Get to Know Our Head of Operations: Man Hay Hong

Get to Know Our Head of Operations: Man Hay Hong

October 25, 2022

Hi Man Hay, you’ve been with Hex Trust for a very long time now, but for those who don’t know you, can you tell us about yourself? 

I am a local Hong Kong-er. Despite spending most of my childhood here, I had the pleasure of exploring the world a bit as I grew up. Throughout the past decade, I had the opportunity to study in Helsinki, Barcelona, and Beijing and work in Singapore, and I started my crypto career by joining an exchange called Gatecoin based in Hong Kong. After 2 years at Gatecoin, I left and joined Hex Trust in January 2019 (almost 4 years ago, time flies!).

What initially got you interested in the digital assets ecosystem?‍ 

Bitcoin got me interested, mainly by its incredibly complex technology (yes, I have a geeky side) and partly by its jumpy price movement (yes, I trade, too). I was intrigued when I first came across the "censorship resistance" ideology, and I decided to jump into the rabbit hole and try to understand how it could practically be achieved. That opened up a whole new world for me, the deeper I got, the less I thought I knew about how everything comes together. 

To date, Bitcoin is still on my "to figure out" list, and I hope that I will be able to take it off the list one day!

What was it about Hex Trust which made you want to join the team? 

It was Hex Trust’s market positioning and its founders. After I left Gatecoin, I was looking for crypto custodian businesses particularly, and I came across Hex Trust. 

I chatted with Alessio and Rafal twice during the interview process, and I got a memorable impression that they were not only veterans from the traditional finance industry but were also familiar with the Blockchain industry on both Business and Tech fronts, serious about building an impactful business and had an apparent execution plan. I looked no further and accepted the offer.

Tell us more about your role at Hex Trust. What does it mean to be Head of Operations, and how has that role evolved over the last few years? 

My role is to ensure that the Operations team is capable of supporting all the Front Office / Business teams properly while striving to build a work environment that is meaningful to every single Ops team member. 

In the early days, my role was relatively technical. I worked very closely with our CTO to build the core operational processes from scratch, strived to bring the processes to a satisfactory level from a tech/security standpoint, and focused on day-to-day executions. 

Today, I work closely with our COO to ensure that the Management's objectives are met. I am pleased to have a highly capable team that handles executions well, and I have shifted my focus to team management and expansion, maintaining effective communications with other departments, and more.

What are you most excited about in blockchain today? 

There has been research online suggesting that the Blockchain industry today is in a position comparable to the Internet in the early 2000s; personally, I echo such thoughts. We all witnessed what happened to the Internet industry over the past two decades, and I'm most excited about the potential for what is to come in the Blockchain space.

Tell us something interesting that you do outside of work and which not many people know about you!‍ 

A while back, I built a social trading platform for crypto - called "Crypto Denada", where users can showcase their trading skills, attract followers and earn subscription fees. Although it hasn't been my primary focus of late, the platform is still up and running. There is an introductory video on Youtube on how the platform works, if you happen to watch the video and/or try out the platform, let me know your comments!

I am a beginner at Algo Trading, and I typically focus on arbitrage strategies. Calling for friends who like exploring algo scripts and the idea of making money while asleep :) I wrote a couple of blog posts on Medium on my basic setups, I also got some draft content focusing on strategies, but I never got to the point of polishing and posting them.

I enjoy playing music. I used to be a drummer in a Chinese percussion group and in a band when I was studying. Back then, I thought of devoting my career to the Chinese percussion group (Yes, we play those big red drums you see on dragon boats, just we typically play in concert halls or stadiums with 40+ drums. Trust me, the level of shock on the spot is very different from what you can feel on TV), but then I couldn’t resist joining the Blockchain industry when I had the opportunity to. 

Fast forward to today, I'm spending more time playing instruments that are quieter and attract fewer complaints from neighbours :) My recent hobby is recording simple keyboard covers.

Finally, here are some quick-fire questions!

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl la~

What is your favourite sports team? 

Honestly, I don’t have one. I do play sports often, but there’s just not a sports team I’d call my favourite

Dogs or cats? 

Cats

Sweet or salted popcorn? 

Neither thanks

Coffee or tea? 

Water

What scares you? 

Tears from my loved ones

Favourite film? 

War of the Genders (男親女愛)

What would you eat for your last meal? 

Sausage and egg instant noodles (腸蛋公仔麵)

Bitcoin or Ethereum?

Bitcoin, without a doubt

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