What Is OMG?
OmiseGo (OMG) was founded in 2013 by Omise, a payment services company operating in Thailand, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. It is an ERC-20 token, meaning it was launched on and still operates on the Ethereum network.
With OmiseGO, Omise's plan was to "unbank the banked", meaning it aims to completely decentralise the world of payments. Currently banks are dominant, but OmiseGo is attempting to make it so anybody with a phone can pay for anything, anywhere, without the need for a bank account, Mastercard, or any other tool tied to a centralised entity.
The OMG Team
One thing I dislike about OMG is they have removed the "Team" page from their website. As I place a large amount of importance on a project's team, even more so than the concept of the project itself, it's imperative for me to have up-to-date information on the team, not from third party sites but from the project itself. The only person I am able to confirm still works with OMG is the CEO himself:
Jun Hasegawa (Linkedin)
Hasegawa is the founder of OmiseGo's backing company Omise, which he founded in 2013. In 2015 he launched OmiseGo on Ethereum, in a mission to decentralise financial services.
Hasegawa serves a the full time CEO of both Omise and OmiseGo.
OMG has had some extremely high profile cryptocurrency figures working with them, including the founders of Ethereum Gavin Wood and Vitalik Buterin, the co-author of Bitcoin's Lightning Paper Joseph Poon, and Bitcoin evangelist Roger Ver. However, as I said earlier, all of this is now unconfirmed by OMG.
We are able to get some updates on who is doing development through their blog on Medium, but of course blog updates become outdated. The exact capacity in which these people are developing the framework, and for how long, won't always be clear.
The OMG Product
Today, most payments are served by banks, and international payments or large payments can be particularly slow and cumbersome. These include facilities such as SWIFT, ACH and typical wire transfers.
OMG plans to redesign this into a completely decentralised system. It will do this by implementing a decentralised exchange (DEX) for multiple entities to plug into and transact value. For example, if you have money on Paypal and want to send funds to Apple Pay, the OMG network will be able to connect the two so you can seamlessly transact between the two. A full write up on the DEX can be found here.
OMG plans to secure it's network via PoS (proof of stake). Staking rewards are not yet active.
It is currently the first (and only?) project that has managed to implement Plasma - a scaling solution designed for Ethereum. While it is not yet ready for use they are leading the way in Plasma development. With the successful implementation of Plasma, transactions on the OMG network should, in theory, be able to scale infinitely. The Plasma proposal by Poon and Buterin can be found here.
While the OMG mainnet is active, it is not yet ready for real world usage.
OMG has seen significant growth in price and was the first ERC 20 token to surpass $1 billion in market cap.
OMG Token (Utility and Metrics)
OMG raised $25 million in a heavily oversubscribed ICO in July 2017. They turned down over $100 million in possible funding from the oversubscription.
All tokens were premined during the ICO, with a fixed hard cap of 140 million tokens. Metrics for the supply are as follows:
- 65% to go to ICO investors
- 20% retained by Omise for OMG development
- 10% awarded to development team
- 5% to be airdropped to Ethereum holders (completed September 2017).
As for the token utility, the token is designed to be a transfer of value, similar to a dollar or euro.
We also know is that OMG is planning to move the token to proof-of-stake. This allows you to participate in securing the network, in which you will earn rewards. As the network plans to be transacting value in many currencies, it is expected you will also be able to earn your rewards in those currencies too, rather than OMG itself.
All of this is still only theory, and yet to be implemented.
OMG has a very active community on reddit of around 37,000 users who participate in daily updates and discussions.
They have a Twitter following of 200k+ and are very active in posting updates and commentary.
They also post updates on their blog frequently, which is a big plus.
B Money Verdict:
Overall, OMG is one of the more exciting projects on Ethereum and in the crypto space as a whole. I wouldn't consider it a "safe" investment but it is certainly a strong bet on the surface.
Here are a few things that I don't like:
First, where is the listing of the team? Who's in charge? Who's writing the code? If you've taken $25 million of investor money, it's simply courtesy to keep them updated on who is actually spending that money and what they are doing with it.
Second, OMG is still just a prototype. Imagine Mastercard said to you 50 years ago: "We are going to build a system for global payments, we haven't done it yet, but give us $25 million and we'll make it happen." That's essentially what you're investing in with OMG. The question becomes, will they actually deliver on the promise? Progress is impressive so far.
Lastly, the OMG token is nothing but a placeholder right now. The token is designed to be staked, but not yet. The token is designed to facilitate cross-border payments, but not yet. So by investing in OMG, you are investing in the very, very early stages of what might be something amazing in the future. This risk is reflected in the scorecard below.
The Good Stuff
- Currently the largest project on Ethereum by market cap.
- (Supposedly) advised by Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood and Joseph Poon.
- Backed by Omise - a billion dollar company with excellent connections.
- A working mainnet with tangible progress.
- Regular blog updates from team.
- Been around since 2013.
The Bad Stuff
- There are many projects out there trying to decentralise banking and payments. Omise is well positioned in this race but no guarantees that it will win the race.
- Very complex project trying to develop many things. In crypto, single focus is often good.
- It has a strong focus on speed, but has been launched on Ethereum, meaning it is subject to the limitations of the Ethereum platform. Plasma is promising though.
- Still only a prototype, not yet ready for real-world use.
(Supposedly) advised by Buterin, Joseph Poon building Plasma. Backed by billion dollar company Omise. Clearer info on team would increase this score.
Mainnet is launched. Reports are that it is extremely fast. Plasma is also exciting. Yet to be real-world tested. Technically still only a prototype.
Staking and payments in future. Until then, no utility for token holders. As of now it's just an ERC20 token. Some utility will increase this score.
Posts updates on blog regularly. Reddit is active and Twitter is active.
How To Buy OMG In New Zealand
In New Zealand, the cheapest option to buy OMG is Independent Reserve - it is one of the few ERC 20 tokens they have listed. To purchase OMG using Independent Reserve, simply sign up for a free account at their homepage here: www.independentreserve.com.
To buy them instantly with New Zealand dollars, we recommend using EasyCrypto. The prices will be slightly higher than Independent Reserve, but the process will be much easier. You should have your OMG within a few minutes.
- OmiseGo raises 25 million: https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/05/omise-go-ico-25-million-omg/
- OmiseGo ICO news: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/30/omise-to-raise-19m-in-first-cryptocurrency-sale-from-a-major-vc-backed-startup/
- Introduction to OmiseGo: https://cryptobriefing.com/what-is-omisego-introduction-to-omg/