One-stop shop blockchain solutions provider ChainUP has launched an exchange compliance solution together with partners Bplus and BitSG. CEO and founder Zhong Gengfa gives us the lowdown on the compliance solution as well as the overall regulatory landscape.
1. Can you tell us more about ChainUP, how you got started and what you aim to do?
Sure, I am Zhong Gengfa, the founder and CEO of ChainUP and I previously served as the Technical Director of Baidu SNS Division where I founded its technical team. I’ve also served as the CTO of a well-known P2P car rental platform, START.
In September 2017, I established ChainUP as a blockchain technology solution provider together with my co-founders Jun Du and Hu Donghai. There are some interesting anecdotes actually about our early days as a startup but that will take a bit of time, so hopefully you can take a rain check!
Our main goal is to provide the technical solutions much needed in the development of the crypto-blockchain industry. We strive to provide top expertise, the requisite know-how, offer diversity in the types of solutions, and provide exceptional support and service to the blockchain community.
2. Why did you choose Bplus and BitSG Labs as your partners?
First of all, we are all based in Singapore, so that makes it more convenient. Bplus and BitSG Labs are also professional compliance consulting companies who are well-versed with the latest compliance policies of MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore). They can provide services that meet MAS standards in the areas of legal opinions, drafting services, overseas entities and account set-ups, having served over 150 blockchain projects and crypto-exchanges.
ChainUP, Bplus and BitSG Labs have complete setup facilities in Singapore and can provide a one-stop shop compliance service for exchanges that reduces costs and achieves compliance efficiently with peace of mind. At the same time, together, we are also able to provide more value-added services. They include incubation for exchange compliance, support for Singapore as a core location incubator, professional consultation services, quality industry resource sharing, community marketing support, over 100 global top media resources and more.
3. As a blockchain technology service provider, what gives you an edge over other companies that provide the same services?
One thing that stands out at ChainUP is our rich industry experience.
The team members behind ChainUP have also worked in top blockchain or internet companies and institutions in technological development and operations management, and are highly experienced in the blockchain industry. We have more than 100 “technology genes” from BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) backgrounds. Moreover, ChainUP has always maintained its position as a dedicated technical service provider, not branching off into other areas that might cause conflicts of interest for our customers.
At ChainUP, we have constructed a full technology ecosystem, an industrial closed-loop, from technology services to traffic and traffic commercialization. Our strength is being a one-stop shop for blockchain and technology service solutions. Clients can come to us with various challenges and we can offer not only turn-key but also customized solutions. Products have been designed to easily integrate with the other products in the ecosystem.
Our past success has also proven our industry competence and the efficacy of our branded solutions. Here are some examples:
Compliance Solution: In Japan, a country with extremely strict compliance regulations, ChainUp already has 2 exchange customers who have obtained local compliance licenses.
Security Solution: Security is a priority at ChainUP. Over the past two years, our complete risk control and security system has served 300+ exchange and 100+ wallet customers, providing smooth functionality with zero security incidents.
Financial Derivative Platform Solution: EXUP enables clients to create blockchain financial derivative platforms and currently serves more than 60 enterprises in over 10 countries and regions worldwide.
Liquidity Solution: BitWind offers the aggregated liquidity of 300 exchanges and currently services more than 150 liquidity customers successfully.
Wallet Solution: Using the d’App platform as our basic foundation, HiCoin has managed to skip over the d’App integration challenge that many wallets are facing. We currently serve more than 100 wallet clients successfully.
4. What made you decide to create a compliance technology solution for exchanges that meets MAS standards? And can you elaborate on the MAS standards you’re referring to?
Presently, the countries where obtaining compliance licenses are in high demand, include the United States, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Canada, Kazakhstan, Malta and Australia.
We feel that Singapore presents a favorable landscape for long-term compliance development of crypto exchanges. Firstly, its legal policy framework is relatively open, prioritizing efficiency and practicality. Next, Singapore is internationally recognized and this can help in the globalization of a brand and its reputation. We believe that many exchanges also recognize these advantages that Singapore offers and that Singapore will continue to grow as a global hub for professional crypto trading services.
Hence we decided to create a compliance technology solution that meets with MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) standards to service these exchanges. We are providing customized development systems for exchanges that focus on MAS compliance requirements in these areas – KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti-Money Laundering), fund storage and withdrawal, local government audit reports/API, and the underlying wallet storage solution.
5. How important is regulatory compliance for blockchain companies? What makes it a worthy investment and what would be the consequences of failing to comply?
Compliance has been an area of major concern in the crypto industry. Recent developments indicate that exchange compliance is a future trend.
The time when crypto exchanges and blockchain companies can operate without oversight in many territories is ending. This is due in large part to the amount of fraudulent activity that has occured in the industry unfortunately. Exchange hacks, ICO scams and other criminal activities in the space have led governments everywhere to step up regulatory oversight.
We can see the different issues faced by the markets in both the East and the West. To fulfill the different market needs is precisely why there are different types of exchanges.
However, in the long run, tightening measures are good for the industry. Regulations are absolutely necessary to protect the interests of all stakeholders in this space. This is how we gain market confidence. As digital tokens gain mainstream momentum and adoption, we hope this new Payment Services (PS) Act by MAS will be for the better good in this largely unregulated space so far.
For the global crypto industry, regulations should ideally chase out bad actors and legitimize the industry, hopefully leading to mainstream adoption. However, this will take time and the expected drawbacks during this period of regulatory transition may include gradual but consistent sell-offs and a change of loyalties for users to regulated exchanges. This will either lead to lower liquidity for unregulated entities and their eventual closure or they might seek regulatory licensing in a different jurisdiction. We should expect a period of correction in the global digital tokens market as companies get adjusted to something as new as this.
Over time, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. By gaining public confidence, our local crypto ecosystem will be stimulated and this in turn will attract more credible blockchain companies to be based and licensed here. I believe this is a critical move towards a new era for the industry.
6. What are your goals from here on out and what are you planning to achieve?
Under current market conditions, ChainUP has been globalizing and localizing while cultivating skills internally.
When it comes to future plans, we plan to accomplish even more in the areas of compliance, our enterprise group strategies, and globalization initiatives.
In terms of compliance, we continue to promote cooperation with regulators and licensed institutions to strengthen monitoring and increase compliance.
In terms of structuring brand groupings, we focus on the development of one main brand, which is ChainUP, three sub-brands (wallet technology service provider HiCoin, exchange liquidity service provider BitWind and financial derivatives platform EXUP), and our five business lines, to create a full technology ecosystem.
In terms of globalization, in addition to our Singapore headquarters, Japanese branch, and Hong Kong branch, ChainUP has expanded into more than 10 key markets in various countries and regions, establishing deep ties and connections. In the future, we want to continue expanding our blueprint and realize both globalization and localization goals.
As we build our ecosystem holistically in the blockchain technology services sector, our goal is to be a leading contender for the global market share of this business. And as always, our top priority is our customers. Thus, providing the very best in both our technology and services will always be foremost for us at ChainUP!