2013 was the year Bitcoin came of age as an investment vehicle. At the start of 2013 the digital currency was trading at around $13.50 per Bitcoin. By the end of November 2013, Bitcoin was trading at over $1,075.
At that time the cryptocurrency industry in the UK was new and still small and yet to experience the exponential growth it has enjoyed in recent years. (According to the FCA’s Cryptoasset consumer research note in June 2020, 5.35% of the UK population hold or held cryptocurrencies, up from 3% in 2019 – an increase of approximately 1.2 million people.)
Parallel to the advent of Bitcoin as a transformative medium of finance is the journey of the cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO which first opened for business in 2013 and celebrated its seventh birthday on 1 November.
‘We want to enact a radical transformation’
Founder Oleksandr Lutskevych had an ambitious vision for CEX.IO from the outset: to provide a gateway into the world of an open financial system and make it accessible for everyone. “We didn’t enter this business to improve it insignificantly,” he says. “We want to enact a radical transformation.”
Oleksandr first became aware of the potential for blockchain and Bitcoin to become a widespread payment method a decade ago. In 2012, together with some former classmates, he developed one of the first mining algorithms. Through GHash.IO, Oleksandr and his team were the first in the world to offer cloud mining services.
GHash.IO was the first pool in history to approach 51% of Bitcoin’s capacity, which would have allowed them full control of the blockchain network. Instead, the company took measures to maintain Bitcoin’s stability and decentralization and the mining pool reduced its capacity, strengthening the industry instead of threatening it. GHash.IO formed the origins for CEX.IO.
Seven years after founding CEX.IO, Oleksandr is still the CEO of the firm. But CEX.IO has transformed from a small enterprise into a game-changing global financial holding group of companies – one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange groups based in London.
‘Innovating since 2013’
CEX.IO has nearly 3 million users on its trade platform seeking to buy and sell currencies, trade crypto assets or exchange them for traditional finance (fiat) money. The firm has provided services in over 220 countries and territories and has offices in the UK, USA, Cyprus, Gibraltar and Ukraine. In the United States of America CEX.IO now operates in 47 states.
Just as Bitcoin offers a new way of doing business, in being a digital currency taking advantage of open source technology to facilitate instant payments, CEX.IO has been innovating since 2013.
CEX.IO was the first cryptocurrency exchange to implement purchasing cryptocurrency via a debit or credit card, enabling Visa or Mastercard holders to become Bitcoin owners within minutes.
CEX.IO has also been at the forefront of committing the cryptocurrency sector to enforce the highest standards of compliance and regulatory procedures. The firm was a founding member of CryptoUK, the association dedicated to developing a major regulatory operating framework for cryptocurrency businesses, placing them on a par with banks and financial institutions.
In the last seven years, Oleksandr has transformed CEX.IO from a cryptocurrency exchange into an extensive group of companies with licences and registrations in multiple jurisdictions.
‘Consolidation during Covid-19’
The Covid-19 pandemic has understandably disrupted many businesses. Yet in 2020 CEX.IO continued to innovate and consolidate, unveiling new services and improving existing ones.
This year the CEX.IO Group opened up CEX.IO Broker to the public, a cryptocurrency margin trading platform which offers professional trading tools to the public providing operational flexibility and top-level security. The group launched CEX.IO Loan, a cryptocurrency-backed loans service. Instead of waiting hours or days for your money or worrying about your previous credit history, the product allows you to receive loans in a few minutes by using your cryptocurrency as collateral.
2020 also saw the CEX.IO Group launch CEX.IO Staking which turns the dream of making money for doing nothing into a reality.The CEX.IO team has simplified a fundamentally complex and time-consuming process of staking to make it accessible for a wide audience. Users just need to hold stake-able cryptocurrency on their CEX.IO accounts and receive staking rewards — a sort of passive income — through coins issued by the given blockchain.
CEX.IO’s role as being one of the most secure, reliable, capable and regulated international cryptocurrency exchanges was confirmed in July 2020 when the firm made it into the prestigious CryptoCompare Top 10, scoring an A grade. CEX.IO received the highest mark in the Security category, as evaluated by the CryptoCompare Exchange Benchmark rating, and was also ranked highly in categories such as Team/Exchange, Market Quality and Legal/Regulation.
For the next seven years, and beyond, CEX.IO will continue to innovate and grow, adding more coins and markets to achieve its mission of helping its users thrive in the world of open finance.
CEX.IO will carry on working tirelessly to obtain new registrations and licenses in different regions and territories. As well as continuing its US and European expansion, this year CEX.IO applied for a regulated crypto licence with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and opened an office in the country, signifying its ambition to make an impact in the growing Asian cryptocurrency market.
‘Appealing to institutional investors’
CEX.IO will also be seeking to replicate its success in the retail market by capitalising on the increasing interest in cryptocurrency from institutional investors, such as hedge funds and asset managers. Look out for new CEX.IO products to be launched in 2021 that will appeal to large-scale institutional clientele that will help the firm achieve exponential growth in the coming years.
While the cryptocurrency space continues to evolve in new and exciting ways, CEX.IO’s purpose remains as consistent and constant as ever: to be one of the most reputable, efficient, innovative and dynamic international cryptocurrency exchanges.
These might be unusual times we are presently living in because of the pandemic, but it continues to be business as usual for CEX.IO.