At Invest In Blockchain, we like to discuss OmiseGO and Request Network; they’re two projects with practical use cases that are perfectly suited for blockchain technology, something which cannot be said for the vast majority of the market. OmiseGO focuses primarily on cross-border payments and increasing financial liquidity, while Request Network attempts to make a seamless and convenient payments system that supports multiple asset classes.
In this article, we take a closer look at OmiseGO and Request Network, and how they can serve each other, arguing against the misconception that they are competitors. Indeed, the Request team feels the same way, saying that “[they] are more complementary than competitors.”
The Missions of OmiseGO and Request
OmiseGO is tackling a specific problem in the developing economies of Southeast Asia, where liquidity is low and the greater part of the population suffer from limited and expensive banking services. As Managing Director Vansa Chatikavanij herself has experienced when attempting to transfer funds, the cost of doing so is enormous, even when the funds are small.
This is a much larger problem for the underprivileged, many of whom work abroad and send money to their families via cross-border systems. The popularity of mobile payment apps, like India’s PayTM, also leads to large amounts of funds being locked in these apps, frozen and unable to flow freely between banking accounts and other services.
OmiseGO, among other goals, is providing a solution for this with its open-source white label e-wallet SDK.
The simplest description of Request Network’s application is in accounting and payments processes (“PayPal 2.0,” they term it), and the desire to realize this ambition has resulted in the team integrating crypto payments with websites, “continuous payments” (where payments can be made continually), and support of ERC-20 tokens.
They have also partnered with Digix, which tokenizes gold. Their efforts have led to the real possibility that employers may one day be able to handle all of their invoicing, accounting, and payments seamlessly — and on a global scale.
The similarities between the 2 projects are evident, with both in one way or the other dealing with payments. In the broadest of senses, the two projects are setting out to accomplish the same goal, which is to provide financial access and services to the masses, and facilitate cross border payments with lower fees and faster transactions.
A closer examination of specific applications, however, reveals greater differences when it comes to practical use.
Two Projects That Can Serve Each Other
The collaborative potential of the 2 projects lies in OmiseGO’s currency agnosticism and Request Network’s streamlining of accounting and invoicing.
One of OmiseGO’s goals is to create a payments settlement platform where any service provider — banks included — can integrate OmiseGO into their services, permitting units of currency like airline miles and loyalty points to be liquidated into cash or various other currencies. This increased liquidity and payment options will be warmly welcomed.
This distinctive feature has great value because it will eventually support fiat currencies, if and when fiat payments partners integrate the platform into their wallets, as well as clearinghouse support for other platforms.
Request, on the other hand, is streamlining auditing, invoicing, and tax calculations, making the entire process of making payments hassle free.
In other words, Request Network benefits the payer, while OmiseGO benefits the payee. Imagine a time when cryptocurrency adoption is large enough that several companies are issuing payments of various currencies through smart contracts. This is the scenario that’s perfect for a collaborative effort between the two projects.
Request Network can use OmiseGO’s clearinghouse and wallet to enhance the actions of its dapps, which lets users audit via smart contracts, create invoices, and streamline accounting. For instance, a small to medium business might use OmiseGO’s wallet SDK to create an internal payments system for employees that has Request’s accounting and auditing features built in, greatly easing financial processes.
Additionally, OmiseGO’s SDK wallet could allow companies to use Request’s accounting/continuous payment facilities to make payments to certain individuals automatically — a freelancer or someone who works on a contract, let’s say. This could be done without OmiseGO, but the payee (and employees) might appreciate the greater number of options married with reliable payments.
The Digix partnership, which tokenizes gold, is another good example. Assume that an individual has 1,000 ERC-20 tokens worth of gold on the Request platform. By collaborating with Request, this tokenized asset could be transferred to the OmiseGO platform and liquidated for various cryptocurrencies or any of the other supported asset.
True, this could be done on the Request Platform, but again, OmiseGO’s focus on fiat partners will provide greater options.
The key point here is that OmiseGO is essentially acting as a liquidity provider, which is something that all projects could use, and Request Network is streamlining payments services.
What’s really encouraging is that no official partnership is necessary for this to occur: OmiseGO’s wallet is open source and ready for development at this very moment, and the Request team could just begin working with it and integrating their platform’s features.
There is absolutely no reason to think that these two projects will compete with each other. If anything, their individual features support each other and could lay the groundwork for a very lucrative, symbiotic relationship.
OmiseGO should be seen as a project that’s building an infrastructure that offers various facilities, including a clearinghouse, a decentralized exchanges, and a wallet SDK that anyone can use. Request Network, meanwhile, should be seen as a collection of decentralized dApp services that offers all of the aforementioned payments related features.
Together, they could form the truly revolutionary and reliable industry disruptor that so many projects speak about. The need already exists and the technology is almost in place. If these 2 projects mature well over the next two years, a symbiotic relationship such as this could very well become the go-to system for payments and settlements.