Transcribed by: MOS Finance Team – ilovezhanshen
This is an English transcript of the interview with Jesse Brown, Himalaya Exchange CEO, on September 24th, 2021:
Introduction of CEO
Coco: Before our interview, let me briefly introduce Jesse. Jesse really has a wonderful background, amazing resume.
Jesse is highly an accomplished FinTech leader and executive with extensive experience driving innovation in cryptospace. He has years of technical experience as a lead blockchain architect in several start-ups and award-winning Wall Street blockchain projects. One project he was leading was recognized as top 50 Blockchain in 2020 by Forbes.
Jesse： Hello. Thank you for having me. I am very happy to talk about the Himalaya Exchange, the financial products, and what we are doing right now.
Overview of Himalaya Exchange
Coco: Thank you, Jesse. Can you give us a brief introduction to Himalaya Exchange? What is Himalaya Exchange’s vision? Who you are and where you are going?
Jesse: Himalaya Exchange is based here in the beautiful BVI. We have two coins that we are issuing: the Himalaya Dollar and Himalaya Coin, one is a stable coin and the other is an investment token, a utility token for us. Our goal is to provide financial freedom to people around the world and solve some cross-border payments. And we are really excited that we are getting ready to launch and getting ready to have our product Himalaya Pay, which is a payment wallet as well. We will be releasing it soon.
How does Digital Currency benefit people?
Coco: We are in a very uncertain time. Everyone is facing all kinds of challenges, including an economic downturn. In your perspective, how does cryptocurrency benefit people? Why should people invest in crypto?
Jesse: Digital currencies benefit society in many ways. Let me speak about a few for you right now. First of all, immediate settlement. Cryptocurrency is designed to eliminate third-party involvement at a fraction of the expense and the time required to complete traditional asset transfers. I think this is the most important thing, immediate value transfer.
Then also, lower fees. Compared to legacy payment systems, crypto transaction fees are less typically, as miners are compensated by the network. So it is a more efficient way to send money at a reduced cost.
And then there is confidentiality. Credit cards operate on a “pull” basis, where the store initiates the payment and pulls the designated amount from your account. Crypto uses a “push” mechanism that allows the crypto holder to send exactly what he or she wants to the merchant or recipient with no further information. There is a privacy component that really resonates with a lot of people.
Then, accessibility. Right now there are currently around 2.2 billion individuals who do not have access to traditional banking. Crypto breaks down the barriers and opens the economy to everyone.
An then I think all the viewers love the decentralization aspect – Cryptocurrencies are managed by a network of computers that use blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records transactions, rather than one central authority. That is a big point. Decentralization means the network operates on a peer-to-peer basis.
Recognition at a universal level is important for people too- Since crypto is not bound by exchange rates, interest rates, transaction charges… it can be used at an international level without experiencing any problems. This saves time and money, as well as making the overall process quite easy.
Last but not least is the transparent component of it – A public ledger on the internet stores all confirmed transactions, therefore really making them fraud-proof. The blockchain allows “smart contracts” that make cryptocurrency pretty much unhackable.
Those are the main points I would emphasize right now.
Snapshot of the Market
Coco： We know that Ethereum is updated to 2.0. El Salvador accepted bitcoin as legal tender. What are the megatrends you see in the crypto world? Would you share your perspective?
Jesse: With any new innovation like blockchain and cryptocurrency, there are opportunities early on, but there are also gaps and some roadblocks to adoption. As far as the future of money goes, which I believe crypto is. The world continues to move forward towards financial exchange systems that are more convenient. Blockchain-based digital currency is a viable path for the future of money I believe.
Many countries now are moving in that direction of digital payments in lieu of cash, as you mentioned with El Salvador. Although it may sound futuristic to live in a world without physical money. I don’t think it is too hard to believe now considering the ease and convenience of digital payment systems like ours, the Himalaya Pay.
There has been a lot of big corporations jumping in too. I have done some work with The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation on a big blockchain project. They are a big institutional settlement company. I just think businesses and major corporations become much more open to investment in blockchain and cryptocurrencies now. Just a couple of weeks ago, Mastercard announced that it has agreed to acquire blockchain analytics startup CipherTrace. This is the latest sign of how major companies are warming to the technology.
I believe digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, in all actuality. From everyday acts like paying and getting paid, to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient. That is really what we strive to do, inclusivity.
Then there are lots of new innovations with blockchain as well. When people hear blockchain, they usually think directly of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Himalaya Coin. But the underlying technology, first made famous by bitcoin, is remarkably fascinating and interesting. It is not just decentralized finance that benefits from the tamper-proof technology.
Blockchain-based solutions also show great potential for several other applications. Economic sectors such as medical technology, healthcare, retail, and food industry, agriculture, energy, material management as well as supply chains can benefit from the far-reaching advantages of blockchain applications.
Unfortunately, there are regulatory roadblocks right now. We are all aware that we are in a transitional stage here. I do believe that there is a need to regulate the crypto world. Criminals use digital coins for payments. Meanwhile, the currencies themselves often seem divorced from improving the all-important blockchain technology that could revolutionize how we buy and sell stuff.
This is where Himalaya Exchange steps in. We are on a mission to resolve those roadblocks and encourage the wider adoption of cryptocurrency.
Coco: I use Spotify to listen to music. They use a smart contract to compensate musicians.
Jesse: I think blockchain is going to revolutionize a lot of these industries.
Who is behind the Himalaya Exchange?
Coco: You really have an amazing team. Could you share with us who is behind Himalaya Exchange? How amazing your team is?
Jesse: I’d love to share that. As you know, teamwork makes the dream work.
We have been very successful in hiring some of the leading experts in blockchain and crypto technology as well as department heads from all corners of the fintech world. We assembled a unique team to rise to the demands of a unique offering that we have.
In a short time, we have gone from a handful of experts to close to 200 employees now. I have seen that growth, which is very impressive.
They are dedicated professionals that are working to deliver this product and they are doing it during the very challenging time, during the pandemic. It has been difficult. But we are certainly pushing through. We have a lot to be proud of.
The most important thing is that everyone is passionate about our mission, which is financial freedom for everyone, everywhere. And I think with the card we were dealt with the pandemic I think that we have done an incredible job of assembling a really great team. And I couldn’t be more proud.
What is driving the Himalaya Exchange mission?
Coco: What is driving Himalaya Exchange’s mission?
Jesse: After really carefully assessing the current markets and opportunities in the crypto space, we realize the importance of establishing a true crypto ecosystem, one that not only encourages but enables financial freedom and sovereignty over our money.
Cryptocurrency has the potential to empower everyone in the world, no matter where they are from or who they are. Our goal is to be borderless and inclusive for everyone. We really encourage financial freedom and that is the main driving point of our mission.
What does Himalaya Exchange stand for?
Coco: Financial freedom is something really amazing. Everyone has a different understanding. Could you tell us what does Himalaya Exchange stands for?
Jesse: I can probably list three things that are really the key way to articulate what we stand for. In the process of creating a more accessible, low-cost, connected network of digital assets with our cryptocurrencies and application of blockchain technology, so the Himalaya exchange, Himalaya pay, all those financial products are the goal.
We really envision a crypto ecosystem that is an open and interoperable platform designed and governed with the highest standards of compliance and security. As I mentioned before, I think crypto needs to be regulated to really grow. Certainly one of our goals is to be in a lot of jurisdictions in a compliant and meaningful way.
We have got a lot of industry partnerships, bank-grade security, we have deep cold storage capabilities for the protection of our assets. We have a foundation we need to fill our ambition to create the world’s best crypto exchange. We are working hard to do that.
Why is Himalaya Exchange different? Why is HDO different from other stablecoins?
Coco: Why are Himalaya Exchange offerings different? What are the competitive advantages of Himalaya Exchange’s products? Why should we invest in Himalaya products?
Jesse: As I mentioned before, we offer a stablecoin, the Himalaya Dollar, HDO. An altcoin, the Himalaya Coin, HCN. But they really go beyond a mere store of value. Like other altcoins, HCN is a utility token that is designed to be used on the Himalaya Pay app to spend with our increasing number of marketplace partners. So we are really building an ecosystem here, with our merchants, customers as well as the exchange. We are actually building a virtual mall, bringing the global marketplace to the global customer.
In addition to that, of course, we are launching the Himalaya Exchange soon. That is gonna be a robust crypto exchange where our members can buy, sell and trade bitcoin, Ethereum, and of course our coins, the Himalaya Dollar, and the Himalaya Coin. What makes us different is that our exchange is built using cutting-edge military security, the likes of which the cryptosphere hasn’t really seen before. So it’s an exciting time. I am very happy to be in front of everyone, speaking to what makes us different, what makes us better. I think we are really in a position to provide this financial freedom that we have spoken about during this interview.
Coco: When it comes to stablecoins, there are a lot of stablecoins on the market, like USDT and several others. Could you share with us why HDO is different from other stablecoins?
Jesse: The Himalaya Dollar is fully backed by USD and also a few other financial products. I think that is what makes us different.
And then our ecosystem. Merchants will be able to accept our dollar more readily. We are putting out a proof of sale, the POS system for the merchants as well.
I really want to talk about what makes the exchange different. Unlike most crypto startups, we are well-funded. We haven’t had to rely on our investors to fund the office buildings, our data centers, or even rolling out any of our products.
We are investors too. We are always acquiring more and more businesses to continue to build a professional and experienced network.
Our legal and compliance team applies the strictest KYC/AML policies to ensure that we keep our customers and our businesses safe from wrongdoers in the industry.
We envision the Himalaya Exchange to expand beyond just the trading platform to this entire ecosystem, including our payment system, H-pay, and our upcoming marketplace.
We are different in many ways.
Also, back to the Himalaya Dollar, we are fully audited, which is different as well. So I think we crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s for compliance in a way that no other exchange is doing right now.
Coco: I know that our Himalaya Exchange system is audited by the most stringent auditor. Could you also share with us what is the security mechanism in place in the exchange?
Jesse: Sure. We have the ultimate security. We will be implementing 3-Factor Authorization very soon, which provides the highest level of security, making it the safest trading platform on the market. We’ve also invested heavily in data centers around the world to make sure we protect investor assets and the network as well as we can. We really put a lot of resources and time around this subject and I think that we are positioned to be the best in the world for that.
Why invest in HCN? What are Himalaya Exchange’s strengths?
Coco: Why do we want to invest in Himalaya Coin?
Jesse: I think you would really like to understand what our strengths are. We are not only well-funded but also, we are profitable already. Not a lot of companies this new can make that claim. We are also investors in the space. We are actively looking to buy and add to our ecosystem. Our global payment capabilities connect merchants to customers, really without cross-border friction.
Another strength is our robust regulatory approach. We have the strictest compliance in the industry. There is a very high demand for our product as well as our coin issuances.
I mentioned that we are audited daily, our stablecoin is. The Himalaya Dollar is an Ethereum-based ERC-1404 token that has backward compatibility with the ERC-20. Our stablecoin is fixed to the USD, with the backing of reserve consisting of USD and those cash equivalent assets. While the market price of the Himalaya Coin may fluctuate, the Himalaya Dollar’s USD fixed value offer a safe haven for both traders and investors. So HCN, HDO will be exchangeable via the Himalaya Pay and also through the relevant trading market on the Himalaya Exchange.
We are seamless too. Our platform is designed to be intuitive with an interface that enables easy buying and selling of these assets.
Speed is another strength we have. Things change so instantly so that we enable you to trade with supersonic speed and minuscule fees.
What really speaks to our strength is that we have 24/7 365 days support. Our helpdesk is available at any time. All you have to do is to open up a line of communication and let us know how we can help. I think those strengths and the protocols of our tokens are our true value.
Where is Himalaya Exchange going?
Coco: Where is Himalaya Exchange going in terms of product offering? What is upcoming in the future?
Jesse: We are building an ecosystem with leading brands and merchants from around the world.
We are partnering with industry leaders to create a world-class highly secure exchange, payment app, and marketplace.
We are building a platform that will enable everyone in the world to live on crypto, that is our goal.
Our ambitions are big. But the mission is too great to think small. We are confident in our products and the team behind them.
As we move forward, we are constantly looking to add new members to our ecosystem. We are looking to invest in other entities that may help us grow quickly and expand our global footprint.
We are basically just doing all we can to make sure we can enable people to have the financial freedom that may have been left out in the previous legacy financial system. So where are we going? We hope to provide this financial freedom for everyone.
Will Himalaya Exchange provide DeFi services?
Tony: With regard to the future, DeFi is really hot these days and has been growing exponentially. So will Himalaya Exchange provide DeFi services in the future like a decentralized exchange, borrowing, and lending, derivatives, asset management etc? If so, what will they be like?
Jesse: As far as the future goes, in terms of what is on our roadmap, a decentralized exchange is certainly something on our mind. We have been looking at that as a team, analyzing what that would mean for us. We are also looking into staking as a possibility for us, and maybe staking on the Ethereum network. From a roadmap perspective, we are also looking into many other things. Maybe possibly geothermal mining is something that we may look into in the future. Any one of those things that you mentioned has been discussed. We have been analyzing them as a team. Looking at what investments it will take to do that. And then obviously from a regulatory standpoint what that would mean. As you probably know, decentralized finance is getting a lot more scrutiny from the SEC in the US. We are looking, evaluating, analyzing. But I don’t think we will leave any stone unturned in the space looking toward the future.
Will there be a Himalaya Euro? When?
Tony: A lot of fans are curious about should we expect a Himalaya Euro, in addition to the Himalaya Dollar, to be available for the public at some point?
Jesse: Sure. You would definitely be looking at that. I don’t think that is too far off in the future. It is something that we are pursuing right now. I would say of all the things in our roadmap, that is probably at the front of the line right now. So that is a definite yes.
About Future Episodes
Tony: What can our fans expect in future episodes?
Jesse: Sure. First of all, I would really want to thank everyone for their interest in our product, our services, and most importantly, our mission. Future episodes will feature many of our talented executives that will drill down more granularly into our technology, our security, and our regulatory prowess. So I think in some of these future episodes, you will be meeting these stakeholders and you will be listening to what they have to say about how we are moving towards the future.
I really look forward to seeing everyone again at some point myself. I think this has been really great, I hope I have answered a lot of questions that you may have had. In the future, I am willing to be interviewed at any time and address all of you. It has been fantastic for me!
Link to the original broadcast video:
Edited by: Hetangyuese
Proofread by: Hetangyuese
Posted by: Hetangyuese