Interview With The Founder & CEO of CoinFLEX, Mark Lamb
Interview With The Founder & CEO of CoinFLEX, Mark Lamb
CoinFLEX, powered by Trading Technologies, is the world’s first physically delivered cryptocurrency futures exchange. With their quick & easy sign-ups, competitive fees, and native $FLEX token incentives, CoinFLEX is in a position to quickly take control of a significant portion of the futures market’s volume and become one of the leading exchanges, in terms of volume and liquidity.
Hey Mark, thanks for doing us today! How did you first get into the cryptocurrency space?
I found bitcoin in 2012 when I was looking at the nature of money and alternatives to traditional currencies. I had studied cryptography and was interested in the economic implications of alternative currencies being adopted worldwide. When I found bitcoin I realised this was something I absolutely needed to devote my whole life to building and improving an ecosystem around bitcoin. So I created the first UK spot bitcoin exchange, Coinfloor.
Could you briefly describe what CoinFLEX is? How did the idea for CoinFLEX originate?
CoinFLEX is built around the idea that crypto futures and derivatives are in the early days and most are fairly manipulable products that are both not well understood and not trusted by both crypto investors today. As a result, we have built the first physically delivered futures exchange, which just means a futures contract that truly ties to the underlying spot markets and cryptocurrencies themselves, and as a result cannot be manipulated through index movements. We believe that futures enable amazing things not yet possible before, both speculative trading but also borrowing, lending, payments and other financial infrastructure on top that will change the fabric of how money moves through society and how people interact with money.
How did you come up with the idea to start CoinFLEX? Could you tell us a little bit about the CoinFLEX team and investors?
The idea came with interacting with large players in the industry while running Coinfloor, many of whom wanted a place to hedge large amounts of cryptocurrency risk and do leveraged trades, but without the risks of cash settlement on the futures exchanges that exist today.
Our investors are some of the largest players in crypto, ranging from VCs like Polychain and Dragonfly and DCG to OG crypto players like Mike Komaransky, Roger Ver and others as the largest traditional futures trading platform in the world, Trading Technologies.
Evaluation of the current scenario for CoinFLEX, the blockchain industry and the crypto market.
We are growing fast, having launched only three months ago and now seeing regular $150-$200M in volumes per day. We are building some great new products, many of which are around the corner and we’re improving the system and interface based on the early feedback we have received from our customers. We also launched FLEX Coin which has gone fantastically well.
How would you describe the main pillars of the project?
CoinFLEX as a company is focussed on creating fair, honest and free markets. Reputation is everything as an exchange and so being transparent and out there for our customers, innovating quickly and improving based on that feedback is so key.
Could you describe the vision for CoinFLEX?
The vision is to be the vast majority of the futures market and to grow the futures market so it is 20x the size of spot market volumes, as is the case in traditional markets. Right now that would result in over $100 Billion per day in futures volumes across all platforms worldwide. That is an outcome we would love to make happen and be the market leader in.
We also want to massively reduce the cost of hedging crypto risk and crypto prices. Making trading more efficient, easier to do and reducing the financial and mental cost of trading is extremely key for us.
In the current cryptocurrency ecosystem with margin trading exchanges, why do you think CoinFLEX stands out from the rest of the pack?
CoinFLEX is one of the few exchanges that does not run an internal prop desk, we remain entirely neutral on our own platform, not looking to compete with our customers or use inside information against them in trading. CoinFLEX also is the only contract that is physically delivered. We have some extremely large backing as well from some of the most capitalised players in the space, many of whom are active futures traders themselves.
In 2018, there was a trend of exchanges being hacked that had affected the entire crypto industry, tell us more about the security measures CoinFLEX are taking to ensure confidence for users?
As someone who has successfully run exchanges for over 6 years with zero hacks or losses of customer funds, I am extremely familiar with the techniques involved in the safe operation and many on the CoinFLEX team have been securing huge amounts of crypto assets for many many years. The simple rule is to keep 99% in cold storage and ensure that corporate balance sheet could cover any amount in hot wallets, should hot wallets become compromised. In practice what this means is a high attention to detail and a strict enforcement of operational security rules and procedures.
The cryptocurrency world has seen extraordinary growth in 2017 and 2018, what have you learned in the last year that will inform CoinFLEX in the years ahead?
Ultimately we’ve seen that derivatives are where the vast majority of volume and ecosystem growth has been and I think this trend will only accelerate.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge or obstacle CoinFLEX has ahead of them? How do you plan to tackle that challenge?
We need to make our user interface easier and easier to use over time. This is a huge focus for us right now.
Can you tell us what you’re looking forward to accomplishing the most with CoinFLEX in 2019?
Becoming the largest derivatives exchange in the world through constant innovation on the product based on the incredible promise of physical futures.
What do you think is the biggest problem CoinFLEX will solve and why is the problem important to solve?
For the first time ever, people can now trade derivatives they can trust. This problem is structurally important to the whole world but also the crypto world because people can now hold much larger, much more long term positions than they’d otherwise be comfortable holding without physical futures.
We thank you for your time Mark!
You can follow Mark on twitter, here!