OmiseGO and SURGE BKK 2019

-  Educating and BUIDLing for financial inclusion 

We were at the first ever SURGE Bangkok Hackathon. This event was made possible through the collaboration between UNICEF Innovation, OmiseGO, UNICEF Thailand, KXMADE and other amazing blockchain based projects both in Thailand and overseas. The goal of the event was to share information about blockchain as an emerging technology. The event sought to provide education and networks to local participants and help people design and build solutions for the problems that affect their communities.
SURGE Bangkok was a three-day event during the last week of May 2019. The event kicked off with a learning day that taught participants the basics of blockchain, exploring and working on Ethereum and starting a project. ­Input was provided on both the technical side and the non-technical aspects – including human centered design to understand local needs, when and how blockchain can augment development solutions, UX/UI and user testing for feedback.
The main event was the two-day hackathon. The hackathon was opened by UNICEF representative, Thomas Davin, who introduced the SURGE BKK theme ­– building solutions for financial inclusion. UNICEF stated the importance of this theme, stating that to this day there are still over 2.5 billion people in the world who are financially excluded. He further emphasized how UNICEF as an organization is always on the lookout for ways to use technology and innovation to create solutions for every child.

A vision of financial inclusion
Following UNICEF’s opening message, Vansa Chatikavanij, CEO, OmiseGO delivered welcoming remarks echoing UNICEF's sentiment that technology has the power to improve lives, and blockchain can be a tool to foster financial inclusion. 
The human dignity ethos of SURGE BKK is close to the core of OmiseGO. The company started on a vision for everyone to have the power to change the world through accessible, open systems that leverage blockchain technology.
As a fintech company, OmiseGO’s mission is to enable people to access financial services that are fast, fair and secure. We build on blockchain technology because we see it as a means to provide easy access to financial services, and frictionless payments in a digital age. This includes enabling people the ability to tokenize assets, easily exchange digital assets, and transfer and make payments with them through mobile devices.

Making financial inclusion a global reality
To enable financial inclusion, OmiseGO is building the OmiseGO Network, which is a public, permission-less, currency agnostic, infinitely scalable, cross chain compatible, decentralized exchange. In other words, the network serves as a medium of exchange for a range of digital assets and transactions, from in-game token transactions to cryptocurrency to financial services.
Through the OmiseGO Network, anyone will be able to conduct financial transactions including payments, remittances, payroll deposit, B2B commerce, supply-chain finance, loyalty programs, asset management and trading and other on-demand services.
The primary value in creating the OmiseGO Network is creating a future-ready infrastructure for payments and other forms of value transfer service which we believe, will be widely adopted. Further, millions of people in Asia-Pacific and beyond will be empowered with a tool that enables access to financial services that are fast, fair and secure – which is OmiseGO’s mission.

Hand-in-hand for our communities
While OmiseGO continues to develop a platform for enabling financial inclusion, we understand that financial exclusion is multifaceted – which we believe can be solved with everyone’s help. We are committed to supporting blockchain eco-systems, especially in our region.
“We’re here because we believe technology can be an enabler to improve lives. We’re here to learn, share and innovate, so that we can bring positive change into our communities.” 
-     Vansa Chatikavanij, SURGE BKK 2019 welcome address
Everyone has a role to play when it comes to developing solutions that address the barriers to financial inclusion. At SURGE BKK, we did so through education, technology mentorship and business input. The weekend was an opportunity for enhancing skills, sharing and receiving knowledge from peers and mentors, and then testing assumptions and skills through the hackathon.
Thank you to all the SURGE BKK participants. Over the course of three days we saw the amount of work and thought teams put into their projects; applying their technical knowledge to cater to the needs of the at-risk communities that UNICEF Thailand is working with. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to each team’s presentation that covered applications that solve issues of student class attendance, that promote financial literacy among youth, apps that connect local communities to the much-needed funding, and many more.
Big congrats to the winning teams! They will progress to pitch on the blockchain stage at Techsauce Global Summit 2019 in Thailand in June, and of course, we will be there too as a speaker. We hope to see you there!

How’s OmiseGOing?

Kasima, Director of Engineering at OmiseGO, shares a blog post that tells us a bit about himself, his start at OmiseGO and the major milestones that got us to where we are today including, the invention of More Viable Plasma, release of Plasma Dog and the launch of Ari.
Get to know Kasima and his OmiseGO experience on his BLOG

April 2019 Roundup

Catch-up on all the latest developments that happened in April 2019. A four minute read that summarizes our tech updates for the eWallet and Plasma,  the lowdown on OmiseGO-related news, the events we've been to, and events to look out for.

Community Partner – MVL

Last year, we announced our partnership with Mass Vehicle Ledger (MVL) to develop a proof-of-concept (PoC) for their ride hailing service, TADA. It’s been a while and we think it’s time to take a closer look at MVL and learn more about the amazing things they’re doing with blockchain technology. For this issue, we had the opportunity to interview Jonathan Chua, Managing Director of MVLchain. MVL is solving problems in the vehicle industry by gathering data that can be used to help with research and development of better cars, navigation and road safety. They are also using data to ensure quality services in insurance, convenient transportation services, and to create fair prices in the used car market.
Q: Could you tell us about MVL, how you started and what MVL is all about?
A: Mass Vehicle Ledger (“MVL”) is a connected mobility ecosystem based on transparent and trustworthy data that is recorded through our incentive blockchain protocol.
MVL enables data from the various lifecycle of a car to be collected and recorded on the blockchain. We do this by incentivizing contributors such as drivers, mechanics and used car platforms amongst others in exchange for their data.
Aggregated data that is anonymized can then be used for research and development purposes, whilst data on the individual level owned by the drivers themselves can be used for their own benefits such as when purchasing automotive insurance products or when trading their car.
Our team behind MVL comes from a rich background of providing mobility solutions and services across Asia prior to embarking on building MVL.
Having successfully operated our first mobility service, Easiway, between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, we have come to identify the gaps in the industry which is left unfilled by existing solutions. Necessity is the mother of all invention, very naturally our team decided to embark on deploying a blockchain solution for mobility to fill these gaps.
Q: What problems do you hope to solve in this rapidly growing vehicle industry and how do you propose to solve them?
A: Asymmetrical information is famously illustrated with the used car market as an example. George Akerloff termed faulty cars that were sold as if they were in perfect condition as “lemons”. In this example, we can see that the lack of trust is an age-old problem prevalent in the used car markets.
The same for service providers in the mobility space, drivers cannot enjoy efficient prices for their automotive insurance and drivers on ride-hailing applications are not adequately and sustainably incentivized to provide safer rider with kindness.
Imagine if you can purchase a used car with confidence or purchase your insurance knowing that it’s priced accurately based on your driving behavior. You will be able to avoid buying a “lemon” and enjoy greater savings as a safer driver. If you do not own a car and frequent ride-hailing services, imagine being confident that your driver is one who can serve you happily and safely.
This is the world we want to achieve with MVL through our incentive blockchain protocol. By incentivizing drivers in return for data that is recorded on the block, we encourage better behaviors on the road through our connected ecosystem which rewards positive behaviors.
Q: Could you tell us more about your project TADA?
A: TADA is a ride-hailing service that is built on top of our MVL incentive blockchain protocol. TADA was introduced in Singapore last July and has been subsequently launched in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2019.
The unique value proposition of TADA is the driver-centricity of our platform. We are the first in Singapore and the region to offer our ride-hailing service with ZERO commission. We also actively engage our drivers through various platforms such as having our own telegram community, again an industry first, which helps us to refine our application with over 80 updates from feedback over the last 10 months. This is further powered by our MVL incentive blockchain protocol which further incentivizes drivers to give their best service to the riders.
In doing so, we hope to achieve three main objectives. 1. Better livelihoods for drivers, 2. Better experiences for riders, and 3. Safer roads and a kinder interaction between our two user bases.
We have attracted over 300,000 riders across the three cities we operate in and over 32,000 drivers signed up on the TADA platform.
Q: What role does MVL believe blockchain in the future of the vehicle and transportation industry?
A: The future of mobility is widely believed to lie in vehicles that are connected, shared, autonomous and electrified.
From identifying and rewarding pro-social behaviors in shared vehicles to optimizing charging infrastructure locations to serve electric vehicles. Data is central to putting the wheels in motion for this coming mobility revolution.
With data being such a critical component, the immutability and transparency that the blockchain provides will allow different mobility services to collaborate confidently together to innovate new products and services.
Q: Could you tell us more about the work MVL has done with OmiseGO and what opportunities do you think this partnership could open?
A: Since announcing a strategic partnership in November 2018, MVL and OmiseGO have been working together to combine technologies from both parties to develop a Proof-of-Concept (“POC”) and to undertake blockchain research.
The POC is being developed to verify the suitability and performance of the OMG Network for MVL’s data record-keeping system. In this POC, Mobility data generated from MVL’s ride-hailing application TADA is recorded on the OMG Network. As part of the partnership, both MVL and OmiseGO have also been closely cooperating to research on how to further the use of blockchain technology in TADA.
Beyond the scope of this cooperation, we believe that there are various opportunities to further MVL’s partnership with OmiseGO. Using the OmiseGO’s platform to verify that TADA’s data has been successfully recorded on the block, collaboration on facilitating crypto-payments on TADA to even potentially creating a mobility payment platform together are some of the opportunities we envision.
Q: What OmiseGO technology is MVL excited to work on?
A: With OmiseGO, we look forward to enabling seamless asset exchanges. Decentralized exchanges and digital asset gateway technology empowers MVL’s token economy by giving more seamless and convenient connections to powerful blockchain players.
As MVL seeks to build an optimized ecosystem that improves the world of mobility by incentivizing pro-social activity, it is very important to ensure that MVL incentive system equates to  tangible values to the participants.
With the connection of OmiseGO's interoperable blockchain, MVL expects that asset exchange function will be more secure and fast, which we hope will encourage our MVLERs' pro-social activity.
Q: With the technology MVL and OmiseGO is building where do you see the world of tokenized incentive systems for mobility services going?
A: A tokenized incentive system for mobility services is not just a thing of the future, but a solution that can be adopted to improve the present state of mobility services today.
As we build our trust-driven mobility ecosystem based on the blockchain with all data transparently managed. We believe we will positively engage all participants in our mobility ecosystem, such as mobility services (I.e. ride-sharing, carpooling and etc.), drivers, riders, manufacturers and service providers (I.e. mechanics, insurers, financing firms and etc.), to collaborate effectively with the value fairly distributed equitably to the respective participants.
MVL's incentive system has been tested on TADA in Singapore since February 2019. Since launch, MVL incentives in the form of MVL Points has been offered to users of TADA in exchange for travelling data and positive road behaviors. MVL points can be exchanged for MVL coins through the TADA app.
As TADA users accumulate the MVL Points, they unlock higher MVL levels and receive various benefits. Drivers or riders who are placed in high MVL level is likely to be considered as “kind driver” or “friendly rider”. The higher MVL level you achieve, the more benefits you get.
As cars are increasingly being shared, a sustainable mechanism such as our MVL incentives is also increasingly needed to ensure that users will benefit from showing consideration to others and for being safe.
 Get to know more about OmiseGO’s strategic partner MVL HERE

MAY 2019 AMA - OmiseGO x HOARD

Click on the image below to check out part 1 of the OmiseGO AMA special with community partner HOARD. 
We are growing our team and would love to hear from you.  
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