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Interviews

Jack C. Liu, OKLink: Blockchain solves the need for pre-funding and counterparty risks within remittances

Wednesday 30 November 2016 | 12:41 PM CET

We are at the age of blockchain where it is still at the proof of concept stage, and people are grabbing onto something that they can use today

Could you please tell us more about OKLink? Could you name some partners, clients, and numbers?

OKLink is a blockchain money transfer network committed to making small-valued cross-border transfer instant, cheap and secure, while enhancing the global remittance user experience.

Our company’s platform is built on the trust of the blockchain, using stable and native digital assets to settle among participants in an instant, secure, and transparent manner. We eliminate the need for pre-funding by settling every transaction in real-time using either Bitcoin or OKD (USD tokens), which are accepted as credit at any payout company on the network.

Launched in August 2016, OKLink is growing rapidly with services currently available in 20 countries across Asia, the Americas and Africa. Our platform derives from the largest Bitcoin trading platform OKCoin and has successfully raised venture investments from leading institutions and Silicon Valley investors such as Tim Draper. We presently have offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Vancouver.

This year you have received the Florin Award for Remittance Breakthrough Transfers. What, would you say, are the main elements that make OKLink money transfer network stand out from other similar services?

Blockchain is such a hot topic, and overwhelmingly a large number of partners around the world have bought into our solution. We are at the age of blockchain where it is still at the proof of concept stage, and people are grabbing onto something that they can use today.

With years of experience running China’s largest Bitcoin trading platform, we have built a network to connect transfer companies in different markets that understand the local remittance and payments needs. We leverage the use of blockchain to help every remittance company solve some of the problems that have been in the industry for many years, such as the need for pre-funding and counterparty risks, while keeping up with all the new payout options that are ever changing in the economy.

You have just teamed up with several Korean fintech startups including Coinplug to offer blockchain-powered remittance services in Korea. In what ways is blockchain going to change the remittance / money transfer industry?

Blockchain technology is at a period in time similar to the internet in the early 1990’s. Only recently has the fintech industry began utilizing remarkable advancements in the Bitcoin protocol, including multi-signature technology. At OKLink, we believe blockchain is the technology that can ultimately make global money transfers as cheap, fast and secure as sending a text message overseas.

What does the future of remittance / money transfer look like and how is your company taking part to it?

We believe a future where every payment is a micropayment across devices, borders, currencies, and platforms. Similar to the proliferation of messaging, we will see an exponential increase in the number of cross border payments as they become near-free and easier to do. Fundamentally, the model of money transfer is shifting from high fixed cost, high value transfer, to near-free, and small value.

We see a future where the world feels smaller, interoperability is the standard, and money services compete purely on front end customer experience and service rather than access or price. It's the rebuilding of SWIFT and Western Union that have dominated how money moves for far too long.

OKLink won Remittance Breakthrough Transfers Florin Award at the Global Payments Summit 2016, held in Singapore (12 – 13 October). You can meet the organizers at their upcoming event, European Payment Summit (EPS), 8- 9 March 2017 in Hague. EPS offers a unique 2-day program featuring key developments ‘for-by professionals’ in the payments/transaction space, combined with key sessions on international security & fraud.

Created in 2010, the Florin Awards aim at stimulating innovation in the transaction services industry by supporting innovative startups and assisting the promotion of their products and solutions.

About Jack C. Liu
Jack C. Liu is Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at OKLink and Head of International at OKCoin, China’s largest digital currency exchange. A serial entrepreneur founding businesses in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Hong Kong, he has led OKCoin's international exchange since 2014. Jack has appeared on Bloomberg TV, Financial Times, The International New York Times, and more. Jack began his career in Hong Kong at Barclays in Equity Derivatives and is a graduate of Queen's University.

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