Blocnation is a company that aims to deliver a full-suite of cashless payment solutions for emerging markets with the help of three core technologies: the blockchain, the Komodo Platform, and relationships with companies like PouchNATION, South-East Asia’s biggest digital payments solutions company and the industry leader of the region.
Although Blocnation will be only serving one region, for now, partnerships with groups like Vietnam Backpacker Hostels and companies like PouchNATION will allow $BNTN Token to be supported across regions and eventually serving the world as the platform grows.
We recently sat down with Blocnation CEO, Graeme Perkins, to have a chat with him about the project as well as finding out his thoughts and insights.
Hi, Graeme. Thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us more about yourself and Blocnation?
I spent four years developing the cashless payments scene for events around Southeast Asia (SEA). With the current adoption rate of cashless tech, I believe the consumer market is ready for cryptocurrency and the cashless payments in events and venues are the perfect ecosystems to introduce the Blocnation Token.
Tell us about how you came up with the idea of Blocnation.
Did you personally face a problem within the industry or do you think there is a gap in the market for Blocnation to fill?
Emerging markets face many problems daily that a token like BNTN can solve. Currently, 70% of SEA’s population do not have bank accounts and 90% do not have credit cards. With so many people being discriminated against by traditional banking facilities the gaps we could fill are only limited by our imagination.
What do you think is the biggest problem Blocnation will solve and why is it important to solve?
Blocnation was an idea 6 years in the making. An Idea that revolves around financial inclusion, improving the lifestyle of the average person in emerging markets.
A major plus to emerging markets lacking the support of traditional financial services found in developed markets is it puts us in position for what we call “Leapfrog Innovation.” Where mass adoption of cashless payments and cryptocurrency in developed markets has been slow, we feel this will not be the case in SEA.
Countries like Vietnam and Myanmar have the highest underserved populations and due to the vast majority that is unfamiliar with banking and credit facilities, they could be the fastest to adopt cryptocurrency.
Tell us more about Blocnation’s relationship with PouchNATION. Was targeting South-East Asia your original plan or did you feel that working with PouchNATION first is a better start for Blocnation?
Why do you think SEA is the best region to target now instead of other emerging markets around the world?
I co-founded PouchNATION and acted as the CMO for 6 years. I still have a very healthy relationship with the guys running PouchNATION. They have been supportive of Blocnation and are excited to be apart of our vision.
We are launching in a high demand, highly populated region via a niche market of educated users. User demographic which matches cryptocurrencies demographics as well. Companies like PouchNATION are perfect platforms to introduce BNTN and I intend to find other leaders like PouchNATION around the world to partner with as well.
SEA is the market I’ve worked in for the last 10 years, its where my strongest professional network is, I understand what is needed, helped developed cashless ecosystems in all of the countries. Blocnation will gain more traction in less time in SEA than if I was leading it any other market.
Cashless payments are becoming more and more popular with the rise of things like Alipay and WeChat Pay.
With that being said, even giants like the two mentioned earlier took some time to penetrate the market and they’ve still not fully penetrated the SEA market yet.
What is your strategy in marketing Blocnation in SEA and how are you going to deal with competitors in the scene?
Like I mentioned before, we have a unique approach and niche market while others have a shotgun approach competing against each other and traditional ewallets.
We have no direct competitors, especially not in SEA.
Editors Pick: Blocnation ICO
Thinking of a global cashless society many years back would’ve been a fanciful hope—but that’s changing quickly. Today, moving on to a cashless society is expected and in many ways, needed especially when you take in the inefficiencies present in today’s financial systems. People often refer to events like housing
There are mentions in the whitepaper that transaction fees will be zero or at least close to that for transactions in the platform.
How will Blocnation generate revenue and is the 0% transaction fee system sustainable for the company in the long run?
Correct, initially all transaction fees in our platform will be zero. Once the lifestyle app is launched we will announce more specifics. The idea is that we will have zero transaction fees for BNTN transactions. In the first year there will also be subsidizing model for partners to help facilitate and build demand for our token. We use our Incentive reserve to offset this. Demand and token value will both grow over time and once we have mass adoption we can implement a fair and extremely competitive business model.
There are multiple blockchain companies that are also offering marketplaces in their platforms. What is the unique advantage of Blocnation’s upcoming marketplace over every other marketplace in the industry right now?
Will it be something like Amazon or eBay where sellers can be individuals or will it be more “retail”, as in only businesses and companies are allowed to sell?
Blockchain technology is really exciting and has so many applications. I don’t know where the industry or the crypto market will be in a year. All I know is Blocnation will open doors for any partners and industries we seek to support. For now we are focused on SEA, expansion geographically or industrially will be announced later after we have gone to market with our current partnerships.
How does the Komodo blockchain help Blocnation and what is its actual function on the platform?
Are there things that the Komodo blockchain can do that other technologies cannot for Blocnation’s features?
Blocnation is powered by Komodo Platform’s DICO tools and BarterDex. What they have built is exciting and advanced. We have our own blockchain which provides a wide range of benefits including security and no congestion. Plus the atomic and etomic swap protocols puts us ahead of the pack.
Working with Komodo Platform was a no-brainer.
What has been your happiest moment so far working on Blocnation?
On the flipside, what has been the most painful, or perhaps the most regretful decision you’ve made with Blocnation?
Working on Blocnation has been an incredible rollercoaster ride so far. It’s hard work and long hours as we are still a small team. But we have strong partners who are the best in their fields supporting us. Every task from launching our site, creating our bounties, launch party etc are all happy moments. But my happiest moment was finishing the whitepaper and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from it.
I would say the only regret is not starting the project sooner. But in reality, starting earlier could have been a huge mistake. If we launched in Q4 2017 in the bull market, we would have hit the hard cap but then taken a big hit coming into 2018. While now, we could still reach hardcap in the improving market we have now, where it seems like the only way to go is up.
What is the current progress on Blocnation’s partners?
Are there any interesting partnerships that the team is working on?
We have Vietnam Backpacker Hostels as our newest partner. They will be a great partner driving huge demand monthly. We are talking with many potential partners in SEA. All discussions are going well and partnerships will be announced. The concern is not with who can we work with, it’s more about timing and roll out. I need to make sure we don’t bite off more than we can chew. So all partnerships will be announced in the appropriate time and in line with the launching of each partnership.
What do you think is the biggest challenge or obstacle Blocnation will face? How do you plan to tackle that challenge?
As much as there is a lot of excitement and support behind dICO’s I feel there are also a lot of people doubting it simply due to lack of understanding or because they are “betting” the other way. But it’s ok, I know what we are capable of, we have a solid plan with an optimistic yet realistic timeline. Time will turn everyone into believers.
Where do you expect Blocnation to be in a few years in terms of progress and success?
Three years from now, Blocnation will be the most in-demand cryptocurrency for the live events and venue industry in the world.
Moving on to more personal stuff, what does a typical day in your life look like?
Any entrepreneur knows that work day never really ends. There are constantly things going and decisions to be made. But as far as routine goes, to start the day I check our audience channels, updates from team chat channels. Do the morning rituals getting ready for the day.
In the office by 930am. Answer and send emails with various conference calls during the day. I usually head home by 630pm. Where I hold any international calls after dinner. These are usually with KMD’s euro outfit or with some interviewers in opposite time zones.
The main thing lacking these days is exercise. Which I hope to bring back into my daily routine soon.
Can you express one personal opinion of yours about the blockchain? It doesn’t matter if it’s negative or positive, we just want to hear your thoughts on it.
Like most people, I didn’t understand what blockchain was. But its really not hard to understand and once you have that basic understanding that’s when it gets exciting because that’s when you begin to realize how you can apply it to so many things.
I don’t think half of the people aware of blockchain realize what kind of change its capable of.
Finally, what other personal goals (besides your career) do you have in life? Is there anything else in life you want to achieve?
I’d like to start my family. I’ve been married for a year now but were waiting before we start our family. For now, aside from my wonderful and extremely supportive wife, my business is all I care about.
That concludes our Interview with Graeme Perkins
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