Date
21 April 2019

Ben Ng

EJ Insight writer
  • Oriente operates in the Philippines and Indonesia where its two services, Cashalo and Finmas, respectively, offer credit services for consumers using a mixture of online and offline channels. Photo: Oriente

    Oriente’s Prentice sees vast opportunities in Southeast Asia

    - Apr 15, 2019 3:07pm
    The financial technology (fintech) industry has not even scratched the surface of opportunities across Southeast Asia, says Geoff Prentice, co-founder of Hong Kong-based micro-lending startup Oriente. In 2017, Prentice, a Skype co-founder and its former chief...
  • Abra enables users to invest in traditional stocks, ETFs, and crypto assets with a single app, according to founder Bill Barhydt. Photo: Abra

    Crypto startup Abra to make all-in-one global investing app

    - Apr 11, 2019 2:45pm
    US-based cryptocurrency startup Abra aims to be an all-in-one global investment app, according to founder Bull Barhydt. In a recent interview with EJ Insight, Barhydt, an early Netscape employee, shared his vision for the company he...
  • Bitspark, led by co-founder and CEO George Harrap, recently launched a stablecoin that is pegged 1:1 to the Hong Kong dollar. Photo: HKEJ

    Bitspark touts the benefits of its HKD-backed stablecoin

    - Mar 20, 2019 11:08am
    Following a crash in prices of cryptocurrencies and a cooling in investor frenzy, the sector has seen a new star emerge on the horizon: “stablecoins”. In February, US-based investment bank JPMorgan Chase announced that it is...
  • Ledger's Benjamin Soong expects growing demand for the company's hardware wallet products from the institutional side. Photo: HKEJ

    Institutional market seen key to bringing crypto sector back up

    - Mar 18, 2019 11:19am
    With the rise of cryptocurrencies around the globe, there have been quite a few cases of hacker attacks on crypto exchanges, causing significant losses in the industry. According to a Reuters report, over US$927 million worth...
  • Aiming for an Asian expansion, crypto security firm Ledger has set up a branch in Hong Kong, with Benjamin Soong appointed as regional head. Photo: HKEJ

    Crypto security firm Ledger sees big Asia opportunities

    - Mar 18, 2019 11:13am
    Given multiple incidents of security breaches and hacks in crypto exchanges in recent years, securing the cryptocurrency wallet has become a growing concern for crypto investors. Amid this situation, Ledger, a Paris-headquartered cryptocurrency security firm known...
  • JPMorgan, whose boss Jamie Dimon (inset, left) once bashed bitcoin as a ‘fraud’, has launched its own crypto initiative, but industry insider Elizabeth White (inset, right) feels the unit’s implication would be limited. Photos: Reuters, The White Company

    Is JPMCoin a cryptocurrency?

    - Feb 26, 2019 11:52am
    Despite a major selloff of popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the market has seen a boom in “stablecoin” initiatives in the fast-moving crypto sector, as investors sought out cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to...
  • New York-based startup The White Company, led by Elizabeth White (inset), has launched a stablecoin initiative to help clients purchase items using cryptocurrency. Photos: Reuters, The White Company

    Are stablecoins the way forward for crypto units? An expert view

    - Feb 26, 2019 11:05am
    The financial industry has shown interest in digital coins and blockchain, aiming to utilize tamper-proof digital ledger technology. Recently, US-based investment bank JP Morgan announced that it is launching its own “stablecoin” in order to facilitate...
  • FinFabrik, co-founded by Alex Medana, aims to help in the push toward digitizing traditional assets, using proprietary blockchain and machine learning technologies. Photo: FinFabrik

    FinFabrik to partner crypto exchange BitMEX in digitizing assets

    - Feb 18, 2019 10:20am
    Hong Kong-based financial technology startup FinFabrik announced last week the completion of its seed round of funding, led by BitMEX Ventures, an arm of the cryptocurrency exchange and derivatives trading platform BitMEX. Alex Medana, FinFabrik’s co-founder and...
  • Victor Lang, co-founder and COO of gini, said the startup has just completed a $1.6 million funding round, allowing it to expand overseas. Photo: HKEJ

    Personal finance app gini welcomes competition from bank giants

    - Feb 8, 2019 2:47pm
    Hong Kong-based startup gini piloted last year a spending tracker app that allows users to bring together all their accounts and credit cards in one spot, enabling them to keep track of their finances conveniently. Recently,...
  • Tech entrepreneur Yat Siu founded Hong Kong’s first internet provider, and then a conglomerate specializing in cloud and smartphone software. Photo: HKEJ

    Tech legend Yat Siu doubles down on blockchain gaming

    - Jan 30, 2019 1:54pm
    Famed tech entrepreneur Yat Siu, who launched Hong Kong’s first internet provider and founded a conglomerate specializing in cloud and smartphone software, is riding high on the next big wave in the industry: blockchain technology. In...
  • Duncan Wong, CryptoBLK’s co-founder and CEO, is among the tech enthusiasts who are seen as having driven HKMA's early dalliances with blockchain technology. Photo: HKEJ

    CryptoBLK lures bank giants to bring blockchain to trade finance

    - Jan 21, 2019 4:19pm
    In October 2015, The Economist published a much-discussed report on blockchain, featuring the topic on the magazine’s cover along with the tag line “The Trust Machine: How the technology behind Bitcoin could change the world.” Since...
  • EMQ, led by co-founder and CEO Max Liu, has partnered with banks and fintech peers to build a cross-border settlement network across Asia, supporting enterprises and e-wallet operators. Photo: EMQ

    How a startup helps WeChat in Asian remittance battle

    - Jan 7, 2019 2:34pm
    As China’s digital payments industry has become somewhat saturated after years of explosive growth, mainland service providers have begun stepping up focus on overseas markets. Amid such efforts, WeChat Pay, the payment service of internet giant Tencent...
  • HKDecoman, founded by Benny Liu (L) and Simon Tang, wants to emerge as the No.1 Hong Kong online renovation platform. Photo: HKEJ

    How a HK firm aims to reshape the renovation services industry

    - Dec 24, 2018 4:26pm
    A Hong Kong-based startup is trying to refashion the traditional renovation services industry through an innovative digital platform. Founded in 2015, HKDecoman offers engineer-matching and consultancy services help to people who plan to renovate their homes...
  • Will Parkhouse, partner at global executive search firm DHR International, suggests that businesses have to consider the impact of digital transformation on people and stakeholders. Photo: DHR International, Reuters

    ‘Digital transformation can upset people greatly’

    - Dec 13, 2018 1:06pm
    Global executive search firm DHR International has presented a white paper that reveals best-practice cases from businesses that have successfully transformed into digital businesses, including Hong Kong and mainland examples of successful transformations. Will Parkhouse, partner...
  • Zac Cheah, co-founder and chief executive of Pundi X, aims to boost cryptocurrency adoption in the mainstream market with its payment solutions provided to merchants and consumers. Photo: Pundi X

    Pundi X brings digital currencies to physical stores

    - Dec 10, 2018 1:47pm
    The phenomenal surge in the value of cryptocurrencies last year, when prices rose by more than 900 percent before settling down this year, has made them a new speculative target in the financial world. Despite the investment frenzy,...
  • Cross-border payments startup Airwallex aims to build the global financial infrastructure of the next decade, says co-founder and CEO Jack Zhang. Photo: Airwallex

    Airwallex eyes more SMEs for international payments service

    - Nov 26, 2018 2:06pm
    Airwallex, a three-year-old fintech startup focused on international payments for businesses, is stepping up focus on Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, tapping small and medium enterprises in the region that seek to sell more goods in...
  • Roger Haenni (middle), co-founder and CEO of  Hong Kong-based blockchain startup Datum, said the adoption of blockchain technology is lower than expected. Photo: Datum

    Datum blockchain business won’t rely solely on token-economics

    - Nov 13, 2018 3:46pm
    (First of a two-part interview) Driven by the cryptocurrency mania, initial coin offerings have offered a new means for startups and projects to raise capital, with many tokens issued via ICOs reaching return rates of 10 and...
  • Datum is a blockchain-powered decentralized database that allows anyone to securely store data, while ensuring that individuals maintain control over their personal data and allowing them to monetize their data on their own terms. Photo: Datum

    Data breaches raise public awareness of risks to privacy: Datum

    - Nov 13, 2018 3:45pm
    (Last of a two-part interview) In today’s era of big data, businesses are collecting, aggregating, and analyzing all kinds of personal data they collect from customers to aid commercial decision-making. On the other hand, users of...
  • Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire believes the integration of fiat stablecoins into consumer and mobile payment applications will usher in the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Photo: Bloomberg

    Circle CEO upbeat on stablecoin outlook

    - Oct 31, 2018 9:03am
    (Last of a two-part interview) In the first part of the interview, Jeremy Allaire, chief executive of Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency startup Circle, explained how the newly launched stablecoin USD Coin token can solve the pain-point of the...
  • Jeremy Allaire, chief executive of cryptocurrency startup Circle, said stablecoin combines the benefits of cryptocurrency and price stability. Photo: Reuters

    Circle CEO says stablecoin offers secure value in crypto deals

    - Oct 30, 2018 1:25pm
    (First of a two-part interview) Stablecoin is a cryptocurrency whose value is pegged one-to-one to a stable asset or fiat currency, like the US dollar, and is thus insulated against price fluctuations. A US dollar-pegged stablecoin is...

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