Following the prominent gain of exposure experienced by digital currencies across the globe, a host of digital currency-adjacent products and services have also become increasingly important. Mobile Apps making use of blockchain technology are one important example, and cryptocurrency mining-related products are another.
Digital Asset Trading Platforms are considered a third and often overlooked category of services and companies which have gained interest steadily as cryptocurrencies have become trendy. Today, OKCoin is one of the largest of these exchanges in the world, although it has come under increasing pressure from financial regulators in various countries.
Origin of OKCoin
OKCoin was founded back in the year 2013 in China by Star Xu, who is currently its CEO. OKCoin raised several million dollars in initial investments from a variety of venture capital companies in China and the United States, among other areas. Star Xu possesses a solid background in technology management, including stints at Yahoo and Alibaba, in which he worked on developing search algorithms. He was also Chief Technical Officer at Docln.com, a file sharing service. Since its initiation in 2013, OKCoin has developed into one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by user base and transaction volume. It has also expanded with a mobile consumer payment and lending app service.
OKCoin Regulatory Issues
OKCoin has not been without its own challenges since creation. However, those at the head of the innovation are working hard to make life easy for the users. Following the regulatory issues with various countries, OKCoin is not able to provide service for customers in nine (9) countries. As for all users trying to access the OKCoin website and trading platform from one of the affected countries, the following automated message appears:
In addition, OKCoin customers attempting to carryout transactions in other countries besides the ones listed in the message above have also reported of running into similar messages, perhaps a reflection of an error on the part of the interface. It is also worth pointing out that OKCoin was also deeply affected by the Chinese government’s crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges. Together with Huobi, a major cryptocurrency exchange and competitor in China, OKCoin announced in September that it would halt its trading services for local customers, following the government’s new regulations. Prior to this announcement, OKCoin had indicated that it would only halt yuan-based trading in cryptocurrencies. This information came shortly after China announced plans to ban all initial coin offerings. In response to this announcement, the price of Bitcoin plummeted by about 20% in the span of about two weeks.
However, OKCoin continues to operate its cryptocurrency exchange for non-Chinese customers, and it was widely speculated that a plurality of Chinese investors in the cryptocurrency space would turn toward overseas exchanges for the business. Huobi and OKCoin were precisely targeted because they were found to be in active operation without having appropriate Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering systems in place.
From 2014 to 2015, OKCoin made headlines because of a controversy related to the domain name bitcoin.com. OKCoin managed the domain from late 2014 through mid-2015. In May 2015, the exchange made public its ongoing dispute over the domain name and management rights thereof with Roger Ver, the well-known proponent and investor. In line with the dispute, Ver made public months of email history between himself and management from OKCoin. The emails purported to show that OKCoin had failed to make payments which it owed to Ver for use of the domain name. OKCoin offered a $20,000 reward to anyone who could effectively and demonstrably prove that Ver’s statements regarding the interactions were actually false. However, Ver turned the favor by offering $1,000,000 who could validate the accuracy of a contract between himself and OKCoin.
In November 2017, OKCoin experienced another controversial moment. The exchange in question briefly listed bitcoin at a price of more than $15,000 per BTC, at a time when most other exchanges had the cryptocurrency priced around $7,000 per coin. It is thought that the erratic reading from OKCoin’s system may have been linked to a brief outage in the exchange; at the same time, “compliance and sanction controls” for the exchange were malfunctioning. OKCoin’s quick rise to prominence within the digital currency world has been made in recent years with a number of barriers, including various controversies and regulatory issues. Nevertheless, the leaders of OKCoin have made clear their intentions to continuously provide their service in the best way that they can, and the exchange remains a popular international hub of cryptocurrency transaction.