The truth is I never planned to start a cryptocurrency trading platform. I was inspired to do so about seven years ago after realizing that there was a gap – and a significant opportunity – in Singapore’s financial services space.
At the time, Gerry Eng, co-founder of Coinhako and current CTO, and I wanted to buy and trade bitcoin but found no platform in Singapore simple enough for non-technical users. And so we launched our brainchild, Coinhako, in 2014, with the aim of being the easiest way to buy bitcoin in Asia.
Our early years and a big break
When Coinhako launched, cryptocurrencies were largely still an unfamiliar piece of technology in Asia. Surrounded by novelty and unfamiliarity, securing the interest of investors in Singapore and Asia has proven to be a real challenge. Eng and I realized that we had to look outside of Asia to build the momentum needed to advance our startup.
We have taken a bold step towards Silicon Valley and become the first Asian Bitcoin startup to be accepted into Boost VC’s accelerator program – a three-month program that helps companies Early stage startups have the opportunity to connect, mentor and grow.
This is a great opportunity for Coinhako as the program of Boost VC is only accelerators focused on Bitcoin Back in the day and indeed, it really pays off when we earn personal investments from venture capitalist Tim Draper and Josh Jones.
With that experience and funding, we return to Singapore confidently and willing to work with our long-term vision of building Coinhako into the right platform for everyone in Asia to access cryptocurrency. .
The first few years were challenging as the crypto market faced very low interest from the public. We had to rely on financial resources and strict resource management to get us through. On the other hand, the 2017 bull run opened up major changes in crypto trading and proved to be a major breakthrough for us.
When Bitcoin hit US $ 20,000 in 2017, Coinhako’s transaction volume increased 1,000% year-on-year (YOY). The boom took place!
Grow from strength to strength
We’ve come a long way from a team of just two in 2014.
Today, Coinhako employs more than 70 employees Across the region, with plans to double our number of employees by 2021. In addition to our head office in Singapore, we also have a presence in Vietnam, serving as our technology hub and employing around 40 cities. members of our team.
Today, we have more than 200,000 users trading cryptocurrencies with us, only in Singapore and thousands of others in Vietnam, a strong affirmation that our infrastructure and technology allow us to they access cryptocurrencies with ease.
We firmly believe we can make even bigger leaps in 2021 as it is shaping up to be an exciting year for us. With the cryptocurrency market boomWe are seeing record high monthly account openings and high trading volumes on our platform.
Most noteworthy about the 2021 bull run was the growing interest from institutional investors and the presence of a direct licensing framework for crypto businesses in Singapore.
I believe these factors will continue to increase public confidence in blockchain technology and this will increase interest and demand for cryptocurrencies throughout the year.
What I learned as the CEO of a crypto startup
I have been observing the crypto space closely over the years, going through its ups and downs, especially in Asia. I have seen cryptocurrency trading evolve from an unfamiliar and niche financial service into a legitimate disruptive party in the financial industry. Today, cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, are just as solid as any other high-value, high-risk asset.
While I watched the companies grow stronger since Crypto price surge in 2017I have also seen businesses rush in the crypto winter of 2018. This teaches me that any business in this sector needs to strike a good balance between trust and event retention and agility to survive and grow.
There are a few things I have also learned from my business journey over the past seven years that beginners should keep in mind. I have condensed them into three main lessons:
First, don’t be distracted by shiny objects – new, trendy ideas can easily distract you; Remember to focus on your goal. Second, take risks and not be afraid of failure; but avoid making the same mistake twice. And third, hire people smarter than you. Let them handle the tasks you are not an expert at, then focus on your strengths.
We prepare and face adversity every day when we start a business. It is not uncommon for any business to face disruption and unplanned situations.
At Coinhako, we strive as a team to overcome challenges that come our way and we grow as a team. This is the cornerstone of Coinhako’s success today.
With a strong team behind Eng and I, we are excited to expand to the next new heights and spearhead growth in the regional crypto landscape.
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