Hi Anndy, welcome to our Fintech Interview Series. Please tell us about your fintech journey so far.
My name is Anndy Lian, and I am based in Singapore.
I have provided advisory across a variety of industries for local, international, and public-listed companies and governments. I am an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur, book author, investor, board member, and keynote speaker. I was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. I have also 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. In 2018, I was part of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Blockchain Special Committee, Government of the Republic of Korea, together with industry experts to help the province to grow using blockchain technologies.
I was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree by the Academic Council of Ulaanbaatar Erdem University in recognition of my contribution to the development of productivity science in Mongolia.
Using blockchain, financial institutions can save up to $12 billion every year. What are your comments?
According to a report by Accenture, blockchain technology could help the world’s largest investment banks cut their infrastructure costs by between $8 to $12 billion a year by 2025. The report is based on an analysis of cost data from eight of the world’s ten largest investment banks and provides a rare concrete estimate of blockchain’s potential savings. The report mentioned that it could reduce infrastructure costs by an average of 30 percent, helped by better data quality and transparency.
Costs associated with compliance, business operations such as trade support, and centralized operations such as know-your-customer checks could fall by up to 50 percent. The savings portion could be a lot more if they look into the fact that with blockchain technology, the banks could potentially be running their business 24/7, anywhere, anytime.
However, the report also warns that if regulatory hurdles prevent blockchain’s widespread adoption, banks will not reap any of its benefits. For this statement, I cannot entirely agree. Blockchain technology is not what the regulatory bodies are looking at. They are looking at cryptocurrency. In fact, some banks have already adopted blockchain on their back end for years.
Imagine a situation where you have to invest all your money in crypto. Which one would it be, and why?
I am an investor, not a gambler. So, in theory, I will not put all my eggs into one basket and take on uncalculated risks. But given the situation above, the only top-of-mind recall would still be Bitcoin.
I see Bitcoin as a new asset class with many advantages as an investment, mainly owing to its decentralized and hyper-portable profile. I also see it as a way to regain control of their financial future and as a sound form of money free from the manipulation of outside factors.
Additionally, I think people who invest in Bitcoin because they believe that banks offer slow and outdated money transfer services and want to make international transfers without paying outrageous fees or waiting a long time.
Well, lets the markets do the talking. The latest BRC-20 craze says it all.
Can you talk about some of the most innovative fintech apps and platforms that are set to create new benchmarks for this segment?
Many innovative fintech apps and platforms use blockchain technology to create new benchmarks in the financial industry. Some of the best blockchain platforms to build modern finance applications include Ethereum, Ripple, and Cardano. These platforms provide a range of tools and services for developers to build decentralized financial applications.
For example, Circle is a fintech platform that oversees the exchange of traditional and cryptocurrency payments between users and provides tools for businesses to build themselves on the blockchain. The company’s merchant payment services utilize stablecoin technology to move money between digital currencies securely and quickly.
How according to you will emerging tech like Blockchain/AI create an impact in this space (fintech/SaaS platforms)?
Emerging technologies like Blockchain and AI are set to significantly impact the fintech and SaaS platform space. Blockchain technology provides a secure and transparent way to store and transfer data, making it ideal for use in financial transactions. Many fintech companies recognize the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrency and are developing new products and services based on these technologies.
AI, on the other hand, has the ability to quickly analyze massive quantities of data to derive important insights and information. This can bring many benefits to the financial industry, such as helping to fight fraud, delivering better customer experiences, and creating new efficiencies and conveniences when it comes to payments.
For example, many financial institutions are now using AI to better detect and stop fraud in digital banking channels by analyzing data streams from the user’s device, their behavior during the online banking session, the transactions themselves, the channels and business applications being accessed, and more – in real-time – to recognize fraud as it is occurring and stop it in its tracks.
Overall, the synergy of fintech, SaaS-based platforms, blockchain, and AI has the potential to transform the financial landscape by providing more secure, efficient, and user-centric financial services.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in crypto marketing?
I invest in companies and advise some of them and observed that one of the biggest challenges is hiring the wrong people in the incorrect marketing function.
Recently, I encountered a company with no marketing department, and the so-called marketing function is led by the marketing communication department. This is a wrong functional move, and the outcome will never be satisfying for the company or the stakeholders.
Another challenge I see in crypto marketing is bad content. Crypto companies tend to make something small into something big and unbelievable. For example, “AWS Signs MOU with Crypto Company A for the next three years”. This basically means Crypto Company A uses AWS Web service to host their app for the next three years.
We’d love to know what are your predictions for the tech domain for 2030.
Some of the specific technologies that are expected to have a significant impact by 2030 include process automation and virtualization, faster digital connections powered by 5G and the IoT, and human-like AI.
For example, around half of all existing work activities could be automated in the next few decades as next-level process automation and virtualization become more commonplace1. Additionally, faster digital connections powered by 5G and the IoT have the potential to unlock economic activity and increase global GDP by $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion by 20301.
In terms of AI, there will be exponential improvements in computer processing power, voice recognition, image recognition, deep learning, and other software algorithms. This could lead to AI-generated virtual assistants that have the capability to carry out nuanced conversations with users.
Who inspired you most in your tech journey?
It has to be Elon Musk. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has been known to tweet about different cryptocurrencies which have seemingly impacted their prices.
Musk has clarified that he only owns Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin. He has explained that he supports Dogecoin because it felt like the people’s crypto. “Lots of people I talked to on the production lines at Tesla or building rockets at SpaceX own Doge,” Musk said. “They aren’t financial experts or Silicon Valley technologists. That’s why I decided to support Doge — it felt like the people’s crypto”.
Musk’s vision for cryptocurrency goes far beyond just supporting Dogecoin. He has been pushing forward with his vision for Twitter payments, which includes exploring more ways for users to reward creators directly, for users to buy items directly through the platform, and for users to pay one another. His vision highlights the potential for cryptocurrency to disrupt the traditional financial industry due to its decentralized nature and potential for fast and cheap transactions.
Thank you, Anndy! That was fun and we hope to see you back on globalfintechseries.com soon.
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- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “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”.