How Customer-Focused Values Can Help Crypto Industry Rebuild Trust

Lily Zhang

Huobi Group CFO

The recent crypto market correction continues to be in the public spotlight, with some even drawing parallels to the Global Financial Crisis. The similarities lie not just in the sharp decline in market valuation, but also in the depressed investor sentiment worldwide. 

While the Global Financial Crisis took place well over a decade ago, memories remain vivid of how public trust in financial markets nosedived after investors who bought traditional and complex financial products suffered huge losses.

In its 2019 publication, “Strengthening Trust in Business”, the OECD described public trust in financial markets as vital to how they function in delivering economic growth and long-term returns. The OECD also noted how institutions and participants behave in markets is key to maintaining society’s trust, which forms the basis of investor confidence: “Public trust in markets is broader than investor optimism in the delivery of adequate risk-adjusted returns, as it extends to the public’s expectation that markets will serve sustainable economic growth and contribute to the well-being of society (economic, ethical and otherwise) in various forms.”

If, by the OECD’s definition, investor confidence is undergirded by public trust, how can the crypto industry better meet the public’s expectations?

For Huobi Global, our nine years of operations as one of the longest-running global crypto exchanges have shown that having our customers’ trust is not an entitlement, but something to be earned by putting our money where our mouth is. It requires a strong alignment of our core values to customers’ interests, and making them the driver of the company’s policies, decisions, and actions.

We believe digital assets play a central role in the future of finance, and Huobi Global’s mission is to deliver a crypto exchange that puts users first, empowering them with financial freedom by making crypto more accessible. To support our mission, we make user safety and protection our highest priority, provide offerings with the highest standards in quality and reliability, and give users strong global customer support backed by local expertise. 

For example, we have invested heavily in a world-class security system which has ensured zero known security incidents since our inception – an unmatched track record in the industry. Compared with other exchanges, we take extra steps to carefully vet listings of digital assets to ensure they are valid and appropriate for users. This includes verifying all documentation for completeness and accuracy, meeting the professional and compliance requirements with no policy risks, and choosing projects with strong team or community maintenance.

Our core values of safety, putting customers first, and striving for their long-term benefit have helped us stay the course and do what is right for our users. This meant that in market crises such as the Terra-Luna collapse, we could effectively safeguard the interests of our users, which protected them from the price volatility of Luna seen on other platforms, and gave them sufficient time to adjust their trading strategies. When other crypto companies suspended or limited withdrawals amidst the recent market volatility, Huobi Global’s users faced no such restrictions, as our robust risk management system ensured that we had enough liquidity to meet all user obligations.

Our experience shows that having the right customer-focused core values and applying them to our business were key to delivering positive customer outcomes. Given the rapid pace of our industry’s development, this is more an ongoing journey instead of a one-off exercise.

At a time when the crypto industry is going through its hardest winter yet, industry players can step up their game by continually assessing how well their core values are serving their customers, and strengthening their corporate ethos to better guide their operations. What we should take to heart is that just like reputation, public trust is hard won but can be easily lost overnight.

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

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