OKCoin CEO Hints at China Cooperation In Leaked Chat

Star Xu, the founder of Chinese crypto exchange OKCoin, is sparking controversy with remarks his firm may be open to working with the government.

AccessTimeIconMar 9, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:40 a.m. UTC

The founder of one of the largest cryptocurrency businesses in China appears willing to work more closely with the government.

In comments that first emerged in an all-staff messaging group on WeChat, Star Xu, the founder of exchange services provider OKCoin, discussed a press conference Friday in which the governor of People's Bank of China (PBoC) addressed various financial issues including cryptocurrency.

A screen capture of the group chat further shows that Xu told the staff he had also briefed the country's central bank on OKCoin's overseas expansion plan, its research on blockchain development and notably, a commitment that the firm is "prepared to donate it to the country anytime in the future."

The lack of clarity inherent in the remark has since drawn speculation on Chinese-language social media, with at least one domestic media outlet also taking note of the claim.


In a response to a CoinDesk inquiry, a spokesperson from OKEx, the crypto-to-crypto trading platform under OKCoin, confirmed the authenticity of group chat, acknowledging Xu did share the messages with internal staff.

However, the firm did not further clarify what exactly is to be donated – whether it's the group's crypto exchange business or the blockchain research results, or elaborate on why Xu would make such a claim.

Yet, the comment is notable given recently reported measures taken by Chinese authorities to clamp down on domestic cryptocurrency companies. Currently, the WeChat social media channel of OKEx, the crypto-to-crypto trading platform under OKCoin, is being blocked, and a previous report indicated that this was due to tightened government oversight.

As reported by CoinDesk, following PBoC's ban on initial coin offering and fiat-to-crypto trading in September last year, OKCoin has since moved its platform overseas to continue offering trading services to investors.

Star Xu image via CoinDesk's archive.


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