Nikolaos Kostopoulos
Sep 23 · 13 min read

Welcome to the third post in our series of Mainnet Community-run AMAs.

The ongoing AMA series on Telegram is a four-months long event that features various guests from the Harmony community and leadership team. The goal of the series, which will run until December 2019, is twofold: to give our community an opportunity to interact directly with team members, and to give team members — especially those who operate largely behind the scenes — a chance to share their insights and offer the community a window into their work.

The most recent AMA took place on September 20th with Garlam Won, Harmony’s Head of Marketing. Over the course of the AMA, Garlam fielded both pre-submitted and live questions from our community members concerning a variety of topics related to Marketing and our expansion in Asia.

Highlights can be found below as transcribed by our community managers:

Manny | Harmony CM

Hi everyone, welcome to the third part of our Mainnet AMA Series. I will get right to it and ask the questions from those who submitted ahead of time. [The chat is also open; you can ask your questions].

So, the first question from @Hnefatafl, he wants to know what kind of ecosystem is being developed for the Asian market?

Garlam Won | Head of MarketingHarmony

Yes! I’m currently focused on 3 core initiatives in Asia

1. Developing niche-specific industries

We believe that these 3 pillars will give us the most ROI in terms of expanding our ecosystem

- Gaming

- Defi

- Data Sharing

As you’ve seen with Quidd and Lympo, we’re actively acquiring and onboarding the players who are showing high growth and have a high number of an already existing user base.

2. Community-building via exchanges

We believe that exchanges aren’t just a liquidity pool but also a basecamp to start operation in specific countries. We currently have ongoing conversations with the exchanges we believe will have the highest concentration of country-specific users.

3. Korea entity

I’m currently here in Korea building the Korean entity. The aim is 2 fold:

i. POC — The Korea government spends about 400 million per year in tech POCs. We have a partner (Big Bang Angels — second oldest angel firm in Korea — who has all the connections to system ‘integrators’ in Korea that will help us break into the lucrative POC market.

ii. Protocol Consulting — We’ve been seeing enterprises demand faster and protocols who can cater to their needs — I’m having ongoing conversations via our strong partners to start earning revenue from these integrations.

Bit of a doozy but sums up our initiatives in Korea — I might have new ones after KBW judging how fast crypto moves.

Manny | Harmony CM

Nice, that’s an impressive groundwork ongoing. So the next question:

How is Harmony going to challenge established players in the Asian market such as NEO and TRX?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

It’s never easy to be David in the David and Goliath story but we believe we have 3 factors on this

1. Partners of our own — We have a hyper-focus on breaking into specific niches that we believe will make the biggest impact — We are going to get our own all-star partners like Quidd and Lympo to start building out the ecosystem of our own — nurture and grow those in our ecosystem so that it’s not us that’s getting big but those partners that are getting big (and we grow as a byproduct of that).

2. Quality of the team — We believe we have one of the best execution team in the space. Everything from Binance IEO, Puzzle Game, Mainnet — When we’ve put our mind to it we can be hyper-focused and get things done in a short period of time. We believe our team’s nimbleness and flexibility to change our direction quickly if needed will allow us to continuously grow.

3. Growth potential — We believe that one of the advantages of being a David is we still have a ton of growth potential. Also being a David means that we can easily get into partnerships and deals without having to worry about too many things on the side (logistics, stakeholders, etc.) which allows us to move fast (and hopefully break as little things as possible).

Bbusy | Community Member:

Hi, Garlam are there companies you and your team are talking to, to actually implement the tech and give more utility to the ONE token?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yes! That’s what our ecosystem dev is all about! We have a plan in place to get as much dapps as possible (it’s a strategy I haven’t seen anywhere in the market) so I’m super excited about that

Figozz | Community Member:

How is harmony promoting its abilities to partners who can make use of its fast transaction time? And is this something that is being done at the moment?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

We’re mostly targeting ETH based dapps for 2 reasons:

1. Scalability and capacity of network- this one is obvious.

2. Ability to make a decision quickly and move fast — because ETH is super decentralized sometimes we heard frustrations on Dapps or firms trying to get them to tailor to their needs. One of the things having a core base of people is that we can take the feedback and integrate if necessary to cater to the needs of the firm — as well as make the decision quickly.

Figozz | Community Member:

In what ways are you targeting them? And Also, can’t the same be done for TRX dapps?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

I think we’ve been lucky actually because as I said — being David we get to pick up a lot of people who might have been missed by TRX or EOS, which has been working out really well for us in terms of getting strong partners.

Figozz | Community Member:

That’s great, I do however not understand what you mean by “being David” and my question still remains, in what way do you target them? Do you have a direct approach or do you let them come to you?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Haa…ha, sorry it was the David and Goliath reference I put above in response to the above question.

Right now we do it mostly through our partners (ex. seed investors, Wanxiang, our existing network in Asia, North America) to give us highly vetted projects and we start the convo to see if it makes sense.

Manny | Harmony CM

Speaking of strong partners, the CEO recently claimed he will be unveiling partnerships at the Wanxiang conference event. What’s the status of these?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yes, we did unveil them in the conference but no official post has been put out yet. We were planning to announce 3 key partners on this trip that revolves around our industry focus.

1. Lympo Integration (Data) — Samsung Blockchain Wallet Health Data App (250% M2M growth and 250k+ Users — https://share.geckoboard.com/dashboards/RGQYCZ2RDFMF62NN)

2. Carbon (De-Fi) — Global payment solution in over 50 countries — Fiat gateway (just like Cash app or Circle) that allow people to buy $ONE in under a minute and we’re also planning to launch a Harmony Stable Coin with them in the next quarter

3. Findora (De-Fi) — Privacy Blockchain that meets the need of Financial data being both Private and Public (Team includes John Power — MD for 5 Billion Dollar Stanford Endowment Fund & Balaji — Ex CTO of Coinbase, team made up of Cryptographers and experts from Stanford) — https://findora.org/about/#team.

We have an official post coming out soon for Carbon but for Findora, it might be a little bit more before an official post comes out since we’re still sorting details out on both ends.

Manny | Harmony CM

With reference to your comment on ETH being ‘super decentralized’, does this mean Harmony protocol won’t be completely decentralized? If so what’s the expected ratio of the network?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yes, our plan is to let go of the network to the public! However, we are building a governance system that might allow us to make key decisions in a manner that allows us to move quickly and cater to diff needs

Manny | Harmony CM

Since Harmony is targeting ETH base dapps, will Harmony also be building specific dapps to target specific markets? If so, could you highlight the dapps and markets?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Right now I’d say the focus on dapps isn’t the country-specific markets but more of industry-specific markets. As I said above, it will be:

1. Data Sharing

2. De-Fi

3. Gaming and Collectibles

Bbusy | Community Member:

Do you guys have legal experts on the team that is talking or have connections to the different governments to be regulatory compliant in Asia and are there still hurdles to overcome before it could be implemented in day to day use?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yes, the incredibly strong legal team that many blockchain projects (including Binance) use.

We do have a connection to multiple governments in Asia and SEA that we’re tapping into — Not just for ecosystem building but for DeFi applications.

Bbusy | Community Member:

Thanks. Next to launching and putting dapps into place are there financial institutions looking to replace or add to their current financial system and are you currently creating revenue from an advisory role within such companies?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

No revenue at the moment. But revenue I believe will come from 2 diff venues:

1. Short term — Consulting and integration work (ex. POC, etc.) using our protocol

2. Long Term — Having as many transactions as possible on the network

Bbusy | Community Member:

Good to hear can you tell me how many people are part of the Harmony marketing team at the moment in Asia?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

We currently have me and the offsite team of around 7 that are on the marketing initiatives.

Manny | Harmony CM

Here’s a question from @SHENOYA:

Under Asian expansion, is there any idea to local community opening?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yes, core markets are as follows.

China & Korea

I’ll be transitioning into more of a “Head of Asia” role but at the same time, Head of Asia means nothing because if your focus is scattered it’s doomed for failure.

We currently have the strongest partners and most legitimacy in terms of existing momentum to enter these 2 markets (not to mention the biggest ROI in the Asia market).

So after these markets have been well setup we’ll be moving into other countries.

Shen| Community Member:

Could you please tell me, what about Sri Lanka? Because I’m from Sri Lanka and I was waiting for a long time to have a Harmony local community here 😊.

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Ahhh, reach out to me afterwards we always love angels to start something up.

Shen| Community Member:

Sure 😊

Figozz | Community Member:

@garlamw how intense would you say the marketing is at the moment? Any plans on increasing it anytime soon?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

We’re trying to reserve cash in this market and focus on making deals (hence why I’m doing the deal end as well) — The ROI I realized isn’t very good on any of the marketing initiatives and we’d rather save the treasury and capital to really explode when the market is in an upturn

B Fish | Community Member:

Are there revenue targets for the Asian area? If so, what are the targets and how does Harmony intend to reach them?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yeah, we do — we’ll be sharing the info more as it’s more finalized. At the moment it’s an internal discussion. God, I need coffee…

Figozz | Community Member:

You’ve earned one lol. Make it so that it’s possible to buy coffee with ONEs. It would be cool, I’d buy you one. 😂

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Next initiative.

Manny | Harmony CM

Okay, @garlamw this may sound a bit repetitive or rather buried within the answers you’ve already provided. But outside the tech value proposition, can you shed more light on the core focus of Harmony’s business development generally?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yes! So the core focus of BD for us at the moment is 2 things:

1. Finding partners for the early revenue stream (this includes the POCs and Integration consulting that I was talking about in the beginning)

2. Ecosystem Dev (This one is also buried in the long answers above, but finding partners with exponential growth and user base that can strengthen our ecosystem) — A fast blockchain doesn’t mean anything if you can’t hit your capacity

Bbusy | Community Member:

The crypto projects you are partnering up with all have their own token and will push their token, as well as Harmony, will. How do you see those tokens both being used in a partnership and could you give an example in what way they will enhance each other’s value?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

This is my personal view and not Harmony’s but last year when I was in VC someone asked me this exact question while I was on my speaker circuit.

I believe everyone has their own niche (Ex. VeChain, Kabi, WanChain — Supply Chain; Wax — Gaming; Stellar — Banking, Finance layer). And the tokens will have value in each of those industries — so in the future, to break to those industries it might become a leverage tool to do something with those.

But I do believe that Stable tokens in each ecosystem will be the common currency.

Bbusy | Community Member:

Okay, I understand but I know somewhat about the reward system that Lympo is proposing, is there a way that the One token is used in this construction or brings value to the One token in another way?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Ahhh I think I’m starting to get your question now. Yeah, so it does come down to something like this:

Lympo gives out their rewards to people who are successfully completing health challenges but at the same time if we have like health food dapp on our ecosystem we can integrate the reward system into Lympo so that not only they get reward for buying health accessories but also able to be rewarded with a healthy food on the side.

This way both of the companies can experience big user growth by leveraging each other’s niche and communities (all within the Harmony ecosystem)

Bbusy | Community Member:

Thanks a lot for explaining would be nice to see some healthy growth coming from it!

Manny | Harmony CM

Great! Now this one is a huge leap. It appears some of our community members want to know if Harmony is ready to work with governments to bring about blockchain adoption and what governmental use cases are being envisaged?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

For now, especially in Korea, it comes down to:

1. Banking and Finance — Credit ratings (Both for loans and p2p lending), ledger to keep track of balances

2. Land registry — Huge mess in SEA but also Korea has a really complex and backward system of verifying this (as well as US — everything is in Paper!)

3. Supply Chain — Especially around food

These are some of the cases the government is focusing on — We’ll be targeting more on the financial side of things

Figozz | Community Member:

@garlamw are you guys Also promoting harmony to entire blockchains? Or just dapps devs at the moment?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Yeah, I think it does differ on what we want to do.

1. Promoting the entire blockchain — more on the retail investor and bigger POC deals that are relevant to involve the entire blockchain

2. Dapps — More on the ecosystem growth and trying to focus enlarging the devs/dapps in our core focal industries (data, gaming, finance)

Figozz | Community Member:

Getting ETH to use harmony for faster speeds would be amazing. Just saying 😂😂😏

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

literally 0 points of building our protocol if we’re not using it for this purpose

Manny | Harmony CM

(Off the record), are we saying porting the whole ETH network to Harmony? Just wondering…

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Hahahaha one can dream right — and we’re such hopeless dreamers.

Figozz | Community Member:

Keep the dream alive Garlam

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Stephen (our CEO) always ends his presentations with Stay Hungry Stay Foolish (such a Jobs fanboy).

I think the culture really does get embedded in our thinking and actions.

Manny | Harmony CM

@garlamw one more question from our offline friends. shinichi asai from Japan has asked that you share your thoughts on expanding into Japan. Since Japan has only a few whitelisted coins, is it actually unrealistic to list in Japan?

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

Japan! God, I love Tokyo and always finding an excuse to go back there. Now, Japan is a super tricky market because of investor sentiments as well as how incumbents tend to have a monopoly over the market.

We were analyzing some initiatives and volumes of projects that have entered Japan but saw that they were all struggling.

I know (rumor) Japan currently has plans to do 2 things:

1. Start including some alts in the alternative investment basket index — which will give more legitimacy and exposure to alts.

2. Giving out a license for alts to get listed in Japan exchanges.

However, with these, the market is still being heavily dominated by BTC, XRP (Even ETH is suffering there a bit) so for us to justify our entry it will have to be more on the enterprise and usage partnership level rather than from a capital market perspective.

Manny | Harmony CM

Thanks, everyone, we’ll call it a wrap for the official AMA session. It’s been a wonderful time with Garlam Won head of marketing at Harmony. [Any last words from @garlamw?]

Garlam Won | Head of Marketing Harmony:

I know that the team is super busy and it may appear like we don’t care, but that could not be further from the truth. We have limited capacity and the number of deals and tasks that we have really does overwhelm us. We’re going to continuously have these so [themed AMA series], so that we can keep a pulse in the community.

So I’m making this my top priority to make sure that our guys appear here so that you guys can get some answers to the questions directly from the source. And do know that we appreciate every single one of you guys staying with us.

Figozz | Community Member:

Thanks for the AMA

B Fish | Community Member:

Thanks for sharing Garlam, good insights.

Harmony

To scale trust for billions of people and create a radically fair economy

Nikolaos Kostopoulos

Written by

Advising governments & interest groups on cryptocurrency & FinTech regulation in the European Union.

Harmony

Harmony

To scale trust for billions of people and create a radically fair economy

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