04 November 2019 Department of Computer Science , Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Student

4 November 2019 – NUS Computing students Shaun Wong (Information Systems, Year 2) and Chia De Xun (Computer Science, Year 2), with NUS Business School student Lai Yuen, won the champions title at the recent Crypto.com Case Competition. The competition’s finals were held on 25 October this year.

Over 25 teams competed in the inter-tertiary cryptocurrency competition. Shaun, De Xun and Lai Yuen were one of five finalist teams and the only NUS team chosen to pitch their solutions to a panel of industry professionals. The team won S$2,000 for their win.

In this challenge, teams were challenged to develop new cryptocurrency products or suggest improvements to current products offered by cryptocurrency and payment platform Crypto.com. After conducting extensive research on local cryptocurrency use and adoption trends, the NUS team developed a proposal for a flexible payments scheme to improve Crypto.com’s newest product Crypto.com Pay.

Crypto.com Pay is an online service for customers to pay for goods and services using cryptocurrency coins. One of the key differences between cryptocurrency payments and traditional online payments is the need for a middleman – for example a bank or a credit card company. “Typically customers who purchased big ticket items goods online will have to pay hidden fees or high processing fees,” explained Shaun, on behalf of his team. “However, cryptocurrency payments can eliminate these fees as you will be paying the merchant directly and do need not a third party to process the payment on your behalf.”

Despite the benefits of cryptocurrency payments, cryptocurrency uptake is low due to the risk of cryptocurrency volatility – the price fluctuations of cryptocurrency coins in the market. To increase Crypto.com Pay’s adoption rate, Shaun, De Xun and Lai Yuen proposed to have credit be paid out from the company’s balance sheet when customers choose to pay through Crypto.com’s Pay checkout option. At the same time, the team also proposed that all customers have a pool of “locked” tokens in their accounts that can act as a buffer to mitigate the credit default risk absorbed by Crypto.com.

“Flexible payments schemes are not a new concept and are currently used in several businesses. However, the novelty in our solution was structuring it in a way that accounts for the dynamics of the cryptocurrency market, the cryptocurrency industry and Crypto.com’s business structure,” Shaun added.

“All the finalist teams had great solutions, but I think we won because our solution was very much in line with Crypto.com’s objectives and we were incredibly detailed in analysing their product offerings. We went the extra step to think through every single benefit, risk and scenario that could happen and put a great deal of effort in expressing the impact of our solution,” said Shaun.

“This was the first case competition all three of us have ever participated in and it has spurred us to take part in more. The three of us would not have met if we had not joined the NUS Fintech Society and we are thankful to the society and members of the Blockchain department for supporting and encouraging us all the way, as well as providing us an excellent platform to discuss our ideas and solutions,” Shaun added.