OmiseGO (OMG) is an e-Wallet, smart contract platform, and the ERC20 token issued by Omise, a venture-backed payment services company similar to Stripe. Their ultimate goal is be a “preeminent high-value exchange and settlement platform.” After establishing their payment network, founders Jun Hasegawa and Donnie Harinsut created OmiseGO. The OMG blockchain operates on proof-of-stake, and the native currency is the ERC20 OMG token. There are exactly 140,245,398 OMG tokens in existence, and all but 38 million are currently circulating. The founders capped the OMG token supply and will not create any more.
Although new services like Paypal and Venmo create pressure for a more competitive network, the same centralized counterparty risks apply. Also, most legacy networks are typically unwilling to allow interchangeability across providers, instead protecting their network with a “winner take all” mindset.
OMG wants to build a fully decentralized peer-to-peer system to enable “asset agnostic” value exchange in real time on an Ethereum-based blockchain. (This means any decentralized or fiat currency pairs or ERC-20 tokens)
Omise vs OmiseGo
It is important to understand the difference between Omise (the parent company) and OmiseGO. Omise is a payment enabler that integrates with online and offline retail platforms, comparable to a Stripe or Paypal for the Japanese and SE Asian markets. Major ecommerce platforms including WooCommerce and OpenCart have also integrated with Omise.
Not only is Omise’s API publically available, but it’s also PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant. In combination with its ability to support SWIFT, these are important tools for enabling cryptocurrencies to stay compliant with financial regulations. OmiseGO will eventually attempt to succeed SWIFT as a way to change currencies between all platforms, both traditional and crypto-related.
Omise has a mobile wallet in use similar to Apple Pay, as well as a Facebook chatbot that enables payments. Sending payments in increasingly informal manners (sms, messenger) will continue to gain traction, particularly in underserved areas. With a bevy of large clients including McDonalds, Allianz, Bose, and more, Omise has considerable support in its endeavours.
Because of its integration with the Omise platform, OmiseGO has received mcuh support from the media. It is this integration that will eventually allow users to exchange currencies freely between all cryptos, fiat currencies, and even 3rd-party tokens on their DEX (decentralised exchange). OmiseGO appears to have an advantage in providing liquidity over other coins and tokens due to VC backing.
OMG and Omise are different from most cryptocurrencies dedicated to disrupting global banking. Given its parent company’s strong position in the online payment ecosystem, OMG is following the banking industry trend of providing flexible banking to the unserved and underserved. To increase speed, OmiseGO will eventually adopt Plasma for Ethereum.
The World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion database estimates that more than 2 billion people around the world are currently unbanked. This means that they not only lack a bank account, but they also have no access to a financial institution. 9 million are unbanked with a further 24.5 million underbanked even in the United States. Although Omise is relatively unknown in the US, it is expanding from Thailand to tap into Japan, China, and other SE Asian markets. Together, these points all mean that OmiseGo has a strong placement in the cryptocurrency arena.
OmiseGO is an ERC20 token that is wants to provide financial services to SE Asia’s unbanked population. The OMG blockchain will supplement the existing Omise payment and mobile wallet infrastructure. Eventually it will utilise Ethereum’s Plasma Network for rapid transactions and PoS verification. Thailand’s Central Bank and Ministry of Finance, as well as prominent Asian VC’s, all back OmiseGO. The Ethereum founders are also consulting on the project, so clearly OmiseGO is a project to keep on your radar!