TenX: Collaborating and scaling for cryptocurrency growth with Google Cloud

About TenX

Singapore-headquartered TenX is furthering the cryptocurrency revolution by making cryptocurrencies spendable on-the-go. The TenX payment system enables people to make everyday purchases and withdraw money using TenX cards, and includes a TenX wallet and TenX debit/prepaid card. The TenX wallet is available on iOS or Android operating systems and can be funded with different cryptocurrencies, while the TenX debit and prepaid card can be used in nearly 200 countries at about 42 million points of acceptance online and offline. The business's long term vision is to "become the fabric of the decentralised world, connecting anyone and anything to decentralized services."

Industries: Financial Services
Location: Singapore

Google Cloud Platform and G Suite services have contributed to a 67% year on year growth at TenX by enabling the team to collaborate effectively over email and video calls. The business has also avoided investing in a Chief Information Officer function to manage internal infrastructure, identity solutions, and productivity tools.

Google Cloud Results

  • Enables the business to focus on code and product development rather than maintenance
  • Establishes a culture of sharing files and information within the business
  • Supports vision of becoming "the fabric of the decentralized world"

Scaled to support 67% year on year business growth in 2018

Cryptocurrencies – digital currencies that use cryptographic protocols to keep transactions secure – are gaining momentum and have the potential to transform financial services. Singapore-headquartered TenX is furthering the cryptocurrency revolution by making cryptocurrencies spendable on-the-go. The TenX payment system enables people to make everyday purchases and withdraw money using TenX cards, and includes a TenX wallet and TenX debit card. The TenX wallet is available on iOS or Android operating systems and can be funded by with different cryptocurrencies, while the TenX debit and prepaid card can be used in nearly 200 countries at about 42 million points of acceptance online and offline.

TenX's ambitions extend well beyond its existing products and services. "Our vision of decentralization extends well beyond crypto-spending," says Alvin Jiang, VP Engineering and Product, TenX. "We aim to be the fabric of the decentralized world, connecting anyone and anything to decentralized services."

"We started with G Suite and it very quickly became established. Its workplace applications enabled us to establish a sharing culture within our business, rather than having to send files over email."

Alvin Jiang, VP Engineering and Product, TenX

Choosing the right technology

The nature of the company's business makes selecting the right technologies integral to its success. Scalability is essential to support the rapidly-growing number of users of TenX products – and the launch of new products and markets – while its teams constantly review services and functionality to improve the value of its products.

Winning and retaining consumer trust is also important to the viability of the business – and to broader acceptance and take-up of cryptocurrency. Security is a particularly important focus for TenX and the business aims to protect people from breaches. "Cryptocurrencies represent value in a comparatively new form," explains Jiang. "We complement measures such as the encryption and secure storage of personal data with programs to educate people about how to stay safe. For example, we inform them how to keep cryptocurrency keys secure."

Cloud key to success

When establishing TenX in 2015, the company's founders – Toby Hoenisch (now Chief Executive Officer), Paul Kittiwongsunthorn (now Chief Digital Officer), and Michael Sperk (now Engineering Lead) – realized running the business in the cloud was key to success. "Our minimum viable product would not have been possible without the cloud," explains Jiang.

"We decided against using a partner to help us with deployment, as we had deep internal technical expertise, and took a position against standardizing on any one cloud provider," he adds. "One of the major risks we could see was vendor lock-in, and the ability to ensure business continuity across major cloud providers was a key consideration in using cloud rather than bare-metal infrastructure in a data center."

"Being able to use all these Google Cloud Platform services together really allows us to scale in a simple way that no other providers can match. Google Kubernetes Engine in particular delivers value by allowing us to focus on developing high quality-code to solve our business problems – without having to worry about orchestrating, scaling, and maintaining infrastructure."

Alvin Jiang, VP Engineering and Product, TenX

Google Kubernetes Engine drives Google Cloud Platform decision

The business opted for a multi-cloud architecture with Google Cloud Platform providing up to 60% of the services. TenX primarily opted for Google Cloud Platform for the opportunities Google Kubernetes Engine presented to run a managed, production-ready environment to deploy, scale, and manage containerized applications. "Given Google developed Kubernetes, it made sense to start using the technology on that platform," says Jiang.

G Suite key to foundation

TenX had already deployed cloud-based G Suite intelligent applications from Google for communication and collaboration, and its tight integration with Google Cloud Platform was a key benefit for the business. The TenX team also identified a range of services that were competitive or more advanced than services from other cloud providers.

"We started with G Suite and it very quickly became established," says Jiang. "Its workplace applications enabled us to establish a sharing culture within our business, rather than having to send files over email. In fact, even before we started, our founders were using personal Gmail accounts to coordinate the activities needed to establish a company. As we've grown, we've found Gmail has continued to provide enterprise email with a friendly and familiar interface for our employees, while providing simple management of email accounts and services."

The business is also a heavy user of Hangouts Meet to conduct video meetings. "Hangouts Meet has been pretty fantastic – I'm really impressed by how it has allowed us to collaborate and converse, and allowed us to avoid investing in dedicated videoconferencing systems," says Jiang "It's been a real point of difference with other providers – other video calling services tend to require complex hardware or be targeted at individuals rather than teams."

"A large part of our 67% growth is due to Google Cloud. Without G Suite and Google Cloud Platform, we would have needed to invest in more or different types of resources, both people and technology."

Alvin Jiang, VP Engineering and Product, TenX

A Google Cloud Platform architecture

As well as Google Kubernetes Engine, the TenX Google Cloud Platform architecture comprises Google Virtual Private Cloud to isolate sensitive information and services from the public internet; virtual machine instances running on Compute Engine; highly secure connections between Google Cloud Platform and other cloud services through Cloud VPN; and relational databases running on Cloud SQL.

Simple scalability

"Being able to use all these Google Cloud Platform services together really allows us to scale in a simple way that no other providers can match," says Jiang. "Google Kubernetes Engine in particular delivers value by allowing us to focus on developing high-quality code to solve our business problems – without having to worry about orchestrating, scaling, and maintaining infrastructure."

No CIO needed

The business is now able to focus on engineering and developing great products, and is comfortable with not having to invest in a Chief Information Officer function to manage internal infrastructure, identity solutions, and productivity tools.

The approach taken by TenX enabled the business to record 67% year on year growth in 2018. "A large part of our 67% growth is due to Google Cloud. Without G Suite and Google Cloud Platform, we would have needed to invest in more or different types of resources, both people and technology," says Jiang. "With Google Cloud being a credible technology provider with locations around the world, that understands working at scale, it can help us grow our business," he adds. TenX is eyeing opportunities to use Google Cloud Platform to expedite testing and prototyping, and to continue scaling its teams and services to unlock what Jiang believes is its true potential.

About TenX

Singapore-headquartered TenX is furthering the cryptocurrency revolution by making cryptocurrencies spendable on-the-go. The TenX payment system enables people to make everyday purchases and withdraw money using TenX cards, and includes a TenX wallet and TenX debit/prepaid card. The TenX wallet is available on iOS or Android operating systems and can be funded with different cryptocurrencies, while the TenX debit and prepaid card can be used in nearly 200 countries at about 42 million points of acceptance online and offline. The business's long term vision is to "become the fabric of the decentralised world, connecting anyone and anything to decentralized services."

Industries: Financial Services
Location: Singapore