- OverProtocol’s Ben Kim discusses the critical need for a ‘killer app’ in crypto.
- OverProtocol uses lightweight nodes for a more decentralized crypto future.
- He highlights crypto’s growing influence in emerging markets like Nigeria.
The crypto market is experiencing a significant upturn, catalyzed by the buzz around the likely approval of the first Bitcoin spot ETF in the US. This event marks a significant milestone in cryptocurrency’s journey toward mainstream acceptance. Now that major institutions can participate in the Bitcoin economy, this signals a new chapter of recognition for digital currencies.
Delving into the surge and discussing the broader trends shaping crypto’s future, DailyCoin spoke to Ben (Jae-Yun) Kim, the CEO of Superblock, the company behind OverProtocol, a layer-1 blockchain with lightweight full nodes.
From the ongoing quest for a killer app to decentralization, regulatory issues, and adoption in burgeoning markets, we explored the narratives redefining crypto’s role in the global financial theater.
The Search for the Blockchain ‘Killer App’
In the tech industry, the term “killer app” refers to an essential application that can drive the adoption of an entire platform or technology. This also goes for blockchain.
Kim believes the quest for the killer app is at the heart of crypto’s future, and once developers create a killer crypto app, the industry will go mainstream.
One example he used is that of hotel vouchers. The resale market for hotel and concert tickets is full of inefficiencies, and he believes blockchain is in the best position to solve this problem.
This killer app will likely not be financial, Kim says.
“We are not very focused on DeFi,” He stated, “instead, we believe developers should look to the real world to offer utility.”
He stressed that instead of looking at ways to recreate traditional finance, developers should use decentralized technology to create completely new markets.
Lightweight Nodes for Decentralization
The ethos of cryptocurrency is deeply anchored in decentralization, but today’s reality presents a starkly different picture, with centralization posing significant challenges. Recent events like the FTX collapse have highlighted the risks of centralized structures.
This discrepancy from crypto’s core principles drives a consensus toward the need for a more distributed approach to mitigate the risks of power concentration and potential misuse of user funds. Ben Kim, a notable figure in the crypto space, sees this shift as inevitable and necessary.
“We will definitely see a move towards decentralization in the industry,” Kim notes. In line with this trend, OverProtocol has incorporated lightweight full nodes into its technology.
At their core, lightweight full nodes represent a balance between accessibility and functionality within the blockchain network. They operate differently from traditional full nodes, which require significant computational power. These nodes lower entry barriers by allowing transactions and blocking validation with only essential data, making participation more accessible.
This strategy aims to decentralize the blockchain network, enabling broader user involvement and a more evenly distributed power structure. Still, Kim acknowledges that this system is not perfect. For one, big players can run virtual machines on the blockchain without proof of identity, potentially getting a large share of the rewards. This reveals a larger, underlying issue in the idea of a pseudonymized and permissionless blockchain.
We Want Regulation to Protect Investors: Kim
The vision of a free-roaming, borderless blockchain is often at odds with regulations that seek to tether it to established financial protocols and practices. Moreover, this regulation is complex, unclear, and varies from country to country, presenting a major challenge for the industry.
“The big obstacle for Web3 is regulation,” Kim says. “Countries don’t want to let the blockchain roam freely.”
In the United States, regulators have been cracking down on crypto projects, emphasizing the need for transparency and investor protection. However, Kim understands the necessity of regulation around the industry, “I agree with the SEC‘s stance on protecting investors. Crypto companies need to be transparent with their financials.”
Kim also shared a perspective on regulation in his home country. “In South Korea, regulators are not eager to address this issue swiftly,” he says. “They are waiting for bodies like the SEC to act, and then they follow suit,” Kim observes.
The crypto industry is not just reshaping the financial landscape of developed nations; it’s also carving out a pivotal role in emerging markets.
Adoption in Emerging Markets:
Traditional banking systems often fall short in emerging markets, leaving a gap ripe for new technologies. The crypto industry has long discovered the potential of these markets.
Kim revealed that most of OverProtocol’s app users are from Africa, India, and Indonesia. It has a particularly notable user demographic in Nigeria, which accounts for about a quarter of its user base.
Kim explained that this is largely due to a lack of trust in banking institutions, which makes cash flow opportunities more attractive.
“In Nigeria, you see grandmothers using crypto services; it’s that mainstream,” Kim explains. “We are working on creating a new financial system for those countries,” says Kim.
Read more about Overprotocol’s Venture Funding:
Superblock Raises $8M for “Over Protocol”
Read more about the EURO stablecoin market:
Euro Stablecoin Market Set to Explode, Says Tempo France