Kevin is an engineer and experienced entrepreneur. He was previously equities strategist and product manager at UBS Investment Bank and has been passionate about blockchain and its application beyond cryptocurrencies since Ethereum launch. Outside the office, Kevin is an avid trail runner and likes to explore different destinations in and around SE Asia.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m a mechanical engineer. I did my bachelors degree in Dublin. From there I went to the US, where I completed my Masters and PhD in engineering. After that, I moved to London to work for a consultancy for a while. I then worked at UBS bank for 5 years in London.
I moved to Hong Kong in April, 2014, so I’ve been here for more than five years. Hong Kong is a great city, I like the easy access to the trails and mountains and it’s a very beautiful and scenic city. It’s easy to get away from the mayhem of the city into nature. I also like to travel around the SE Asia region and HK is a great base for that
My PhD was in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on the thermal sciences, such as heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. I worked with a toxicologist in a laser lab to create solutions to help with the detection of elemental mercury.
I started FairPair in 2016, it was effectively what Revolut is today. Our aim was to offer better foreign exchange rates to consumers, particularly people traveling and shopping online.
A lot of the challenges there were to do with the regulations and it being such a fragmented market in Asia, so we parked it. From thereI moved on to Barsumo, an inventory management and stock control system for bars and restaurants. Barsumo helps restaurants track their stock, place orders, and interact with their suppliers. It’s still up and running, but I’m no longer involved.
How did you come across OST?
I came across OST late last year. I was at a point where I decided it was time to tackle something new and then it was through a job posting on LinkedIn that I found OST. I met with co-founder and chief commercial officer Chris Dark and we went from there.
I first got interested in crypto when I came to Hong Kong in late 2014. There was a lot of talk then about Ethereum and the community within Hong Kong was very active. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people and just really dug into the whole space. I have been interested and involved from the sidelines for a number of years, prior to joining OST.
What’s the best resource to learn all about OST?
There was a lot of content! I think the OST LIVE series has been very useful. There’s a lot of content online, whether it’s Jason and Ben presenting at different conferences, Jason on various podcasts, the medium articles, FAQs, it’s all very helpful. I felt there was a lot of content out there and it was easily accessible. As I was going through the initial interview process, there was enough content I could wrap my head around and get into.
What have you worked on since joining OST?
I’ve been primarily working with clients who are either already working with or interested in working with our platform. I work with them to define their token model, use cases, and how they can integrate and leverage OST Platform. When they start to do the build of the integration, just making sure they’ve got everything they need.
Lately I’ve moved closer to the product, I’m very focused on the actual product platform itself, the roadmap, and new features and enhancements. A lot of those are being informed from the conversation we’re having with clients. A couple I’ve mentioned is, the webhooks which we have introduced and various UI components for the mobile wallet SDKs. I do my best to make sure that the integration is seamless and straightforward.
Who can benefit most from leveraging OST Platform for business?
I think any business that has a high transactional flow or throughput and is looking to engage their end users more can benefit from OST Platform. With the platform and with any business owning their own token, it’s possible for them to create their own micro economy. The more active that economy is, the more interactional flow between users and the business, the more sustainable it is.
What applications outside of brand loyalty do you see OST playing a role in?
Brand loyalty is just one vertical and it’s a particularly good one that’s suited to a blockchain token. Other verticals could be pay per view, pay per use, for example pay per API call. Anything that’s related to a micro transaction or value transfer is very suited to what we do because we effectively enable 100s to 1000s of transactions of very small value, at a very low cost. We provide orders of magnitude lower cost for value transfers than existing financial services. There is potential for there to be a lot more transactions on the web and for micro transfers to be pervasive and a part of everyday internet use.
What’s the response from other companies in regards to using blockchain to power micro transactions?
Feedback has been very positive, there is a lot of excitement around it. There are some questions about Ethereum and blockchain and whether it’s here to stay, but anyone at this stage is a visionary as knows it is early days. There’s also an element of disbelief and people don’t believe that micro transfers can happen today so it’s up to us, to prove that out and to show them. We’re hopefully doing that and we’re creating new content and a live transaction feed to show people what’s possible.
Thank you, Kevin!
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OST powers the future of brand loyalty. Innovators use OST Platform to reward behaviours and increase engagement with Brand Currency. It’s a complete set of developer tools that any company can integrate without any in-house blockchain expertise. OST partners reach more than 300 million end-users and we will be rolling out live implementations throughout 2019. OST currently has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune, and is expanding to other markets. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures and 500 Startups.