Is Asia on the Way to Becoming the Next Crypto Hub?

Is Asia on the Way to Becoming the Next Crypto Hub?

Asia seems to be standing at the forefront of the global cryptocurrency landscape and is headed to become the next crypto hub, with data revealing that central and southern Asia are leading regions in digital asset adoption.

With a number of key seminars taking place in South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, the region is moving fast in establishing itself as a key player in the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry.

How is the region trying to achieve that?

Trade Volume in Asia Surges

ChainAnalysis’ 2023 crypto adaptation index showed central and southern Asia to be leading the way in crypto adaptation, with six of the top 10 countries being located in the region.

In addition, crypto trading volumes are also on the rise in the region, fuelled by market uncertainty in the West powered by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suing three major cryptocurrency exchanges earlier this year, it seems like most major players in the crypto space are moving East.

Anndy Lian, author of NFT: From Zero to Hero, explained:

“As US regulators sued three major crypto exchanges this year, billions of dollars of trading volumes have migrated to Asia. Investors and marketplaces are flocking to Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and more recently to Hong Kong, which introduced a new regulatory regime for crypto.”

Lian added that resilience in Asian crypto volumes is underpinned by institutional investors who view the regulatory environment in the region as less risky and more welcoming for DeFi firms.

Even though market activity has been stagnant, with global crypto adaption taking a hit, influenced by the collapse of FTX and the de-pegging of the TerraUST stablecoin, a number of lower-middle-income (LMI) category countries have been seeing a recovery in grassroots crypto adoption.

“Many of the top countries on our Global Crypto Adoption Index, from Central & Southern Asia to Africa, are in the LMI category, and taken together, LMI countries have seen the greatest recovery in grassroots crypto adoption over the last year. In fact, LMI is the only category of countries whose total grassroots adoption remains above where it was in Q3 2020, just before the most recent bull market,” research by ChainAnalysis revealed.

Asian Countries Are Embracing Cryptocurrencies

“In recent years, Asia has emerged as a hotbed for cryptocurrency innovation and adoption, sparking a growing debate over whether the continent is poised to become the next global crypto hub. With a dynamic blend of technological prowess, regulatory shifts, and a burgeoning interest in digital assets, Asia’s crypto journey is a captivating one to watch,” Rishi Vaidya, the co-founder and head of partnerships and marketing at Carbo-X Token and a recent speaker at the EDGE Global AI and Web3 Investment Summit in Hong Kong told Technopedia in an exclusive interview.

Overall, Asia has been populated with crypto events, including the Korea Blockchain Week at the start of September, Token2049 in Singapore in mid-September, and the Edge Summit in Hong Kong last week.

Token2049 has even made headlines as being the largest cryptocurrency event, sporting 300 exhibitors and 400 side events, and leading faces in the DeFi industry are drawn to the region thanks to its more lenient regulatory regime.

Singapore was the first country to agree on stablecoin regulation meanwhile, Hong Kong had decided to let retail investors trade digital assets while trading crypto in mainland China continues to stay illegal.

Karl Blomsterwall, the CEO of Planet IX and another speaker at the EDGE Summit, told Technopedia:

“Over the last couple of months, we have seen a push from Hong Kong to position itself in a favorable position to capture a larger share of the future crypto and blockchain market. It’s not surprising as the lack of regulatory clarity and commitment in other regions, such as the US, opens up for new entrants.”

Lian added that with so much uncertainty surrounding crypto regulation in the West, a number of major cryptocurrency exchanges have decided to shift their focus to the region, helping it “grow better and in a more stable manner”.

Asia to Become the Next Crypto Hub

Carbo-X Token’s Vaida, Asia’s fascination with cryptocurrencies, can be tracked to the early days of bitcoin (BTC). While the digital asset started as a speculative playground, it has managed to evolve into a more serious investment landscape, with a number of countries in the region embracing cryptocurrencies and establishing a strong foundation for several crypto businesses to flourish.

“China’s foray into the digital yuan and blockchain technology has added further weight to Asia’s crypto dominance. Asian nations have invested heavily in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency infrastructure. South Korea, for instance, has become a hotbed for blockchain startups, while Singapore is a global leader in fintech innovation. These advancements in technology are not just creating opportunities for local entrepreneurs but are also attracting international crypto giants.”

Vaida further noted that regulation will play a bigger role in determining whether Asia will manage to evolve into a crypto hub.

“Asian governments have been exploring various regulatory frameworks to balance innovation and security. Japan, known for its progressive approach, has introduced clear regulations for cryptocurrencies, instilling investor confidence.”

Lian added that Singapore’s proactive approach to regulating stablecoins has given the country a competitive edge in the crypto space, as it offered the region a clear and consistent legal framework for issuers and users of such digital assets.

He highlighted:

“By setting standards for anti-money laundering, consumer protection, and financial stability, Singapore has attracted many global players in the crypto industry, such as Binance, Coinbase, and Gemini, to set up their regional headquarters in the city-state. Singapore’s stablecoin regulation has also influenced other Asian countries, such as Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia, to adopt similar measures or to collaborate with Singapore on cross-border supervision and innovation. As a result, Asia has emerged as a leading region in the crypto markets, with high levels of adoption, liquidity, and innovation.”

Increased Adoption Plays a Major Role

“One of the driving forces behind Asia’s crypto boom is the increasing adoption of digital assets. In countries like India, where a massive population lacks access to traditional banking, cryptocurrencies offer a new financial frontier. Moreover, the younger generation in Asia is more receptive to digital currencies, which bodes well for long-term adoption,” Vaida said.

Planet IX’s Blomsterwall added that the blockchain industry tends to wield much of the world’s talent and is expected to grow massively over the next couple of years. Data found Singapore has the second highest number of crypto-related jobs relative to the country’s population, with 90.86 vacancies per million people, further pushing the region as a great pool for further crypto adoption.

Vaidya added:

“Asia’s crypto ecosystem is not limited to its own borders. International investors and crypto companies are actively seeking opportunities in the region. Silicon Valley giants are eyeing partnerships and investments in Asian startups, recognizing the potential of this market.”

Challenges Remain

Even though the region pushes itself as an emerging space for the DeFi industry, challenges remain.

Vaidya mentioned regulatory uncertainties, security concerns, and the need for cross-border collaboration as some of the most critical factors many nations in the region must still consider.

Blomsterwall added:

“With the recent fraud in JPEX, however, it will be interesting to follow which stance policymakers take towards crypto – keep their current strategy or revert back to a more conservative view.”

However, led by its rapid technological innovation, growing crypto adoption, and dynamic business landscape, Asia “is undeniably on the path to shaping the future of cryptocurrencies”.

The Bottom Line

Asia’s crypto boom signifies a seismic shift in the global financial landscape, pushing the region to become a massive crypto hub in the coming years. Fuelled by regulatory clarity, technological innovation, and growing adoption, the area has emerged as the epicenter of cryptocurrency investment and innovation.

Despite challenges, Asia’s proactive approach, coupled with increasing acceptance among its populace, positions it as the driving force shaping the future of digital currencies.

 

Source: https://www.techopedia.com/is-asia-on-the-way-to-becoming-the-next-crypto-hub

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”.

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The 1940s legal test that could pave the way for crypto regulation

The 1940s legal test that could pave the way for crypto regulation

Binance USD (BUSD) is a stablecoin issued by New York-based Paxos Trust Company and is backed 1:1 by the US dollar. However, recent regulatory scrutiny by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has raised questions about whether BUSD should be considered a security.

There are arguments for and against this, which I’ll dive into in this article. Most interestingly, the Howey Test and legislation from the 1940s could have a key role to play in this most modern of financial disputes.

Security or not security

To begin, it is important to understand what a security is. According to the SEC, a security is any investment contract, note, stock, or instrument that represents an ownership interest in a company, partnership, or investment pool, or that is offered as a means of raising capital.

In the case of BUSD, the SEC issued a notice to Paxos stating that the stablecoin should have been registered as a security.

The regulator argued that BUSD meets the definition of a security because it is offered as a means of raising capital, has the potential for profit or loss, and derives its value from the success of a third party, namely Binance.

However, Paxos has disputed this classification. The company has even threatened litigation.

There are several arguments for why BUSD is not a security. First, BUSD is a stablecoin, which means that its value is pegged to the US dollar.

This pegging makes it less likely to experience the volatility associated with other cryptocurrencies. As a result, BUSD may not meet the definition of an investment contract because it does not have the potential for significant price fluctuations.

Second, BUSD is not an investment in a company or partnership, but it’s a digital asset that represents a claim on a reserve of US dollars held by Paxos. This means that BUSD does not represent an ownership interest in any entity and is not used to raise capital.

Third, BUSD is used primarily as a means of payment and is not marketed as an investment. Unlike securities, which are marketed to investors expecting a profit, BUSD is promoted as a stablecoin used for transactions.

On the other side of the coin (pun intended), there are arguments for security classification.

To start, BUSD is backed by Paxos, which is a regulated financial institution. This means that investors may view the stablecoin as a safe investment, similar to a money market fund or certificate of deposit.

Next, the fact that BUSD derives its value from the success of Binance may be enough to classify it as a security. Investors may be purchasing the asset with the expectation of profit.

Lastly, the fact that BUSD is used primarily as a means of payment does not necessarily stop it from being a security. The SEC has previously classified cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as commodities, despite their use as a means of payment.

The Howey Test for cryptocurrencies

The Howey Test is a legal standard used to determine whether a financial instrument is a security. There is debate over whether the almost 100-year-old test can be applied to digital assets, so some experts have proposed a modern-day version tailored to cryptocurrencies.

This version would include looking at several factors.

The first – as with the original test – is whether there is an investment of money. However, if a digital asset issuer has not sold any assets to build its project, it is unlikely to be considered a security.

The second factor is whether there is an expectation of profits from the investment. If a digital asset is utility-based and is used for purposes other than investment, such as voting, it is unlikely to be considered a security.

The third factor is whether the investment of money is in a common enterprise. If the project is decentralized and not controlled and operated by a centralized entity, it is unlikely to be considered a security.

The fourth is whether any profit comes from the efforts of a promoter or third party. If the profit primarily comes from the community, which has nothing to do with the issuance of the digital asset, it is unlikely to be considered a security.

Improving the Howey Test

One approach to adapting the Howey Test to fit cryptocurrencies better is to examine the underlying tech of the digital asset being scrutinized. This would involve evaluating whether the cryptocurrency is sufficiently decentralized and functional to qualify as a utility token rather than a security.

If a token is used mainly to access a blockchain network or platform, and its value is tied to its use rather than speculation, it may not fit as a security.

The SEC has also brought cases against companies that issue cryptocurrencies but do not meet the requirements of the Howey Test. This suggests to me that the SEC is trying to apply the standard to cryptocurrencies even though it may not be completely apt.

While there are some potential ways to improve the test’s application, the ongoing debate highlights the need for greater clarity and guidance from regulators regarding the treatment of cryptocurrencies.

Seeking clarity

While the Howey Test can serve as a starting point for regulation, it is essential to adapt and refine the rules to better reflect the realities of the cryptocurrency market.

A more nuanced and flexible approach is required to ensure innovation while protecting investors from fraud, and more fleshed out regulatory guidance can establish clarity in the market. To do this, authorities should work collaboratively with industry players.

To end where we started, it’s important to note that BUSD should not be classified as a security. Its main purpose is to serve as a payment method rather than an investment tool, and it’s not structured to produce returns for investors in the same manner as conventional securities.

BUSD’s value – with its link to the US dollar’s value – is meant to remain steady instead of being influenced by the speculative pressures that frequently hit other cryptocurrencies. So, let’s keep it this way.

 

Source: https://www.techinasia.com/1940s-legal-test-crypto-regulation

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”.

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Anndy Lian’s Keynote Speech at TMRW Conference Dubai: Web4, A New Way to Decentralise

Anndy Lian’s Keynote Speech at TMRW Conference Dubai: Web4, A New Way to Decentralise

Decentralised cryptocurrency, a digital currency that operates independently of a central bank or authority, is a concept that has revolutionized the financial world. Transactions are recorded on a public digital ledger, such as a blockchain, and verified by a network of users rather than a single centralized institution. This innovative and decentralised structure allows for increased transparency, security, and autonomy in financial transactions.

But decentralisation is not limited to just cryptocurrency. When we talk about decentralisation, the term web3 often comes up. Web3, also known as the decentralised web or “Web3.0,” is a visionary concept for the future of the internet in which power and control are distributed among users rather than concentrated in a small group of companies or organizations.

The central concept of web3 is decentralisation, which aims to allow users to control their own data and identity, as well as giving them more control over the apps and services they use. It is also thought to have the potential to create new business models and economic opportunities.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, Inc., mentioned that web3 is not necessarily decentralised, and I completely agree with his comments. The reality is that the concept of decentralisation is complex and nuanced, and we must continue to explore its potential and limitations in the context of the evolving digital landscape.

We need something more decentralised. My suggestion to this is “Web4”. Web4, or what some refer to as the second generation of the decentralized web, envisions a future internet where power and control are spread across users instead of a select few companies or organizations. Rather than relying on centralized servers and data storage, web4 would utilize cutting-edge decentralized technologies such as blockchain and peer-to-peer networks to create an internet that’s more transparent, secure, and open. With this, users can enjoy greater data privacy, censorship resistance, and ownership of digital assets.

At the heart of web4 is decentralization, which empowers users to manage their data and identity while providing more control over their apps and services. The potential for web4 goes beyond mere convenience and opens doors to new business models and economic opportunities. Furthermore, web4 is intertwined with the burgeoning field of AI, which can complement its decentralized nature in various ways. Think decentralized AI, Federated Learning, Privacy-Preserving AI, Blockchain-based AI, and AI-driven scalability. The possibilities are endless!

Artificial intelligence (AI) could potentially play a crucial role in realizing this vision. Here are some tantalizing possibilities of how Web4 and AI could interact: First up, decentralized AI. Web4 aims to decentralize control on the internet, and that could be applied to AI as well. Decentralized AI systems would enable more distributed decision-making and prevent a single entity from having too much power over AI systems. Talk about leveling the playing field!

Then there’s Federated Learning. Web4 is all about making different technologies and platforms work together seamlessly. Federated learning, a technique where multiple devices, like smartphones, work together to train a shared AI model, could be a perfect fit for Web4. Who knew that smartphones could be such a powerful force for good?

And let’s not forget about Privacy-Preserving AI. Web4 is all about providing users with increased security and privacy. Privacy-preserving AI, which protects users’ data privacy while still allowing for useful AI models to be trained, is the perfect solution to achieve this goal.

Last but not least, we have AI-driven scalability. Web4 aims to handle more data and users by using blockchain technology and sharding concepts, which allows for faster processing of transactions. Deep learning techniques can also be used to optimize the scalability of the network. It’s all about being able to handle more, faster.

As you can see, the potential for Web4 and AI to work together is truly mind-boggling. We can’t wait to see what the future holds!

“I believe in decentralisation. Web4 could be the next big movement.” – Anndy Lian

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”.

j j j