At Omise, when we think about different approaches to the digitization of money, we try to fairly consider both the pros and cons for the entire chain, from issuers, to merchants, to end-users who simply want to pay or remit. An imbalance of power can naturally and even mistakenly come about by giving too much weight to one perspective. This in turn can lead to an unstable product that is not inclusive of the needs of everyone who could benefit from it. That is why Omise GO, our upcoming white-label ewallet platform on a decentralized network, is based on four pillars:
- It is Inclusive
- It makes Omnidirectional connections
- It is Flowing
- Its business approach is Indirect
Let’s break these down one-by-one.
First, Omise GO is for financial inclusion. This is its most core purpose. Anyone can have a wallet and use it to connect directly to anyone else, no matter how rich or poor that person is, no matter his or her status in society, no matter what country he or she lives in. With decentralization technology, like proof-of-stake blockchains, we can help everyone to gain direct access to the network, which they can also participate in directly owning. While this is nearly without precedent, we believe that it is the correct direction, where the goal of sincerely honoring the first pillar is concerned.
Second, Omise GO is about omnidirectional connections; this means, interoperability, both at the application level between different ewallets and financial services, and also at the blockchain level. There will soon be an Internet of Blockchains, and we intend Omise GO to be a core participant in this revolution.
Third, deployment of Omise GO is like gameplay in the board game ‘go’. Deployment for the network must flow like water around obstacles, using resistance to define opportunity. In chess, one wins by capturing his or her opponent. In ‘go’, on the other hand, one can gain some advantage by capturing opponent pieces but one wins by controlling empty territory. We believe the space between the unbanked of the world and the financial system represents this empty territory; capturing this empty space will be the prime enabler of our greater success.
Finally, Omise GO’s strategy is an indirect strategy, which is appropriate for a white-label service. While it is of course our intent to guide excellent user experience (UX) practices for all of our partners, at the end of the day we are simply offering an omnidirectional solution that they can customize appropriately for their customers, whom they know best.
In closing, I would like to give two thoughts to consider about the name itself, Omise GO:
'Go' is the number 5 in Japanese, which is one of the yen currency coins that has a hole in the middle. The 5 yen coin bears a resemblance to the ancient Kan'ei Tsuho coins. The new Omise logo is a rendering of this relationship; both an homage to a more traditional money system, as well as something extremely modern.
'Go yen' (5 yen) is also a homophone of a different 'go-en' which means 'good relationship'. The 5 yen coin is commonly given as a symbol of goodwill in Japan. Omise GO is our offering of true financial inclusion, a genuine good relationship with all people who use the wallet, especially unbanked people. Because Omise GO is a financially inclusive money system, the 5 yen is appropriate because it is also a “small value” money symbol – anyone can have it.
I sincerely thank you for your time and attention. (ご清聴ありがとうございました)
Jun Hasegawa, CEO Omise