‘We can’t keep putting band-aids on the current system’ — OKX

A provocative new advertising campaign from cryptocurrency exchange OKX challenges traditional finance and Web3 competitors by calling for a rewrite of current financial and digital systems.

The company released its latest production-quality advert, which subtly aims at the American exchange Coinbase and the broader traditional finance (TradFi) space. In an in-depth interview with Cointelegraph, OKX chief marketing officer Haider Rafique outlined the exchange’s belief that blockchain-enabled technology is imperative in rebuilding financial infrastructure and empowering digital ownership.

Under Rafique’s tenure, OKX has embarked on high-profile partnerships and bold advertising campaigns with the likes of Manchester City and the McLaren Formula1 team, exposing cryptocurrencies and Web3 offerings to massive audiences around the world.

The “Rewrite the System” campaign features strong imagery highlighting inflation, data breaches and censorship as indicators of a broken system. As Rafique explained, talks of updates to existing financial and digital infrastructure do not resolve the long-standing issues that formed the basis of the campaign:

“The current system is not really designed to be updated and then updated into a system that can really solve some of the problems that the entire system has created.”

Multiple industry-impacting events have played out in the past year, highlighting the shortcomings of existing financial systems and the failings of TradFi and decentralized finance (DeFi) players.

The infamous collapse of FTX and the arrest of its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, damaged the image of the cryptocurrency space. Meanwhile, TradFi institutions faced their own crises in a high-inflation economic environment, with the likes of Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank and Signature Bank all folding.

“I think there will be continuous failures in this current system because it’s being stressed. It’s being stressed from a financial ecosystem standpoint.”

Rafique believes that the current situation will serve as a means to show how blockchain-based software allows people greater control of their economic and digital sovereignty:

“Our hope is that we can give the tooling to people that Web3 starts with, ultimately downloading software on your machine or your phone that enables you to be your own bank.”

Interoperability is another core component of a compelling argument for blockchain-based, Web3 tools to reinvent financial systems and platforms. Rafique used Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store’s siloed nature and lack of compatibility as an example where blockchain-based applications or networks’ interoperability could come to the fore:

“Crypto and blockchain-based apps are actually designed to connect with each other and drive their interoperability.”

Providing a wallet service that connects public chains to streamline digital assets management is part of the exchange’s efforts to provide a Web3 experience that showcases the interoperability inherent in blockchain technology:

“We want to connect all crypto ecosystems together so you can hop from one place to another place or another place very easily, but also at very low transaction costs.”

As for its advertising efforts, Rafique is clear in his belief that entertaining audiences with fresh partnerships in diverse markets and spaces has created a certain image for the exchange.

Related: F1’s Daniel Ricciardo cruises into crypto at Token2049

Cointelegraph was present for OKX’s livery takeover of McLaren’s F1 car at the 2022 Singapore grand prix and spoke to Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, a figure who featured prominently in its advertising campaign in late 2022. Humorous TV ads featuring Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and his players, and metaverse campaigns with Jack Grealish further highlight the company’s efforts to promote Web3 to potential new users:

“You either want to articulate a problem that’s immediate in their life or go back to entertaining people, and they might just give us a chance.”

The release of the “Rewrite the System” campaign was accompanied by a new partnership announcement with the Tribeca film festival. The exchange’s Web3 focus on nonfungible tokens through its marketplace provides the backbone of augmented, mixed reality experiences at the popular New York film festival.

Related: NFT communities greenlight Web3 films: A decentralized future for fans and Hollywood

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