CoinFLEX snags Binance OTC exec as it looks to further gameify the crypto derivatives market

Quick Take

  • CoinFLEX has poached an executive from rival Binance
  • Leslie Tam, formerly head of VIP coverage and OTC trading, is now CoinFLEX’s chief strategy officer
  • Tam will build out CoinFLEX’s competitions as it looks to continue to build on its volume growth
  • Gamification has emerged as a trend in the wider crypto derivatives ecosystem.

Cryptocurrency derivatives platform CoinFLEX has snagged an executive from Binance as it looks to increase its volumes by offering competitive prizes to its trader base.

Leslie Tam has joined the Hong Kong-based firm as its chief strategy officer. At Binance, Tam lead the exchange's VIP coverage and over-the-counter trading operations. In his new position, Tam will have a broad mandate, leading the expansion of the firm into new territories as well as new products. 

Tam has 15 years of experience in the financial services space, having previously led Bank of Merrill Lynch Hong Kong's institutional client group. 

Launched in early 2019, CoinFLEX markets itself as the first physically-delivered cryptocurrency futures exchange and commands 8.6% of the marketshare for BTC futures, according to data compiled by The Block. By comparison, Binance owns 9.9% of the BTC futures market. 


Chief executive Mark Lamb told The Block that CoinFLEX will expand its cryptocurrency trading-based competitions, such as its so-called Bracket Order Battle. The competition, according to CoinFLEX's website, offers a way for traders to win cash prizes by placing trades with the new order type.

Lamb said the last competition brought in $80 million in volume during a 2-hour period. In 2020, the firm is looking to conduct competitions every week. 

CoinFLEX's bid to dangle financial carrots to its traders represents a broader trend in the cryptocurrency market: gamified trading experiences. Rival ByBit recently announced the launch of its BTC Brawl competition, which offers participants a pool of more than 100 bitcoin in prizes. CoinFLEX earlier this year announced a market maker incentive program that would offer qualified traders a rebate if CoinFLEX volumes topped OKEx across all products or if its bitcoin contract topped BitMEX's similar perpetual swap. 

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