CYBEX’s Jianbo Wang: “We Are Very, Very Early In The Game” For Crypto Adoption
Jianbo Wang is chief investment officer of CYBEX, a decentralized crypto-asset exchange. Wang is formerly Director of ETF and China Risk trading at Deutsche Bank Asia, Vice President of ETF and Equity derivatives trading at Citigroup Asia, Vice President of Equity derivatives proprietary trading at Credit Suisse. Jianbo is familiar with global financial markets and derivatives trading and has a deep understanding of ETF and other innovative financial products. He received both a B.S. and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Wang spoke to CoinBlock.Asia, a service of China Money Network, on his views of the future of cryptocurrency investments.
Watch the video interview, or read a Q&A.
Q: Hi Jianbo, welcome. Tell us more about CYBEX?
A: We started the project last year, and finished our private fundraising around December last year. We just got online about a month ago.
Q: You did an ICO?
A: No, we just did private sales.
Q: Why didn’t you do an ICO?
A: One is for policy. Second is that we did raise enough money. So there is not much of a point to try that. We got online about a month ago, so CYBEX is up and running. We have a roadmap to make things faster and list more interesting assets and tokens.
I am more in charge of the Hong Kong (operations) and we try to build a Hong Kong IT team to make the back-end grow much faster, ten or probably a hundred times faster. We are trying to get it done by end of this year, probably a little earlier.
Q: How many decentralized crypto exchanges you think are there right now?
A: I think for the names I’ve heard, probably five to six. The bigger ones are Bitshares and Waves. There are a few smaller ones. The building technology is probably the easier part, even though it’s difficult, but it’s probably the easier part of running a community and how to be relevant. That takes a lot of work. We are lucky that we have James Gong to be our team lead. He has been in the industry for five or six years. So a lot of crowd know him, and know that he always tries to do the right thing. So it’s easier for us to get a community, get the relevant asset, and also get things rolling for us. Probably not every exchange has that luxury.
Q: From a project perspective, how has the market volatility impacted your project development?
A: Since we raised enough money, we are just trying to do the work as we promised, including things like autonomic swap, make the base chain much faster, and engage a lot of good asset, good team that has a lot of good digital asset that can be listed.
The market moves up and down, it doesn’t impact us much. Of course we raise a lot of assets as in Ethereum so that will affect us a little bit. Well, we did our hedging, so we are fine with that.
To us, we all believe in the long-term game. We believe the decentralized exchange is the way to go. I don’t know when that will happen. By happening I mean, maybe 50% of loading goes to decentralized exchange. If you look at the rolling now, probably 99.9% of loading goes into centralized exchange at a moment. We just need to keep being there to do the relevant work and hope the moment that people want decentralized exchange then we would be there to catch the flow.
Q: Now let’s look at the crypto market in general. Where do you think we are in the cycle?
A: I think last year was a great year that made crypto relevant and brought the big push for the crypto asset. I think last year made it clear that crypto asset can be used as a payment. So Bitcoin, Ripple, and a few other tokens like Dash are in (such category).
Q: Sounds like you still think it’s early time for crypto adoption, yeah?
A: Yes. So last year was only the payment, which is just the first (application). Bitcoin is always a payment, it’s a digital cash. But for me, to make blockchain relevant, it must go through to add other applications.
For example, last year there was a token called the IPFS, basically a distributed drop-offs if you like. So that’s another app of storing files and retrieving it. So I think going forward, there will be more and more aApps. In that sense, we are very very early in the game.
Q: Now going forward, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for crypto assets development?
A: If you look at Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are the number one and number two coins out there, is (facing challenges in) speed. Bitcoin is running at probably 12 to 15 trades per second. They did a lot of side-chains, but the unchained trading is still limited to that. And Ethereum at probably 18. Both of them are doing a lot of side-chain products.
So I think speed is the biggest problem. And also there are security related issues. A lot of people try to come up with creative methods to try to solve the speed problem. But how do we do that without sacrificing security? A lot of people are working on it. Given that there are so much resources putting into it and so many good minds putting to it, I think we probably can solve that problem sooner or later. I see one promising project called EUS, they are trying to push real hard on the DPOS consensus. As far as I know, the speed of that probably will be somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 per second. That will make us a lot more relevant. It’s not top in terms of speed yet, but at 10,000 we can do a lot more things.
Q: Lastly, I’m not sure if you have a view on this. But what do you think Bitcoin would be trading at the end of this year?
A: End of this year? It’s a difficult call. I think given that last year was such a great year. The bottom was like US$8,000 around probably February. Even in a bull market, you probably don’t expect it just to go from here to US$40,000 or something like that.
So I think a lot of people just use last year and make it as a common year. I don’t think it’s the case. This will probably take a lot of consolidation and then the people need to see what’s really going on. I think it’s probably more consolidation. In term of how high it would go, I’m not quite sure.
Q: Do you have any prediction on that?
A: I think we are in a bounce. I’m not sure. For in a project, I think the EUS Project is kind of interesting if people want to look into DPOS. Because the main net would be online in June. I think around the next economic crisis, I don’t know when that will happen, that would probably pull a major push on the crypto asset in general.
Q: If the next economic crisis arrive, how much do you think Bitcoin would go?
A: Look at gold, gold is around a US$6 trillion market. And all the crypto asset right now is perhaps half a trillion. Given gold went 1.5 times higher (during the last crisis), crypto probably would be a lot more than that.
Q: So you are a bullish?
A: I’m bullish round-and-round. I usually don’t tell people about predictions.