Do you know what an organoid is? Joining us in the booth Live from Hong Kong FinTech Week today we got an understanding of the underbanked with Ben Caselin, VP, Head of Research & Strategy, AAX Trends, and regulatory updates from the HashKey Group. We had Rachel Tang, Business Director at Meta in Greater China, and Eberhard Schoeneburg, Chairman, CEO from Cognitive Systems Lab and many many more! Today was jammed packed, so watch this space more interviews dropping soon!
Walter Jennings: Welcome to Waves in the Finoverse. I'm your host, Walter Jennings with the Finoverse, the organiser of Hong Kong FinTech week, we kicked off day two at Hong Kong FinTech week with a repeat of the questions around Metaverse, but this time we went to the source we spoke with Rachel Tang, who is the Business Director in Asia for Meta. And we learned more about how Meta as a holding company is going to provide a suite of services across the various apps with already the very first killer app being a conferencing system where you can send your 3d avatar to go hang out with your colleagues in Rio de Janeiro or Paris as you see. Let's hear about the importance of Metaverse from Rachel.
Rachel Tang: At Meta, we have our launching app within the Metaverse called like the workplace. It is like a conference in Metaverse such that like people in different parts of the world, different offices can get into the conference room and really interact with each other. So nowadays conference call is already very common and very convenient with like different kinds of applications. But then like imagine if you can do it in a like enhanced Metaverse environment, it will be even better. With like a lot of impossible interactions being possible. I mean that it brings a lot of convenience to our lives. And it enhances like a work life balance a lot with a lot of flexibility for us like to engage with our colleagues.
Walter Jennings: Our next guest was a mind-blowing exploration of cognitive technology and artificial intelligence. He introduced a new term I'd never heard which is organoid, which is a mechanism grown from stem cells and then wired into AI. It has some science fiction overtones, but it is fascinating to hear from Eberhard Schoeneburg, Chairman and CEO of Cognitive Labs.
Eberhard Schoeneburg: I'm working with some of the top people in the world to build actually new types of brains literally, you know, not simulate brains building new type of brains, so called organoids. These are brains, mini brains, that are derived from stem cells using body cells and union,you reprogram them. And then you differentiate them so that the body cells can turn into brain cells. So you can grow brain tissue, and then you grow mini brains into the size of a pea a little bit bigger. And then you can connect these mini brains and make computing that way problems. Why you can grow brains, like the size of a cat brain or mouse brain or human brain is the vascular system. So you can grow the tissue and you can go 3d. So it's a ball literally like a brain. But the problem right now is they haven't figured out yet how you can grow them so that they also maintain their own blood flow. So that is the only limiting factor right now we have but you know, over time, that's going to happen.
Walter Jennings: Michel Lee is executive president of HashKey Group, he came in to talk about how the regulatory announcements from yesterday will influence digital asset exchanges. HashKey Group has received approvement in principle to run a licenced and regulated digital asset exchange here in Hong Kong. And now with the consultation announced on retail investment in crypto, they're looking for more opportunities to serve the Hong Kong market.
Michel Lee: I think it's very exciting times given the announcement yesterday, and I think we've seen the regulators in Hong Kong really taking a very thoughtful and stepwise approach to the whole crypto regulations. I think this is going to propel a lot of future growth for the industry in Hong Kong, as we're seeing in the US in Singapore regulations or becoming tighter. Whereas in Hong Kong, I think the regulation has already reached a certain level and I think regulators as we saw yesterday have now felt that okay, the work has been done. The market understand what needs to be done in terms of investor protections in terms of ensuring conflict of interest and AML KYC are done properly. They're now in a position to relax a little bit to allow more innovation.
Walter Jennings: My next two guests were showing me the upside of all of our work in this industry. First, we spoke with Ben Caselin, he is the vice president of AAX Trust. And AAX is one of the world's largest digital asset exchange. And he's looking after their social connections with emerging markets, how digital assets are used for the underbanked, how developing countries and economies really rely on digital asset transactions to lower the fees and to make finance just flow freer. And he's on a mission to help educate the world about how digital assets can help the underbanked. And those in developing and developed countries.
Ben Caselin: Too many people suffer, too many people are poor, there's too much inequality for us to say, Hey, this is dangerous innovation. Actually, it's not, let us let's see what this can shake up. Now the regulators do have a few concerns. On the one hand, they want their city, state or country or jurisdiction to be squarely in the middle of that innovation. So you see a lot of places Italy, UK, Dubai, coming and saying, Hey, we want to be the hub, we want to be the hub. And at the same time, especially in developed markets, whether it's Hong Kong or Singapore, how there's some unease, of course, like wait a minute, what does it mean to be a hub? Right? It's going to be the hub for this. Are things going to change fundamentally, you know, maybe around traditional finance. Yeah, probably. And maybe that's a great thing.
Walter Jennings: And the day rounded out with Max Song from Carbonbase, they have been running the carbon audit for Hong Kong FinTech week, and undertook a number of actions not only to reduce the carbon footprint from the event of building that travel there, but this is the first year that Hong Kong FinTech week is carbon neutral. So between Max's talk, and Ben, we're beginning to see how the digital asset industry is growing up recognising its responsibility and its purpose. So it's really good to hear these insights.
Max Song: I was earlier this year at a conference in Paris where we convened all of the CEOs of all of the ReFi companies. So on introduced a new word people have heard about DeFi, like decentralised finance, ReFi is regenerative finance. And so we convened the CEOs of all the ReFi companies in the world, all the big ones. And we had a panel on solar power. And actually the the head of innovation at the UNF Triple C, the United Nations Climate Change department came and sat with us and was personally very open to the idea that these ReFi companies were going to be his silver bullets to, you know, undo a gridlock that's been in existence for 20 something years.
Walter Jennings: Day two is the end of the exhibition at Hong Kong FinTech week. So thank you so much for tuning into these daily updates. Tomorrow, I'll be reporting live from Singapore FinTech festival. And as I am sitting in the dining lodge of the airport here in Hong Kong. I'm looking forward to coming to you from Singapore tomorrow. Thank you so much for joining Waves in the Finoverse. I'm your host, Walter Jennings on behalf of the Finoverse.