AMA 25: Vansa Chatikavanij, OmiseGO CEO

In Blog, OMG Network by OMG Network

Vansa: Hi OmiseGO Community. My name is Vansa. I’m the CEO of OmiseGO. In this AMA I’ll be talking about regulations, fiat, and all that’s decentralized.

So, you might have read it in my blog, recently I took part in the World Economic Forum’s first blockchain council meeting in San Francisco. What became very clear to me is that we need both civil servants, businesses and government to come together and try to forge cross-border, as well as national regulations, around blockchain and crypto currencies. 

So this month’s AMA questions were circled around the blog posts that I made which you can look at in the link below, and I’m gonna go through the top four that we had. 

So here we go. 

Can you name ways in which the team’s commitment to regulatory compliance has directly resulted in, or will result in, the onboarding of one or more major business partners to use the OmiseGO Network? 

So I think it’s important for us to recognize that the regulations both in the local and international level is still very gray and new. Regulators are still trying to catch up to figure out how to regulate decentralized platforms, as well as cryptocurrencies. You already see major jurisdictions like the UK the US, as well as a couple Asian countries like Japan Singapore and Hong Kong, starting to form an opinion around crypto assets as well as blockchain, the technology itself. What we think is the other jurisdiction will start to look at them as best practice and follow suit. So as a team we’re keeping a very close eye across all of these major jurisdictions and we’re making sure that whatever we build in the infrastructure layer will be able to support the decentralized applications that are built on top. So we don’t want to close off any opportunities.
Concretely, we’ve been in discussion with the UK FCA as well as Singapore MAS, Thailand BOT (Bank of Thailand) as well as the SEC. We’re also in discussion with the Japanese regulations and associations that are working around blockchain at the international cross border level. We’re also talking with the WEF as well as the World Bank in hopes that we can provide input that is helpful when they go and shape cross-border regulations.

So, as you can probably tell from my answer it’s still a very new area. We’re all trying to figure it out, and the best thing that we can do as a team building the infrastructure is make sure that we don’t close off any opportunities in the future. 

How does OmiseGO intend to incorporate fiat into the network when there’s such heavy government regulations surrounding national currencies?

OmiseGO itself is a network and we’re essentially token agnostic. So our interaction with fiat would be something along the lines of USDT where somebody else has already tokenized and issued out a stablecoin version. So we’re not engaging with the government regulation as an issuer in this sense. 

How hard will it actually be to have a peer-to-peer currency agnostic decentralized world exchange that can transact any asset in comparison to loyalty points as a main initial avenue for transactions in the face of regulations? 

Similar to question two, OmiseGO Network is essentially currency agnostic. What that means is we facilitate the different tokens and applications that run on top of the network. 

If you look at the internet and how it is formulated with the TCP/IP, even though there are standards, it’s actually open in terms of regulations. OmiseGO can be looked at in the same way. Where we’re just a facilitator of financial applications and the regulations will actually happen as stacks on top of the network itself.

Initially it was communicated that clients would be the ones to ensure necessary compliance with the jurisdiction that they’re in while using the OmiseGO Network. Is this still the case? If not, what is your plan to address these regulatory concerns on the network layer? 

This is still very much the case where we ask the clients to be responsible for compliance and regulatory requirements. Given that the network is global and there are multiple use cases that can be built on the network itself, we as a company can’t cover all the jurisdictions. So we’ve worked with our clients essentially to try to help them address all of these issues around compliance and regulations. 

So that’s it for this month AMA guys. If you’re curious about our development and you want to follow our progress, please subscribe to the newsletter as well as follow our blog posts and various social media outlets. 

Thank you again for your time and for tuning in. We’ll see you next month.

AMA Bonus Question with Tipsuda Thavaramara

Vansa: So for this bonus question I wanted to invite our newest member to join me and help answer this. So please welcome Tipsuda who has 26 years of experience at the Thai SEC and has kindly decided to join us. We’re very excited to have you on board!

Tipsuda: Thank you. 

Vansa: So I just have a question around how do regulators, or when you were a regulator sitting on the other side of the table, how did you approach decentralized platforms? 

Tipsuda: Okay, to tell you the truth the regulators haven’t thought about decentralized platforms for that long. We probably don’t have any answer. Regulators are worried about risks where things could go wrong with their mandate of investor protection, integrity, transparency. 

In the old centralized world, we sort of figured out how to deal with that by requiring licenses, requiring segregation, system audits, and everything. But now that we’re in a (de)centralized model there’s always that discomfort of you know, who do we go to, who is responsible? Especially when it’s fully decentralized to the fact that you can’t find anyone you can talk to, and I hope it’s not going to get there quite yet. So regulators don’t have answers to that. But I think this is where OmiseGO could come in. 

Users probably think about compliance. But regulators think about more than compliance. They’re thinking about closing their risk. So even if you find a way to comply with the regulation, if it still presents a risk that the regulators need to worry about, then they’ll come out with more regulation. So I think in this decentralized world, what you need to do is to try to be that bridge for the regulator to feel comfortable enough to cross over from the old world to the crypto world, and work with them not not to find solutions immediately, but to convince them that you see their concern. That you are on their side. That you see the benefit of having good standards, best practice, safety, and integrity, so you work with them to try to address their concerns and their fears. It doesn’t mean that you will come up with a solution right away, but any little bit would help.

Vansa: So ultimately it’s about understanding where each other are coming from and meeting in the middle. 

Tipsuda: Right. 

Vansa: So that’s it for us, and for the AMA this month. If you would like to know more about current development, you can follow us on on our newsletter as well as social media and our website

Again, thank you everyone for joining and welcome to the team we’re very excited to have you. 

Tipsuda: Thank you.