OmiseGo made a big splash in 2017, but the hype has died down a bit in 2018. The parent company of OmiseGo, called simply Omise, has plans to make OMG the transactional cryptocurrency in Asia first, and then across the globe.
With Omise itself a successful payment gateway we can’t talk about OmiseGo without also talking about its parent Omise.
Omise was launched in 2013 in Thailand, and is an Asian based online payment gateway similar to Stripe or Paypal. The founders of Omise and of OmiseGo are Jun Hasegawa and Donnie Harinsut and they remain the CEO and COO respectively.
The big hype for OmiseGo was primarily because it was being launched by Omise, with its already large payments processing network and solid high profile partnerships.
Investors felt certain that OmiseGo would be a success. In fact, both Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, the co-founders of Ethereum, became advisors to OmiseGo. In addition, it has received an endorsement from the Thai Ministry of Finance and Thailand’s central bank.
In the year since the launch of OmiseGo, the Omise payments network has begun using OMG. Two of the largest Omise merchants, Alipay and McDonald’s, have also begun accepting OMG tokens.
Another reason for the hype surrounding OmiseGo is that Omise was a real disruptor to the Asian financial sector when it was first introduced. It’s natural that investors expected a similar launch for OmiseGo.
And OmiseGo has enabled disruption in several ways. One way is by creating a white label SDK for their wallet, which allows third-party developers to create and deploy new payment solutions. OmiseGo is also lowering the transaction costs on its network, not only for merchant payments, but also for sending and receiving money, and for the xchange of fiat and cryptocurrencies.
OMG has a definite headstart thanks to its connection to Omise, and is closer to mainstream adoption than most every other cryptocurrency. With the backing of the Omise network, OMG could soon become the Stripe of cryptocurrencies.
OMG has a circulating supply of 140,245,398 OMG as of September 2018. It’s not a mineable cryptocurrency, and there are no plans to create anymore OMG, so that’s all there will ever be. It’s proof of stake and an ERC-20 token.
The price in September 2018 is $3.15, giving it a market cap of just over $441 million and making it the twenty-second largest coin by market cap. The all-time high for OMG was $26.14, reached on January 8, 2018.
OmiseGo conducted an ICO from June 23, 2017 to July 23, 2017 and raised $25 million, with an ICO price of $0.2283 per OMG. During that ICO 65% of the total supply was distributed, while 20% was held by Omise to cover operational expenses, 10% were distributed to developers and advisors, and the last 5% was held to conduct an airdrop to ETH holders.
OmiseGo released the airdrop 2 months later in September 2017, at block height 3988888. Coins were distributed to anyone holding at least 0.1 ETH at that time. It is the only airdrop that OmiseGo conducted, and any claims of other airdrops are scams according to the OmiseGo team.
Because of the way OMG tokens were initially distributed there have been complaints that the token remains too centralized. Currently the top 100 accounts own roughly 65% of the tokens, and even if you remove the tokens held by Omise and cryptocurrency exchanges there are a small number of accounts controlling 25% of the OMG supply.
Major OMG partners and investors include SBI Investment, SMDV, SMBC, Golden Gate Ventures, Ascend Capital, East Ventures, Krungsri Finnovate, and Global Brain.
OMG Smart Contracts
OmiseGo has begun work on the Plasma Network, which is a planned smart contract network running as a child chain of Ethereum. They are one of the first tokens to work on development of the Plasma Network, which was an innovation thought up by Ethereum creator and OmiseGo advisor Vitalik Buterin.
One of the huge benefits of the Plasma Network is that it will theoretically allow for up to 1 million transactions per second. That will give OmiseGo enterprise level speed and scalability. Even the Visa network has speeds of just 50,000 transactions per second.
The Plasma Network is currently scheduled to be released at the end of 2018. If it works as planned it could be just the catalyst to make OmiseGo a household name.
OmiseGo Review: History
Before we get started on the history I want to remind you that OmiseGo and Omise are not the same company. They are different companies with different products that serve different needs. Oftentimes people confuse the two companies and blend them together because OmiseGo is supported by Omise.
The history of the two companies is intertwined and linked since their product offering overlap in many areas.
Omise was created as an online payment processor similar to Stripe and Paypal. Originally it was meant to focus on the Southeast Asia and Japanese markets. As a payment processor it is fully PCI compliant and can legally process credit card transactions. You’ll find it intergrated into many online ecommerce platforms that enable merchants to accept payments.
Omise also supports the SWIFT banking protocol, and this alone will help keep cryptocurrency transactions in compliance with global financial regulations. Interestingly, OmiseGo has previously stated its intention to replace the SWIFT system, not only putting it in competition with SWIFT itself, but also with the cryptocurrency Ripple.
As a payment processor Omise has followed the cutting edge technological advances, and has its own mobile wallet, similar to Google Pay and Apple Pay and the like. You can even make payments via their Pacebook chatbot on Facebook Messenger.
Omise also has widespread adoption and is accepted by more than 10,000 merchants in Asia, including McDonalds, Alipay, Burger King, Allianz, Bose and many others.
Let’s be clear however that just because these merchants accept Omise as a payment method, doesn’t mean they accept OMG as a payment currency.
Legally OmiseGo was created as a subsidiary of Omise. So those buying OMG tokens don’t have any investment in Omise the company.
The link between Omise and OmiseGo created a good deal of hype and media attention around OMG when it was launched. And the acceptance by Thailand’s central bank and government didn’t hurt the reputation of OmiseGo.
It’s clear that the growth of OmiseGo has been helped dramatically by its ties to Omise, and its also clear that these ties could be one factor that helps OMG go mainstream.
Use Cases for OMG
OmiseGo has differentiated itself in some ways from most cryptocurrency projects because rather than seeking to disrupt global banking, it is actually aligning itself with global banking. In fact, you can see this right in the goal of OmiseGo, which is to:
“provide banking to the unbanked”.
Really OmiseGo is looking to provide a very similar product to Omise (or Stripe or Paypal), with the main difference being the use of cryptocurrency rather than fiat currency.
OmiseGo also promises that by using cryptocurrency, commerce will become cheaper for everyone.
This totally makes sense when you consider how expensive it is to process a traditional credit or debit card transaction. There are just too many layers and too much infrastructure that needs support in the traditional model.
Let’s see who gets paid when you use your credit card.
Obviously the merchant gets paid, but there are also fees for the credit card issuer, the card network and the acquirer. Of course each level takes a cut, and increases the overall costs for the consumer.
Retail sales are still predominantly offline, with ecommerce making up roughly 15% of global sales. In addition to the growth in ecommerce, mobile sales are also growing, with that growth coming predominantly from Asia. With all of that only 3% of retailers accept cryptocurrencies, and generally that’s Bitcoin.
In addition to benefitting from the growth in ecommerce and adoption of cryptocurrencies, OmiseGo can help the roughly 2 billion people worldwide who are considered to be unbanked by World Bank data.
With a large percentage of the unbanked residing in Asia it makes sense for OmiseGo to focus on Southeast Asia, Japan and China as their primary markets. The potential from China is especially strong, with over 1 billion consumers and mobile payments gaining mainstream acceptance rapidly.
If OMG has its way they will soon be a household name all across Asia.
Of course there’s competition for OMG, but it might be different from what most cryptocurrency enthusiasts expect. Generally they see ETH, NEO and Cardano as primary competition for OMG, but there’s a bigger threat.
The real competition is from the established online payment platforms.These incluse Stripe, Paypal, Apple Pay and others. It also includes credit card issuers Visa, Mastercard, American Express and others, as well as the banks that back the credit cards and the hundreds of other payment processors.
They may not have taken notice of OmiseGo yet, but when they do you can be sure they’ll put up a fierce fight to maintain their turf.
Alternatively any of them could become partners with OmiseGo, combining their experience in the traditional financial economy with the technology of OmiseGo. That would benefit both, however several of the payment processors, banks and credit card issuers are already developing their own solutions.
That’s likely to make it a long uphill battle as OmiseGo trys to take business from the existing providers. The good news for OmiseGo is they are well positioned to do just that, and have a large head-start as a cryptocurrency payment processor.
OMG Token and Trading Info
With the entire cryptocurrency market declining in 2018 it’s no surprise to learn that OMG has gone from a January 8 high of $26.14 to the current price of $3.15 on September 12, 2018. Even with a rebound in April price has been continuing steadily lower.
The ICO price of OMG was $1.00 in July 2017, so it’s still been a good return for the early investors, but it’s not so certain when markets might recover and give those who invested at higher levels the profits they desire.
At current level it might be a good time to get into OMG, and if that’s your intention you need to do so with BTC, ETH or USDT. There’s no way for most of us to buy OMG with fiat currencies, unless you’re in Thailand and can buy with Thai Baht (THB) or are in South Korea to purchase with Korean Won (KRW). Currently the largest exchange volume for OMG is at Huobi, followed by Binance, Ethfinex and Bithumb.
Obtaining OMG and using it is far easier for those located in Asia as it isn’t widely used in Europe or the U.S.
OmiseGo Review: Conclusion
After gaining a huge amount of media attention and praise around its ICO, OmiseGo has seen the hype and buzz die off, although it remains a very strong project. As merchants become used to accepting cryptocurrencies OMG could see additional adoption.
Other possibilities that would greatly increase usage would be to break into the mobile payments market in China, or to provide banking for the billions of unbanked global citizens.
And of course OMG already has a huge advantage over other transactional coins since it has been adopted by the already successful Omise online payment processing network.
The launch of a successful Plasma Network by the end of 2018 would give OmiseGo the fastest blockchain platform by far. And it would be more than fast enough to allow for everyday usage, increasing the chance of adoption.
Consider too the important partnerships and backing that OmiseGo has received. The Thai Ministry of Finance and Bank of Thailand have endorsed and backed this blockchain, plus it has the backing of several prominent Asian VC firms, and two of the projects advisors are the creators of Ethereum.
As we look for a cryptocurrency to bring the necessary features to the table to allow for widespread adoption and usage, OmiseGo seems to be in a good position. The first area of conquest would be Asia, and from there OmiseGo aims to take over payment processing globally. It’s an ambitious goal, but OmiseGo seems well positioned to reach their objectives.