ANX International, a Hong Kong-based virtual-currency trading startup and fintech company, is inviting people to issue their own digital assets using blockchain technology, according to Bloomberg. The service is intended to make setting up a blockchain-based assets and trading network as easy as signing up for an email account.
Blockchain technology can enable the buying and selling of any asset, from loyalty points to stocks and bonds. Blockchain systems can remove the need for middlemen such as banks and governments, making it an attractive way to create exchanges.
ANX claims its service allows anyone make a blockchain account in minutes and select how many digital assets to create.
The technology for issuing blockchain-based assets has been in development for the past three years, according to Ken Lo, the company’s CEO. ANX has used the technology internally for its biggest clients, including an e-commerce company that wanted to operate a loyalty program. Companies can set up reward programs without complex back-office processes. They can also reduce fraud risk.
I can tell you now the demand for people wanting to get blockchain services is very high — that’s why we’ve decided to systematize it. We’re helping the general public get access to blockchain by lowering the barriers to using the technology.
ANX International launched in 2013 by co-founders Lo, Hugh Madden and Dave Chapman. The company set up a bitcoin retail store in Hong Kong two years ago. With about 100 employees, the company has not raised venture funding since its first angel investment. Its main revenue source is from helping clients make customized digital assets and blockchains.
Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, said businesses and organizations seeking any type of loyalty system will want to use distributed ledger technology for this purpose since it is interoperable, secure and global. It is also exchangeable for other types of assets. However, noted, “We’re a ways from that because we’re not even in a world where digital currency is accepted.”
A cafe owner could sign up for ANX’s blockchain service and issue customer reward points, for example. Every time a customer buys coffee, they can scan a QR code on their phone and get points to exchange for future coffee purchases. The proprietor can then track the points and exchange them at any time.
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. is using distributed ledger technology to issue shares. Universities use it to give out academic certificates. Banks are investing in blockchain technology because it provides a way to process any kind of trade or money transfer in minutes rather than days.
Most experimentation being done by the world of finance and companies with extensive resources.
“Once you drive the price down to zero, then you’ll see a lot more uses for it. The biggest problem now in blockchain is education and exposure,” Lo said.
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