this something that has helped me a great deal in business and leadership. As you know everything can change in a second in this industry, so have to constantly adapt.
4) If there was some advice you could give young aspiring individuals, advice which you would really have liked to have heard yourself as a young person, what would it be?
IT'S OK TO BE DARING. Go for your dreams. No regrets.
We are now going to ask you some questions which will hopefully give our readers something to go on regarding you as a person.
5) Firstly, what are the particular strengths that you feel have made you successful in your field (don’t hold back)?
I would say one of my main strengths that has brought me this far is my ability to execute. Things like building a business from the ground up, running operations and scaling a business to a multi-million dollar level, I have been lucky enough to have experience in these things and I think it's what I this industry needs more of. We have enough smooth talkers and good marketing minds, I want to be able to say that I am someone who has built something worth building in this young industry. I believe we are on track to do that here at OKEx.
6) What would you say is your most controversial opinion as regards to blockchain or the crypto space?
I think this may not be that controversial but I believe that this industry needs more transparency. You may see me calling out people on twitter quite regularly, and it's not because I have personal vendettas towards these people, but rather because they are clearly attempting to mislead people. It will get better slowly over time but when I see this happening, even from the so called top players of our industry, I feel the need to call them out.
7) In the course of your day you can become under the most ridiculous pressures and stresses, what is your particular way of dealing with this?
My escape has always been reading. After a long day of constant interaction and thinking, I find it hard to switch off mentally so reading is my way of slowing down the pace.
8) Outside of crypto/blockchain, what is your favorite thing to do?
Travelling. I love being exposed to new cultures different from mine and expanding my worldview. These days I don't have much time to enjoy the places I travel to as it's mostly for business, but any time I'm taking a break travelling is something I am passionate about.
We are now going to ask you some creative and humorous questions, and we are sure people will love to see you what you can come up with.
9) What is the most humorous thing you have seen or experienced during your time in the crypto/blockchain space?
Something I find funny but also really enjoy is the open culture of blockchain companies. At OKEx we have grown extremely fast into a company with over 1,000 employees, but we are still extremely flat in structure and our executive team wants to be as approachable as possible. The other day in a meeting one of our young guys called my idea "completely wrong" and I did agree after some thought. Afterwards I was thinking whether this would happen if we were in a traditional company, or the guy would be out of a job for doing something like that.
10) If you somehow managed to meet Satoshi Nakamoto (that is he is a male person in this scenario) on his deathbed, but only had time to ask him one question, what would it be? Bear in mind you don’t have much time at all, so make it a good one.
Can I have your private keys? Haha. Kidding aside, I would want to know why decided to create all of this.
11) Can you give three policies you'd enact if you became the president of a country tomorrow?
1. National cryptocurrency
2. Blockchain voting system
3. Compulsory blockchain education for everyone 😉
Communities are often an important backbone for many crypto/blockchain projects, so we’d now like to get some personal thoughts on the community side of things.
12) Project aside, what are some other crypto/blockchain communities that you admire and why (this is not an endorsement)?
I recently came back from Berlin, Germany, and found their blockchain/crypto communities to be very strong. Not only does the average person know a lot about the underlying technology, but they are also very willing to educate each other and engage in interesting discussions about the future direction of the space.
13) What social-media platform do you like most and why, and are there any improvements which you feel can be made to these platforms for an even better community user-experience?
Mostly Telegram and twitter on the english side. Follow me @JayHao8.
14) With the endgame being mainstream adoption, do you think crypto/blockchain communities will still have an important role to play in a post-adoption environment?
Communities definitely play a vital role in a young industry such as blockchain. Not only is this the best way to educate new joiners in the space, but also from a business standpoint this is the best way to learn what our customers wants and needs are. Post-adoption, I think this will still be important and this is one of the things blockchain companies have done right from beginning. No matter how big or successful we become, I will make sure listening to our community is something that is always a priority.
In our penultimate section we are going to ask you a question regarding OKEx.
15) What do you feel sets OKEx apart from your competitors (that is if you have any)?
We pride ourselves in being the swiss knife for trading for any trader. Whether it is fiat through our C2C market, spot, futures, derivatives or lending, we got you covered. Our goal has always been to build a complete all in one ecosystem that traders can depend on. The other thing that obviously sets us apart is that we are the most liquid exchange and have never suffered a security breach unlike our competitors.
Well that just about does it, but before we end this interview we’d like to ask you for something which we believe will say a lot about your belief in the industry, and which may inspire those who are reading.
16) Can you come up with a short argument for our readers on why you feel cryptocurrency and blockchain (or just one) has a bright future?
What people fail to realize when correlating crypto prices with Fiat is that there is far less certainty in government-controlled currency than you imagine. This is where blockchain comes in. It provides people a whole new method to manage and transfer the value more effectively, frictionless and trustworthily.
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