AMA #30 – Vansa & Kasima

In AMA, Blog by OMG Network

We sit down with our CEO and CTO to get their thoughts on what’s next for OMG Network, the challenges they anticipate, and exciting business opportunities we can explore.

Q1: I assume that more information regarding incentivized watchers and the Proof of Guarantee consensus mechanism can’t be shared with us yet, so are you able to elaborate on the decision to not decentralize block production? More specifically, what horizontal scaling mechanisms you may be putting into place, and what measures you will take to ensure maximum uptime as the sole operator?

Kasima: A couple of idioms apply here: “Complexity is the enemy of security” and “Ship early, ship often.” As we looked at decentralizing block production, we felt that the complexity of the system increased many fold. We still hadn’t proven out the core plasma protocol in the wild, so we decided to take an incremental approach. Our learnings from operating the single operator network will help inform how we can decentralize the network more. These systems are already quite complex. Trying to implement more complex technology without some real-world data is a bit like trying to run on sand. Your assumptions can shift out from under you very quickly.

We’ve released the simplest system we could. Something that we believe has utility to the market and Ethereum community. By doing that, we believe we have maximized the security of the system to the best of our ability. We can iterate from here with what we learn.

Availability is a priority for us, and as I’ve mentioned in the ODP, we are focused on building a resilient system – one that can recover from many kinds of failures – however, that recovery will sometimes require downtime. You may have already noticed that when we deploy new versions of our child chain; we are currently taking some downtime to do that.

So while I would describe our system as resilient, I would not currently describe it as highly available. However, we have processes in place to respond quickly to any failure that is not self-recovering. Our engineers are on-call around the clock. We have Service Level Objectives in place and intend to bolster them over time. And, for the past 6 months, we’ve been working on making our systems highly available. We plan on rolling that out later this year.

Q2: Now that the main net is launched, do you plan to start onboarding businesses that currently use the Omise payment system, and if yes, is the plan to focus on this within the current year?

Vansa: Under SYNQA, each of our companies has its own roadmap, strategy, and KPIs. Some of those overlap, of course, and the plan is to build on each other's strengths and assets.

In Southeast Asia, where we’re based, much of the economy is centered around importing, exporting, and cross-border services. The ability to move value and money around is a major lifeline for the region if it is to continue to grow.

As you saw we are going through integration to enable USDt transfer on Layer-2. From a value transfer and payment perspective, I’m bullish that stablecoins will make up a large share of payments in the future. I also believe we will continue to see what we call “branded currencies” like loyalty points, in-game currencies, and enterprise being used as money.

Current local and international payment schemes are not built to handle this technological trend. So for us, having both Omise Payments and OMG Network under the same umbrella is a good combination.

To re-clarify, however, we’re two separate companies under the same group. We would provide our services to Omise Payments just like we would if they were an OMG Network customer. Omise Payments’ merchants are Omise Payments’ merchants. It helps OMG Network that we have an existing business relationship and are able to offer them new solutions more efficiently.

Q3: What do you think are the top challenges for the OMG team in gaining mass adoption of the tech, and how do you plan on addressing it?

Vansa: The first challenge is that we’d miss out on trends. This is low risk, however, since I feel that our team has strong eyes and ears on all the channels that matter.

The second challenge is how quickly we can convert accounts. The risk for this is medium, and it’s tied to execution.

  • Customers are sticky with infrastructure services, so we have to be the first in the door, particularly with enterprise customers, or we may not have another window to convert them for several years.

  • It’s a bit different when we talk about crypto and open finance partnerships because, in a mature Money LEGO world, products should be interoperable. Meaning, products are designed to not only be used as a stand-alone, but can easily integrate with others and switch in and out.

We solve the scaling problem for payments and transfer, and we are the only solution in the market that is production-ready today, so we only need to keep our focus and execute, execute.

Kasima: The third challenge is the competition, but I think there is enough pie to go around. We say this because of four reasons:

  • All scaling comes with the trade-offs, and companies have to pick the ones that fit their use-case. We know the OMG Network solves the value transfer and payment use-case well.

  • Newer research like Roll-Ups is an interesting research area, but it's still experimental and will undergo a significant learning/development curve. As someone who’s running a business, I would be wary of anyone willing to put absolute faith in a research-grade solution or tool. There are a lot of unknowns, and it’s risky for customers.

  • At the end of the day, there will be multiple Layer-2 solutions, with their own share of the market, based on their functionality.

  • For us, this means keeping a keen eye on the competition and making sure we continue to have a strong understanding of how we position ourselves as the situation unfolds. And of course, execute execute execute.

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