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OKCoin to Expand to Consumer and Merchant Products

Op-ed - OKCoin to Expand to Consumer and Merchant Products

Chinese exchanges get accused of fueling the speculative nature of Bitcoin without actually participating in creating new, useful applications that would expand the adoption of the currency. According to Jack Liu, Head of International at OKCoin, that’s going to change.

“Given our position as the largest Bitcoin company in China, there is not only a responsibility to grow the wider ecosystem of Bitcoin use cases, wallets and payments, but also a great opportunity on this front,” Liu explained in an email to Bitcoin Magazine.

This comes on the heels of a report by Goldman Sachs that 80 percent of bitcoin is exchanged into and out of the Chinese Yuan. While Liu does believe this figure is likely exaggerated, he does see some merit in it.

“Due to the three largest exchanges of OKCoin, BTC China, and Huobi (in that order) all trade BTC against CNY on a 0 spot fee basis, the total volume will naturally be higher,” he explained. “However, I do believe that a majority of the volume does indeed trade in China. China is active in the trading and speculative aspect of Bitcoin – more so than other parts of the world, and this is similar in traditional finance markets where commodity futures are traded quite actively in China.”

This new responsibility is linked to expanding consumer and merchant adoption. While he was unwilling to release the specifics on OKCoin’s latest project, he had this to say:

“There are great synergies to adding a consumer & merchant product to OKCoin, which we call OKLink. This has been in the works for several months and we are excited to unveil something unique to this product in the coming months,” Liu said. While he wouldn’t say much more, he did say that “what we will be releasing will be different than what you see currently on OKLink.”

With this slight change toward more consumer applications, there are going to be some in the company who do not fit in perfectly. According to a Reddit post, there has been a “mass exodus at OKCoin,” which had many concerned for the welfare of the company. However, Liu assured Bitcoin Magazine that the departures were just a function of OKCoin’s rapid growth.

“The departures have been over the course of the past couple of months,” Liu said. “A few members are still currently with the company and will stay on in an advisory/consultancy role with the firm.”

While he was unwilling to comment on the specifics of any of the departures, he did say that, “we are a team of 140-strong and operationally our efforts on the exchange side will continue to be run with the top customer service, product and the most competitive fees.”

An increase in consumer adoption, especially in China, would be a big boon to the Bitcoin ecosystem. And as cliché as it sounds, with their great power, OKCoin does have a responsibility to the success of the Bitcoin ecosystem.