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These cryptocurrency champions are opening the floodgates by creating more secure, more convenient, and more accessible ways to manage the wildly popular digital asset

With trading platforms, global exchanges and physical wallets dedicated to digital assets, tech visionaries on Tatler Asia’s Most Influential list are accelerating the world’s adoption of cryptocurrency. Through their companies, these five CEOs are creating more secure, more convenient, and easier ways to send, receive and trade cryptocurrency—a move that expands its reach around the world. 

Michael Ou, Taiwan

CEO of CoolBitX

Michael Ou saw the blind spots in the cryptocurrency space—security and compliance—and sought to address them with Taiwan-based tech company CoolBitX. His firm produces CoolWallet, mobile crypto hardware wallets that can send, receive and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP and more anytime and anywhere. 

Its latest release, CoolWallet Pro, lets professional crypto users do even more, allowing them to earn passive income and buy and sell NFTs in the Rarible and OpenSea marketplaces. Ou’s CoolBitX is also exploring a “metaverse-like” project, NAO NFT, a collaboration with Japanese actress Jinguji Nao.  

Read Michael Ou’s full profile here.

Kris Marszalek, Hong Kong

CEO of Crypto.com

 

As one of the founders of Crypto.com, Kris Marszalek is working to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrency around the world. The Hong Kong-based company, which has more than 10 million users and employs more than a thousand people, offers a network of products and services such as the crypto-backed Visa debit card, Crypto.com Pay, an app, an exchange, a wallet and more. 

To increase its reach, Crypto.com recently became an official sponsor of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the first cryptocurrency trading platform to sponsor the event. It also partnered with the International Committee of the Red Cross, for which it aired ads during the 2022 Oscars broadcast, encouraging viewers to donate to Ukraine with crypto or NFTs. The company raised US$1 million for the cause. 

Read Kris Marszalek’s full profile here.

Michael Wu, Singapore

CEO of Amber Group

In February, Michael Wu’s digital asset company Amber Group reached a valuation of US$3 billion, thanks to a $200-million private financing round led by Singapore’s investment firm Temasek and participated by Sequoia China, Tiger Global Management, Pantera Capital, among others. Of the funding, Wu says: “[W]e want to do more than enable mainstream digital asset adoption. We want to help create a digital future where digital assets empower people with the opportunity and agency to shape a better world for all.”

Amber Group, which the CEO founded in 2017, trades and hedges complex cryptocurrency products. Its flagship digital asset platform Whalefin enables the buying, earning and swapping of assets, along with more advanced trading features. The company has over US$1 trillion in trading volume, over US$5 billion assets on its platform, and more than a thousand institutional clients around the world.

Read Michael Wu’s full profile here.

Darren Wang, Taiwan 

CEO of OwlTing

By advancing blockchain technology, Darren Wang helps improve cryptocurrency trading, particularly its security. Wang’s firm OwlTing encourages businesses to secure transactions on the blockchain, making processes more transparent and traceable. Among its services are OwlPay, which aims to modernize B2B payments with blockchain technology, and Owlcheck, a blockchain anti-counterfeiting system. 

Recently, the company enhanced its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing defences with AI technology from anti-financial crime compliance solutions Napier. The move will help OwlTing scale its business further around the world. OwlTing is present in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, the US, and the UAE.

Read Darren Wang’s full profile here.

Sam Bankman-Fried, Hong Kong

CEO of FTX

In 2019, Sam Bankman-Fried established cryptocurrency exchange FTX, a brokerage platform “built by traders, for traders” with products like industry-first derivatives, options, leveraged tokens and more. Today, it is one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, used by both crypto novices and advanced traders, with a recent daily volume of around US$10 billion. 

The runaway success of FTX powered the CEO to the 60th spot on the 2022 Forbes Billionaire List with a net worth of US$24 billion. Bankman-Fried is one of the richest people in the crypto world and also one of the richest people under 30 in history. Recently, the billionaire said he will donate all except for one percent of his wealth. 

Read Sam Bankman-Fried’s full profile here.


Discover the changemakers, industry titans and powerful individuals who are making a positive impact on the region in the Asia’s Most Influential list from Tatler.

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