Blockchain in SEA 31st Episode: Co-Founder&CTO of Kulap, Tot Nattapon
On 23rd October in Bangkok, we had an interview with Tot Nattapon, Co-founder and CTO of Kulap.io! We talked about their team, technology, business they’ve partnered with as well as the regulation, landscape, future of Thailand Blockchain. We believe that next year is going to be a booming year for Thailand Blockchain industry.
This is the full interview.
1. Please give a short introduction about yourself and Kulap to us.
I’m Tot Nattapon CTO of Kulap, I’ve experienced in Tech Startup about 8 years, built one of the biggest Point-Of-Sale System in Thailand called FOURLEAF, and now full time at Kulap, about designing and researching on Blockchain Industry. Kulap is the decentralized best rate protocol. We get real-time digital asset exchange rate from a worldwide marketplace. We have an algorithm to find the “best price” for users automatically and we also be a “KULAP Best Rate API” for our business partners whoever created decentralized application or DApps, we designed Kulap the easiest and useful for everyone.
2. Why you call it Kulap, what does it mean?
Kulap is come from Rose in Thai language, and named of a Storm that Thai researcher found, and also we call spell Ku like a Cool and lap like a Lab ^^.
3. What made you and your team started with Kulap, what is the chance that you saw?
We have 4 co-founders, all of us meet at Kasetsart University (KU), and we’ve seen that Blockchain industry has a lot of opportunities and we believe that’s the future of human kind.
4. Can you explain us in an understandable way of how your algorithm works to compare the prices and find the best one for traders?
Yes, imagine that Kulap as a center of others Exchange, and our Kulap Technology (Smart Contract) connect to all of them, and we have system that always watching the rates and give the best one to users always.
5. So, you’ve been very supportive to Libra, and congratulations that you completed 1million transactions on Libra wallet. It’s been a controversial project either on the government side and corporations said. I just read yesterday on cointelegraph that saying bank may cut ties with Facebook if Libra is launched. So, from a developer’s point of view, how you see Libra as?
In terms of us as developers, we see Libra as an initiate that attracts people’s interests on blockchain all over the world. So, whether Libra will be succeeded or not, at least it opened the door for non-crypto people, and raised the awareness of blockchain and cryptocurrency, as well as fast forward the mass adoption of blockchain. And also because Libra is open source, means everyone can develop their product and service on top of it.
6.Besides of the Libra wallet is there any other thing that you might develop on Libra in the future?
Actually we do three things right now on Libra, one is the wallet, right now we already reached one million transactions and 47,000 users worldwide.
And the second thing we do is Libra merchant, users can buy for example coffees in 30 seconds using Libra coin. And the third thing we do is called Libra Library, which is for developers, they can use for smart watch/phone, IOTs, their products on website and etc.
So that in the future, the technology we build today can be used for users, merchants and also corporations.
7.Can you disclose some names of your business partners that you are currently working with?
Yes, we can share some names, such as Fourleaf, I am also the co-founder of Fourleaf. Fouleaf is a restaurant application that has users all around Thailand. And because Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for tourism, crypto payment is a relatively big demand for the tourists coming from all over the world, Phuket for example already have a lot of restaurant, cafes and hotels accept crypto payment. And by working with Fourleaf, which allows the restaurants and hotels to better accept crypto payment. And the second partner we’re about to work with is Jmart public company. We have submitted the application to SEC for an exchange license. And by using our technology for Jmart, we can help on loan with cryptocurrency. We believe that next year is going to be a big year for Thailand’s blockchain and crypto industry, and I am very glad that Kulap will be part of it.
8. I noticed a number from The Blockchain Landscape Report made by ABR shows that 70% of the blockchain projects in Thailand have reached the stage of active use. Which is quite a high percentage compares to other countries. What you think the reasons are?
It is a quite impressive number, but I think we need to dived this number into two parts. One is public blockchain, and another is the private blockchain. We have a big community in Thailand for public blockchain, and Kulap is also one of the leaders of this community. We have hosted 5 events this year for developers to join us. So the number and quality of the developers might be one of the reasons that contributed to this number. And another reason might be that the financial institutions in Thailand is also actively doing research about blockchain, one of them is Bank of Thailand. They initiated an internal project called inthanon, to distribute stablecoin with commercial banks with wholesale. And another interesting project called BCI that 6 major banks in Thailand associated together to build consortium blockchain to provide a letter of guarantee (LG) between banks. So, if combined all the public chain, private chain and alliance chain, 70% should be a reasonable number.
9. This year since the regulation of exchanges of cryptocurrencies in Thailand, the whole community and industry became quieter than last year. And along with the recent big news of BX’s shutting down. Do you think that puts Thailand in a favorable position of blockchain and cryptocurrency development in the whole Southeast Asia?
What Thailand differs from other countries in Southeast Asia is the regulation. No matter you are running exchange or you are a broker or doing ICO, you have to apply for the license. The good thing about this is that the crypto asset is being better protected, which is eventually beneficial for all parties in a long term. However, the regulation is not completed yet, it takes at least maybe another 3 years that it could be fully regulated and by then Thailand will be one of the best countries to run blockchain or crypto business in Southeast Asia.
10. As a media, we constantly have projects approach to us for media exposure and community building for Southeast Asia. However, this year most of them prefer Vietnam and Indonesia instead of Thailand. Have you ever been to or heard of anything from those two markets?
Vietnam is really active, I have heard of some really good projects from there like Kyber and Tomochain. But it depends on what is the objective of the projects to expand their market in Southeast Asia. When it comes to regulation, Thailand is definitely one of the top options for them, such as Huobi Thailand they recently acquired their license here, which allows them to run their business in Thailand being fully regulated and protected. But if they aim for fundraising or user growth, Vietnam and Indonesia might be better choice.