During the week of March 4–8 Hong Kong hosted Blockchain Week. The O2O conference featured speakers from all parts of the distributed ledger industry coming to discuss what they are doing in the space and looking for collaboration opportunities. One of the most interesting trends is that more traditional corporate players are moving into the digital assets space. An important company that is making this leap is Worldpay, the world’s largest payments provider. Worldpay was a sponsor for the event and had Ché Cabreros, eCommere Global Sales Executive, deliver the keynote speech.
Ché’s speech focused on the ways that Worldpay can act as the interface between traditional finance and cryptocurrencies. Perhaps the key point that Ché emphasized was the Worldpay’s global reach. They offer their payments gateway (acquiring through to processing) to 146 countries with 126 currencies and 320 alternative payment methods, including: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB and Union Pay. Worldpay was also one of the first traditional finance companies to enter into the Crypto space, with Coinbase in 2015, and so it has existing experience working with crypto based companies.
After the Keynote, Che also participated in a payments panel called: Disruption in Payments — Bridging the Gap Between Crypto and Cash led by Dwight van Diem of BCW Group. The panel included Ché and George Harrap of Bitspark, a company focusing on international remittances. They discussed topics that ranged from governance & regulation, mass adoption of digital assets and how each organization differentiated themselves compared to the competition. As part of the panel, Worldpay emphasized its new Bankout solution that will be rolled out to market in 2019. The Worldpay Bankout solution (which they offer in other industry verticals such as gaming) is an international bank transfer product fully owned and operated by Worldpay where they can settle crypto-to-fiat in 17 currencies across 200+ markets by utilising 59+ banking partnerships to allow for same day/next day settlements with a reduction of 88% in fees for the end users. It is clear from the overall discussion that there is still a long way to go for mass adoption to occur, but progress continues with new product offerings and that adoption draws nearer.