Coinone CEO: “As an established institution, we will break the boundary with the traditional financial sector”
“In the past, traditional financial institutions were not able to easily approach the cryptocurrency sector due to regulations. For cryptocurrency firms, it was a great opportunity to expand their presence in the market. "However, I believe the boundary between the financial sector and cryptocurrency sector will break as soon as cryptocurrency companies become established institutions. At this point, the best option for Coinone would be cooperation with traditional financial institutions. Even if there comes a competition, liquidity would be our first competitive edge. Securing liquidity is something that others cannot easily get.” This is what Cha Myung-hun, Coinone CEO, said during a press conference celebrating the company’s sixth anniversary, which was held on Oct. 21. #"Balance between principle and innovation” Cha said “principle and innovation” is the identity of Coinone. While following the principles, the company has been pushing hard for innovation in the financial sector. “One who only follows principles will fall behind the competition, while one who only pushes for innovation will cross the line that they should not have crossed,” Cha said. “We should become a ‘maker’ that can keep a balance between the two.” Established in 2014, Coinone gathered around 900,000 registered users in six years. As one of the country’s top four cryptocurrency exchanges, its total transaction volume posted 157 trillion won. In 2018 and 2019, growth slowed for a while due to tightened regulations and intensified competition in the market. However, starting this year, the company has been growing at a rapid speed. As of the third quarter of the year, the company has a 14.8 percent market share in the domestic cryptocurrency market, up 10 percentage points compared to same period a year earlier. #“The cryptocurrency market has changed in 2017” Cha also said Korea’s cryptocurrency market completely changed in 2017. Before 2017, early adopters who invested based on high-risk and high-yields led the cryptocurrency market. During that time, blockchain platforms and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) were particularly popular for investors. However, from 2017 to until now, the cryptocurrency has become more popularized. Besides high-risk investors, medium-risk investors have been entering the market and many start-ups and applications related to cryptocurrency have been newly established. Cha emphasized that cryptocurrency exchanges have three big roles at this time. First, as an investment platform, they must try hard to come up with conservative polices, protecting investors and conducting research. Also, they should work hard to provide a contact point between cryptocurrency and fiat currency as a blockchain platform. Lastly, exchanges are responsible for protecting their customer’ assets and offering them various investment options such as staking or Decentralized finance (DeFi). Cha said the ultimate goal of Coinone is to become a comprehensive asset management platform that can connect all cryptocurrencies. #“Starting from Oct. 22, a simple purchase service available for WBTC and WETH” Along with the international cryptocurrency market, Coinone has been actively jumping into the financial sector. After Coinone launched Tezos staking in October 2018, it newly came up with the Plus Service in January. As of now, around 6.5 billion won has been deposited in the Plus Service and of them, 5 billion won had been rewarded to customers so far. Cha also showed interest in DeFi. “DeFi is a future finance that uses credible and transparent protocols,” Cha said. “Coinone has been offering DeFi services to customers for their convenience.” Currently, Coinone has been offering simple purchase services for some stable coins such as USDT USDC and DAI, which are highly utilized in the DeFi service sector. Starting from Oct. 22, the company plans to add two more stable coins to the list — WBTC and WETH. #“Welcome for becoming institutions, Unwelcome for government’s negative perception” Cha is positive about the current regulations such as taxation and the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information. According to Cha, Coinone is already prepared for the act, which will take effect by the end of the year. While Cha said he agrees on the basic principle saying “taxation must occur where income occurs,” he also said a change in the government’s perception toward cryptocurrency and any kind of support should come ahead of the regulations.