Alchemy Pay Ecosystem Lead Robert McCracken: Hong Kong — Asia’s New Frontier for Web3 & Crypto Payments
Recently, at Global Payment in Web 3, a sub-forum of the Hong Kong Web3 Festival 2023, Alchemy Pay Ecosystem Lead Robert McCracken delivered a keynote speech titled Hong Kong: Asia’s New Frontier for Web3 & Crypto Payments.
In his speech, Mr. McCracken proposed the following core views:
- The Asia-Pacific countries have almost three billion people spread across 14 countries, but there is no single “APAC” way to pay.
- Alternative payment methods are on the rise in Hong Kong and make up over half of all e-commerce payments.
- Payment systems will eventually be integrated into one, in Asia and beyond.
Here’s the full speech by Mr. Robert McCracken:
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for inviting me to speak on behalf of Alchemy Pay. As cryptocurrency has advanced rapidly, we have made constant efforts to transition from Web2 to Web3.
First, allow me to talk a bit about ourselves. Alchemy Pay was founded in Singapore in 2018 and is one of the world’s leading providers of payment solutions. The Alchemy Pay Ramp Solution is integrated, via plugin or API, with platforms and dApps, providing an easy on-ramp from fiat currency to crypto. Alchemy Pay supports payments from 173 countries and regions, spanning channels that include Visa, Mastercard, Google Pay, Apple Pay, popular regional mobile wallets, and domestic transfers with a focus on emerging markets. Today, we are focused on online and offline payment methods, aiming to incorporate crypto payments into our everyday lives.
We are fortunate to have obtained a cryptocurrency trading license in Hong Kong, which represents a great opportunity. In terms of development, we focus on compliant, licensed business operations because licenses can reduce our risk profile, improve the feasibility of transactions, and lower compliance and operating costs.
Now, let’s turn to the status of the Asia-Pacific payment market. It’s a little bit different here than other parts of the world. Visa and Mastercard are not the only solutions in the Asia-Pacific market. We will also discuss the development trends in Hong Kong, especially how we can help Web3 startups achieve greater front-end success with the support of Web3 infrastructure.
In the past few months, we have seen many big moves from Hong Kong, which also covers the field of financial services. The cross-border scale of the Asia-Pacific payment market has reached $300 billion, but there is no unified payment method, and each market has its unique payment methods. Transactions are extremely restricted without on/off ramps.
Before going into on/off ramps, we need to first define the concept. On/off ramps are a plug-in function designed for applications such as wallets, transactions, and games on Web3 platforms. This reliable functional module allows users to easily convert between fiat and crypto. Crypto payments are also very convenient for merchants. Our services cover over 170 countries, and we strive to make crypto a mainstream payment method for people with different backgrounds, technical capacities, and experiences.
Using crypto on Web3 platforms is a very cumbersome process that requires multiple steps, which is not user-friendly. This makes on/off ramps essential. Ramps provide targeted alternative payment tools that facilitate project development in a one-stop approach. Moreover, off-ramps provide convenient entry and exit mechanisms, which are particularly friendly to people who are trying to use crypto for the first time. Our services have been widely adopted worldwide, and we hope to further expand our user base. Ultimately, on/off ramp providers will deliver services to the whole industry, including areas such as Web3 platforms, metaverse, games, and wallets, to provide more user-friendly experiences.
In the fiat market, especially in Southeast Asia, different markets come with varying national banking systems, and we need more on/off ramp support to streamline the payment process. We believe that all payment systems will eventually be integrated into one, in Asia and beyond.
We are thrilled by Hong Kong’s Faster Payment System (FPS) and hope to be part of this infrastructure. Alchemy Pay already provides QR code payment services in Indonesia and Thailand, helping our users make purchases and payments with greater convenience. With FPS, we will be able to leverage our Hong Kong license to drive crypto adoption. We all know that Hong Kong is a global financial center, and if Hong Kong could lead the way in this field, others will follow suit. Alchemy Pay hopes to achieve fast business expansion in Hong Kong. We have obtained a series of Hong Kong brokerage licenses via our partnership with ZD Group, and we plan to acquire more licenses in June for early entry into Hong Kong’s Web3 regulatory space.
It’s a pleasure to talk to you guys today, and I hope the conference has been a valuable learning experience for us all. All the best for the crypto industry in Hong Kong. Thank you very much!