Former OKEx CEO Chris Lee Joins Rival Crypto Exchange Huobi

Francisco Memoria
  • Merely one week after resigning as OKEx's chief executive officer, Chris Lee revealed he's joining Huobi, a rival cryptocurrency exchange.
  • The move is notable as both exchanges are competing for the number one spot, and for dominance in Asian markets.

Chris Lee, former chief executive officer at cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, has recently joined rival exchange Huobi, according to a press release. Notably, the move comes merely one week after Lee resigned from OKEx to take a short break to spend time with his family.

The press release states that Lee is now going to help spearhead Singapore-based Huobi’s international strategy, as its new vice president of global business development. Lee himself confirmed the news on Twitter, where he claimed he sees Huobi become the largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Lee reportedly left OKEx after growing tired of clashing with the company’s founder, Xu Mingxing. According to a statement he published on WeChat, Mingxing “is a tech guy and lacks communication skills.”

He got his position at OKEx after the company’s former chief executive, Star Xu, stepped down in February. In a public note on WeChat, he suggested the company hasn’t been able to keep senior executives.

"For my former employer, I have done all I could ... The first generation of OKCoin's international and management teams have left. How many of the second generation are still there? And how many CTOs have left in the last three to four years?"

Chris Lee

The now-former OKEx CEO resigned little after Chinese national media started claiming the company has been illegally trading bitcoin futures contracts in the country. Their accusations even stated OKEx had only moved its headquarters to Hong Kong on paper, and is registering in Belize to dodge regulations.

Looking forward, Lee is seemingly bullish. Referring to Huobi, he stated:

"For my former employer, I have done all I could ... The first generation of OKCoin's international and management teams have left. How many of the second generation are still there? And how many CTOs have left in the last three to four years?"

Chris Lee

 Huobi itself has recently been embroiled in controversy, as various Chinese traders complained several cryptocurrencies, including ONT and NEO, plummeted on the platform, liquidating their positions.

Lee’s move is notable, as both exchanges are rivals competing for a larger share of the Asian market. At press time, OKEx is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with a 24-hour trading volume of over $1.7 billion. Huobi ranks third with a trading volume of little over $1 billion.

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Facebook Accused of ‘Ripping off’ Logo for Its Calibra Cryptocurrency Project

Facebook has recently been accused by the founder of an online bank, Current, of copying his company’s logo to use on the Calibra cryptocurrency project. The logo, according to the founder, took six months to perfect.

Speaking to CNBC, the CEO of Current and a former Wall Street trader, Stuart Sopp, revealed he hired a San Francisco-based design firm named character to create the logo of his startup back in 2016. The logo bears a striking resemblance to that of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Calibra, so much so Sopp noted that when he first saw it he thought he was being pranked.

Via a phone interview, Sopp noted he sees this as a “funny way to try and create trust in a new global financial system – by ripping off another fintech firm.” He added that Facebook has “all the money and resources in the world,” and that if it wanted to make banking more inclusive, it should be using its “own ideas and branding.”

Current has 45 employees and 350,000 accounts, and is relatively small compared to Facebook’s near 2 billion user base, and its vision to help the unbanked with the Libra cryptocurrency.

According to Sopp, his firm worked with Character for six months to develop the logo, that’s “meant to capture the importance of movement – of both money and people – by representing a wave.” In 2016, the firm applied for trademarks, which are pending. His firm engaged law firm Goodwin Procter to determine if it has an infringement case against the social media giant.

Sopp added that through a direct message to Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on Twitter, the Harvard twins famously claimed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for the social media network, he said “now I know how you guys felt.”

Calibra, as CryptoGlobe covered, will offer users a wallet to store and spend their cryptocurrency Libra, which is set to be launched next year. Facebook’s goal is to start offering its users financial services, including loans and investments, through the cryptocurrency project.

Its service, however, will depend on regulators, which will have to be convinced the benefits of such a system will outweigh the risks. Lawmakers in the U.S. have already called on the social media giant to halt its project, while a top Russian official has claimed the country won’t be legalizing the Libra cryptocurrency.