We have had the chance to talk with Soohan Han the Director of Marketing at crypto startup Pundi X. Pundi X is a super exciting cryptocurrency project aiming to make it as easy to buy cryptocurrencies as it is buying a bottle of water. And with the power of cryptocurrencies they want to create the financial support and platforms for large unbanked markets and countries around the world. Because with the core belief that a new form of decentralised economy it will give power back the people. So in this interview with Soohan we will uncover how a close-knitted family at Pundi X will change the crypto landscape forever.
Interview with Soohan Han from Pundi X
Hello Soohan, we’re excited to have you with us. How long have you been the Marketing Director at PundiX?
Hello Per, it’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me. I’ve been with Pundi X as the Director of Marketing since July 2018.
Could you tell us more about what you do in your role?
Well, other than leading all marketing efforts to build the Pundi X brand (and strive for global domination, haha!), the beauty of being in a startup like Pundi X is you are not just restricted to your current role. You have to be comfortable in wearing different “hats”. And at Pundi X, we are close-knit like a family. We don’t hesitate to step forward and help cover each other’s task when necessary. Not one task is beneath anyone here.
“At Pundi X, we are close-knit like a family. We don’t hesitate to help cover each other’s task when necessary”Soohan Han the Director of Marketing at crypto startup Pundi X
But officially I wear 2 “hats”, one as the Director of Global Marketing and the other as the Country Manager for Singapore. (Singapore is our HQ and I co-lead the Singapore team with Balan Krishnan who is the other Country Manager.)
What does an average day at the office look like for you?
Hmmm… that’s a good question for me. The pace which we operate here at Pundi X is fast and exhilarating. There’s never a dull day in the office. And I believe it’s partly due to the speed and the dynamism of the blockchain space where one has to act quick to avoid a missed opportunity. So every day is different. I can go from strategising our next marketing efforts for XPOS to answering questions on social media from our community or engaging in deep discussions with governments officials and executives to identify possible collaboration opportunities.
“The pace which we operate here at Pundi X is fast and exhilarating”Soohan Han the Director of Marketing at crypto startup Pundi X
And what was your background before joining PundiX?
I came from an advertising background where I’ve spent more than a decade helping global technology companies like Hewlett-Packard and IBM to market and grow their brand presence. I’ve seen and worked through the different challenges and changes which the tech space has undergone—from big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) to blockchain. Prior to joining Pundi X, I was working in New York for a global advertising agency called Ogilvy & Mather and was part of the core team responsible for marketing and growing IBM’s’s AI solution called Watson across the world.
We remember reading about the team’s aims to bring cryptocurrencies to countries around the world to promote financial inclusion. For example in Indonesia, where half of the population (264 million in total) are currently ‘unbanked’ today. How are you ensuring Pundi X remains true to this aim?
Tackling financial inclusion remains one of our goals. And our partnership with HARA Token allows us to push the financial inclusion agenda further as what we seek out to do is to provide the unbanked farmers in rural Indonesia a solution to improve their daily lives (see here for details). Another use case which we are looking to develop is our collaboration with a company called Limestone to create a Smart City in Cambodia with the power of blockchain (see here for details).
Both the HARA and Limestone partnerships are real use cases which allow us to see how our solution is applied to tackle financial inclusion and the learnings we get from both projects will allow us to improve and refine further.
Questions about the XPOS devices:
- How many XPOS devices have you shipped globally so far?
- What has been the response so far to the devices already dispatched?
- What has been your biggest challenges with the XPOS devices so far?
- Have you had to adapt your original strategy?
As mentioned in Zac’s most recent (AMA video update), so far, we weren’t able to scale as fast as we like mainly due to 2 key reasons. One which is the condition of the current market, i.e. the bear market. And the other is that we have been working to get the XPOS properly certified in order to be compliant to deploy at mass.
We are pleased to say that the XPOS has just been given the CE certificate. And that means that we’ll be able to start shifting to the next gear and increase our activation rate for the XPOS. Also, the strategy we adopt for the XPOS evolves depending on the market requirements and environment. For example, the Latin America markets represent a key region for us as the region takes a more open view towards cryptocurrency and moreover, due to the hyperinflation situation in some of the markets, the XPOS is primed to be one of the possible solutions.
How many are you in the marketing department today? And could you tell us a bit more about how you divide roles and activities amongst yourself?
As with all startups, we have a lean team. But the output provided by our marketing team is tremendous. As I mentioned earlier, the great thing about working in a startup is that you don’t work in silo. Everyone is aware of the vision and what we are trying to achieve at Pundi X. Everything we do have to move the needle and help us to move forward.
You are trying to reach the masses with your XPOS devices and NPXS, but still cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology is still very much unknown to the general public. Do you feel that you have a responsibility to educate people about cryptocurrencies and blockchain?
Yes of course. But it’s not just a one man or one company’s job. Everyone in this space has a role to play to educate and to create real use cases in order to drive the industry forward. And that’s partly why at Pundi X, we created the XPOS and the XPhone which are physical blockchain products which you and I can touch, interact and experience. Through our products, we hope that we can help to demystify blockchain and crypto in one way or another.
What’s your marketing strategy for the coming year(s)? What’s your plan to increase adoption in Europe and North America? Also could you share anything about Pundi X’s partnerships?
We will continue to push for different use cases and to showcase the flexibility of the XPOS. At its heart, the XPOS is a digital currency neutral device. So depending on the market, we can customise the XPOS solution accordingly in order to scale up our XPOS deployment. And now that we have the CE certificate for the XPOS, it will allow us to scale up faster in Europe too.
“We are working hard to engage with established global enterprises with a large distribution network and footprint to push out the XPOS solution”Soohan Han the Director of Marketing at crypto startup Pundi X
And even though I cannot comment much about future partnerships (due to confidentiality agreements), what I can talk about is we are working hard to engage with established global enterprises with a large distribution network and footprint to push out the XPOS solution.
Is Pundi X looking to acquire formal banking license at some stage (globally)?
For us to scale up and expand further, we do recognise the need to be compliant in order to operate legally. So whether it’s the Payment Service License, the E-Money License or a banking license, we are exploring all possibilities as different markets have different requirements and regulations. But we are unable to share more on when or if it is happening as all of these require more discussions with the different local jurisdictions in each market.
We recently read that PundiX is going to be involved with Cambodia’s smart city project. Could you tell us more about that?
This is a really exciting project as it gives the XPOS solution another dimension and demonstrates how the XPOS can play a part in a Smart City ecosystem. The project is still in very early stages and what we are looking to do is to start putting down the basic framework and get this going in Cambodia in a smaller scale to start getting learnings. We are targeting to get this kick off very soon in coming weeks.
We recently read that Thailand banned (the exact details of this remains unclear) some cryptocurrencies for ICO investment and trading pairs, like Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, etc. What’s your take on that? How is this affecting your business operations, and future plans?
We are taking a wait and see approach for markets that may not have a favorable view with crypto, for example China and India. And pushing hard in regions which have adopted a more open view of cryptocurrency like the Latin American markets.
What are your thoughts on the Pundi X community, and the role they could play? Could you involve the community even more in the future? If so, how?
We see our community as one of our key pillars. We are extremely grateful for their support, understanding and patience. The blockchain + crypto market is still very nascent. So certain developments take a little longer to progress but I just want to say that everyone at Pundi X is putting in their 101% to achievement the goals we have set out to do. We really value and appreciate all our community members. And we welcome all feedback and suggestions from the community while we continue to push for global domination.
Time for questions from the Pundi X community!
We took the time to ask the community on Reddit what questions they had for the team, and here below we have collected them:
Community question #1 There have been cases of announcements and updates coming out very close to the release dates. Why can’t these posts come out sooner?
We love to share updates with our community as early as possible too but due to confidentiality agreements that are in place with our partners, there is a process to follow which prevents us from doing so.
Community question #2 Do they have a native English speaker on their review staff? Their are more than a few times when their wording in announcements and within the wallet itself is confusing solely based on word choice.
We know that we are not perfect and there are areas we need to improve on. Please continue to send us your feedback and suggestions. We’ll continue to streamline and refine our content.
Community question #3 Where can we get hold of the XPASS card? There doesn’t seem to be an easy way of acquiring one? Could PundiX possibly set up a store on the website where we can order directly from?
Anyone who’s keen to get hold of an XPASS card can order one rightaway from here: https://forms.monday.com/forms/088c80c8f7e4f1ba13816312097ddcd3
Community question #4 When can people buy a Big Mac via the XPOS?
This is on our wishlist. If this ever happens, the community will be the first to know.
Community question #5 Will Pundi X payment platforms support the Lightning Network?
I like to understand the rationale behind this question as transactions on the XPOS is instant. (So love to understand a bit more if Lightning Network is really needed on the XPOS.)
Community questions about advertisement and commercials:
- Do you have plans to refresh your online adverts? We’ve seen a lot of the same content being recycled on YouTube, Coinmarketcap, Time Square etc1.
- What can you do to improve your marketing in the future? Want to see better YouTube ads (sick of see the dude with his puppy), Coinmarketcap ads, Time Square, etc
We actually don’t invest in paid advertising at the moment as it doesn’t necessarily produce the best ROI in terms of investment for us. Also, in this market condition, we believe in being financially prudent. And to tap on organic traffic that’s generated from PR as well as our community.
Also, as Zac mentioned recently in his video update, as a testament to our growing reputation, we were recently invited to speak at the Fintech Ideas Festival event and appear on the same stage as the senior executives from Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other large institutions. We see this as the right step forward in growing our brand appeal to the masses.
P.S. Fun fact for all, it can cost up to $3 million to advertise in one of the billboards that’s located in Times Square.Soohan Han Director of Marketing Pundi X
Community questions about f(x) blockchain
- Where did the idea of f(x) come from? And why do you feel that PundiX is the right team to create a successful blockchain platform? (Many other are already trying to create the next blockchain platform.)
- What’s the goal with f(x)? And where do you realistically see that you can take f(x) in three years’ time?
- There’s been some concerns from the community about your plans with f(x), and they are questioning if you could handle both f(x) and NPXS/XPOS at the same time. Do you feel this is a fair concern?
Once you have gone through the concept paper of f(x), you will be able to see that f(x) is actually a massive project. We didn’t just create a new blockchain. What the team has done is to re-engineer and build a whole new ecosystem that is scalable and fully decentralised. The idea is that the f(x) ecosystem will be fully autonomous and in the long term, with or without Pundi X’s involvement, f(x) will continue to grow and be the backbone in this new era of decentralised world. Also regarding f(x), there is a separate team working on it which is different from NPXS and XPOS.
And yes, there are other blockchain platforms that are in the market already and we do welcome all the competition as this will increase the awareness of why decentralisation is essential as the world progresses. The uniqueness of f(x) can actually be seen in the form of the XPhone as it’s one of the first use cases of f(x) of how it’s being applied to the telecommunication space and completely disrupts how a smartphone is being used.
One of the key motivations behind the creation of f(x) is due to data monopolisation issues which we have all witnessed. What f(x) can do is users can finally control and own their data. Once the f(x) mainnet and XPhone are launched later this year, we will be able to witness f(x) at work and people will be able to see why it’s one of the best blockchain platforms out there.
Thank you so much for taking time for this interview, we wish you and PundiX the best of luck. And we hope to perhaps meet up at some crypto or blockchain event in the future.
Also read our review of Pundi X and the NPXS token here.
Check out some of our previous interviews
- Jason Rockwood Country Manager VeChain
- Bitcoin Benny General Manager of Komodo
- Crypto-enthusiast who publicly called the bubble at the right time
Per Englund – Founder of Go CryptoWise a cryptocurrency and tech fan that wants to see better and smarter products and services that makes our lives better and easier