Our Ethos – Building an Open Financial Infrastructure for the World

Two trends are defining the trajectory of our world today. The first is globalization connecting people to live, work, and form businesses with anyone, anywhere. The second is technology enabling ubiquitous access and whole new realms of experiences via the internet, and smartphones.

As a result we have entered an age where people are empowered to participate both as user and shareholder in many facets of life, from how we consume content and information, to the way we buy and sell goods, to how we move around and travel to new places. We are moving towards a collaborative economy – one that is not controlled by a few corporate giants, but that is governed by and for the people.

Photo credit: Denis Petrina via Medium

However, the financial services industry is arguably the most centralized industry in the world and the last industry to feel the transformational effect of the technological revolution. Much of the world’s banking systems also run on outdated technology and is governed by regulations designed back in the nineteenth century.

Western Union in Sri Lanka

In an age where more and more people move across borders, the bank’s astronomical fees and snail speed in processing cross-border payments are not only egregious, but functionally impossible to serve the needs of a completely modern and different user segment.

Rewiring the global financial system for speed and inclusion

Ever since 2009 with the advent of the Blockchain, the underpinnings of our financial infrastructure has been reorganized forever. Blockchain technology makes it possible to replace the model of top-down hierarchical organizations with a system of distributed, bottom-up cooperation.

The ultimate shakeup of the blockchain is that it unbundles the thousands of components that make global finance work, and empowers the local consumer and business by being a common-shared technology infrastructure for anyone and everyone.

When everyone shares the same distributed ledger, settlements don’t take days, they occur instantly for all to use. That also means we have the chance to radically lower fees. The barriers to entry for becoming a community bank to offer global services, to build an app servicing a global user base have been dramatically lowered.

This shift could liberate many new entrants from the confines of old institutions and empower entrepreneurs everywhere, fostering competition and innovation. Small financial players can spring up to do the things that banks can’t do – and that’s good for the billions of end users in today’s interconnected world.

OKLink – An open financial infrastructure for the world

If the Blockchain is the Trust Machine as termed by the Economist, why not use this technology to the maximum by enabling wholly new entrants and small financial players to do global finance with one another?

That’s the ethos on which we built OKLink – a platform connecting companies all over the world, big and small, to create an open infrastructure for cross-border payments. We are building an open infrastructure for financial players who provide the best service for customers in their local markets.

Using the blockchain technology, companies all over the world can be linked and use secure digital assets to settle transactions anywhere instantly and at a low cost.

We support money transfer companies including mobile wallets, remittance apps, cash pickup outlets and much more. We also support forward-thinking companies with cross-border settlement needs, including multinational companies, e-commerce merchants, and companies handling cross-border payroll.

In such an open infrastructure, financial firms will prosper only on the basis of delivering an unbeatable service and experience to the customer – whether that be a migrant worker, or a small business purchasing supplies from overseas. No longer will finance be based on who has the most resources, or who has seized the greatest control on the market.

Much like other sectors being disrupted by technology, we believe the blockchain will once again enable smaller players to deliver great financial services to customers in every part of the world.

We have a chance to rebuild the system.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s