Blockchain Interviews

Fintech Interview with Jun Li, Founder at Ontology

Fintech Interview with Jun Li, Founder at Ontology

Hi, please tell us about your current role and how you arrived at Ontology. How did you arrive at the company?

Hi there. My name is Jun Li and I am the founder of Ontology, the high performance public blockchain specializing in decentralized identity and data. With close to two decades experience in IT and fintech, I founded Ontology in 2018. Prior to this I provided technical architecture, management, and planning support for top international IT firms and major financial exchanges, playing leading roles at the China Financial Futures Exchange and Infosys. I hold a BA in Computer Science and an MSc in Communication Engineering from one of China’s most prestigious universities, as well as an MBA from the University of Manchester. I am also a certified Project Management Professional.

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What is Ontology and what are your various services / solutions? Could you tell us how you help customers unlock growth and boost company performance?

Ontology is a high performance public blockchain specializing in decentralized identity and data. Ontology’s unique infrastructure supports robust cross-chain collaboration and scalability, offering businesses the flexibility to design a blockchain that suits their needs. With a suite of decentralized identity and data sharing protocols to enhance speed, security, and trust, Ontology’s features include ONT ID, a mobile digital ID application and DID used throughout the ecosystem, and DDXF, a decentralized data exchange, and collaboration framework.

Our vision is to develop a blockchain for self-sovereign identity and data. We have a number of different products, including:

  • ONT ID – ONT ID provides the utmost security and privacy controls for users in regards to their own identity and the data they produce.
  • OScore – A self-sovereign credit evaluation system based on user data stored across any blockchain, currently adopted in our Wing Finance Inclusive Pool, making the notion of credit based lending come to fruition.
  • ONTO – The first truly decentralized cross-chain wallet that allows users to manage their digital identities, data, and digital assets while protecting their privacy.
  • Wing – A credit-based, cross-chain DeFi platform built on Ontology.
  • SAGA – Aiming to establish a new standard for cross-chain organization data exchange, and building a self-sovereign data exchange platform.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Mark Williams, CFO at Sinequa

Tell us more about your remote workplace and marketing communications stack. How have they become a part of your company’s culture? 

We have been fortunate in the sense that the pandemic hasn’t had too much of an effect on our work, as most of our staff members were allowed to return to the office in early 2020. Having said that, we work with many different partners and we realise the importance of investing heavily in different marketing communication stacks whether that’s for internal or external use. As the world changes, hybrid work models will become the future, so we want to make sure we stay ahead of the curve.

How is the pandemic era shaping up blockchain adoption in data management operations?

In many ways the pandemic has accelerated decentralization, especially when it comes to data management. When Covid-19 first hit and the world was grappling with how to contain the virus, concerns on how citizens’ data was being managed wasn’t necessarily front of mind. This is understandable of course. However, it has shed light on ways we can improve this management process. Being able to identify people who are sick while still ensuring those identities remain protected is vital. Certain pieces of data like whether someone is deemed sick or not is something that should be separated entirely from more personal and sensitive pieces of identity such as name, height, or credit score.

How are data exchanges evolving? What factors influence these changes?

The topic of centralized versus decentralized data is evolving as we speak — and rather quickly at that. People are collectively starting to understand that the ways in which we store and interact with data are not necessarily designed with the end user’s security or privacy in mind. With more data hacks and breaches coming to light, regulation such as GDPR and CCPA is more important than ever and this, combined with innovators working closely with legislators, means we will slowly but surely begin to turn the tide and make progress in this area.

Your prediction: What would a data exchange look like in 2025?

By 2025 I believe data will start being allocated to the blockchain. I am confident in saying that migration of legacy data will most likely have started to occur by then too. Maybe it won’t be things that you and I notice day to day, considering that so much data exists in ways we don’t know, but historical and scientific data for example will already be on decentralized data exchanges in just a few short years.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Xavier Coemelck, Regional Vice President of Sales & Services at Entrust

Tell us more about your collaboration with Binance and how it would benefit your customers?

With the release of the Binance Smart Chain, Ontology was cast as the sole provider of decentralized identity solutions and KYC verifications. This in itself is a monumental partnership because BSC is a massive player in the DeFi space and growing rapidly. This ensures that any dApp building on the Smart Chain has the opportunity to implement proper identity and data protocols to protect the users who access their dApp through BSC. Other collaborations include the development and integration of our ONTO Wallet, the first cross-chain wallet to launch that supports dozens of dApps, and future plans such as building out our Wing platform on the Binance Smart Chain as well.

How is the fintech market shaping up with better adoption of blockchain technologies?

Fintech and DeFi go hand in hand. You can think of DeFi as what the user sees and fintech as providing much of the underlying infrastructure. It has been great to see fintech really focus on building better financial services, especially to the millions of unbanked people around the world. However, there is still a lot of room to implement better core blockchain technologies in the fintech space. Take the concept of credit for example, which is a feature we launched in OScore. Credit is a vital part of any financial system, regardless of the technology underneath. With blockchain, we can provide a much more accurate and detailed outline of a person’s credit history both on and off-chain while ensuring the data is immutable on a ledger. These are the areas that fintech could use some more help in.

An advice to every young technology professional?

Diversify and learn. The world is a different place now for young people than it was even a decade ago. When I was young the common thing for people to do was to put in 4-5 years at a company. Now though, we are increasingly seeing young people move around more in their youth and complete 1 -2 year stints at different companies. This can greatly expand their experience and knowledge, allowing them to reflect back on the diversity more in their 30’s and 40’s!

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Kimberly Sutherland, Vice President of Fraud & Identity Strategy at LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Ontology Logo

Ontology is a high performance, public blockchain specializing in decentralized identity and data. Ontology’s unique infrastructure supports robust cross-chain collaboration and scalability, offering businesses the flexibility to design a blockchain that suits their needs. With a suite of decentralized identity and data sharing protocols to enhance speed, security, and trust, Ontology’s features include ONT ID, a mobile digital ID application and DID used throughout the ecosystem, and DDXF, a decentralized data exchange and collaboration framework

Jun Li is the founder of Ontology, the high performance, public blockchain specializing in decentralized identity and data. He is a highly regarded blockchain solutions architect with 17 year’s experience in IT and fintech. Li previously provided technical architecture, management, and planning support for top international IT firms and major financial exchanges, playing leading roles at the China Financial Futures Exchange and Infosys. Li holds a BA in Computer Science and an MSc in Communication Engineering from one of China’s most prestigious universities, as well as an MBA from the University of Manchester. He is also a certified Project Management Professional.

[To share your insights on Fintech trends and analysis, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

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