First I got into the world of blockchain through Bitcoin. Bitcoin to me was an impression of power;
getting back power, taking back power. Through the years I’ve seen the economy of
let’s say Argentina or Venezuela having hyperinflations and people wanting to
get money out of their countries. I found out that Bitcoin was the
way for them to preserve wealth. Another use case I was seeing in Bitcoin
was people in countries that have capital control issues,
whether it’s China or India – People need to get money out of their country and into other countries
where they can preserve their wealth as well. I thought this was a great use case. Another personal thing that I had is that when I was living in Hong Kong at the time, we’ve seen a lot of
domestic helpers wiring money back to their home countries through using money
exchangers – which will usually charge them 10 to 15 percent on both ends –
the sender’s end and the receiving ends of that money. Cryptocurrency would
help them wire money without friction and very low fees to get money to their
loved ones back at home. And also the fact that it’s a peer-to-peer
money transferring system, which means they take out the middleman as well. We have always experienced governments where they try to introduce inflation in a monetary system by trying to create growth. But the enemy to our wealth is inflation –
so having a deflationary mechanism like Bitcoin, would help us to preserve that wealth. Now, through blockchain I’ve started to
see the world of blockchain as well. Where the actual use case for blockchain could be used in many different parts in various industries – not just in finance. And that’s how I really got into the world of blockchain. We want to be a sounding board for
governments and industries to come to our Centre to learn about what blockchain is,
and for us to provide advice on those institutions and how blockchain can be
beneficial to their organizations or governments. We’ve learned about blockchain from the basics –
all the way to the advanced level. On a monthly basis we’ve been creating events. We tried to build a very inclusive community by bringing
various people from different industries – especially from the traditional industries –
into our blockchain events, and providing them with business use cases. First one that we did in January
was in the real estate space. The second one we did was
from a lot of feedback from the audience – was a security token offering. In this month, we’re looking to do something in the healthcare space, and so on. Every month we try to bring industry experts
to have them showcase what they’re doing in this sector and then we’ll also try
to create a panel where traditional businesses can meet blockchain experts
to discuss about this emerging technology. Our Blockchain Centre is not about
bringing blockchain companies together; but it’s about bringing blockchain into the world of
traditional businesses and governments. We are creating all these events and
educational material so that blockchain can be recognised and learnt in this traditional space. Blockchain is about empowerment. Blockchain has always been providing
that control back to the people. The world that we live in now has
become so much of convenience. But this convenience was
created by us giving out personal data – medical data, shopping data – all these
personal data for them to to make us into products. This is a way for us to take back that power and be in control of our lives a lot more. We’ve been working on projects
in the Security Token Offering (STO) space. In February we had a company from the U.S.
who’s in the private equity of real estate space and they’ve been trying to tokenize their unit shares in this digital token format. They were explaining to us
about the regulations behind it, and all the mechanics
behind what a Security Token Offering is. I still think this is
going to be a pretty big topic for 2019. The other area that I see is I see a lot more
traditional companies coming into this space. We work with a Japanese-listed company
that wanted to create a blockchain business. It’s a new venture for them that
will be based in Singapore – that will be providing fractionalized real estate investing before the investors. The future of blockchain is about radical
transparency, autonomous trading, and negotiations. I think that’s what the best case use it is for and in the future we’ll see more of this. Right now, blockchain has its
roadblocks in corporate adoption. Because the concept of blockchain is
about creating consortiums; creating an ecosystem – that shares information to reduce friction,
reduce transfer fees and so on. This is a huge paradigm shift for corporations. Never before have they been trying to give away power to other rival companies – it was always about centralization of power and profit. It was a winner-takes-all game. But through blockchain, they have to change their mindset to think about: “How do we share information?” “How do we create transparency in data,
so that all these companies can share information that will better their industry,
work for the common good?” Companies will need to lay down their swords for these purposes
and I think that’s what is still in a road block, and that’s how blockchain need,
or people in the blockchain community need, or even us as Blockchain Centre, to educate and empower
all these corporations to think differently. Cryptocurrency is the most advanced
money system that the world has ever created. Paper currency is something that governments or even normal citizens like us use – It’s not a transparent system – it gets lost. It gets hidden somewhere. Cryptocurrencies can be traced. They’re immutable, they’re they’re transparent. It’s a great system for even
governments to adopt in the future. This is how I view cryptocurrencies in the future. It’s not just about Bitcoin or
it’s not about Ethereum. It’s about our monetary system becoming
more advanced, more improved, so that there is much more power to the
people that own these cryptocurrencies.