Maxine Ryan, Co-Founder and COO at Bitspark

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Maxine Ryan is a Hong Kong entrepreneur and co-founder of Bitspark, an easy and efficient remittance solution for global businesses. Ryan fills us in on her passion for productivity and power breakfasts.


Founded three years ago, Bitspark is the world’s first cash in, cash out blockchain remittance for solution for businesses. Bitspark allows clients to send, receive and manage payments to over 100,000 cash out locations globally.  


Simplify everything

Since we are in a techincal space, it was important to make sure our products were accessible to the users -- if you mention Bitcoin or cryptocurrency, people might have preconceptions. If they had used it before and it was difficult to use -- the barrier to entry in this area can be quite high.

Build credibility

Another hurdle was that we were working with people who were often twice my age, or older. It was difficult to be taken seriously at the beginning. We had to gather credibility over time, which took a while. 

Always work harder

I learned to always work harder. When we first started, we were the only people on the scene. As it became apparent that cryptocurrency could possible change the way remittance works, there were more and more competitors popping up everywhere. That can be daunting, but it forced us to be diligent and not to sway from our own path.

Gain perspective

It’s important to take a step back from a single task and see how everything works together. I think when you're running a business you can get so focused on one thing and not see the bigger picture. It's important to see what results will do for you in the long run.

Always have a Plan B

The best advice I received was not to get too caught up on any one thing. Just because something happens it doesn't have to be the end of the world. There is always a solution to your problems.

You need have a plan A, B and C. Having that mindset has really helped me out over the last few years. I have learned not to get myself down about issues that arise.

Surround yourself with likeminded people

Find people who understand what you're trying to do -- those people will be the ones to support you. If you surround yourself with people who are doing things that you are interested in doing, then you're more likely to get there.  


How do take care of your health and body?

I feel in Hong Kong people let their health take a backseat to work and it does take a toll on your body. It's so important to achieve things outside of work -- it's about aligning your worth to something other than work.

When I first started the company, I was exercising a lot but I just completely stopped because things got so busy. I've made a promise to myself to start prioritizing my health.

It's worked wonders on my everyday life. I feel so much healthier and more energized. Your brain can only take you so far, you need to have a balance between your brain and your body.

I just started playing tennis and I do 10 - 30 minutes of exercise every day, mostly bodyweight exercises and stretching. When I have time, I do posture exercises because I'm sitting at a computer so often!

What is your go-to power breakfast or morning ritual? 

I love overnight oats! I have overnight oats with some sort of nut milk, soy milk, chia seeds and half a banana and I'll top it up in the morning with nuts and fruits. I could have it every single day.

Where do you shop for professional and stylish clothes?

I have a very functional wardrobe for work.  I like to go for chic, functional and simplistic clothes. It’s kind of like a capsule wardrobe. Everything is a solid color and I try to mix and match. 

Where is your favorite meeting spot?
We work at The Hive and it's great -- the meeting rooms and the management staff here are fantastic. We mostly host meetings at our Hive office, because it's so much easier.  

What are your favorite tools, websites and apps for productivity? 

This is a huge passion of mine! I love Slack for communication. Trello is also fantastic for planning and organization.

I also use Tide, which is based on a study method that times you for a single task with background noises -- it can be really good to streamline your focus.

Insight timer is great as well -- it's a meditation app that shows you everyone else that's meditating at the same time, which is a really great experience.