Star Xu of OKCoin ranks the social aspect of bitcoin as at least as highly as the financial one. He wants to work in both domains.

The top manager of OKCoin, one of the most important bitcoin exchange platforms, Star Xu, elaborated on his vision of the digital currency and his own activities on his blog today. Having visited the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, he came away with the impression that there were some misunderstandings about the nature of Chinese bitcoin companies and the nature of their business, so he decided to clarify the issue.

OKCoin has a reputation as a company that specializes in sophisticated financial tools. Indeed, not only does it exchange bitcoins into renminbi and dollars and vice versa, but it also allows margin, futures, and algo trading in addition to peer-to-peer lending, a payment platform, and a multisig wallet. Star Xu proudly remarks that “there is no Bitcoin exchange anywhere in the world that offers such a wide range of trading tools”. Still, this is not an end in itself.

To explain why OKCoin has created so many different products, Star Xu compares his company to Alibaba Group, a giant Chinese e-commerce company. When Alibaba started ten years ago, it could not just set up an e-commerce platform: it had to build the entire necessary infrastructure that did not exist in China, making improvements to the flow of information, the payment system, and the postal delivery of goods along the way. Bitcoin companies need to do the same, reducing financial costs or making life easier for theordinary consumer.

Star Xu believes that increasing the adoption of bitcoin is a great mission. According to him, bitcoin gives the chance to return to the “system based on the laws of nature”, abandoned in 1972 when the gold standard was dropped. Taking the traditional place of the gold and silver, the digital currency may bring about a time when there will be hundreds of millions of people using bitcoin and “harboring a virtual country of people without geographical boundaries”. Star Xu promises to spend more time on Reddit to communicate with the international community.

Star Xu graduated from Beijing University, with a Bachelor degree in Physics. Before starting OKCoin, he worked as an engineer at Yahoo and then as Chief Technical Officer in DocIn, a Chinese company specializing in online document sharing.