Anndy Lian Speaks to Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko about the Crypto Ecosystem
Blockcast.cc: Dear Bobby, this is Anndy Lian, I am a governmental blockchain advisor, book author and most recent Board Member of Hyundai DAC. We have in fact met very briefly in Malaysia during one of your meet-up. Good to hear from you again, can you give an introduction of yourself?
Bobby: Sure! I’m the co-founder of CoinGecko, an analytics platform for tracking cryptocurrencies and blockchain assets. CoinGecko was established in April 2014 and is the largest cryptocurrency data aggregator in the world.
CoinGecko provides comprehensive information derived from thousands of data points such as price, trading volume, market capitalization, developer strength, community statistics, and more. We currently track over 7,000 tokens from more than 400 exchanges.
Blockcast.cc: Tell us how you started CoinGecko?
Bobby: I met my co-founder, TM Lee in 2013. We were both interested in Bitcoin and were trading some alternative cryptocurrencies. We wanted some additional data such as community and developer data that was not available anywhere else. We decided to track these data on a website and make these data available for other people as well. This was how CoinGecko got started.
Blockcast.cc: What is your vision and mission for CoinGecko? What do you aim to
achieve in the long run?
Bobby: Our mission is to empower the cryptocurrency community with a 360-degree overview of the crypto market. We believe that in the future, anything of value that can be tokenized will be tokenized. We are building the infrastructure needed to track this decentralized future where we will have millions of tokens trading in the world and we aim to help traders get the relevant information for these tokens.
Blockcast.cc: I have openly commented on how the metrics do not work well in today’s context where many of the projects/ exchanges washed their trades. How do you see this? How can this be improved?
Bobby: Yes, we used to sort exchanges by trading volume. However, by early-2019, we started noticing that many exchanges were conducting wash trading and faking their trading volume numbers to appear larger and more liquid than what they actually are. We were not happy that the results for exchanges were no longer accurate and felt a deep responsibility to our users not to divert them to these small exchanges faking their volume.
Thus in May 2019, we introduced an algorithm to rank exchanges called Trust Score. This algorithm looks at multiple metrics for exchanges such as bid/ask spread, orderbook depth, web traffic estimate, exchange API quality, AML/KYC compliance and cybersecurity practices to give a holistic overview of each exchange’s quality. Exchanges are graded on a 1–10 scale and many of the exchanges conducting wash trading were no longer ranked at the top on CoinGecko.
Blockcast.cc: How is your ranking metrics compared to other similar platforms?
Bobby: We were the first crypto data aggregator to move away from ranking exchanges using trading volume. We saw how this metric had been manipulated by many non-regulated exchanges and introduced Trust Score to look at other liquidity based metrics.
Our metrics take into account several factors mentioned above such that it is holistic and robust. It does not use anyone single factor that can be easily manipulated by exchanges. We are also constantly looking to improve Trust Score and have done a few improvements since our launch.
Blockcast.cc: Will there be a chance that CoinGecko will transform into a wallet or an exchange? If no, will the group most likely to invest indirectly into the ecosystem?
Bobby: We view wallets and exchanges as our partners and have no plans to offer either of the above services for the time being.
If there are interesting opportunities to invest, we may consider it on a personal capacity as CoinGecko does not currently invest in any companies directly.
Blockcast.cc: What is your personal opinion of the blockchain and crypto industry? What is the future like?
Bobby: We view the blockchain and crypto industry as a multi-decade growth industry similar to how the Internet industry was in the early-1990s. There are tremendous opportunities offered in this space. It is still very hard for the average person to use crypto apps and as these apps get easier, faster, cheaper to use, it is expected that the mainstream audience will start using them and fuel growth in the years to come.
Blockchain and crypto industry offers permissionless innovation and there will be many interesting protocols and applications launched in the future. We view a future where there will be millions of tokens and we are building the foundation needed to support this future.
Blockcast.cc: How do you see Bitcoin, do you think Bitcoin will go to a value of $100,000 per coin like some said?
Bobby: Yes, I don’t see why Bitcoin will not go to $100,000 in the next few bull runs. Can’t tell when but eventually in the future. Bitcoin’s price is highly speculative by nature.
Blockcast.cc: Apart from Bitcoin, can you name 5 more coins that you see huge potential?
Bobby: I am particularly interested in seeing how Ethereum will perform as most of the innovations are coming on top of the Ethereum platform such as Decentralized Finance.
I am also interested to see how exchange tokens such as Binance Coin perform. Will it evolve from a fee-burn model or convert into some sort of governance model in the future.
I am also paying some attention to governance tokens such as Maker, Kyber and Compound. These governance token models will probably be something that will be adopted by many token teams in the future.
Blockcast.cc: Please share an inspiring quote for our readers.
Bobby: I like this quote by Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia:
“BELIEVE THE UNBELIEVABLE, DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE AND NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.”
Blockcast.cc: Tan Sri Dr. Fernades is indeed an inspiring legend in the South East Asia Market. I have the honour to meet him in Singapore over dinner many years ago. He is an industry changer. Thanks for your time Bobby. Your insights are great. Keep up the good work for the crypto industry.