CoinQuora Exclusive Interview — Jack Tao, the CEO of Phemex

  • 10/04/2021
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Jack Tao is the CEO of Phemex. He was a veteran executive in traditional finance who is supporting the upcoming World Blockchain Summit in Dubai.

The CoinQuora team asked Jack questions to help us get to know him, what they do at Phemex, and to tell us some things about his insights on the blockchain and crypto market. Without further ado, here’s the interview.

Q. Please give us an introduction of yourself. What’s your background?

My name is Jack Tao, the CEO of Phemex. Previously, I was a veteran executive in traditional finance with over a decade worth of experience building high throughput, low latency, large-scale algorithmic trading platforms. Prior to co-founding Phemex, I held the position of MSET BXS Global Development VP at Morgan Stanley. 

Q. How did you get into cryptocurrency? What’s your motivation?

Traditional finance has many inefficiencies, unreasonable fees, and backdoor negotiations that deprive regular users of their ability to achieve true financial freedom. I have witnessed all of these and more firsthand. I was incredibly excited when I first learned about crypto as it seemed to solve all of these challenges.

Blockchain networks are essentially accessible to anyone with a computer, transactions are immutable and transparent, and no single party or entity has control over the system. They enable the next evolution of our digital spaces into a more practical and immersive Metaverse. They represent so many new opportunities that my initial motivation was simply to experiment and learn more. I mounted some small mining operations and began testing different exchanges and trading platforms.   

Q. How did you start with your current company? Could you tell us about the business?

To expand on my previous answer, my initial foray into crypto resulted in devastating losses. Despite the incredible promise presented by the concept of decentralized currencies, the industry still had a long way to go. The exchange I was using at the time had many technical problems that led to constant downtimes and hacks. There was a lack of standards and trust. By leveraging my financial and technical expertise from years on Wall Street, I set out to find a way to facilitate crypto’s ideals.

Phemex is the result. It’s an incredibly robust and efficient platform that, despite its partial Wall Street pedigree, serves the singular purpose of helping every single person achieve financial freedom, not just a privileged few. 

Q. What would you say is the unique selling point of your company? What makes it different from other blockchains/crypto businesses?

Many businesses claim to embody the ideals of crypto and blockchain, but the reality is that they’ve simply implemented the same old models, driven by profits and self-interest, to a new space. Our slogan, “Break Through, Break Free” perfectly represents our values and goals as a company.

Phemex offers everything needed for a person to break through into a better system where true individual financial sovereignty is not only encouraged, but hardcoded into its foundation. This isn’t an easy task, but we accomplish it by creating products that never deviate from a singular focus on helping users. We deliver advanced trading functionality through a simple interface suitable to users of all levels. We’ve pioneered a zero commission membership model to make trading more transparent and accessible to all.

Similarly, we’ve created high interest-earning accounts with Phemex to guarantee our customers high interest returns regardless of market conditions. Only when the available tools and services are designed with equal opportunity in mind can people truly break free into a better financial paradigm.   

Q. What do you personally think about current crypto market trends?

I’m very excited about the recent trends I’ve seen. The Metaverse and NFTs have certainly piqued my interest. The recent explosion of NFT collectibles and art, though perhaps somewhat inflated, is still indicative of a promising future to come. We’re redefining what ownership means and are just barely discovering new applications for on-chain assets.

Similarly, the Metaverse features new GameFi, play-to-earn, and wealth distribution mechanisms that may fundamentally revolutionize our activities in the digital realm. And these are just the tip of the iceberg for what’s possible and what’s to come. Phemex has supported Metaverse development by listing assets like AXS, MANA, and ATOM. We will continue to pay close attention to this potent megatrend.

Q. Please share your thoughts on the future of Blockchain technology and Fintech evolution.

Blockchain technology may have been popularized through Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, but as we’re already witnessing, it has so many more applications. DeFi was the first major evolution in this industry. We went from a simple new currency to facilitating decentralized transactions to now recreating nearly the entire traditional financial system on-chain. The next evolution will see us recreate and invent every imaginable service or operation, not just financial ones.

Q. Do you have anything specific to share about your projects?

We’re working on many new initiatives to make our services and products safer and more accessible around the globe. In addition, stay tuned for new projects related to the many sub-sectors of the industry I mentioned in my previous answers.

Q. How does it feel to be part of 19th edition of World Blockchain Summit in Dubai?

After the unfortunate events we’ve all been subjected to for nearly two years, it’s great to have the opportunity to travel and interact with our community again. Seclusion and isolation go against our core values, both at a personal and company level. We relish every chance we get to listen to our users, traders, and peers. I can’t imagine a better place to start than Dubai’s World Blockchain Summit.

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