Klaytn Meets Rayon
The initial service partner interview series is back! For those of you following our interview series will know by now, hopefully, that Klaytn partners with leading enterprises in various industry domains that already have a great number of active users on their services or platforms. As successful players in their own respective fields, Klaytn’s initial service partners altogether work towards creating a meaningful blockchain service, and also expanding Klaytn ecosystem.
The third partner we’d like to introduce today is Rayon. Rayon is a service protocol to build blockchain-based marketplace for user apps providing counteroffer loan products. Rayon seeks to build a scalable ecosystem connecting borrowers and lenders across all spectrums using blockchain technology. Rayon’s key value proposition is to eliminate unnecessary intermediary costs that exist in today’s retail financial services industry and to provide full transparency throughout the entire transaction process. Rayon is a subsidiary of Finda, which operates an eponymous web portal and mobile application that provide information about over 10,000 financial products — ranging from personal and mortgage loans, investment instruments, credit cards to insurance products — standardized in Finda’s own format. Finda allows users to be able to access easy-to-understand and up-to-date information about products online.
Klaytn visited Rayon located at WeWork in Samseong-dong, and sat down with Joshua Park, the co-CEO and Youngbae An, the Lead Software Engineer.
Klaytn: Pleased to meet you. Can you introduce yourselves a bit for our readers?
Park: I’m the CEO and co-founder of Rayon. I have 12 years of experiences in startup, financial services, and VC, and I’m also a serial entrepreneur around China and Korea.
An: I joined Rayon past June as SW engineer lead. Before joining Rayon, I worked at Samsung Electronics, SKP, and NexR, which was acquired by KT, and also at Atto-Research as data and software engineer for 15 years.
Klaytn: How did collaboration with Klaytn first come about?
Park: There were two reasons. First, we had a great relationship with Jason. We were very much fond of Jason’s philosophy, as we’ve watched Jason speak at various seminars, and when we heard that Jason was to become the CEO of Ground X, we were keen to find out more about it and also collaborate, of course. Many blockchain projects out there don’t really take UX seriously — they’re still too crypto-user-only-oriented. However, Jason’s resolute focus on providing ready-to-use services for users, as well as Klaytn’s focus on UX fascinated us.
An: In the current blockchain scene, the biggest issues seem to be performance and gas fee, but with Klaytn’s strong technology, Klaytn can solve these issues without hassle. Since we are working with average end-users, it would be beneficial for us to work with big companies like Kakao, which already has a well-established UX and infrastructure for mass.
Klaytn: Can you tell us more about what blockchain-based Rayon is like?
Park: It’s a service protocol. We are creating a decentralized lending brokerage protocol that allows any service providers to be able to create a marketplace or platform that provides counteroffer loan products. In doing so, we offer 4 features: smart contract, data-based loan matching algorithm, apps for lending institutions, and data collection tools.
We understand how difficult and inconvenient it is for average customers to get loans. The borrowers are subject to a strenuous process for loan seeking. They have to go out of their way to reach out to each individual lending institutions to find a matching option. The lending institutions, too, have difficulties with finding borrowers and pay significant expenses for advertisements, commissions, intermediary fees, etc.
What we are doing in essence is, we are reversing the traditional loan process in which the borrower has to look for the products himself or herself. Rather, the lending institutions offer their loan products based on the collected borrower data. And we achieve this through accurate and transparent exchange of user and product information. Rayon possesses product scalability potential into all types of loan products from unsecured lending, mortgages and crypto lending as well as other financial services such as credit cards, insurance and asset management.
Klaytn: We understand that you already built this system through Finda, but what made you decide to incorporate blockchain technology?
Park: We encountered a few issues with Finda, most notably transparency and trust issues. For example, it is difficult for centralized institutions to maintain impartiality when recommending financial products. But with transparent blockchain, the products can be offered in neutral manner with transparency thereby establishing trust.
An: I will briefly describe how Rayon works. The whole transaction process from offer solicitation, product application and registration is conducted through smart contracts to provide full transparency throughout the entire process. The borrowers also have full discretion over what information to make available to whom, while the lenders can search for borrowers based on specific criteria or filters that they have set. Rayon also has a special reputation system via which the public activity statistics are recorded for both borrowers and lenders that will assist in their decision making with regards to counterparty selection. Certain predefined activities such as providing false information will result in blacklisting.
Rayon protocol will be applied to Finda first, and other applications can create a marketplace for counteroffer loan products by using Rayon.
Klaytn: Financial institutions or projects tend to be quite conservative, but Rayon entered the blockchain scene quite fast compared to other financial projects. What was the motivation behind this?
Park: Yes, we agree that financial institutions are conservative. Changes are not readily accepted. But, you see, we are not a financial institution. At the end, we are not creating any financial service, but rather, strictly speaking, we are a marketing channel via which financial services are shared and distributed. We are a brokerage platform that connects borrowers and lenders. No egregious burden. And you see, we are a brave and adventurous startup. We have entrepreneur DNA.
Klaytn: What is Rayon’s vision?
Park: The traditional financial market revolves around brokers, bankers, and money folks. We want to change this so that the market pivots on regular customers. We envision a customer-centric financial market in which the borrowers can receive the most optimal loan offers or products in one sitting. And in the long term, we hope to venture out to many more financial products, not limited to loan products only.
Klaytn: Last but not least, how do you forecast the future of blockchain industry? What will it take for this industry to grow out? Also, any thoughts or suggestion for Klaytn?
Park: The market has been too much overheated recently, especially here in Korea, that we’ve been missing out on the good functions of blockchain industry. I look forward to seeing government regulations and policies that can manage blockchain industry in a transparent manner rather than just simply banning it.
An: The barrier to entry for blockchain should be lowered than as it is now. And I think Klaytn can initiate this. For example, the current Klaytn testnet is such that only blockchain developers and service providers can make dApps. But if Klaytn were to provide a set of tools that can allow anybody, even those who are not familiar with blockchain technology can make dApps and blockchain services or platforms on Klaytn, the blockchain industry will definitely be strengthened to a greater degree.