Interview with Josh Li, Chief Commercial Officer of Roxe: How Blockchain Can Improve the Cross-Border Remittance Industry

Advances in blockchain technology should fundamentally change the way global payments are made, making them virtually instant and extremely cost effective.

Interview with Josh Li, Chief Commercial Officer of Roxe: How Blockchain Can Improve the Cross-Border Remittance Industry

For most people, blockchain is synonymous with cryptocurrencies. Of course, cryptocurrencies are also synonymous with volatility.

Josh Li, chief commercial officer of Roxe, said in an interview that businesses and individuals can combine blockchain technology with traditional finance in ways that will in turn accelerate and simplify cross-border remittances while bypassing the challenges of traditional settlement infrastructure and practices.

Roxe is an open global payments network that uses blockchain technology to enable instant transfer of value with its Roxe Chain, which Roxe believes can provide a customizable KYC/AML solution for financial institutions (FI) and other users.

In late May, Roxe announced a partnership with IPAY, which became its node for cross-border remittance business between the U.S. and India.

Attractive market

Josh Li said India is a very attractive market for cross-border payments, especially blockchain technology, because it is the “number one” country in terms of cross-border payment inbound volume. He also cited World Bank data that India’s inbound volume was $83 billion last year.

However, the cost of sending money to India has been high, Josh Li noted, estimating that the cost of sending $200 to India can be more than 5.4 percent, regardless of the channel used.

“One of the design principles of the Roxe platform is to charge no more than 1%,” Josh Li said “So if we apply the 4.41% difference in remittance costs to the $83 billion in remittances from India, the existing global remittance model and its many intermediaries, would add an additional $3.7 billion to consumers an additional $3.7 billion in costs.”

In terms of the mechanics of using Roxe’s node, IPAY, for cross-border remittances, Josh Li noted that the Roxe network operates on the Roxe Chain, a payments-specific hybrid chain.

“IPAY will be a settlement node on Roxe and will serve as a gateway for local fiat money transfers,” Josh Li said. “Transactions on Roxe are completely transparent and customers have more direct access to their own funds, which facilitates better decision-making for them. And payments no longer take days, they settle in seconds.”

Transactions are in fiat currency, not cryptocurrency, which many would confuse with blockchain, says Josh Li: “Ensuring financial stability and protecting its citizens are two goals of a given country’s financial regulator, and India is no exception.”

So far, embracing cryptocurrencies has been a challenge for either market, as there are still questions around the quality of particular tokens and whether prices can be easily manipulated.

“We expect central banks and other government entities not to ban or restrict cryptocurrencies outright, but to set clear, transparent guidelines around cryptocurrencies and transactions with fiat currencies.” Josh Li said.

In a broad sense, blockchain networks store multiple copies of transactions (or databases) on hundreds or even thousands of networked machines. Even if one machine is hacked, it’s nearly impossible to bring down the entire network because the data is stored in a large, decentralized way.

Better transparency

As Josh Li notes, blockchain facilitates cross-border settlement of payments and remittances and can address the specific pain points associated with these transactions.

According to Josh Li, “The current system for settling international payments and remittances is too slow, too expensive, and too risky. Intermediaries such as banks and payment platforms make remittances inefficient and make it difficult to track payments. Current traditional clearing systems provide only limited pricing and transparency of counterparty identity. Smaller, local banks are also unable to provide the global services that are key to cross-border activity.”

“Because blockchain eliminates the need for many expensive intermediaries, it is also faster (clearing takes seconds instead of days) and less expensive than traditional, centralized payment systems.” Josh Li explained.

He also noted that Roxe’s node members can enjoy the speed and cost benefits of blockchain technology without having to deal directly with any cryptocurrency, which can avoid volatility and other risks.

Roxe also supports cryptocurrencies and stablecoins as other underlying asset classes that can be sent and received through its payment platform. Josh Li said Roxe is flexible enough to enable its customers to immediately benefit from blockchain technology, whether the underlying asset is fiat, mainstream cryptocurrency or stablecoin cryptocurrency.

Looking to the future of CBDC

Looking ahead, Josh Li believes that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will be a “major catalyst” in driving domestic and cross-border crypto payments into the mainstream, and Roxe has announced a free program for 119 developing countries to issue their own CBDCs on the Roxe platform.

“With the right technology, CBDCs will not only make payments faster and cheaper, but they will also enable greater interoperability between payment platforms and various financial institutions.” Josh Li said, “CBDC is also a key entry point into the DeFi liquidity pool, a more efficient and equitable way for participants to earn returns on idle capital and receive better wholesale FX rates.”

“In the short term, Roxe will seek to ‘open up’ the access most widely used for cross-border remittances.” Commenting on Roxe’s short and long-term roadmap, Josh Li said, “We have already announced partnerships with several other countries that are committed to opening up to more high volume countries, such as China and the Philippines. Our long term vision is that the Roxe network will be available in every country/region. We believe that advances in blockchain technology should fundamentally change the way global payments are made, making payments virtually instant and extremely low cost.”

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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