We caught up with George Harap, CEO at Bitspark Limited and our speaker for the Financial Inclusion Summit for a quick chat about his interests and aspirations around the future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
Based in Hong Kong, George is a Fintech addicted Bitcoin evangelist focused on financial inclusion utilising innovative new systems for the next billion people to join the internet. When he’s not working or finding things to back on Kickstarter, he’s often traveling to places off the beaten track with a passion for seeing strange parts the world.
Who is your industry hero and why?
It would have to be Elon Musk who first took consumer digital payments to the world with Paypal. Certainly digital payments should be as ubiquitous as exchanging information electronically via email and this is something Elon noticed early on and pioneered the field. I see a lot of similarities to where we are with blockchain tech today and the numerous opportunities available to make things more trustworthy, accountable and cheaper.
Which financial challenge/opportunity is front of mind for you going into 2016 and why?
Doing transactions digitally is easy but interfacing that with the existing legacy payments and cash systems on the ground is hard. A scalable P2P payment network is the best solution to this and with the right incentives, the market can switch very quickly. Why pay a lot of fees, stand in queues and excessive paperwork at a traditional bank when everything can be done in your own time on your mobile?
What do you enjoy most about your job running Bitspark?
Being able to wake up everyday and do something you are passionate about and enjoy. I have had the privilege of meeting many varied and interesting people along the way and you never know what can happen next, thats exciting.
Are there any cool projects that you’re currently working on that you could share on?
I have a background in electronics engineering so enjoy dabbling in hardware tech in my spare time and I am working on building a cheap high capacity battery pack with off the shelf parts from China. Think stationary power backup, solar power storage and a fintech spin on things arbitraging power pricing, good for remote areas of the world.
George will be giving a presentation on the ethics of bitcoin and blockchain technology for remittances at the 2016 Financial Inclusion Summit on 19th April at the Suntec City Convention Centre. For more information on our speakers and how you could be a part of this exclusive event, click right HERE.