It’s time to grow up. This is the main message that Hybrid Block founder and eight-time U.S. Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno has for the digital currency industry. Hybrid Block is a new cryptocurrency exchange. Although the speed skating champion is very optimistic that the cryptocurrency will pass the test of time, he believes that the world exchange ecosystem which he is entering is becoming a mess.
He says there are several issues that need to be handled before the industry can usher in its next phase of maturity. Some of these issues include regulation, liquidity, transparency and education. He is also worried that a lot of fraud has infiltrated the industry.
Ohno was recently speaking at the Blockchain Unbound conference which took place in Puerto Rico. Among the things that came up during the conference is the raise of wash trading which involve trading the same financial instrument so as to create artificial shortage. He claims that this practice is practiced by both individual investors and individual exchanges who want to cheat on their customers. He adds that the cryptocurrency markets do not have strong regulatory platforms to curb wash trading which is an illegal activity in many traditional markets.
However, Ohno did not mention the names of exchanges which he believes are operating legally and correctly. In fact, in one of the interviews, Ohno drew a close comparison between the volumes which are seen at U.S. exchange Gemini which several international exchanges. Although the volume is much higher in international markets, Ohno is of belief that Gemini volume reflects what is available in the real market.
On yet another platform, Ohno shared stage with Biser Dimitrov who is the director at BlockEx that specializes in providing platforms for cryptocurrency exchanges and Alex Wearn who is the CEO of Aurora, a decentralized exchange. All of them acknowledged that wash trading is a big challenge in the industry. Wearn said that the industry is going through many changes which have bad reputations. He adds that people are resistant to let them go because they are earning from them. Ohno also insisted that many of the coming regulations will some so much in creating order in the industry.