Kei Oda is the head of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region for Quantstamp, a Web3 security firm that audits smart contracts and develops blockchain security solutions.
Kei spent 16 years trading bonds at Goldman Sachs before stumbling into cryptocurrencies out of boredom. He tells Magazine he was induced by the ability to trade Bitcoin and other assets around the clock.
He has since fallen down the rabbit hole, even finding a job in the industry.
1. How did you get involved in crypto?
So, I was actually a bond trader for 16 years before joining crypto.
You know, we used to talk about Bitcoin when I was still trading bonds. I didn’t really understand it or believe in it, to be honest, but when I left my job in 2016 and tried to get into the startup space, what dawned on me once I left was that, having been a trader, you do have a long-term focus, but you also are very, very short-term in terms of how you trade, what you do day to day, minute to minute, and what ended up happening was, I would get bored very easily.
Essentially, my attention span became like a goldfish, and that was what working in finance kind of did to me. And so, I started trading Bitcoin.
Initially, it was simply to pass the time. And then, once I started researching Bitcoin, obviously, I thought the value proposition was extremely compelling.
And as part of that journey, I of course fell down the rabbit hole and started looking at crypto in general and specific assets like Ethereum, and it just sounded like a crazy, crazy proposition. You know, if it succeeds, obviously we’re talking about something that could be game-changing.
2. What do you think of the current Japanese crypto ecosystem?
I think that Japan has a pretty vibrant ecosystem, especially right now. It’s taken a while, but if you look at the trajectory of what Japan has gone through as a whole (the Mt.Gox and CoinCheck hacks, etc.), it has become very progressive.
In one sense, you know, allowing Bitcoin to be kind of used as currency, not obviously as an official currency or government currency, but it is an accepted payment method, and it’s actually legal to use it.
I think another kind of sector that seems to be quite exciting, at least for Japanese financial firms, is security tokens. I think that’s something that people are looking at. Security tokens globally — I don’t really hear that much about, [but] there are quite a few companies looking…