Cryptocurrency is an enigma of the Fintech industry that is slowly, but surely reaching the mainstream media and engaging audiences from all walks of life in a discussion full of uncertainty and excitement. Apart from representing the internet version of the money, it demonstrates that governance of any system can become decentralized, or out of the domain of a single centralized institution or authority. This is possible thanks to the blockchain technology that hasn’t been very popular among the masses due to its previous operation within IT and mainly discussed by tech geeks. In brief, blockchain is a sort of database storing and registering the information about actions undertaken by the participants of the network. These data units are named blocks, so that the name blockchain comes from the manner of arranging these blocks into a chain. The word chain here implies that these blocks are interconnected because each new block contains a reference to the previous one. The data is not stored in a single place, but is distributed among the nodes (participants of the network) and stored on their computers or clouds as copies of the entire database.
This technology has huge potential to improve the operational side within many industries. Currently it is most often spoken of in the context of financial technologies (Fintech). It is very dynamic due to the flourishing of the new internet technologies and software development, and this dynamism is emphasized by the growing interest in cryptocurrencies, among the rest. LUXUO interviewed CEO Rune Evensen, co-founder of a company’s profile is exactly within this yet undeveloped area of the Fintech industry. Rune came to establishing a startup in this field, incorporating internet company C.O.S.S. PTE LTD in Singapore, an one-stop solution services to cryptocurrency users and business willing to adopt it as a payment option in their web-stores, because he managed to recognize the possibilities arising from the use of cryptocurrency in eCommerce.
Cryptocurrency for the masses: Collecting the puzzles of the Fintech with Rune Evensen, co-founder of C.O.S.S. Pte Ltd
Recognising that cryptocurrency was designed by and for tech people, visionaries like Evensen realised that most of the cryptocurrencies never make it to market cap charts, because they have a very vague idea of who their user was nor did many understand the requirements of an average person who might be daunted with the idea of using cryptocurrency.
The main idea behind Crypto-One-Stop-Solution (COSS) was to provide a stable ground for the flourishing of the cryptocurrency industry supported by the massive user adoption of the crypto among the ordinary people; bringing together customers, merchants, service providers, startups and businesses with different needs and resources that they can exchange, to interact with each other for the mutual benefit.
What are you most passionate about in your career?
I am passionate about learning new stuff. It may sound a bit strange, but what drives me is not the money or the success, it is more of a personal drive as I would like to leave a legacy for my children. Others might call it ego, but I really would like when my children, grand-children and even grand-grand-children grow up to be able to recognize and remember something I created.
What is the first thing to keep in mind when it comes to cryptocurrency?
SECURITY always comes first. It can’t be repeated enough. It is a borderline paranoia, but security, security and again security. Transactions are basically irreversible, so if you do a mistake and or someone else gets access to your crypto wallets, your funds could be more or less gone. Doesn’t really sound like an industry you would like to get into, correct? But this is the price we pay for decentralization. Cryptocurrencies are on the blockchain in a peer-to-peer system that allows transactions to go directly from one user to another without going through any 3rd party institution, bank or government body. In a way, it is the first financial ecosystem that is owned and controlled by the people. And, no, it is not encouraging a revolution of any kind, although we would like to see how it making a big breakthrough in the financial world helping it to take a new shape in the future. Aside from that the world IS getting decentralized in many other ways, shapes and forms.
Which path is the Fintech currently taking?
Fintech is a very broad term, so as the blockchain. The blockchain technology can be included into the fintech, although it doesn’t have to be. And the Fintech can be on the blockchain, but it doesn’t have to be. Same as cryptocurrencies are on the blockchain, but they don’t have to serve the fintech industry purpose only. Am I close to confusing you now? The Fintech companies create or design the Financial Technologies, in many cases upon request of the banks and the other financial institutions. Some of their solutions may or may not be related to the blockchain, but even the banks and insurance companies are looking at various ways to apply the blockchain technology these days. Maybe not so much to decentralize their own business, but for the sake of efficiency, cost savings, security etc. Back to the main question, the Fintech is steering more and more towards using the blockchain technology, and the most interesting this is that we haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg yet.
What is your vision on the development of the industry?
I still consider myself a student of the industry, although I have already done some sharing with the people far more experienced than myself. I have even been in front of lectures are staffs of the Tech Schools to share the knowledge about cryptocurrencies, the blockchain technology and the financial ecosystems. This only proves how young and unexplored the entire industry is, and for those who want to be its front-runners the learning curve has to be very steep, otherwise you will be left behind. So, the short answer to your question is that I want to be a front-runner, not only when it comes to the technology itself, but also when it comes to regulations. This because many aspects, especially in the cryptocurrency area are still fairly unregulated in most jurisdictions. But that doesn’t make any of the countries a free haven, as many industry associations are working very close with the government bodies to assist in finding the balanced regulatory framework to work under.
How does COSS fit in there?
COSS fits into most of these areas. First and foremost, our big vision and mission is to bring crypto to the masses. This we are doing by making the onboarding process more seamless at the same time as we are creating a platform which aims to combine the most use-cases of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. Some of the features we develop from scratch ourselves, but given the speed of development it would be impossible for us to reach our goal if we were to develop everything ourselves, therefore we have adapted a collaborate master plan with as many players in the field as possible. We have many strong strategic partnerships lined-up already, and ready for implementation. The most recent one was signing an MOU with Jetcoin Institute, a great innovator in the sports and entertainment industries that aims to bridge these industries with cryptocurrency. These kind of partnerships are what we call Phase 3 of COSS, that follows Phase 1 – the launch of our own web-platform, which includes a cryptocurrency exchange, eCommerce tools, e.g. a payment gateway with POS-system for merchants around the world willing to accept cryptocurrencies for their products and services; merchant listing, market cap overview where users can see the details about each asset featured on the COSS platform and several other applications. Phase 2 is where we are right now, entering our token sale, this is very similar to crowdfunding where we aim to raise funds in order to complete our 3-5 year roadmap and to make COSS the preferred go-to platform within the industry, and then we have Phase 3, during which we will start to add services and features from our strategic partners around the world, by this I mean B2B remittance, P2P remittance, crowdfunding services, enhanced AML/KYC services, marketplace and loads of new merchants offering products through the platform.
Other ways, in which COSS fits well in is creating guidelines for the proper conduct within the industry. When we do something new, we seek legal advice and legal opinions maybe even more often than needed. We want to make sure that we are frontrunners in most areas of the industry. Therefore, we also offer advice to the other industry players. Through the associations in Singapore, in which we are corporate members, where everyone adheres to a sharing mentality, we exchange many of the hard-learned experiences gained through mistakes, totally free. This is not unique for COSS though, as the community in Singapore is very united so we both give and receive many valuable advices along the way.
Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of LUXUO?
Thank you very much for inviting me to this interview and for allowing me to share some of my thought. If you don’t mind I would like to put in a small piece of advertising at the end. For those that like the business idea behind COSS and would like to contribute to its success, please join our token sale that starts on Tuesday the 8th of August at 8:08 PM Singapore time at www.ico.coss.io