Today, we have been live at Hong Kong Tech. It's the 31st October 2022 and Paul Chen has announced Hong Kong is back in business...plus we catch up with Amy Zhang, VP of Sales, Asia, Fireblocks, Catherine Chen, Head of VIP & Institutional from Binance, Shiau Sin Yen, Managing Partner & Co-founder of Titan Fund and HSBC's Brian Ho.
Walter Jennings: Welcome to Waves in the Finoverse, we're coming to you live from the floor of Hong Kong FinTech week. It's October 31st 2022. And it's the end of day one. During the course of the day we have had a number of guests come on to the podcast to talk about the pressing issues that are of most interest today, to attendees at Hong Kong FinTech week, and first and foremost, Metaverse was on everyone's mind and on everyone's lips. There were a number of presenters here talking about decentraland sandbox, but more importantly about institutional shifts towards payment services in the Metaverse and ways that will be enabled.
Amy Zhang: I think we look at what the meta was ultimately is and where we play, which is the blockchain piece of the Metaverse, right? We look at actually the same as all we've done for the last four years, you know, they need a secure wallet infrastructure. It doesn't matter if it's a Bitcoin or an NFT or some sort of other tokens or whatever standards, right, we will support all of those most secure and very robust manner. So actually, our approach to the Metaverse has been taking all the lessons we've learned in a highly scalable manner and how to secure manner and work with companies to support that.
Walter Jennings: We had a good opportunity to speak with venture capitalists who were talking about the Web3 technologies that they're investing in.
Shiau Sin Yen: Where we'd like to deploy, as in financial services, you have had the exchanges, you have a lot of wallets in the last three to five years that have become very successful.
Walter Jennings: Another major theme we explored today was the institutional adoption of digital assets, as well as all of the DeFi, or decentralised finance, that's required in order to allow them to trade, hold and exchange digital assets or virtual assets. And what is the infrastructure they need to be going through.
Catherine Chen: Early day, a lot of institutional investor you know, thanks to the financial innovation of crypto instrument, a lot of them can actually get away without having to hold the physical asset.
Walter Jennings: We spoke with Yat Siu from Animoca Brands and also Gary Liu of Artifact Labs were talking about the growth potential of virtual ownership and the way that people become invested in a brand and invested in the history and invested in the NFT's that they own and the way they are able to build out portfolios that are relevant to their interests and their own passions. Yan Siu is certainly talked about his own growth first as a computer engineer, but then the ability to turn computer code into profit and the way now users are generating income off of blockchain globally. Of course, the headline news of the day was the announcement by Paul Chen, the financial secretary, that Hong Kong is undertaking a consultation to look at retail, a regulated crypto exchange and trading.
Paul Chen: Today we are holding to more than 100 FinTech enterprises. Earlier this morning, we issue a policy statement on the development of virtual assets in Hong Kong. It covers our vision, regulations for on investment protection, and pilot projects to capture the technological benefits and Financial Innovation made possible by virtual assets.
We want to make our policy stance clear to global markets to demonstrate our termination to explore financial innovation together with Kobo virtual SS community. This is a memorable moment for Hong Kong. In a great many ways. We are telling the world that we are back, back in business back in the business and pleasure of welcoming you to Hong Kong.
Walter Jennings: But the announcement coming out of the Financial Secretary today showcases that Hong Kong is pivoting towards crypto as a retail opportunity as well. And that's great news for the industry because as many know some of the world's largest exchanges had their start here in Hong Kong, even if they're now located in other parts of the world today. But the announcement coming out of the Financial Secretary today showcases that Hong Kong is pivoting towards crypto as a retail opportunity as well.
And that's great news for the industry because as many know some of the world's largest exchanges had their start here in Hong Kong, even if they're now located in other parts of the world today.
Of course, wherever there's money, there's going to be fraud and corruption. And we had a few speakers come in today to talk about the ways you can think about asset recovery on blockchain, which is very different from traditional financial fraud, as well as the growing volume of hacks and other scams that have been targeting everyone from individuals to institutions. So there's great insight in that podcast about ways you can begin preparing for and thinking about avoiding the scams and frauds that are prevalent in crypto.
I was also interested to talk with HSBC what some might consider a more traditional finance brand, about their move towards the Metaverse and their belief that they need to be where the customer is providing them the products and services that they need in that space and remaining relevant no matter whether it's at a private bank in the city, or at a Metaverse in decentraland.
Brian Ho: In tagalog tech fin is all about data. It's all about scale. It's all about how you whether you have sufficient data and customer scale in order to provide better service. So HSBC, we are the largest market player, we are the largest FinTech player. We are the largest digital banking entity, we almost bank with everyone so that data give us sufficient foundation so we can drive custom off section.
Walter Jennings: Lastly, the one rate takeaway I've seen has been the number of international visitors and well there are certain restrictions within the first three days of arrival. At the time of publication of this podcast. These people have been allowed into the larger conferences, and obviously practising social distancing. But it's great to see people from abroad in Hong Kong, saying that it's been three years since they visited and that's the length of the pandemic. So it's nice to see the world is reopening and Hong Kong is open for business.
Today is also a big day for Finnovasia. They are the official appointed organiser of Hong Kong FinTech week and have since 2016 put on a series of successful events, recognising their international expansion, they've rebranded as Finoverse, and have introduced a new conference for January 24 Next year called D3 Bahamas. So part of our podcast is to help spread the news that Finoverse is active at the intersection of Web3 and fintech and is focused very much on the digitisation of financial services, not just in Hong Kong, but throughout Asia and around the world.