Chris Castiglione Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.

What is the OmiseGO Cryptocurrency? | A Definitive Guide

3 min read


OmiseGO aims be the largest decentralized financial network and payment remittance platform in the world. It is a multi-part project that is being built to scale alongside the Ethereum blockchain. Its primary aim is to “bank the unbanked” and provide accessibility to transfers of financial value across the world.  It acts much like other payment remittance platforms such as Ripple, which has applications in banking, but is built to be entirely decentralized instead.

The platform incorporates the use of multiple infrastructures, such as a white-label SDK, a decentralized exchange, hardware cash withdrawal/deposit touchpoints, and sidechains, all in order to allow for the seamless exchange of virtually any financial asset or currency.

Omise and Today’s Payment Infrastructure

Omise was founded in Thailand in 2014. Its aim is to reduce the friction for both consumers and merchants when it comes to sending and receiving payments. It has created easier-to-use and more secure payment gateways and financial networks than that of competitors. Therefore, it primarily services the Southeast Asia population.

The Southeast Asian region in particular suffers from a payment remittance and financial services market that is very underserved because of the logistics involved in trying to serve the over 1 billion people in this region simultaneously.

For example, up to 40% of the adult population is Southeast Asia does not have access to proper banking infrastructure! This makes attempting to transfer digital value between merchants, consumers, and banks a very length, confusing, and expensive process for most.

Omise is working on a decentralized and widely accessible solution that will combat these issues of financial inaccessibility by creating a standard for asset exchange in Southeast Asia. As a result, people will be able to exchange several different types of assets on a completely decentralized blockchain.

For example, companies will be able to create loyalty programs for their companies and dish out rewards on the OmiseGO network. Companies will also be able to allow for the use and exchange of coupons and vouchers between individuals on the network. Therefore, any digital asset that could have value attached to it can be traded on the OmiseGO network.

The network is also being secured and backed by the Ethereum blockchain with the use of a staking token that will be used in Ethereum’s upcoming proof-of-stake algorithm.

Although OmiseGO is planning on launching this project to first service Southeast Asia, its being developed so that it can be easily scaled globally to several different regions across the world.

The OmiseGo Infrastructure

The OmiseGO project is a large one that will involve multiple moving parts and extensive development. The following is an outline of the roadmap the project.

OmiseGO eWallets 

The premise of the OmiseGO network relies on the existence of electronic wallets (eWallets) on the network that are owned by payment providers (e.g. merchants, loyalty programs, etc.). These eWallets all follow a standard set out by OmiseGO which enables assets within the wallets to be traded on the OmiseGO exchange. The wallets will also be highly customizable to suit merchants’ needs. These wallet providers will then be able to allow users to access the wallet infrastructure in any way they see fit. eWallet assets can range from cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin to proprietary loyalty rewards points.

For example, a coffee shop can create an eWallet and allow any of its customers to become a part of its network to earn loyalty rewards.

Omise’s goal in accomplishing the creation and distribution of such eWallets is through the publication of a white-label eWallet SDK. Above all, this SDK will establish the standard for payment providers to create their infrastructure around. The SDK is completely open source and white-label. Meaning providers can incorporate their own branding and information as a part of their wallets while enabling them to be part of the Omise network.

Omise Decentralized Blockchain & Exchange

eWallets that exist on the OmiseGO network will then be able to hook into the OmiseGO Blockchain. This stand-alone blockchain will act as an exchange and clearinghouse for any eWallets that exist on the network through the use of smart contracts. It will also enable record-keeping of eWallet balances. This blockchain is what will allow for an unlimited number of transactions between individuals and companies on the network.

The OmiseGO network will also be secured through the Proof-of-Stake algorithm and linked to the Ethereum network using a technology called Plasma that enables sidechains such as OMG’s to exist alongside the Ethereum network. This allows the OmiseGO blockchain to scale rapidly  while leveraging the userbase of Ethereum to ensure its own blockchain’s security.

The OMG token that currently exists on the Ethereum platform is primarily a utility token; those who own are considered in the pool of potential validators of the network through the proof-of-stake algorithm.

The decentralized exchange is staged to be released in Q2 2018.

Hardware Payment Gateways

Omise also plans to introduce hardware payment gateways across Southeast Asia (to start) that will enable individuals to enter and transact on the network using cash, which is still a primary means of financial exchange in the region.

These exchanges will be introduced in a latter stage of the development process to enable greater ease-of-access to the network and liquidity by enabling the exchange of fiat on the network.

These payment gateways can be thought of as ATMs. People will be able to exchange their cash for OMG tokens. They can then exchange for other digital assets like vouchers, coupons, or anything else built on the network.

OmiseGO project timeline, source: OmiseGO Twitter

Where can you buy OMG?

OMG can be bought primarily on popular cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex and Binance. Check out CoinMarketCap for a full list of the OMG exchanges

Where can you store OMG?

The OMG coin is a standard ERC20 token issued on the Ethereum platform. Therefore, it can be stored on any wallet that supports the storage of Ethereum tokens, such as MyEtherWallet, Metamask, Ledger, or TREZOR.

OmiseGO Summary

OmiseGO (OMG)
What is it? Decentralized Financial Network & Exchange
Inventor Omise (founded by Jun Hasegawa)
Went live TBD
Supply Style Fixed
Supply Cap 140 million units, 100% of which has already been distributed (38 million owned by developer team)
Smallest Unit 1 OMG
Price View price

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Chris Castiglione Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.