Interview with OPEN CEO Ken Sangha on Making Cryptocurrency More Open
OPEN is offering a blockchain infrastructure solution for apps to accept cryptocurrency payments without having to do extensive development. Apps can simply plug into the OPEN API and start accepting dozens of various cryptocurrency.
In a cryptocurrency world where user adoption is critical, yet lagging, projects like OPEN aim to onboard more users without friction.
We got a chance to chat with OPEN CEO Ken Sangha about the current blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurial landscape. Prior to OPEN, Ken helped scale a casino app development company to 8 figures and has been a mentored over 20 tech-related accelerators.
Can you explain the key differences between OPEN and other crypto payment platforms?
OPEN Platform is developing its own API and blockchain.
OPEN is a decentralized infrastructure for applications. We allow applications and games to accept cryptocurrency payments with just a few lines of code through our OPEN API which is already live. OPEN does not require knowledge of any blockchain technology or programming language such as Solidity, just use the API and you are ready to deploy payments.
Traditional crypto payment platforms such as Bitpay, only allow accepting Bitcoin or a small number of cryptocurrencies. However, OPEN Platform, through a DEX, allows you to pay with dozens of cryptocurrencies, giving users more flexibility.
When you use a service such as Bitpay, you only receive a simple transaction hash which says how much crypto was paid. There is no integration with application backends. OPEN allows applications to accept crypto as payments in which the payment itself updates in the application backend, critical for developer use.
OPEN is also creating OPEN Chain- a high throughput blockchain leveraging Load Balancing. This novel layer allows transactions to be routed across multiple blockchains to capitalize on the throughput and consensus mechanisms of multiple chains. This enables the OPEN Chain protocol to distribute the transactional load across several different blockchains, leveraging the throughput and scalability of each one. This means that we can get past the theoretical scalability limit of decentralized networks by having them speak to each other and share the load of transactions.
Scalability, throughput, and interoperability have held blockchains back from competing with centralized solutions and achieving mainstream adoption; OPEN is working to change that.
Just as the HTTP protocol created the foundation of data exchange that later on became to be known as the web, and Bitcoin created the first protocol to coordinate value exchange without a central party, OPEN is creating a protocol for value and data exchange to enable the existence of the Web 3.0 Stack.
What kind of potential does this bring to the space?
OPEN is developer focused and is bridging the existing centralized world with crypto. Why does this matter?
Well, entire applications cannot and will not move to the blockchain. There needs to be an infrastructure that allows data to transact across decentralized and centralized worlds. That is what OPEN is building.
This high-throughput and interoperable infrastructure will be critical for developer and user adoption.
Furthermore, with its live API and developer growth pool, OPEN is focused on providing the tools required for developer and mainstream adoption.
Can you tell us about some of the current partnerships OPEN has established, and how they will benefit consumers?
OPEN is partnering with an established payments processing company in Korea planning on going public soon. This partnership will allow the company to easily provide cryptocurrency payment solutions to thousands of its merchants involved in cross-border and domestic transactions.
We also recently announced our OPEN Blockchain Innovation Labs where we are partnering with some of the top academic institutions around the world including University of Southern California, Duke, Tongji University, and many others soon to be announced. We are working with faculty and students to research groundbreaking topics within the blockchain space.
OPEN is providing an easy way for its partners to accept cryptocurrency as payments without having to learn about blockchain. As more partners are onboarded, consumers will be able to use their favorite cryptocurrency to pay for the goods and services at more and more locations.
On the research front, OPEN hopes to stay at the forefront of blockchain and believes that universities play a key role in creating novel use cases and developments in the industry.
The OPEN GitHub has over 800 commits to date, making it highly developed. How has the project achieved such a high level of interest from the developer community?
OPEN actually has over 2000 commits from both its OPEN Chain and OPEN API development cycles! This puts the project in the top 20 of all crypto projects in terms of development according to Crypto Miso.
While many projects may focus on marketing or hype, we have been steadfast in developing a real and effective product that can be used by thousands of developers and companies. From the beginning, we have been developer focused as shown through our developer growth pool (20% of token supply) and our consistent technical updates.
How do you plan to sustain this?
We plan on releasing additional tools to help even more developers get involved including SDKs and our upcoming test net.
Can you walk us through the Token Swap program? Why did you decide to start doing this?
The token swap program is designed to swap our existing OPEN token for our new, upcoming protocol token while rewarding our most loyal supporters with the option for additional bonuses. The bonus amount will be determined by when the token holder registers their wallet. Snapshots have been taken to capture wallet balances.
(Please see here for more info)
OPEN is currently making great progress, steaming through roadmap milestones. Can you talk us through the next steps for the project?
OPEN is currently heavily focused on technical development and integration partners. With our API live, we now plan on releasing our testnet in September and continuing to build additional features- many of which will be announced in the coming weeks!
Will you be setting more ambitious timelines in light of current progress?
We are actually well ahead of our original roadmap. We already released our API, documentation, and scaffold generator, ready for commercial use. We plan on releasing our testnet soon and aggressively testing to understand throughput and scalability.
You recently announced the formation of Open Blockchain Innovation Labs along with a partnership with the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. We understand that this arm of OPEN has been set up to further explore blockchain innovations beyond the current project. Can you share anything about the kinds of research being undertaken?
This is one of our most exciting ventures. We are not just researching and developing the trends that are big now but what may become big in the future as well, to really create long-term value and utility. We have partnerships with multiple universities in the pipeline.
Some ongoing projects we can disclose include cross-chain atomic swaps and decentralized exchanges.
Will you be partnering with other research faculties and organizations in the future?
Yes! Stay tuned.
We understand that the use of OPEN will come with a 3% transaction fee that will be used to fund developer growth. While this is a worthy cause, how do you plan to convince users that it is a worthwhile fee to use the platform?
This fee does not go back to OPEN. The fee is put back into the developer growth pool to onboard and integrate more developers as well as grow and assist the existing developers as well.
As CEO, what takes up the most time and effort at OPEN? What do you wish you had more time for?
Because the industry is developing fast globally across many continents it’s definitely traveling for the developments to come for OPEN.
I wish I had more time to get to know new projects.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.