OmiseGO was established in 2017 by Omise, a Bangkok, Thailand-based electronic payments service provider to businesses in Thailand and Japan, after Omise received a $17.5 million infusion from a Series B funding round led by SBI Investments in July 2016. Omise ("o-mis-e"), targeted at commercial establishments, means "store" in Japanese. In March 2017 Omise announced a crowdfunded initial coin offering for a separate payments settlement system built on Ethereum.
With an initial target of $19 million, Omise raised $25 worth of Ethereum in June 2017 for OmiseGO. The tokens (OMG) were to be used to gain access to the OmiseGO payments system as well as to share in proceeds from operation of the platform. Omise CEO Jun Hosegawa announced a fourth quarter 2017 service launch date
OmiseGO was to provide payments services without bank accounts on a decentralized network. One of its stated goals was to increase financial inclusion.
OmiseGo attracted intellectual and financial support from Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. In September 2017 Buterin tweeted that he would only advise OmiseGO and one other project, the decentralized Kyber Network. He also stated that he would dedicate all of his advisor payments from those projects to charity or to innovative not-for-profit projects that, among other things, may help enhance the Ethereum network.
OmiseGo announced on March 27, 2018, that along with Buterin that they were contributing $1 million worth of Ethereum to GiveDirectly, an East Africa-based charity, to support relief efforts in Uganda. GiveDirectly said that the donation would allow it to provide more than subsistence levels of support for 12,000 refugee families.
In a January 15, 2019, post to the OMGTrade thread on Reddit, Buterin asserted that his contribution to OMG was extensive especially having to do with the implementation of Plasma as well as recent discussions with Hosegawa.
OmiseGO was acquired by Thailand’s largest private company, Charoen Pokphand Group, for a reported $150 million in March 2019.
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