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Zhuling Chen’s RockX links institutional investors to crypto yields

Written by Gideon Ng Published on   3 mins read

Blockchain technology company RockX has adopted an institution-centered approach under the leadership of its founder and CEO, Zhuling Chen.

Zhuling Chen is an ambitious individual who, from a young age, has shown unwavering determination in the pursuit of his interests. He started his career with global management consultancy Roland Berger, where he helped develop business strategies for financial institutions and telecommunication companies in Southeast Asia.

In 2016, during his consulting tenure, Chen was involved in a project related to the development of electronic money for mobile payments, akin to a fiat-backed stablecoin but without the use of a blockchain. This experience set the stage for his entrance into the world of blockchain. Following the project’s conclusion and at the advice of a former roommate from his academic stint at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he began diving deeper into the possibilities of blockchain technology.

From aelf to RockX

With a keen interest in the benefits offered by a decentralized approach, Chen made the bold decision to leave his job with the consultancy and dedicate himself entirely to the development of public blockchain aelf in 2018.

Leveraging his engineering expertise and financial knowledge, he saw in aelf the possibility of building a scalable platform that offers blockchain-based integrations capable of enabling businesses to develop applications at scale.

At aelf, Chen’s journey was far from complete. His stint helped him envision how blockchain technology can potentially shape the future of the internet, and in 2019, he established RockX with the aim of offering customers an opportunity to benefit from stable yields by tapping into the potential of crypto.

Working with institutional investors

RockX works primarily with institutional investors that prioritize sustainable opportunities for growth. This focus stems from its recognition of the role that such institutions can play in developing the backbone of a comprehensive blockchain ecosystem. They are also more likely to be patient in their approach, willing to hold digital assets for the long term, and possess the capability to contribute expertise and resources for ecosystem development.

“Institutions possess a deeper understanding of the associated risks and available opportunities, which makes us more comfortable when collaborating with them,” Chen said.

Chen’s background in the traditional finance industry has played a pivotal role in cultivating the business relationships established by RockX. As founder and CEO, he represents the company in engagements with a diverse range of industry stakeholders, including bankers, financial institutions, and more.

Building Bedrock

His active involvement has led to the discovery of new opportunities for the company. In contrast to reports suggesting a lack of interest in liquid staking among institutions in Asia, Chen holds a different perspective based on his firsthand interactions.

“Asia has a longstanding focus on trading, and liquid staking can enable customers to enjoy native yields from the blockchain while retaining the ability to trade staked tokens,” Chen said.

This insight led to RockX’s launch of Bedrock in March earlier this year, which is a large-scale liquid staking solution that enables institutions to earn staking rewards while being able to engage in a variety of decentralized finance activities.

Future outlook

While Chen acknowledges that the lack of regulatory clarity surrounding crypto and DeFi may deter some companies, he remains optimistic that opportunities are present and will materialize as regulations catch up in time.

For now, Chen’s priority is to ensure that RockX’s customers can access sustainable yield products while keeping compliant with regulations. This was a factor that led RockX to select Singapore as the location of its headquarters, due to its stable regulatory environment. RockX also serves customers in Europe and the US, and interest in its services is growing in Hong Kong.

“I believe crypto-native yield products will be the primary interest of institutions. Subsequently, these institutions may explore distribution channels to offer these products to retail investors, ensuring they have access to financial opportunities provided by crypto assets while having a certain level of protection,” Chen said.


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