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.

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Steve Kanaval: Portfolio Manager/Writer/ Market Analyst Steve began his career in the Trading Pits in Chicago making markets at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (NYSE:CME) the Chicago Board of Trade and the CBOE in the early 80’s. He ran the Morgan Stanley Derivative Prop Trading for the firm specializing in Index Arbitrage. He continued his career as a Trader/Portfolio Manager for multiple Hedge Funds during the Internet Boom of the 90’s managing large portfolios. Steve is known as an expert in MicroCap Technology Stocks and the emerging Digital Currency markets as a Portfolio Manager for his Family Office. Steve has managed portfolio’s in volatile asset classes for 3 decades as a commodity trader, hedge fund manager and digital currency trader and miner. Steve publishes his views on the asset classes in a public forum and has published more than 10,000 articles simplifying these complex and volatile assets for readers. His work is published on multiple sites including Bloomberg,,, CryptoCurrencyNews as a paid contributor. His work includes research, journalism and archived video on important market volatility related to stocks, digital currency and other volatile misunderstood asset classes. He offers a humorous, unique insight and the related back stories and drivers for readers interested in volatility and emerging market assets. Full disclosure Steve is long 25 digital currencies and sits on the board of multiple public companies involved in digital currencies, and owns shares in these companies from time to time.