Rising star Stella Chan, once the crypto exchange’s marketing face, earned the right to be its operational brains and she is ready to spread the hybrid semi-centralized exchange model.
When you think of a cryptocurrency enthusiast, you might not be picturing Stella Chan. Yes, she’s in her late 20s, which you might anticipate, but the new COO at Phemex otherwise defies expectations.
To start with the obvious, Chan is a woman, which disqualifies her from being the stereotypical “crypto bruh.” But her distinctions go far beyond gender.
Climbing up the marketing funnel
She is not by training a data scientist or a financial analyst. Chan’s background is in international marketing and she studied international languages. At the time of her graduation, cryptocurrency valuations were soaring. And yet, she was not lured by the easy money to be made in the summer of 2017. With an eye to the future – and, as it turned out, only five months in the future – she established her career in the Web2 world, moving up the market ranks at global tech giants Xiaomi and Alibaba.
That’s when Phemex, a centralized exchange now on the verge of partially decentralizing, came calling. After only three months as emerging markets marketing director there, Chan was tapped to be the Russian regional manager, giving her a first taste of operational management. That shouldn’t come as a surprise though, because Chan had already lived in different parts of the world and worked with global teams since the inception of her career. From there, Phemex moved her up to the executive ranks, naming her chief marketing officer. It was in that role that International Business Times dubbed Chan one of eight “Crypto Queens,” placing her on a throne next to Lightning Labs’ Elizabeth Stark and ARK Investment Management’s Cathy Wood.
A year and a half after being named CMO, Chan was promoted to chief operating officer, running the exchange’s total corporate budget and holding responsibility for up to a hundred employees.
“Stella has emerged as the natural leader embodying Phemex’s vision of constant innovation and evolution. She played a pivotal role in elevating Phemex’s brand awareness on a global scale. As one of the fastest-growing female executives in the crypto space, she has become an influential figure in our industry,” the official statement reads. “At Phemex, we are on the verge of redefining the trading landscape with the imminent launch of Phemexia, and Stella is leading an expert and dedicated team in turning this visionary project into reality.”
Web 3, business-as-usual 0
Phemexia is the exchange’s overall vision for a Web3-native finance and business experience. From her first days at Phemex, Chan has been a champion of this strategic direction.
“Cryptocurrencies originated from the vision of granting users greater control over their finances, eliminating the necessity for intermediaries,” Chan said. “Today, users demand more autonomy and transparency. This is where decentralized finance steps in to address this need. However, they don’t want to compromise on security, a crucial element in safeguarding their assets. I firmly believe that centralized exchanges play a pivotal role in bridging this gap.”
For Phemex, and Chan, the continuous reliability and efficiency of their platform is non-negotiable.
“At Phemex, we take pride in offering a cutting-edge platform that empowers our users to trade efficiently 24/7, Chan said. “We employ an innovative cold wallet system, and our users can use the Proof of Reserves tool on Phemex at any time to verify the secure storage of their assets. As we decentralize certain components of our platform, we remain committed to maintaining that level of security. We are developing a secure DeFi stack, ensuring a safe environment for users to engage with innovative products.”
Chan emphasized her full confidence that their hybrid approach will allow users to benefit from the reliability of a centralized exchange while also embracing the autonomy associated with a decentralized exchange.
Regardless of her title, Chan has functioned as the leader of Phemex’s Web3 initiative, which is progressing on schedule and igniting enthusiasm among the exchange’s users. Readers of this space might have been first introduced to Chan as the public face of Phemex’s unprecedented 100 ETH giveaway and 1,000 BTC Challenge. These promoted interest in the Phemex Soul Pass, which is essentially Vitalik Buterin’s dream of “soulbound tokens” turned into a know-your-client use case. As of today, more than 18,000 Phemex Soul Pass holders have joined the Phemexia ecosystem, making Phemex the exchange with the highest number of soulbound token holders in the market. Fast and growing adoption of PSP stands as testament that Phemex is moving in the right direction, with Chan pointing the way.
“Online identities will shape the future of trading,” Chan said. “Phemex Soul Pass offers our users a valuable opportunity to establish meaningful reputations and credentials that can enhance account security, unlock rewards and enable active participation – essential foundations for a flourishing, decentralized society.”
The next step of the exchange’s Web3 plan is the launch of Phemex Token, scheduled for late November. This will open the door to many new protocols within the Phemex Web3 ecosystem, such as PhemexDAO governance and voting.
Holding the door open
As COO, Chan’s job now involves not only sales and marketing, but also operations, business development, operations, customer service, asset management and business intelligence. She will oversee the development and execution of strategic plans, as well as managing day-to-day business operations and mentoring other executives and managers.
“I view this transition as an opportunity, more than a challenge,” she said. “We now find ourselves at a crucial juncture, focused on cultivating a strong community to fulfill our mission towards a hybrid future. My team and I are working tirelessly to ensure we deliver the exceptional experience our traders seek.”
She also recognizes her responsibility to serve as a mentor and role model for other young women with similar aspirations.
“For young women in executive positions, my advice would be to emphasize the importance of curiosity and staying informed about future developments in your industry,” she said. “Stay informed about the latest advancements, not only within your specific industry but also in related and adjacent fields. Seek mentorship from experienced individuals. And don't hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas.
Chan’s team at Phemex has ambitious plans and a clear vision, as explained in their Web 3.0 whitepaper. The team has dedicated more than a year to bring their ecosystem to life, and they are now gearing up to complete it with the launch of their platform and governance tokens. Chan and her team firmly believe that they are meeting a genuine need for traders worldwide, by offering increased autonomy and complete transparency, alongside the security and reliability that they have consistently taken pride in providing to their users since their inception.