OMG Network 2020: Plasma Blockchain & Loyalty Points

In Blog, Enterprise, OMG Network by Vansa Chatikavanij

This blog is Part 1 of the “How’s OMG Network Going” series and explores how plasma blockchain can help enterprises with their loyalty points programs. Part 2 covers plasma blockchain and CBDC.

We founded OMG Network with the vision of enabling open finance services that are fast, cheap, and secure. We see that innovation will need to occur both at the infrastructure and application layer for this to happen. Our bread and butter product, the open public OMG Network, is a Layer-2 Ethereum scaling infrastructure which builds on our business and domain expertise of payments.

When we started the OMG Network journey around three years ago, we made two assumptions:

  1. Tokenization will happen on Ethereum, and the resulting growth would mean scalability becomes a significant problem;
  2. The world of open finance and enterprise services will meet, and this will be where mainstream adoption happens.

Today, we already see #1 materialize as congestion on Ethereum becomes more severe. Now, we’re testing the boundaries of how #2 will take shape.

The goal is to get OMG Network technology embedded into a network of merchants and enterprises, so it becomes the go-to protocol for value transfers. It is all about network adoption.

As a result, our business development approach is two-pronged: (1) to target blockchain native customers like exchanges, wallets, and other CeFi services, and (2) to bolster enterprise sales.

Exploring Plasma Blockchains Use-Cases: CeFi

In Q3 2020, we launched the OMG Network V1 Mainnet Beta and finished integration with Bitfinex to enable USDt transfers. This makes the OMG Network a one-stop highway. But as Stephen mentioned in his recent AMA with Houbi, we’re integrating with other exchanges and will provide updates when we can.

For the remainder of 2020, the team remains focused on onboarding our CeFi partners to build out the Layer-2 value transfer use-case and improve the protocol and UX.

Exploring Plasma Blockchain’s Use-Cases: Enterprise Loyalty Points

As many of you know, we’ve been pursuing enterprise businesses through the avenue of loyalty points. Our long-term Enterprise strategy continues to be to onboard businesses to a public network. In our pursuit, however, we’ve seen enterprises resist putting their assets on a public blockchain.

When the two worlds of open finance and enterprise may collide is still a question those working in this space are grappling with. The only thing both sides agree on is that the customer demands for seamless and interoperable interactions.

To explain the above, let me draw comparisons to the intranet and internet evolution; i.e., eventually, the customer is going to want to interact with the outside world. Eventually, the customer will want to send emails outside of AOL; and eventually, the customer will want to text their friends outside of their cell phone service provider. It’s the same with digital value, where the customer will want to be able to use and send money to anyone, anywhere, whenever they want.

On a deeper level, blockchain and tokenization introduces a different way of looking at the world of finance and financial services — one that’s not constrained to crypto assets. There are too many exciting things to do in terms of open finance and disintermediating and the broader market will find a way to adapt. Those involved in the world of financial services are always looking for new opportunities, and that’s what tokenization and open finance provides.

For example, when we onboard new types of tokenized assets (like tokenized loyalty points) and enable it as a form of payment (like Pay with Points), we’ll be able to apply asset rules to them. With rules like investments, trading, futures, and variable values applied, earning interest on your loyalty points becomes a possibility.

With new and exciting opportunities for enterprises on the plasma blockchain, moving from a legacy system to a public network like ours seems a logical one. However, there are psychological hurdles enterprises have to overcome when committing to a public infrastructure. They’ll conquer these challenges once they want to interact with the outside world. But for now, our current blockchain infrastructure needs to accommodate these corporations.

To help them get over this initial hurdle, we will provide enterprise solutions, including middleware and options for private plasma instances.

Private instances serve as the safer on-ramps for many enterprises that have access to the mass-market we want. Our vision for enterprise is that we help them take baby steps to use a blockchain in the first place.

And one day, when enterprises want to interact with the outside world, their private Plasma infrastructure will be able -- with the flip of a switch -- to connect with the open and public OMG Network.

Given the above, our team will start to push out more targeted material to attract and educate enterprise customers. In Part Two of this update, I cover another use-case we’ll explore with private plasma.

To wrap up, our mission of financial inclusion and value transfer remains the same. All we’re doing is pursuing another path in parallel to CeFi to encourage long-term adoption of blockchain. Think of private plasma as a means to an end, which is to add value to the open public OMG Network.

Vansa manages the direction of key leadership and business strategy of the company. Previously, Vansa was responsible for implementing international development programs around financial inclusion, infrastructure investment, and social development at the World Bank.
Vansa Chatikavanij, CEO, OMG Network

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