This interview is part of our new Blockchain For Payments series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and payments.
In this interview we speak with Awosika Israel Ayodeji, Lead Enterprise Solutions for Hydro Labs, to understand how this company is using blockchain to transform the payments business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Hydro Labs? Why and how did you begin?
AA: In 2018, the creator of Project Hydro, Hydrogen, created and ran a community-led Decentralization Ambassador (DA) program. The remit of the team of DAs at the time was to bring in other developers to work and grow the various protocols as well as the wider Hydro ecosystem.
In early 2019 the DA program was disbanded as the team split from Hydrogen and formed the company Hydro Labs. This was a difficult but essential move that allowed us to make some necessary changes and grow the hydro ecosystem. It also gave us the freedom to develop and release our own products and business solutions.
2. Please describe your use case and how Hydro Labs uses blockchain:
AA: The Hydro smart contracts are built as a layer two solution on top of the Ethereum Blockchain. The protocols comprise Raindrop (authentication), Snowflake (Identity management), Ice (documentation), Tide (payment) and Hail (security tokenization). Using the Tide and snowflake protocols, Hydro Labs has built and launched the Hydro Pay (Beta) app that allows users to make gasless, peer-to-peer (P2P), payment via the use of meta-transactions.
Future updates will include leveraging blockchain technology to make Hydro Pay even faster and cheaper. Following that, the next full update of the app will add global remittance payments via our collaborations with both blockchain-based and traditional stakeholders. This will ensure that Hydro Pay becomes the fastest and cheapest method for global remittance payments.
3. Could you share a customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
AA: Presently there are over 8,000 global users of the Hydro Pay (Beta) app using the app for P2P payments. One of the functions offered by the app that benefits the end-user is the simplicity of the app that has been tested for all ages, both young and old, by keeping each generation in mind, all of which have stated how easy it is to use.
We have also started pilot testing the merchants program in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida and signing up companies who will be testing the apps “Point of Sales” capabilities in 2020. Our first merchants to enroll in the Hydro Pay pilot program include Smart Crypto Cafe and Petanque.
4. What other blockchain use cases in payments are you excited about?
AA: Blockchain technology works differently than previous technologies and our approach to payments should also be different. Great use cases have the basis of being decentralized personally managed and as such, P2P will take on a stronger form that most people expect. Another blockchain use case I will consider in payments will be receipts. With the immutable feature of blockchain, using it for records and payment filing and validation of sales and purchase receipts is one other use case I am most excited about.
5. Where will Hydro Labs be in 5 years?
AA: The world is realizing the need and benefit for blockchain centric methods of payment and Hydro Labs is making itself a front-row seat with an ecosystem that already fits these needs. Within five years of Hydro Pay, with its cheaper and faster remittance method, will have taken a large market share of worldwide remittances to help people save their money and live daily lives.
What's more, once Hydro Labs completes the launch of the entire product line (Hydro Vault, Hydro Drive and Hydro Pay), we will be well ahead of the Deep Analysis forecast that adoption of enterprise blockchain will be fully realized by 2024.
The next five years are looking bright.