Hi everyone. I'm Kasima. I'm CTO of OmiseGO and I've been looking after research and engineering of the OMG Network for the past year. I have a bit of experience shipping software: I've been doing it for about two decades, and I'm doing my best to apply all that knowledge and experience here at home at OmiseGO.
I fell down the blockchain rabbit hole when I was the lead engineer for Github's billing and payments team and I got interested in a more accessible financial system there because I saw firsthand how it affected developers around the world.
At OmiseGO I've been focused on shipping More Viable Plasma, Plasma Dog, the Ari public alpha and most recently Samrong.
So let's get to the important stuff. I'm not here to talk about myself, I'm here to answer questions from our OmiseGO community. So without further ado, let's get started with this month's OmiseGO AMA.
Q1: What made you join OmiseGO? Why this project over other projects?
So during my time at Github I got to work on billing and payments and I saw how small differences in financial accessibility had big impacts on communities. It's not something that companies generally consider as they're rushing to build their products but it ends up being this self-fulfilling cycle where, companies are overlooking these underserved communities and then when it comes time to deliver their products they end up not prioritizing the communities that don't have the resources to pay them.
I know that building a viable product is incredibly hard so I don't think it's necessarily reasonable to expect companies to prioritize them. So the answer here is to make those communities easier to reach.
It's to address financial accessibility directly and the team here at OmiseGO is incredibly talented and passionate and committed to this mission so that's why I joined OmiseGO.
Q2: Who are the actual users of the OMG Network apart from HOARD? Are any real businesses using the network, or is it interested developers who are not involved with any business who are just playing around with the network?
So since the network is not in production yet and still under heavy research and development there are no businesses that are currently using it for commerce.
For now most people using the network are our partners like Hoard who are building value-added services.
In my recent blog, "How's OmiseGOing" I stated that the proportion of traffic from the ODP versus our partners may seem low, but this is actually how products are developed, through really tight feedback in iteration loops with early users. So we're working closely with our partners to ensure that we deliver something of real value to them.
Q3: Can you elaborate on how and when the OmiseGO utility token will have actual value? Is there a clear strategy in on-boarding volume to the network? If yes, could you tell a little bit more on how OmiseGO aims to incentivize holding the token short to medium term?
Well currently, with the global state of plasma and POS research it just hasn't reached a point where staking on a plasma chain is viable. On top of that, staking without transaction value doesn't help anybody. Staking too early hinders our ability to iterate on product features quickly.
So once we're confident that we have a useful product and the state of research reaches a place where staking is useful, we will implement it. In the short to medium term we are evaluating ways to provide value to our token holders, but our primary goal is to build something customers will want to use.
We believe that this is the best way to benefit our token holders.
Q4: Can you please enlighten us on the current projections and theories around network economics? When the OMG Network launches with full proof of stake, how much volume do you expect the network to handle?
Well given the feature set is still being defined it's hard for us to say with any amount of certainty the capacity of the network. However, in the coming months as we implement our settlement protocol we should be able to understand performance characteristics better.
Q5: Would you please tell us a bit more of the OmiseGO internal reward bot described in the May monthly roundup?
We were looking for a way to allow people to express appreciation for each other on the team. A previous company I worked for had created a way for people to give emoji sparkles to each other over Slack, when they wanted to say thank you or give props.
So we decided to implement something similar using our eWallet service. It's completely informal and there are no hard rules, and it's only socially enforced against abuse. It's mainly for fun. But it ends up having meaning, especially in a remote culture. We're also looking at it as a way for us to collect real world feedback, and maybe help us uncover ways we can improve the eWallet service.
Once we finish root chain integration and OMG Network integration for the eWallet, we will be looking to move those transactions there.
Bonus Q: I know you probably don't have much experience with regulations, but do you see regulations as being a major hurdle to adoption of decentralized blockchain projects? As we know Coinbase faced and continue to face regulatory hurdles just to list tokens and they're a centralized exchange. Do you see regulations opening up in the future and embracing this technology specifically decentralized financial networks?
I don't necessarily see regulations as a hurdle. If we were to do some more critical thinking about why regulations exist, I think we'd find some pretty good reasons for them. I do think they play an important role in our financial systems.
As with any bleeding edge technology regulations always lag behind and it's our job to understand the motivations for these regulations so that we can help regulators regulate our industry sensibly.
I don't believe that regulators are out to kill new tech so I don't see it as a hurdle. I just see it as part of our job. But again I'm no regulatory expert, so I'm going to pass this question on to Vansa, who was recently at the World Economic Forum's Global blockchain council's first meeting. She'll be writing about that meeting, so stay tuned.
So that's it for me for this AMA. If you'd like to hear more about our engineering developments over the past year, you can check out my recently published blog post "How's OmiseGOing". As always you can keep up with OmiseGO news and events by following our official social media feeds.
Again, I am Kasima. Thank you so much for taking the time to watch this video. We'll catch you next month on the next AMA on the OmiseGO blog.