Have you felt intimidated by the buzz Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency have created in the society? Have you dreamt of starting your own venture is this industry with this innovative technology but feel like you lack the required knowledge? Maxine Ryan, a 26-year-old college drop-out is sure to leave you inspired!
She was a complete novice in the technology world until 5 years back and she admits that she is still no expert.Being a newcomer never stopped her from wanting to earn a livelihood for herself and she began her journey to design a multinational payment – business to cut down costs.
Currently, she is the Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer for Bitspark – a Blockchain based remittance platform. In simple terms, her venture allows people to send money to foreign lands without having any bank accounts and without having to pay any fee.
Her inspiration to start this venture came out of feeling the urge to help the people living in Hong Kong, which is also her homeland, who are underprivileged and underserved. She wanted to create a solution to a problem that not only these people faced, but often also left her frustrated.
She understood that she can finally put her international relations degree to use. In 2014, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin had entered the technological industry. She found this intriguing, realised that she can finally put her stagnated international relations degree to use and quickly arranged to meet her friend from Australia, George Harrap, an electrical engineer. Although these terms were new and not as mainstream back then, Ryan decided to drop – out of college (with just 6 months to graduate), after Harrap explained all the nuts and blots about the technology to her.
With her entire career ahead of her, she made this huge step within hours just because she saw immense potential and growth in Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurreny.
After deciding to go forward with this plan, the research and planning began. When they analyzed their target audience, they realized that although Asia has an extremely high increasing employment rate, it is still home to a large number of people that are not familiar with any financial services.Almost a billion people in Asia do not have any bank accounts, as estimated by The World Bank.
This makes it impossible for people who are not linked with any banks and wish to make monetary transactions internationally. It is also undoubtedly inconvenient for people who cannot afford to pay the high fees incurred to remittance to foreign lands. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency helped eliminate these problems.
Ryan and George faced their major problem with trying to educate people about this new technology since their target audiences were the ones that lacked good financial literacy. To be able to gain that trust with people was their hardest task. But once they overcame that, Bitspark started making the headlines.
In the past 5 years, Bitspark has assembled huge investments. Ryan is on the 30 Under 30 Forbes List and has also earned a place on Accenture's Innovation Lab program. She often receives a lot of invitations to speak about the potentials of Blockchain and how it can change the standard of living of the society.