Exclusive interview with RockFlow: US stocks will be a new opportunity for young people to earn 100 times the return

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Jack
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Luccy
24-04-02 10:24
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Interview: Jack, BlockBeats
Editor: Luccy, BlockBeats


Nowadays, when you look at the global financial market, AI Incorporating technology into core strategies has become a new and common consensus in the financial industry. Vakee, the founder of RockFlow (Qiyun Securities), is one of these entrepreneurs.


Vakee once engaged in quantitative trading in London. After returning to China, he served as investment director of Baidu and executive director of Hongtai Capital Holdings. He also participated in Baidu’s star project Mobile Phoenix Nest. Product design, and also led investments in more than 20 high-tech companies in China, the United States, and Israel as an investor, investing in Cloudflare, Circle, MetaGPT, Heterogeneous Intelligence, Discovery Technology, Blue Fat Robot, Sound Intelligence Technology, and Platinum Intelligence , AIFI and many other well-known AI projects. In 2021, she resolutely turned into an entrepreneur and established RockFlow, an AI financial technology company in Singapore, targeting the global Generation Z group and providing cross-market, multi-asset global one-stop investment and financial management services.



At the beginning of its establishment,RockFlow has received $10 million in angel round financing led by BlueRun Ventures. Different from traditional brokers, RockFlow integrates simplicity, intelligence and socialization throughout in terms of page design and product expression. With its light and bright UI design and smooth trading experience, RockFlow has attracted the attention of Generation Z investors around the world. RockFlow hopes to be the first trading app in the hands of Gen Z, guiding them on their financial investment journey.



In Vakee’s opinion, Finance is not a difficult and obscure subject, nor should it be intimidating. What RockFlow is doing is to transform the most difficult principles in the field of financial mathematics into the simplest products through AI and interactive innovation, making investing simple and fun. BlockBeats and Vakee conducted an in-depth interview on RockFlow's entrepreneurial philosophy and investment philosophy. The original text of the interview is now edited and compiled as follows:


"There should no longer be a threshold for U.S. stock trading. "


The establishment of RockFlow can be said to be the right time, right place and right people. At that time, Vakee ended his primary market investment and turned into an entrepreneur, just in time for the "Retail Investors vs. Wall Street" incident. Facing the investment enthusiasm of young people around the world, Vakee realized that the time had come for him to start a business.


In 2019, GameStop's operating conditions worsened, and its stock price continued to fall. It was not until Ryan Cohen, founder of pet food e-commerce giant Chewy, took a stake that GameStop's stock price continued to decline. There was an improvement, and GameStop's stock price was hovering on the edge of $20 at that time.


Subsequently, on Reddit, the most important forum in the United States, a wave of retail investors from WSB (Wall Street Gambling) encouraged each other on the forum and called on everyone to buy this stock. , further boosting GameStop's stock price. However, Citron Capital took the lead in making short-selling remarks and became the trigger for the stock price war. Retail investors began buying shares frantically, driving up the stock price and sending it back and forth between $200 and $400. Faced with the rising stock prices, market makers had to buy a large number of stocks, and the two forces merged to push up the stock prices further.


On January 28, 2021, GameStop’s stock price was approaching US$500. At this time, Robinhood and a number of local U.S. brokerages announced the closure of GME, AMC and other stocks. In this way, retail investors can only sell but cannot buy further. Robinhood's behavior of siding with Wall Street immediately angered the public. The impact of this incident soon exceeded Wall Street itself. The American political, academic and even entertainment circles, as well as the world's media and investors, all turned their attention to this stock.


Internet + Finance + AI


Currently, there is a lack of a simple and practical solution in the global market Stocks and derivatives trading products. Especially for U.S. stocks, the functions and interaction details provided by traditional securities firms are very complex. Most trading apps have many limitations, high barriers to entry and a very unfriendly user experience when it comes to actual transactions. Robinhood is the only brokerage platform that is truly simple and useful, but it currently focuses on the US market. The original intention of Vakee in establishing RockFlow in its early days was to create an investment and financial management paradise for young people around the world.



BlockBeats: Could you please briefly introduce your background and that of your team? Why did you decide to create RockFlow?


Vakee: Since 2012, I have been trading US stocks regardless of what my main business is. I initially worked in quantitative trading in London. Around 2012 and 2013, I returned to China to join the mobile Internet wave and joined Baidu Fengchao to work on the search advertising system. In 2015, I transferred to Baidu Investment and M&A Department to be responsible for technology investment. At that time, my job was similar to that of a VC, investing in many early-stage technology startups. At the end of 2019, I left the VC institution to focus on the secondary market. Just in time for the bull market in 2020, I started an AI quantitative hedge fund and self-operated fundamental quantitative investment.


Starting a business and financing requires a good opportunity. First, you must be continuously prepared to wait for the opportunity. Second, you must have super strong execution ability. Seize the opportunity. In 2019, the timing was right. I returned to the U.S. stock market and encountered a series of incidents involving retail investors fighting against Wall Street. Through in-depth research, I found that not only young people in the United States, but actually young people all over the world are thinking about easier ways to make money, and they are investing There have been great changes in needs and methods when it comes to financial management.


I thought this was my entrepreneurial opportunity. I am a person who thinks things through and starts immediately. Many decisions I made at that time were very fast. After the Spring Festival of 2021, I decided to make a ToC product, and I must make it an AI company.


Through research and analysis, we found that after excluding the poor population in the world (excluding the United States), the population aged 20 to 35 is close to 1.7 billion. However, except for the US market Robinhood, almost Every market is lacking simple and easy-to-use products. I didn’t understand why this was the case at first. There is obviously a need for this, and mobile Internet entrepreneurship has been around for more than ten years. Why haven’t more teams from various countries solved this problem for so long?


After research at the time, I only knew that this matter was difficult. After doing it myself in the past few years, I found that innovation in this field is extremely difficult. The team needs to understand financial mathematics, have rich experience in AI production and research, and also understand Internet product design to be able to make this product a success. Being a new financial institution means that the threshold is very high, including the challenge of talent. There are also various aspects such as large funds and compliance requirements of various countries. The most important thing is to have a suitable cycle, otherwise it will be difficult to get started.


BlockBeats: You have been investing in AI since about 2015, which was considered a relatively early time to invest in AI. What did the AI projects that were invested in at that time look like? Which ones did you invest in at that time? What was the final survival rate or success rate?


Vakee: I basically invest in angel rounds. The time cycle of such high-tech projects is relatively long. I remember The last project I invested in was MetaGPT, which is now the most popular multi-agent architecture (Multi-agent) open source project on GitHub.


There are companies making AI chips, sensors, AI algorithms and applications in various fields, located in the United States, China and Israel, covering various industries, such as finance, marketing, agriculture , intelligent manufacturing and companies similar to Sound Intelligence Technology. Sound Intelligence Technology is a company focusing on the field of AI acoustics. They perform very well in all software and hardware that require voice interaction. In addition, I have also invested in technology companies in finance, medical and other fields.


In general, most companies are moving forward and making good progress, but there are also a few companies that are making average progress or whose business has been greatly affected by the epidemic. The impact is in line with the basic principles of early investment. Most of the companies I invest in are angel rounds, so they take longer to develop.


BlockBeats: This is where all the things I have done before are integrated into one thing that I want to do most at the moment.


Vakee: Yes, we will also use the products of the invested companies and work with the team, such as network security products. A lot of production and research experience in Fengchao is also very helpful now.


BlockBeats: Last year, a movie "Silly Money" mentioned Robinhood and GameStop. In the movie, everyone regarded Robinhood as a financial innovation on the mobile Internet, but It's actually really hard to do. The foundation behind it is provided by traditional financial institutions, and the problem lies in the various restrictions imposed by these financial institutions.


Vakee: Yes, the threshold for starting a business in this area is very high, and there are very few teams that can actually do it well. . More importantly, people who really understand financial mathematics will not start a ToC Internet product business. I think that's the most important thing, the real strength of RockFlow is the team. The vast majority of people with backgrounds like ours will, for example, run their own hedge funds or do derivatives design at Goldman Sachs. Top talents in financial investment, especially those working in the secondary market, usually do not start a business and make money efficiently from the secular world. From a perspective, there is no need.


The real advantage is the team


No matter what type or size, starting a business is difficult the process of. Vakee believes that since it is difficult, then we must do something big enough. Vakee once focused on the field of AI, and finance, advertising, and games are actually the three best scenarios for AI implementation. But the prerequisite for an advertising system is to have a high-traffic product, just like Baidu search is required to build Fengchao. While games have content attributes, the RockFlow team has no content genes. Therefore, Vakee chose financial transactions that he likes and is good at. What RockFlow really wanted to do from the first day was not to add some AI functions to an app, but to make the app itself an experience that should be had in the AI era, exploring a true AI-native investment and financial management platform in the new era.


In the past 10 years or so, mobile Internet brokerages have completed improvements to the trading interfaces of the PC era. For their existing users born in the 1970s and 1980s, it is already a very good product experience. But for Generation Z or younger users, their requirement for apps is to get started quickly, such as TikTok, Pinduoduo and Instagram. When this group of young social media users want to start investing in U.S. stocks, they will find it very difficult to get started when they open the existing brokerage app.


"Although the previous generation of brokers made the interaction of the app smoother, in fact, there was not much innovation in the investment and trading functions. Every generation of brokers has it "Our mission is to innovate products in the face of the needs and technological changes in the historical cycle we are in." Therefore, Vakee believes that all this will be explored by the next generation of new products, namely AI brokers. However, to achieve the three-in-one Internet + Finance + AI, the qualification level of team members is extremely high. They not only need to understand finance and compliance, but also understand Internet product design ideas. At the same time, RockFlow has been providing global assets and serving global users since its establishment, which means that the team must have strong international business capabilities.


In order to achieve this demand, 80% of RockFlow’s team members are R&D personnel. The management team has a cross-border innovation background and rich practical and continuous entrepreneurial experience in artificial intelligence, financial engineering, and technology industries. It also has experience in global investment and mergers and acquisitions of technology companies. The company's core members come from top technology companies and financial institutions such as Facebook, Baidu, ByteDance, Huawei, Intel, Vanguard Group, Goldman Sachs, CITIC Securities and ORC, and graduated from MIT, Imperial College, University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University , Nanyang Technological University, University of Warwick, Tsinghua University, Peking University and Fudan University and other top universities in the world.



BlockBeats: Why did you decide to start a business to "spill over" talents in the financial field?


Vakee: Investment can be done at any time, even after retirement, but there is an opportunity to start a business. I am a person with extremely low material needs. Making money has not changed any of my life. I hope to create something different. So if I want to start a ToC business, firstly, I need to have the opportunity to be big enough, and secondly, I need to be an AI company.


An investment and financial management platform for young people around the world, especially young people outside the United States, and position the products we want to provide based on their pain points. The first is simplicity, the second is all in one, and the third is AI. Providing an AI-native trading platform for these 1.7 billion young people was my position at the time.


It can do a lot, because financial transactions are much larger than all physical e-commerce short video consumption. There are too many financial institutions in the world with a market value of 100 billion, but the market value of 100 billion You can count the number of Internet companies on your hands, and this is an AI company.


Finance, advertising and games are actually the three best scenarios for AI. The best of them is finance, because it truly achieves three-in-one. Commodities are numbers, and the entire business is data-based, which is the same as the quantitative model. The advertising team and quantitative team of Internet companies have always been the most densely populated places with AI talents, and they are also the last places where masters go. Because there is no offline business format, the efficiency improvement is instantaneous.


Whether it is a quantitative or advertising system, you can look at a model to see whether its effect has increased revenue. You can see it within a second of going online. For information technology, the best scenario for AI is one where algorithms can be quickly iterated online. Therefore, the financial services industry is the best area to utilize AI. This was also my logic when investing in the primary market.


The third one is that I want to do something that I am very interested in. Because starting a business is really hard, then I have to do what I am interested in. Only love can make you go through the cycle and overcome all difficulties.


The last thing is the team. Why do so many countries still have no good U.S. stock products? The difficulty is that you have to understand finance, compliance, product design, and internationalization at the same time.


Finance does not mean being able to speculate in stocks. The core of finance is actually mathematics, including derivatives design and a series of other things. Compliance with the rules means exploring business boundaries in the current context. In addition, you also need to understand Internet product design, because what you ultimately deliver is an app, and you need to use the Internet experience to deliver products and services, so you need to understand how to design the product so that users find it beautiful, fun, easy to use, and have a gamified experience. There is no shortage of Internet stuff either.


Finally, because it is the US stock market, we have a global business from the beginning, with asset allocation in various countries, so this team must be a very international team. The above four points lead to very high barriers to entry, and there are often many mutually exclusive features.


So when I look back at my background, I have experience in the four points mentioned, and I have done well in all of them before, including the core team. With a cross-border background, they understand both Internet design and finance. It is possible for such a team to engage in such business and bring about some different breakthroughs. I think this is key.


The changes I really want to bring about are first, simplicity, and second, complete all-in-one trading of global financial assets on one platform. In April last year, we launched our first AI product, the world’s first “Transaction GPT”. But in fact, our company has been building an AI foundation from the first day. What we really want to launch is not an app to add some AI functions, but the app itself is an experience that should be had in the AI era. We will release it in the middle of this year. A true AI-native product.



There has been some movement over the past decade or so Internet brokerages are doing very well. The problems that should be solved have been solved relatively well in this cycle, and the problems that cannot be solved are no longer solved by mobile Internet brokers. They should be left to a new generation of people, a new generation of products and a new generation of technology to solve. This is The value of AI brokers in the AI era.


BlockBeats: So why can’t mobile Internet brokers solve these problems now?


Vakee: Let me give you an example. The most direct feeling is the interface. If someone has a personalized Douyin and Pinduoduo, he should have a personalized investment app. You can't just think of it as a tool. For example, RockFlow users use the app for more than 30 minutes a day. It should be a product that is parallel to other apps used in life. If you don't regard it as an AI-based product, it will encounter many problems because it is a functional design that will limit the user base.


BlockBeats: So now we need a new generation of brokers to redefine the existing mobile brokers. They no longer face those with relatively high net assets. Traditional financial users, and then attract all kinds of users into this securities market.


Vakee: Yes, and for the younger generation of users, the threshold for use has to be lowered, that is, to allow user portraits Richer. From the perspective of entrepreneurship itself, it is necessary to first target a clear group of users, a group of younger users, and do the most important thing for this group of people.


BlockBeats: To build an AI trading system, you must not only understand finance, understand compliance, consider team qualifications and other aspects, but also need to design products for the Internet. We also need to understand that it is also a global product. With so many conditions to be met, which part of the construction will be more focused on?


Vakee: Internet entrepreneurship usually starts with two teams: production research and operations. As for the creation of a new financial institution, it cannot be without risk management, compliance, and legal, financial mathematics, industry research, and growth talents. The characteristics of the business determine that this is a difficult thing.


The Chinese are very good at entrepreneurship. If there is an opportunity, 10,000 people will rush in to start it. However, this field does not have the imagined blooming innovation, which proves that although this field is very large and definitely not a red ocean from the data point of view, it is indeed very difficult to do. The good thing is that it has high barriers. Once you make it, if someone else wants to do the same thing, it will only take longer than you do, and you will encounter more pitfalls, and it will be difficult to get it right step by step. So today, if there is an entrepreneurial team that wants to be an AI broker, it will first take one to two years to become a broker, and then spend so much time researching how to do AI, the financial business will not be able to pass the time.


BlockBeats: So the advantage lies entirely in the team itself.


Vakee: All entrepreneurship is the same, there is a commonality. The first step is to clearly define the direction and strategy, and spend enough energy and time to determine what this thing is and how to do it. Once the strategic direction is determined, never change it. All startups will die the fastest if they do A today, B tomorrow, and C on the third day. Then nothing can be done because they didn’t think clearly about what to do at the beginning. What. So I think the first step must be to look in this direction, determine what to do, and then at least deduce an achievable path.


The second step is that the team has enough organizational execution capabilities to implement the matter just mentioned step by step. These two points are indispensable. Don’t do it blindly, and don’t give up. I often tell the team that we are a very good group of people, but if we work so hard and struggle to survive, others would have to give up or they would definitely not be able to do it. This is indeed the case. We always believe that challenges and opportunities coexist.


What can AI do when combined with trading?


BlockBeats: Many people may still be curious, because the AI trading system sounds more like a gimmick. Why must it be combined with AI?


Vakee: At present, most people actually have a certain understanding of investment, which is investing in products they use daily or companies they like, similar to investing. Pinduoduo stock, because I and many people around me are using it, I think it is an excellent product. In the early days, many young people bought BiliBili stocks because they frequently used BiliBili, and thus made a lot of money. This is a very intuitive investment philosophy. However, not many people do in-depth investment research and trading strategy construction. A large part of the reason is that the product design is too complex and they cannot use it.


Just like many people do not know how to use Excel formulas, even people with mathematical cognition will feel confused when faced with entering complex formulas. This does not mean that they do not understand statistics or mathematics, but they just do not know how to use Excel as a complex tool. In the same way, what RockFlow wants to solve is to make the execution of investment very simple, and all users need to do is have their own ideas. RockFlow will use AI to realize from "what to buy on TradeGPT" to "how to buy with AI". In every aspect of the process, AI can do better than humans.


In addition, RockFlow also puts the AI model into our own original over-the-counter trading system, which is also one of our core competencies as an AI brokerage.


The entire business of a brokerage firm depends on the OTC trading system. At present, most brokerage firms purchase OTC systems, or rely on the full system of other brokerage firms, and then develop their own apps, or even directly purchase public version apps, so the APP functions and page designs of various brokerage firms are very similar. For example, most Internet brokerage firms in various countries do not have US stock options because the OTC systems they use do not support US stock options, and they cannot develop their own OTC systems. If you only rely on other brokerage firms or purchase traditional OTC trading systems, you cannot make innovative financial products and AI experiences, and you cannot even surpass existing brokerage products.


RockFlow is the only brokerage firm in the world that built its own OTC trading system in the first year of its establishment, because the team firmly believes that only by doing so can it be possible to create a truly all-in-one AI-native product. We redesigned an OTC trading system based on the knowledge of finance, mathematics and AI to achieve the goals of our product. This ensures that the user experience is smarter and more efficient. We have done a lot of work on the trading system, which makes it possible for us to eventually reconstruct the trading experience.


The direct effect is that we can add a new asset within two weeks, such as cryptocurrency, Vietnamese stocks or British futures, because our counter system was designed from the beginning according to the concept of all in one, with sufficient flexibility and unified margin algorithm, which can easily access stocks and various trading categories in different markets around the world, even lottery.


BlockBeats: When an ordinary person uses a brokerage app, what can AI do for him?


Vakee: From obtaining information to analyzing information to drawing conclusions, to generating trading strategies based on conclusions, to executing orders for trading strategies, AI is better than humans in these four steps.


In fact, investment is not difficult, it requires a point of view, and AI makes it much simpler for everyone to invest. Why do people think that investment is difficult? Because the current app is not good enough. So essentially, the problem that RockFlow wants to solve is not to teach you how to invest, but to help you make investment judgments. When you have some simple analysis methods of your own for some reason, it makes investment analysis and execution very simple.


With AI deeply integrated into your own trading system, you no longer have an execution threshold in investment. But if you make a wrong judgment, for example, Tesla will fall in the next two weeks, but you think it will rise, then AI can't save you. For the specific product form, you can look forward to the new products we will release in the middle of the year. Of course, ToC products have a process of exploration and iteration.


"For young people, investing is an expression of their own values"


After witnessing retail investors fighting Wall Street , Vakee realizes that contemporary young people’s desire for investment is not just to make money, they want to participate in the entire investment process and use investment to express their own values. Investments become an expression of their lifestyle, a transmission of their values, and a part of who they are. And demand is fluid. For U.S. stocks, everyone will have different trading strategies at different stages of his life. RockFlow hopes to make the investment process simple and interesting through gamified design. Just like the name RockFlow, it can not only freely express desires, but also have an immersive user experience.



「Make Money, Make Friends"


You may have heard of "Make Money Not Friends" in the lyrics or on the T-shirt copy, but what we are talking about here is "Make Money , Make Friends", making money means making friends. This is also the social concept of RockFlow. People with the same trading taste can easily become friends.


Contemporary young people choose investment and financial management not only to make money, but also to express their lifestyle and values through investment.


In the past, people would tag themselves on social media, such as Aquarius, male, or other tags. In the same way, what stocks to invest in are also a very important label nowadays. When a person buys a very niche stock, he will tell everyone, and this stock has become a very important social capital to show off. For example, he may want to invest in stocks with female CEOs or stocks with zodiac signs. He may think that since he is an Aries, he will also want to buy whatever stocks other Aries students buy.


"I am a supporter of Tesla" and "I am a small shareholder of Nvidia". This matter is very important to the younger generation of investors. This is also true in the cryptocurrency space, retail investors will find like-minded people who buy the same cryptocurrency. RockFlow seems to be targeting this demand and adding elements such as gamification and socialization to the product.



BlockBeats: In addition to AI and trading systems, RockFlow also has some gamification elements. What is the design logic behind this?


Vakee: The young users we initially selected will have needs beyond tooling when using this app. to find interesting stocks. There will be many situations that make users feel that the company they invest in must be relevant to them, so every stock must have a narrative related to it. This is a very special thing about this generation. They invest as part of their lifestyle and use investment to express their values. He likes Musk, whether it’s a rocket or something, even if that thing has nothing to do with Tesla’s stock price, he will buy Tesla shares.


Why do young people want to trade US stocks more? From the perspective of the Chinese, many products and services that many people use in their lives are not listed on A-shares. The same is true overseas. Those products are not listed in their country, but are listed in the United States. Users don’t want to buy things that have nothing to do with them, because in addition to making money when investing, they also need to express their preferences. I think this is a particularly important sociological change. Investing becomes an expression of a lifestyle, a transmission of values, a part of who they are.


So social networking is actually easy, because two people with similar trading habits and preferences can easily become friends, that is, make money and make friends. Regardless of whether they are ordinary people or great people, users really want to find people with the same investment philosophy, and finally use investment to express their preferences. Whether gamified, social or otherwise, this type of product experience makes them feel this way.


BlockBeats: How does RockFlow achieve this social need?


Vakee: We have great people following orders. First, the talented people have their own homepage with corresponding stocks that users can filter. Second, our stock lists are very interesting, such as the horoscope stock list, and the "daily lottery" that focuses on mysticism. Mysticism is always in great need of this generation of young people.



If you treat us as one Internet companies may be considered mature, but as a financial institution, it has just begun, because it has taken two or three years to develop a complete set of trading systems. At these points of the product, we are trying more concrete expressions one by one, and then iterating in modules to create more interesting product experiences, and socialization and gamification will penetrate at all levels.


It is not that the product embodies gamification, but that the product design logic is gamification. This is the principle. In the future, everything will have a gamification experience. Gamified experience does not mean how much fun it is. In essence, it allows a person to experience many things more immersively. The game is more about expressing the user's investment and financial management process. The name of our company, RockFlow, talks about some very important human needs.


In the matter of investment and financial management, if a product has a complex interface and a lot of content, it will make you very scared and unable to enter this field, and thus you will have no way to experience and feel this. Something fun. So gamification tries to solve these points. Many product design principles are actually used to lower the psychological threshold.


BlockBeats: Can you tell me more specifically, why is it named RockFlow?


Vakee: Flow is actually the "flow experience" in psychology. I am a person who easily enters a flow state and can instantly enter what I am doing, whether it is working, writing documents or trading, I will be very focused and devoted. Thanks to this, I hope that both our team and our users can feel this flow experience during their work and have an immersive experience that makes the thing they are doing Things bring him pleasure. This is achieved through gamification elements and social experiences to feel the state of flow.


Rock is the embodiment of many of my characters, because I am a very free person, I think it is unreasonable, no matter who thinks that investment and financial management apps should be If it looks like this and I think it's not useful enough, then change it. I think Rock is an uncompromising person who must do what he wants to do and then insist on doing it no matter what others say.


Throughout this journey, whether it was at the beginning or today, many people will actually ask why we should make another one. They do not recognize this direction and do not think what AI can do. Sample. But I think that’s all noise, and the true spirit of rock is to be yourself and stick to what you love to do. That’s my definition of the word rock, about freedom, about being yourself, about not compromising. This is very important, whether in the entrepreneurial process or in life.


Not just for young people


BlockBeats: This product seems to be a more It is a product that is geared towards young people, but there are also quite versatile products for high-net-worth users. From your point of view, why can you still attract these more traditional users? Will their entry affect the team's positioning of this product or will there be some direct changes in the product?


Vakee: In fact, this change is that users have more money, and users save more and more money. Users with higher net worth will start using it. A very important point here is that I think it is our product philosophy - "Products are not made for a certain type of people, but are made for needs." This change is actually a confirmation of our product philosophy.


Although we initially found the youngest group of users and designed the latest generation of apps for them, we eventually found that simplicity and intelligence are the needs of everyone. In fact, everyone has different needs during the transaction process, but the proportions are different at different stages and for different people.


Demand is fluid. Every living person, at different stages of life, no matter what kind of portrait he is, may have different choices and try different types of products, and this demand will always change. As a real product manager, when designing a product, you must remember that the product is designed for demand. Good products go through the crowd, and good products are designed for demand.


There are more high-net-worth users pouring in, which can be understood as the user's assets are gradually increasing, and the increase is very fast. The increase in users who make repeated deposits and users who make deposits of higher amounts is a very obvious phenomenon we have seen in the past six months. This is a good thing, and it also enriches our user population portrait. And our users in various countries have the same phenomenon. We are also constantly improving our products in this process and launching more product features for higher-net-worth users.


For example, Haomai Financial Management is a product that high-net-worth users prefer because it sells options (requires higher margin). For example, Xiaoxiong Insurance can automatically allocate put options for customers, which can be understood as "buying insurance". Including more ETF stock orders, in fact, high-net-worth users have a very strong demand for asset allocation. These functional iterations occur naturally in the process of continuous improvement, and then verify many of our previous product concepts.


BlockBeats: What are the most used functions and trading strategies by these high-net-worth users on RockFlow?


Vakee: The first is the ETF of the global index. His demand is actually more about configuration, such as buying the Indian index, the Nikkei index, etc. We have a stock order that specifically organizes the configuration of the global selected market. The second is Haomai Financial Management, which is a strategy that Buffett and Duan Yongping both like, and they keep selling put options on the stocks they want to build positions. If the price eventually falls to that level, he will open a position, and he can earn the option premium regardless of whether it falls to the ideal price or not.


This is a better trading strategy than buying stocks directly. Originally, high-net-worth users could only buy over-the-counter stocks to do this, but our product has lowered the threshold. In the past, you needed 20 million US dollars to go to the top investment banks to do over-the-counter transactions, but now you can participate in RockFlow with any amount of money. This is a very high-end structured product in the traditional sense, and it is very safe, because unlike over-the-counter options that have an expiration date of at least 6 months, on-exchange US stocks are cyclical options that can be closed at any time.


The third is to invest in large stocks with option protection. Because what these high-net-worth users want to buy are concentrated in big stocks, such as Nvidia, Tesla, etc., but the prices are now high, so they will buy put options for protection while making fixed investments. In the event of a drop of 15% to 20%, as long as you do a good job in option protection, you can greatly avoid losing money or even making money.


For these high-net-worth investment needs, RockFlow's product design is better than any other brokerage he has used. Suppose the user wants to allocate global market index ETFs. We have a stock order. He only needs to place an order with one click. He can also adjust the proportion by himself. For example, if I like India, I will fill in 20%. If I don’t like Vietnam, I will adjust the proportion to 0. , Japan looks good, input 15%, users can adjust it themselves and place an order with one click. We productize different customer needs so that they can be used right out of the box.


"For ordinary people to invest in Bitcoin, beauty pageant stock brokers are actually better"


Not your keys, not your coin. For many users in the currency circle, it has become a "commonplace" for exchanges to run away with money or have thunderstorms. From Mt. Gox in the early years to FTX recently, the concept of "non-custodial" has gradually spread among crypto users. Even newcomers to the industry are beginning to try to hold their own crypto assets outside of trading platforms. Vakee believes that for ordinary investors who want to gain exposure to Bitcoin investments, the Bitcoin ETFs provided by U.S. stock brokerages are actually a better choice.



BlockBeats: The market has been rising recently. People outside the cryptocurrency circle have heard from their friends asking whether it has risen again and whether it can be bought again, but they don’t know how to buy it. In this case, ETF is indeed better, because the trading platforms in this circle will always be Rug.


Vakee: A very important point is that exchanges in the currency circle and U.S. stock brokerages are completely different. character of.


For securities companies, user funds are kept independently, and securities companies have no right to use customer funds. To put it simply, the customer's money is isolated from the brokerage itself, and it is held in custody at the bank. Brokerages transmit orders to exchanges for centralized matching based on legal compliance to ensure fairness and transparency, such as the familiar Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange.


There are dozens of exchanges in the United States that can do order matching. The matching of orders means that someone buys and someone sells, and then the best price is matched. The U.S. stock exchange is very independent and objective. Its way of making money is extremely low handling fees. For it, it doesn't matter who makes money.


There is also a role called a clearing firm. The US stock exchange itself is not responsible for clearing, it is only responsible for matching, and the clearing firm is responsible for clearing. Therefore, U.S. stock trading is a separation of four powers. Exchanges, banks, securities firms, and clearing houses are each responsible for corresponding responsibilities. They are very independent and mutually restrictive. No one role can or has the motivation to do evil.


For those who are used to trading US stocks, if they are asked to buy Bitcoin directly on an encrypted trading platform, they will not know how to start when opening the Binance APP. Moreover, if an American buys Bitcoin on Coinbase, the transaction costs, handling fees, and friction costs against U are quite high. The emergence of related ETFs reduces friction and transaction fees, making it more economical. But as an ordinary retail investor, if you are used to using Binance or other trading platforms, there is no problem whether you buy futures or spot. But for users with higher net worth, when buying Bitcoin ETFs, whether they withdraw or deposit funds, the entire fund compliance is very convenient. Different from the previous problems such as exchanging legal currency to U and bank restrictions, the convenience is greatly enhanced.


BlockBeats: Will there be various difficulties in regulating the encryption industry in the future?


Vakee: Yes. The first problem that compliant crypto trading platforms need to solve is to separate fund custody, which means that they must obtain a fund custody license or directly cooperate with banks. Banks need to have specialized digital asset custody capabilities, and then brokers and exchanges need to be separated into two entities, so that the possibility of malicious behavior can be reduced.


In any case, the next ten years will be worth looking forward to. In this process, these four roles have two possibilities: one is that the existing trading platform is improved according to this model; the second possibility is that the existing trading platform will be eliminated and a new compliant one must be established. Crypto trading platform.


BlockBeats: You just mentioned that you can buy Bitcoin ETFs on RockFlow, so what do you think is the difference between buying Bitcoin ETFs at brokers and ordinary users in crypto trading? Which platform is better to buy Bitcoin on?


Vakee: These are two different groups of people, essentially different groups of people with their own preferences. Looking back, what exactly did the Bitcoin ETF bring to the table? What are its advantages? There are three key points here.


First, it is cheaper to buy a Bitcoin ETF. Stock trading reduces the fees and friction of cryptocurrency trading and deposits and withdrawals. Moreover, many Bitcoin ETFs are now free of fees, and commissions on U.S. stocks are very low and can be ignored.


The second is that it has become simpler. Users have something in common when it comes to investment and financial management. When many people think it is troublesome, they don’t want to do it. Bitcoin ETFs solve this problem. It is just like buying stocks, there is no threshold, allowing participants with really big money to participate in transactions without learning.


The third is supervision. ETF is a regulated financial product, and supervision provides it with additional security and trust. For example, among the dozen companies issued in the first batch, the best ones are BlackRock IBIT and Fidelity’s FBTC. Previously, the money of institutional investors and many high-net-worth individuals could not flow to crypto trading platforms. They could buy stocks, ETFs, and other people's funds, but they could not buy unregulated products. As a regulated product, Bitcoin ETFs can Configure part.


These three reasons are fundamental. The reason why it has risen so fast is because these people have too much money. Even if they open positions in batches, they can still bring benefits to the market. Large transaction volume, this is how Bitcoin’s net cash inflow comes. So this matter is really meaningful. It is very convenient for high-net-worth individuals and institutions in traditional US stocks to enter this market.


BlockBeats: Traditional large capital is still flowing into Bitcoin ETFs. From your perspective, what is your view on Bitcoin this year? What is the expected price trend?


Vakee: I think it will still rise with volatility. In the bull market expectations, everyone is still optimistic about it on the whole, and it is reflexive, and money will continue to be invested in it. And the big money is far from coming, it has just been launched for more than two months. Every day, institutions open accounts to buy Bitcoin ETFs, and of course Grayscale Ethereum and Solana Trust.


BlockBeats: How long do you think the inflow will last?


Vakee: At least there will still be relatively positive inflows in Q2 and Q3 this year. The growth this time is too much for the US stock market. It is normal to fall and fall. Don't guess the reason, it is not important. If I had bought the Bitcoin ETF from the beginning, I would have realized a 50% profit by now. Although I am optimistic about it in the long term, I also feel that the recent rise has been too fast.


Therefore, some investors think that they have made a lot of profits, so they can wait and see and wait for the market to correct before making purchases. This is quite normal and not worth causing panic. I think it's more important to focus on why people allocate to Bitcoin ETFs, and what their behavioral patterns are.


Typically, people invest based on asset allocation, just like gold. But I think people's allocation behavior towards Bitcoin is not exactly the same, and they may be more inclined to explore new assets. Currently, many gold ETFs are experiencing outflows, and in turn, there are many inflows into Bitcoin ETFs.


This time, the volatility of Bitcoin is somewhat different from the past. In the past, the rise in the price of Bitcoin would bring a large amount of funds into the crypto market, and also drive the prices of other cryptocurrencies to soar. But this time, there has not been a phenomenon of a surge in various cryptocurrencies.


One very important reason is that after the new funds are allocated to the Bitcoin ETF, these Bitcoins are actually only managed on platforms such as Coinbase and CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange), and are not pledged. Usually, when you buy a large amount of spot Bitcoin on a crypto trading platform, you can choose to pledge it again, and then add leverage, such as taking out half or even 70% to buy and sell other coins, which becomes an important driving force for the rise of other currencies.


BlockBeats: It is equivalent to this round of crypto cycle. The inflow of funds has little to do with other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin?


Vakee: It shouldn't be like before, where all currencies skyrocketed. This batch of funds was not pledged again, but directly pushed up the price of Bitcoin after custody. Of course, this undoubtedly also drove up the funds of some other cryptocurrencies. There must be a part of the funds entering the market with this batch of funds. However, because the mainstream funds did not generate re-borrowing, pledging or providing more liquidity, there has not been a general rise in other crypto assets. The allocation of these funds is limited to Bitcoin ETFs, and at most only Ethereum ETFs will be focused on, but this variable is relatively large.


When analyzing market conditions, it is important to understand the source of funds and their motivations. This is crucial for any investment.


US stocks can also earn 100 times


BlockBeats: Most people in the crypto circle are more aggressive and want higher multiples to win big with a small investment. From your point of view, should cryptocurrency users participate in other markets?


Vakee: I strongly encourage everyone to participate in the U.S. stock market. In comparison, the U.S. stock market is fair and safe, and it is also large enough. You can go long, you can go short, you can buy options, you can sell options, and you can buy ETFs. The U.S. stock market can meet all the ideas of a person's investment and financial management. For example, if you want to invest in global stocks, you don't have to go to various countries to open accounts. You can buy various market index ETFs through the U.S. stock market.


And the ETFs in the U.S. stock market are very rich. There are any themes you can think of, such as Indian small and medium-cap stocks, such as various indexes benchmarked against A shares, and even if you want to buy the holdings of U.S. congressmen, there are such ETFs. In short, the U.S. stock market can find investable targets for all the ideas you want to express.


In addition, different people have different risk preferences and target returns. Ordinary young users do not have such a high amount of funds and prefer to choose to be buyers of US stock options on RockFlow.


Options are more flexible, more controllable, and more suitable for making big gains with small amounts of money safely than other trading categories. For example, if you are optimistic about Coinbase, you buy call options on Coinbase. If you are not optimistic about Apple, you buy put options on Apple. We have Mavericks and Bears users who earn 100 times almost every week. Mavericks and Bears is the name of our US stock options product. Currently, the liquidity of Bitcoin options is relatively low, while ordinary investors in U.S. stocks are more involved in U.S. stock options and are now looking forward to options on Bitcoin spot ETFs.


In the U.S. stock market, there are many options that have returns of more than 100 times every day. Therefore, if you are simply pursuing high returns, the options market is a particularly good choice. If you buy $100 in Coinbase options, you could potentially earn anywhere from 10% to 100x a day.


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