Welcome to the fifth post in our series of Mainnet Community-run AMAs.

The ongoing AMA series on Telegram is a four-months long event that features various guests from the Harmony community and leadership team. The goal of the series, which will run until December 2019, is twofold: to give our community an opportunity to interact directly with team members, and to give team members — especially those who operate largely behind the scenes — a chance to share their insights and offer the community a window into their work.

The most recent AMA took place with Li Jiang, Harmony’s Business Development. Over the course of the AMA, Li fielded both pre-submitted and live questions from our community members concerning a variety of topics related to “Open Finance.”

Highlights can be found below as transcribed by our community managers:

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

Thank you guys for joining us for Mainnet AMA series and today, we’ll be hosting our biz dev, @lijiang2087, to explore Open Finance and what how Harmony is building towards it.

Li Jiang | Harmony

Hey everyone!

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

And on to the first question, just what is the nature of your role @lijiang2087 and what is open finance?

Li Jiang | Harmony

Here’s my background, I’m working on the business team at harmony — https://twitter.com/lijiang2087.

Open finance is the idea that anyone can access financial resources without a single entity’s permission. It’s really the power of a decentralized network that also carries monetary value.

Our mission is to build a blockchain for humans and to create a radically fair economy.

If you think about how the financial world works today, it is controlled by a few very large entities. we want to give individuals direct access to loans, cross border transactions, and more.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

So, we’re talking about people building on harmony protocol to offer this ability?

Li Jiang | Harmony

To enable easy migration and quick adoption, we are excited to announce Carbon will be our official partner for fiat integration.

With Carbon, Harmony dApps can enable any purchases in ONE tokens using Apple Pay and credit cards in a few lines of code. The user experience is a flawless and painless fiat on-ramp that can easily be done under a minute.

Stablecoins are cornerstone to any financial applications on crypto. Carbon is helping issue a FDIC-insured stablecoin native on Harmony.

Our goal is to decentralize world’s financial infrastructures. We’re experimenting with cross-border payments and undercollateralized lending with alternative credit data. https://twitter.com/stse/status/1179827482716884992?s=20

We are excited about Carbon to kick off how we are thinking about making finance more accessible to everyone.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

Could you shed more light into the cross-border experimentation?

Li Jiang | Harmony

To me, cryptocurrencies is important for the global economy because it reduces friction for people to transact. I mean that in the broadest sense. If you look at how human economies developed, it depends heavily on trading with each other. Money transfer is just the mechanism to allow for trade to happen. Over the past 3 decades, we have developed incredible Internet companies to allow anyone in the world to transaction with each other online, however the financial system has really not kept up with the openness and fluid cross border nature of the Internet.

We think this is an important fundamental problem that the blockchain industry can try to tackle. In a way this is the biggest market opportunity because it facilitates all other market activities.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

Speaking of dapps are there any that is being onboarded for open finance?

Li Jiang | Harmony

We are starting with Carbon because it provides two critical items. One is a fiat gateway or on ramp. With Carbon you will be able to buy ONE via credit cards, paypal. And the second item is a stablecoin native on Harmony. Having a stablecoin is necessary to provide a baseline way for people in the ecosystem to transact with each other. It’s not sufficient by itself, but very necessary.

Etienne | Community member

Hello ! What are the fees when we use Carbon in our Dapps? Furthermore, do you plan to talk with Compound Finance team?

Li Jiang | Harmony

Our fees for Carbon will be in line with their existing service. https://www.carbon.money

https://medium.com/carbon-money/carbon-vs-the-field-8db45f0c6af8

As for Compound, yes they are on our radar!

Figozz | Community member

So with carbon, there Will be a stablecoin running on harmony mainnet?

Li Jiang | Harmony

Stablecoins are cornerstone to any financial applications on crypto. Carbon is helping issue a FDIC-insured stablecoin native on Harmony.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

That puts a lot into perspective. Is there a specific country or continent that will be used as the launchpad for this service?

Li Jiang | Harmony

We have a lot to learn and explore. I can share what we learned by going to the Shanghai Blockchain Week and talking to many partners in China. See our keynote: https://harmony.one/keynote.

We learned that payments in and out of China that involves multiple currencies is still very much an unsolved problem.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

So we’re likely to see the service launch in China first — or at the very least, China’s at the forefront of launch countries, right?

Li Jiang | Harmony

We will be validating or invalidating countries over Q4. We know that this is a problem for many countries that have currency control or unstable currencies. You can see that people in southeast asia or latin america have a higher interest in crytocurrencies.

We have many investors and partners in China so that is an active market we are exploring and we plan to start an engineering team in Beijing. In november, we will be spending time in India and talking to our friends Matic, but also many payment companies to see what are the painpoints we can address.

The process will be iterative. Meaning we will constantly be updating our thinking as we talk with each potential partner and meet people in each market.

We also have a Vietnamese co-founder, a very Indonesian investors, and really great partners in the Philippines. We cannot do all of them at once of course, but we will try to get as much insight as possible in each of these markets.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

Hydro protocol has been mentioned as building financial tools on Harmony blockchain. Can you provide more insight into these tools and services?

Li Jiang | Harmony

Hydro/DDEX is a good friend of ours in China. https://medium.com/harmony-one/partnership-series-harmony-x-hydro-protocol-1d07c26d72b0.

They will allow us to bring a decentralized exchange onto Harmony, another important piece of the open finance ecosystem to allow people to seamlessly do transactions between different tokens.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

ETAs are tricky at best when you’re building something wholly new, however, is there any estimate when this service will go live?

Li Jiang | Harmony

No estimate yet, but we’ll post on Medium/Twitter. Better to be accurate than to give you all a guess.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

Which other partners will be plugging into this financial ecosystem?

Li Jiang | Harmony

There’s already a vibrant ecosystem of open finance applications. We will be working with stablecoins, lending, and exchanges first.

https://medium.com/harmony-one/introducing-harmonys-defi-ecosystem-and-toolset-271c3edbfe91

Li Jiang | Harmony

We are also thinking a lot about the intersection of on-chain and off-chain finance. We need to greatly expand the accessibility of cryptocurrencies.

Right now even if you look at all value locked in Defi, it is around $500 million. That’s small compared to the global economy.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

Meaning it’s possible to have a makerdao/DAI-like equivalent on harmony?

Li Jiang | Harmony

It’s very possible. Our protocol is EVM (ethereum virtual machine) compatible. By building on the shoulders of giants, we can access the existing ecosystem of applications including makerdao/DAI.

We will focus on migrating applications that have high gas requirements.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

Will harmony be creating protocols to support STOs on its blockchain?

Li Jiang | Harmony

Yes we will create token standards that will allow for both fungible tokens and non fungible tokens.

We haven’t talked much yet about NFTs, but that’s another area of early adoption.

Figozz | Community member

Seems like you are targeting a lot of things at once, wouldn’t it be better to ”complete” something before opening up for more?

Li Jiang | Harmony

We have a short list of <5 main partners and yes we will do 1 of them well before trying to tackle the others. take a look at our keynote: https://medium.com/harmony-one/harmony-keynote-scaling-privacy-secure-staking-radical-fairness-17fe52a797ea.

Sonny | Does Not PM/DM First

And that’s a wrap folks 💪. We’ll like to thank @lijiang2087 for joining us for today’s session 🙏.