Anndy Lian spoke at launch of Alawad Fund “Dubai’s Drive To Be a Global Hub for Crypto Innovation Show Results”

Anndy Lian spoke at launch of Alawad Fund “Dubai’s Drive To Be a Global Hub for Crypto Innovation Show Results”

As regulation hots up in the US following the Executive Order, and with the prospect of new UK government plans to regulate the cryptocurrency market in the coming weeks, it’s clear that countries can no longer sit on the sidelines of the crypto industry. The potential shift in power spurred on by innovation in blockchain and related technologies means playing safe for jurisdictions is no longer an option. The UAE is well positioned to be a regional hub for the crypto industry, with a regulatory structure in place and with more than 350 blockchain companies operating there. UAE also took advantage of the pandemic to attract business with aggressive vaccination while largely keeping its borders open, while retaining business through low taxes and a light touch regulatory mindset – a perfect environment for attracting crypto entrepreneurs in the last two years.

Indeed, some call Dubai the fastest growing hub in the world right now for crypto technology, reflected in the fact that Binance has now set up offices in Dubai. It’s also benefiting from business relationships with the booming Israeli crypto sector based in Tel Aviv, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal following recent peace accords. In addition, it’s reported that the Abu Dhabi-headquartered fund Mubadala, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds with over $243bn AUM, is investing in the blockchain sector. Mubadala’s CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak told CNBC in December that he was not a skeptic but saw it as real. But he did admit the regulatory format was not there totally, but it needed to be in place in order for the asset class to transition into something new. “We are looking at the ecosystem around crypto and we are investing in that system.”

This global momentum to embrace crypto and blockchain was addressed by the Chairman of BigONE Anndy Lian recently, in a speech to His Highness Awadh Mohamed Al Sh Mogrin Sultan, a top-ranking diplomat, and Honourable Chairman of the Alawad Fund. Lian said he saw similarities with the innovative and supportive crypto environment in Singapore: “I’ve actually seen the same trend in Dubai, I’ve met some good projects that are very serious about what they do, whether it’s looking at web3 or decentralized storage, or DeFi.”

Elaborating on two key trends starting with DeFi Lian said the integration of traditional finance products into DeFi such as bonds meant this was a sustainable sector for a country such as Dubai. He said the second significant trend was the crypto mining business with a very good uptake of new miners. “There are many new investors going into crypto mining, and when I say big investors, we’re talking about at the very least tens of billions of dollars going into the mining space. If you look at the longer term, it is a very lucrative investment.”

Lian remarked that as a partner & LP to several funds, with an AUM (assets under management) of around $500 million and having invested in crypto startups since 2018, he was looking forward to talking to people and brands about working together on the investment front in Dubai. “I want everybody to work together. You know, we should work together, be open, and welcome, good partners; this is the same philosophy that you do as well; this is the place where we will start to build a new story,” added Lian.

Earlier in March His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the first ever law on regulating virtual assets. “Today we are participating in designing the future of virtual assets globally.” Sheikh Mohammed stressed that Dubai possesses all the capabilities to be a key global center in the field of virtual assets, supported with the new legislative environment. “Dubai will provide the most advanced virtual asset ecosystem in terms of organization, governance and security. Approving the virtual asset law and establishing the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority is a vital step that establishes the UAE’s position in this sector… a step that aims to help the sector to grow and protect investors,” he confirmed.

The Chainalysis ‘2021 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report’ published in October 2021, found plenty of potential for growth in the Middle East in general and specifically the UAE. The Middle East as a whole is the second-smallest cryptocurrency economy studied by Chainalysis, having received $271.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency between July 2020 and June 2021 (6.6% of global activity). “While that total is low compared to other regions, it represents nearly a 1500% increase over the Middle East’s total activity the previous year, making it one of the fastest-growing markets in the world,” the report’s authors said.

Reflecting the success in promoting crypto businesses in Dubai, it was reported on March 28 that cryptocurrency exchange business Bybit has received in-principle approval to conduct a full spectrum of virtual assets business in Dubai, the firm announced with the UAE Ministry of Economy at the World Government Summit 2022. Bybit also confirmed that it plans to set up its global HQ in Dubai, under the Emirate’s “test-adapt-scale” virtual assets market model.

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

j j j

Additional Comments by Anndy Lian on Singapore’s approach to regulation of crypto and digital asset activities

Additional Comments by Anndy Lian on Singapore’s approach to regulation of crypto and digital asset activities

The initial article was published at Nikkei Asia and was republished on sites such as DealStreet and K. I hope to add more context to my comments.

Q1/ Singapore is warning investors about investing in cryptocurrencies while selectively giving licenses for crypto/digital asset platforms to operate. How contradictory is this approach and what are authorities exactly trying to achieve here?

Singapore’s approach is essentially one guided by the traditional finance structure, applying existing legal frameworks where possible, to protect the investing public. As a result, the regulators are proactive about warning individual investors about the risks in investing in cryptocurrencies, which is what you would expect.

But I do think Singapore’s approach is also very contradictory. I do not agree with the practice of selectively granting licences to different crypto entities. The whole process of selecting who to give the licence to is not very transparent in my opinion.

If you look at the licences that have been given out so far, to the brokerage arm of Southeast Asia’s largest lender DBS Bank, and Australian cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve, it gives the impression that the government is favouring big players and foreign exchanges.

Right now, a lot of crypto exchanges and startups who regard Singapore still as a crypto hub, are doing their very best to stay in Singapore and be licensed. But the truth of the matter is that most of them are effectively in regulatory limbo. They have no idea what exactly is going to happen next, whether or not their application will be approved.

What I would like to see is for the regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to take a more systematic and open-handed approach to licensing, so that every crypto business will have an equal opportunity to comply with its requirements.

 

Q2. What are the positive aspects and drawbacks of the way Singapore is approaching the regulation of crypto and digital asset activities?

The positive aspect is that Singapore is trying to build its own crypto ecosystem by embracing crypto exchanges and startups, and I think that is positive.

 The drawback in the current approach, and one that I really do not want to see, is for all intent and purposes an elitist model where only businesses that appear to be in favour with the regulator are able to get a licence in a reasonable time span.

 Singapore is obviously trying to both embrace crypto, and at the same time also trying to regulate the crypto sector to protect investors and the public at large. But it’s a difficult balance to strike, and without an impartial and transparent approach to licensing, they risk defeating the purpose of making cryptocurrencies available to all.

 Between crypto and traditional assets there are key differences, not least of which is their decentralized nature. As a result, whatever applied in the past to traditional assets might not work so well for cryptocurrency, because of the way it works and how people use it.

It comes down to the fact that Singapore needs to find new ways to regulate this dynamic new sector, without trying to rely on existing models that are no longer fit for purpose, if it’s to be a leading hub for cryptocurrencies in Southeast Asia and globally.

 

Q3. Which countries in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asian can perhaps best be able to emulate Singapore’s regulatory approach and why?

I believe South Korea and Hong Kong, with similar financial systems, can best emulate the whole regulatory approach, and by learning the lessons so far do it a lot better than Singapore. That said, the recent announcement by China banning crypto activities leaves the fight for the top spot for crypto in Southeast Asia up for grabs. As well as South Korea and Hong Kong, I also see Japan as a big threat to Singapore in the fight to be Asia’s crypto

_______________________________________________

Crypto entrepreneurs find Singapore is not so hospitable after all

Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs lured to Singapore by its apparent openness to the burgeoning industry are discovering just how difficult it is to legally operate in the city-state.

More than 100 of the around 170 businesses that applied for licenses to offer “digital payment token services” have now been turned down or withdrawn their applications, according to the latest figures from regulators.

And scores more face an uncertain future, operating under exemptions but amid a darkening mood over the approval process.

In early September, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) ordered Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, to stop providing services to residents in the city-state, and last week Binance’s Singapore-only affiliate announced it also was shutting down its trading platform for the city-state. Dozens are confronting a similar fate.

Dubai-based crypto exchange Bitxmi is one of 103 companies that appear on the latest MAS list of entities whose exemptions allowing them to operate have been removed. Having set up in Singapore in late 2018, it was unsuccessful in securing a license, chief executive officer Sanjay Jain told Nikkei Asia.

“We can’t operate in Singapore,” he said. “We have an office there, but it’s just more or less—there’s one person for our accounting and legal issues.”

Jain declined to speak about why his outfit did not manage to secure a license from regulators. “That, you need to ask them,” he said.

The introduction of the licensing regime in January was cast as the next step in building a thriving crypto sector and set up a contrast with Singapore’s rival Asian financial hub, Hong Kong, which had taken a more skeptical approach to crypto businesses.

Graph by Nikkei Asia.

A spokesperson for MAS told Nikkei that it is supportive of innovation in the use of blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies, while also recognizing the risks.

“Cryptocurrencies could be abused for money laundering, terrorism financing, or proliferation financing due to the speed and cross-border nature of the transactions,” the spokesperson said. “Digital payment token service providers in Singapore … have to comply with requirements to mitigate such risks, including the need to carry out proper customer due diligence, conduct regular account reviews, and monitor and report suspicious transactions.”

Rahul Advani, Asia-Pacific policy director at blockchain company Ripple, said Singapore’s stance on digital assets has resulted in the city-state being one of the most advanced and mature nations in the field, helping foster development and innovation in the emerging industry.

“It’s very clear where digital assets and related activities lie on the risk spectrum, so you mitigate the potential of developing and investing in technology that is unregulated,” he told Nikkei.

Crypto players that raced to set up in Singapore run the spectrum from exchange platforms for trading bitcoin, Ethereum, and other tokens, through investment managers and financial advisers looking after digital asset portfolios for the wealthy, to business-to-business outfits helping corporate clients accept cryptocurrency payments.

Outfits that were operating in the country prior to the introduction of the licensing regime were granted exemptions until the outcome of their license application is known. Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told parliament in July that there were 90 companies operating under such exemptions.

The MAS website showed that the group had shrunk to about 70 as of December 14.

So far, only three players—DBS Vickers Securities, a unit of Singapore and Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS Group Holdings; digital payments startup FOMO Pay; and Australia’s Independent Reserve, which offers crypto exchange services—have been listed on the MAS website as licensed entities.

Two others—Coinhako, which operates a crypto exchange platform, and TripleA, a payments company—have put out announcements themselves saying they have acquired the necessary approvals to operate.

Anndy Lian, chairman of Netherlands-registered crypto trading platform BigONE Exchange, told Nikkei that his outfit does not intend to apply for a license in Singapore presently.

“The whole process of selecting who to give the license to is not very transparent,” he said. “It gives the impression that the government is favoring big players and foreign exchanges.”

MAS has not publicly disclosed why specific crypto players were unable to obtain a permit.

But Nikkei understands that some of them did not have the capacity or infrastructure to meet the high compliance standards set out by the financial regulator to deter money laundering and financing of terrorism.

“Cryptocurrencies are currently being used to channel the earnings of everything from ransomware proceeds, the sale of narcotics to some of the most horrific crimes, including human trafficking,” said Rachel Woolley, head of financial crime at client management solutions provider Fenergo.

“Regulators have now entered this space in an effort to protect the financial services industry from illicit activity in much the same way that activity involving fiat currency must be monitored.”

MAS pointed to comments from its managing director, Ravi Menon, who has said that Singapore does not need 160 players in the crypto sector and it may be better to have “half of them” operating at very high standards.

TripleA told Nikkei that in securing its permit, it had to ensure that its operating procedures for risk assessment, customer due diligence, record-keeping, suspicious transaction reporting, auditing, and training were up to snuff.

But its CEO, Eric Barbier, said TripleA gained little insight into what exactly made the difference between success and failure.

“MAS never talks. MAS asks questions and questions and questions,” he said. “You can ask questions but they will not answer, and most regulators are like this.”

Barbier reckoned that being a business serving other businesses may have helped secure a license. “Especially for consumer-to-consumer, like consumer exchanges and so on, the risk of money laundering is very high, so they need to demonstrate to MAS that they are able to mitigate all those risks accordingly,” he said.

Peiying Chua, financial regulation partner for Singapore at the law firm Linklaters, said it is unlikely MAS is specifically favoring big, incumbent financial players: “Likely reasons for unsuccessful applicants may include a lack of track record or key personnel without adequate experience, a lack of a sustainable business model or serious adverse records relating to directors and key individuals.”

“The regulatory approach by MAS may to some degree stifle innovation in smaller entrepreneurs and sift out smaller virtual asset service providers that may not be able to comply with the regulations,” said Quek Li Fei, partner at law firm CNPLaw.

But he added it “provides a more forward-thinking approach toward encouraging legitimate innovation and entrepreneurship in cryptocurrency and digital asset businesses, with a reasonable level of protection to investors.”

 

 

Source: https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/crypto-entrepreneurs-singapore-274592/

 

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

j j j

Virtual Asset Market in 2021: Anndy Lian said “Crypto is ready for mainstream”

Virtual Asset Market in 2021: Anndy Lian said “Crypto is ready for mainstream”

The market for virtual or digital assets has evolved since its inception in 2009. The changes are rapid. The market has been dominated for some time by Bitcoin and in this recent bull run, the altcoins are also doing very well, some of them with a few thousand per cent increase. We are now seeing significant growth. People from all over the world have flocked to digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), Binance Coin (BNB), TRON (TRX), DOGECOIN (DOGE) and etc.

There is also worldwide commercialization of blockchain trend in the market. Companies are now more open to look at this technology. Companies that are more forward-looking are also looking at the potential of tokenising their assets.

The regulatory momentum that began in 2020 will continue in 2021 as regulators around the world seek to either fit blockchain technology into existing regulatory frameworks or build out new approaches. The framework in future could include what is being built in the decentralised environment too.

Join Anndy Lian to discuss the points above. This event is organised by STOBOX and supported by Blockcast.cc

00:00​ — Intro
1:35​ — About Anndy Lian
3:18​ — Mass commercialization of blockchain
8:10​ — Are governments supporting blockchain
13:29​ — Does crypto go mainstream?
18:22​ — Will DeFi replace traditional finance
24:37​ — How to build a community?
30:34​ — Where is the regulation globally moving for digital assets?
38:16​ — How are large corporation moving into crypto
45:42​ – Last words

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial blockchain entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030” and currently the Advisory Board Member of Hyundai DAC Technology. Anndy is also part of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Blockchain Special Committee, Government of Republic Korea, together with industry experts such as Brock Pierce (Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation) and Alexis Sirkia (Founder of Yellow.com), helping the province to grow using blockchain technologies.

He played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region. Anndy is also part of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Blockchain Special Committee, Government of Republic Korea, together with industry experts such as Brock Pierce.

Lian is also the Chairman (Singapore) for Korea eSports Industry Association (KeIA), Advisor to CZZ and Investment Director at Passion Venture Capital.

To find out more about Anndy Lian’s work, please visit www.anndy.com

 

The full video can be found at https://youtu.be/BBh8dA_OKMk

 

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

j j j