Meet Andrew Hon

The Blockchain Guru and Chief Technology Officer of CryptoBLK

Blockchain, also commonly referred to as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), has become a buzzword, some may say even similar to the dotcoms of the late 90s. With the general public becoming increasingly aware of Initial Coin Offering (ICO) scams and weary on the validity of blockchain projects and especially initial coin offerings, one man tries to set the records straight.

“It [Blockchain technology] has to stem from more than a desire to use the technology. Blockchain can do a lot of things; it can transform workflows and shorten turnaround times, revolutionize or revitalize industries where trust is required but inaccessible, and even help with digitizing what essentially may be decades old paper-processes, but Blockchain is not the solution for everything. We must determine the fundamental reasons on why blockchain is needed before tackling any project to make a platform successful.” — Andrew Hon at a Blockchain workshop organized by Shenzhen Finance Institute and Chinese University of Hong Kong

Meet Andrew Hon, the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of CryptoBLK, a startup based in Hong Kong that focuses on revolutionizing FinTech with IT and Cryptography. Prior to starting CryptoBLK with his business partner Dr. Duncan Wong, Andrew worked with him at the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), the largest government funded research and development center in Asia as the Head of the Blockchain Core Competence Group.

Since late 2015, mentions of systems with Blockchain elements or solutions using blockchain technologies have resulted in companies’ stock prices soaring or receiving millions of dollars in funding on what seems to be little more than hype. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) exploded, leading to a market full of startups with teams comprised of limited talent, offering promises of delivering blockchain platforms in the future. At the forefront, the cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple were the market leaders with a combined market cap of close to 15 billion USD. Everyone wanted a piece of the Blockchain pie, and to the layman, it seemed even something trivial such as a microwave would be able to utilize the power of blockchain technology.

During this same period, Andrew, an experienced software architect and DLT application guru, harnessed the ASTRI brand and led his team to develop a myriad of blockchain applications for different companies in multiple industries. Experimenting with different blockchain platforms, Andrew and his team matched specific platforms based on client’s needs and delivered production grade applications. His knowledge of fundamental blockchain application design and use cases is truly unparalleled, and his accolades, from engineering an HKICT award winning blockchain application for a major bank, to co-authoring a Distributed Ledger Technology whitepaper for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority shows his mastery of DLT software development.

Andrew left ASTRI for much of the same reasons as his friend Duncan, deciding to partner with him instead to develop CryptoBLK. Within a year of operations, the partners of blockchain and cryptography have brought the company onto the center stage, partnering with brand names organizations such as HSBC, R3, and the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers. Andrew’s domain knowledge has brought technical talent from all corners of the globe, and as his team continues to expand, so do the projects, requiring increasingly creative solutions; from developing in-house platform monitoring systems to creating inter-ledger programs.

CryptoBLK’s latest foray into the Abelian Project has provided Andrew with an even greater drive to deliver a complimentary product for the user base. Enhancing upon ideas from multiple well-established platforms, coupled with the cryptographic knowledge from Duncan and advisors, the Abelian Project aims to establish a cryptocurrency platform that allows private transactions to be audited, and applies post-quantum cryptography by design.

“Given the current market landscape, developing cryptocurrencies may not be the best idea,” says Andrew, “however, the Abelian platform aims to solve a fundamental problem with the community — the option for accountability.”

Although, the success of this platform cannot be guaranteed, to quote Benjamin Franklin, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, with Andrew at the helm, the project has the greatest chance for success.