English Recap of Live AMA with HUPAYX and TOP Network
“COVID-19 Pandemic and the Role of Blockchain Technology”
On April 10th, HUPAYX’s founder Ryan Kim and TOP Network’s cofounder Noah Wang conducted a comprehensive AMA session with the topic — ‘COVID-19 Pandemic and the Role of Blockchain Technology’. The AMA session was held in HUPAYX’s Kakao open group channel for Korean audience.
Last year, HUPAYX- South Korean Hybrid Blockchain-based mobile payment solution provider, signed a strategic partnership MOU with its Chinese partner company TOP Network, which specializes in a decentralized open communication network by providing cloud communication services such as messaging, calling, video, VPN, CDN, IoT data sharing. Both entities already held a meetup together in Seoul last September.
The AMA was moderated by HUPAYX’s announcer Mrs. Gu. In case you missed the AMA, here’s the recap:
Mrs. Gu: As per schedule today we will be conducting a Live AMA session with our Chinese partner company called TOP Network — Welcome Noah. With us we have also our COO and Founder Ryan Kim. In this AMA session we will be discussing Blockchain Solutions in the Age of COVID-19 Pandemic. All questions that we will discuss today were collected with the help of TOP Network in Chinese community. Now let’s start our discussion.
Mrs.Gu: Welcome again for Ryan and Noah. Would you both like to say hello?
Noah: Hello, this is Noah Wang, co-founder of Top Network.
Ryan: Hi. Nice to meet you all. I’m Ryan, the founder of HUPAYX.
Mrs.Gu: Yes, it’s great to meet you. We will start by giving the first introduction to our guest from China , Noah could you please introduce a little bit about yourself?
Noah: Sure, I am Noah Wang, co-founder of Top Network. I graduated from Yale University with a master’s in business administration and worked at Samil Accounting Corporation (PwC) and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. Currently, serving as a co-founder and CMO at TOP Network.
Q1: Project Introductions
Mrs.Gu: Thank you for the brief introduction. Maybe the next question is to ask about the history of TOP Network’s blockchain-related technology. It seems to be the first thing people who are participating in this discussion session are curious about.
Noah: Yes, in a nutshell, Top Network is based on the 4th generation blockchain technology and is the first public chain in the world to realize full state sharding. By ‘sharding’ I mean the method of dividing and processing the entire network into several small networks. In fact, before entering the blockchain industry, our project team has already developed three communication apps with over 100 million users. We plan to move all of these apps to our ‘TOP Chain’ in the future.
Mrs.Gu: Wow, you have a lot of users!
Noah: That’s right. In addition, the ‘TOP Blockchain’ ecosystem also includes blockchain game development projects. Currently, we have already formed two game teams, one team is developing heavyweight games and the other team is developing lightweight games. In addition, the cryptocurrency wallet ‘HiWallet’ and ‘TOP Eco Exchange’ will be one of the important components of the TOP ecosystem.
Mrs.Gu: Thank you very much for the introduction Noah. Next, we will listen to the project introduction from HUPAYX founder Ryan Kim, who is the host of this AMA discussion today. Hello, Ryan.
Ryan: Hello everyone, my name is Ryan and I’m a founder and COO at HUPAYX. I would like to personally welcome Noah to this AMA session.
Although, most of you might already know about us, but as a reminder — HUPAYX is a Hybrid Blockchain-based mobile payment solution provider coupled with TechFin business model, which is operated by The Human Plus — a System Integrator and Development company based in Seoul.
Mrs Gu: Thank you for the brief introduction of HUPAYX. May I ask for more detailed insight to the project and its services?
Ryan: Probably, among those who have been active in our official community channels, you are already quite familiar with the nature and features of our project. Compared to other payment solution providers, HUPAYX provides its services to both consumers and merchants.
Mrs.Gu: Yes indeed, many of you here might already be familiar with HUPAYX. Some of you may be wondering about the latest news. Please briefly explain.
Ryan: Definitely. As I said, compared to other payment solution providers, HUPAYX covers both the customer and the merchant parts. The all new SHUFFLE multi-digital currency wallet covers the customer side, where users can easily send, buy, store and most importantly pay in ‘SHUFFLE’ points (prepaid e-money), which is backed by local currency. Crypto users can import their digital assets, store them or do near-instantaneous P2P transactions between SHUFFLE wallet users for free. Most important function is that crypto users can finally utilize their assets in real life by converting crypto into points inside of the wallet and making purchases at ‘VAULT’ point-of-sale system supported merchants.
Mrs.Gu: You mean it’s a digital wallet that consumers can pay with in the real economy.
Ryan: That’s correct. I will explain the merchant side from now on.
VAULT is POS system that covers the merchant side of HUPAYX end-to-end payment ecosystem. Not only we provide free POS systems that can be downloaded to merchant smartphone for free or added to their existing pos terminals, which is very applicable for SME retailers, we also charge minimum scheme fee of 0.5% per transaction if they accept payment in our points (prepaid e-money), which is a much lower fee than the 2.3 ~ 2.8% fee when you pay with an existing credit cards.
Moreover, merchants that use Vault POS can conveniently use it anywhere as long as there is Internet connection and enjoy low-cost payment fees by paying a system usage fee of 3,000 won ($3 USD) or less per month.
Mrs.Gu: Wow, savings from the reduced fees that merchant can obtain via Vault are very great!
Ryan: Not only that, we will also incentivize users via rewards and exclusive discounts inside of our payment ecosystem, which aims at removing unnecessary middlemen and reducing the fees for both customers and merchants alike.
Mrs.Gu: Now that we were able to see what the actual benefits will be when using HUPAYX payment platform. What are some of the projects and initiatives that are currently underway to promote the use of the platform?
Ryan: Among known blockchain projects around 90% remain profitless, unlike them HUPAYX is reinforcing its business model with TechFin projects — such as Catholic Community based Payment Consortium and recently established OneGlobal — an accommodation booking platform, which is a Joint Venture between HUPAYX’s operator company called The Human Plus and Korea Accommodation Industry Association (KAIA).
We are currently planning to integrate HUPAYX into various affiliated stores. With this effort we will be getting help from 2nd largest PG/VAN company in the nation — Korea Information and Communications Co (KICC), which recently has signed a strategic partnership agreement with ONE Global to supply Vault POS systems and build infrastructure so that many users can use HUPAYX platform. With this partnership HUPAYX gained additional access to over 600K merchants in South Korea alone.
And, our new MainNet, as well as its flexible business model enable HUPAYX to attract various industries and create industry specific payment services.
Q2. Changes in blockchain industry due to corona (for both parties)
Mrs.Gu: Thank you everyone for the wonderful introductions. The next question will be answered by Mr. Ryan first, followed by Noah. The epidemic situation is not over yet. The digital currency market has experienced a huge market fluctuation of more than 50% in a single day. In the current situation, what changes do you think will bring to the blockchain industry? Is this change an industry opportunity or challenge for blockchain entrepreneurs?
Ryan: Well, some tech companies and startups in the industry have recognized the opportunity to test and prove the effectiveness of blockchain technology, and started to build a number of blockchain solutions aiming to track drug supply chains, medical supplies, managing medical data, advising citizens and identifying symptoms of infection. I think this is a crucial time for blockchain industry and blockchain entrepreneurs.
Mrs.Gu: So you look at it as an opportunities rather than challenge.
Ryan: Correct, but they are both. This period will define the applicability and usefulness of this technology in real life and hopefully get rid of its bad reputation when it comes to speculation ridden investments and scams.
I think also besides being a great opportunity, this period will define what projects will survive and which will not. If this pandemic will last longer than we expect, then the only projects that will remain are those with solid business model, that are applicable in real life and can solve real problems. In this case issues associated with COVID-19.
I think HUPAYX’s flexible business models with TechFin application is a great example of blockchain applicability in real life, which we will soon prove useful for everyone.
Mrs.Gu: Thank you for your good comments on the prospect of blockchain technology. In fact, I also think that blockchain technology is having a good opportunity to show a positive influence on many people, not only after the epidemic, but also now when the pandemic is at it’s highest.
Noah, could you please explain how blockchain technology can actually play a role in the prevention of corona virus by using a specific model?
Noah: Yes, the plunge in cryptocurrency prices will certainly have a negative impact on the industry for the time being, but I think it will play a role in making the industry’s ecosystem healthier over time.
Here’s why. Projects valued as worthless in the coin-weak market will not be easily raised backand will be eliminated from the final market. But we believe teams that are not only paying attention to the rise and fall of coin prices, but are purely committed to the development of blockchain technology will eventually succeed in commercializing their technologies.
In a nutshell, projects that overcome the challenges of a weak market and survive can be considered as really valuable projects. In this sense, experiencing a weak market would be rather helpful for some good projects.
Mrs.Gu: Similar to Ryan’s words, excellent projects mean that you can overcome the deterioration of the market and find new opportunities.
Noah: That’s right. That’s what happened to our TOP Network. Shortly after our company was established, we experienced the cryptocurrency market entering the bear market in 2018. But despite this market environment, our team has completed a $11 million fund-raising.
In 2019, our mainnet was launched, and in early 2020, TOP Staking began.
Bear market will make any investor make more rational decisions. They realize that cryptocurrency isn’t everything in the blockchain, and they’re going to look at the technology of the project before investing.
Next, the bearish market will have a big impact on cryptocurrency mining. Big mining companies can grow bigger and small mining companies might fail. The situation in the mining industry will change. And coins employing PoW Mechanisms are 51% less expensive to attack, so there is a possibility that they could die from frequent 51% attacks.
So the plunge in the cryptocurrency market is both an opportunity and a challenge, and the opportunity will create an environment in which the entire market will return rationally and truly valuable projects will be in the spotlight. On the other hand, projects that do not solve the problems of technology or practicality will have a great pressure and challenges to stay alive.
Q3. What are the promising industries to which blockchain technology can be applied both in Korea and abroad?
Mrs.Gu: Thank you, Noah. The next question will be for Ryan from HUPAYX.
Blockchain technology has gradually expanded from the initial financial field to many fields such as government service, supply chain management, and industrial manufacturing. From the current trend, which field do you think will be the first to achieve large-scale landing?
Ryan: I think it’s a great question. We expect to see various large-scale adoption in insurance industry with insurance claims, this is particularly applicable with COVID-19 pandemic. Other fields can be medical for medical materials supply chain tracking, outbreak data tracking for transparent record keeping. But fields to achieve large-scale adoption would be payment and donation industries.
Mrs.Gu: Are there any specific examples regarding the possibilities in the field of payments and donations?
Ryan: Sure. For example, because of coronavirus majority of the Churches in South Korea got closed, for most of those churches Sunday Mass is the only source of donations (funds) from the church community. However, HUPAYX has already established a consortium for transparent donation and utilization of funds with country’s largest government owned bank Woori Bank and Catholic Diocese of Busan that has around of 400K catholic community in that region. This soon to be rolled out service will enable church goers to donate in taxable points (prepaid e-money) to their church and keep track on how these funds are utilized. The church can also reward their community with community related gifts and coupons.
Mrs.Gu: I’m sure there are many people who are surprised to hear that payment services using blockchain technology can be used by religious institutions.
Ryan: I would be surprised too. Soon with HUPAYX blockchain based O2O payment services both users and merchants will not only make offline purchases and sales, but also engage in e-commerce activities. HUPAYX is currently working on various services that are very applicable in this time of social distancing. Particularly, we are in midst of partnering with various online e-commerce platform for online payments and delivery services for safer and smoother online shopping experience.
Q4. What is HUPAYX’s strategy for entering overseas markets?
Mrs.Gu: Very impressive indeed. Then Ryan, what is the overseas market strategy and what are your plans for the Chinese market recently?
Ryan: Yes, you asked a very important question. South Korean market alone won’t be enough for HUPAYX to fully expand its potential. A lot of countries, both rich and poor suffer from outdated traditional based payment infrastructure and would greatly benefit from HUPAYX Solutions.
In China, in recent years the market share of mobile payments has accounted for more than 80% of all payments. We are sure that by partnering with local financial institutions in China, we will be able to find our niche by targeting specific industries.
Mrs.Gu: I see. Now that we are cooperating with China’s leading cloud platform Top Network and even conducting AMA together, we can look at HUPAYX’s future plans regarding the payment market environment in China.
What about other countries abroad?
Ryan: We are also in the process of establishing two separate subsidiaries, one in Europe and one in Turkey. In Turkey we are currently in negotiation stage with local crypto payment player for Joint Venture Partnership.
We are also very excited on the future prospects, because this month we will release our blockchain MainNet. This will give us more opportunities in the global market for sure. HUPAYX utilizes most important elements in a blockchain-based payment platform, such as performance, completeness and stability of the transaction. Our blockchain MainNet was build on Comos Chain, which utilizes dPOS (delegated proof-of-stake) through Tendermin consensus algorithm and solves problems associated with Scalability and Interoperability of blockchain related solutions. This I think is especially important for our global expansion.
Q5. What is the TOP Network’s blockchain technology and role in preventing corona viruses?
Mrs.Gu: Noah, can you explain how blockchain technology can actually play a role in the prevention of corona viruses by using a concrete model?
Noah: First of all, you can estimate the flow of the population with blockchain technology. For example, establish a unified chain ID for all citizens and ensure its uniqueness. In other words, every single chain ID matches with each citizen. Hospitals, train stations, airports, highway high passes, mobile phone roaming data, payment point information are all exchanged with this chain ID for very fast and convenient population flow tracking.
Mrs.Gu: Wow, it’s really amazing method.
Noah: Indeed. If the ID is linked to the medical history and medical information of all people, the abnormal temperature information measured in public places can be posted on the chain in real time. If the disease is confirmed as a related disease, the doctor will immediately be able to confirm the related medical history and existing medical information through data on the chain provided by the patient, which will greatly assist medical staff.
Next, blockchain technology can solve problems such as false reporting and deception. As you all know, one of the characteristics of blockchain is public, transparent, and tamper-free. If multiple hospitals utilize blockchain technology to record the actual data on the chain whenever a confirmer emerges, data modification by external interference and hacking can be prevented. The public can also grasp the actual situation by searching the chain in real time for relevant data. One of the problems that followed the spread of the epidemic is the supply and donation of goods.
Mrs.Gu: Yes, I really agree with this.
Ryan: A good point and blockchain utilization technique.
Noah: In Wuhan, China, there was a great deal of difficulty in grasping the current situation of supply reserves, as there were many opinions about the lack of supplies on the Internet. If all medical supplies were recorded in the chain, they would be immediately visible at a glance. In particular, donated goods can be tracked in real time, so you can check whether the goods have been delivered to a designated location. This prevents problems such as embezzlement, loss, theft, resale, and use of funds outside the designated area (designated population).
Mrs.Gu: Yes. I think this technology is a must in really difficult situations like this. So, what role can the government play in commercializing these technologies?
Noah: Yes, of course, the blockchain scenario requires a joint effort between the government and a blockchain technology development company. The government alone or technology company alone cannot solve the problem. Government departments and institutions should actively adopt the blockchain platform and ensure the authenticity of the data recorded on the chain by supervising all information on the chain. Many people say that to increase efficiency in these scenarios, it is necessary to utilize the consortium blockchain. In fact, the consortium blockchain is just a downgrade version of the public chain. If public chains, such as top networks, utilize technical means, we can provide a highly efficient blockchain platform for governments and institutions.
Mrs.Gu: Thank you very much for the answer.
Q6. What is TOP Network’s overseas market strategy and what are your recent plans for the Korean market?
Mrs.Gu: Next, what kind of business is Top Network expecting in the Korean market?
Noah: We entered the Korean market in 2019. At that time, through the first meetup in Korea, many Korean local investors and institutions learned about our project. However, in 2020, COVID-19 prevented offline events in China and abroad. In this situation, we are currently hosting events mainly with online AMAs.
In the future, we plan to introduce our TOP Network to Korean users in the same format as online AMA in Korea, and at the same time introduce good Korean projects such as HUPAYX to Chinese people. Of course, if the impact of COVID- 19 decreases, we will actively participate and host offline events in the existing Chinese market or other overseas markets.
Mrs.Gu: Lastly, Noah can you please tell a summary of future plans?
Noah: Okay. Among our representative projects in the future, there is an event called <Blockchain Silk Road> held in cooperation with dozens of Chinese media and communities with our project so that overseas blockchain projects can be promoted in the Chinese market for free. Through this event, Top Network will do its best to support overseas blockchain projects for free in the Chinese market.
Of the dozens of projects that have been applied, six projects were finally selected as free promotions. Among them, HUPAYX was also included.
Mrs.Gu: We looking forward to your support.
This concludes the first AMA session between HUPAYX and TOP Network. We hope that this information has been helpful to everyone who participated in the AMA session today.
Ryan: Thank you very much, it was fun!
Noah: Thanks guys!
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