Live at Singapore Fintech Festival Day Two, your host Walter Jennings was joined by CEO at Cardano Foundation Frederik Gregaard, Women in Crypto's Amanda Wick, Toya Zhang from Bit.com, Petr Rudenko and Artem Vorobev from 1inch, FTX Ventures Adam Jin, Managing Partner at Rakuten Sae min Ahn and finally Dr Ernie Teo Co-founder and head of Blockchain. To talk all thing Crypto and diving into to the Finoverse! Listen in to this recap of the day to find out some of the takeaways.
Walter Jennings: Welcome to Waves in the Finoverse. This is our recap of day two at Singapore FinTech festival. I'm your host, Walter Jennings, and this podcast brought to you by Finoverse, organisers of Hong Kong FinTech week and D3 Bahamas. Today, we got off to an active start with Frederik Gregaard who is the CEO of Cardano Foundation. They oversee the blockchain Cardano and spoke in depth about the chain, its benefits and their token ADA, named after out of Ada Lovelace, the mathematician.
Frederik Gregaard: The vision of Cardano is really to help the billions, who don't have identity, who don't have access and don't have governance in this world, to get part of a global community, but also to help the people in the developing countries to get access and to incorporate and so we can help the people on the ground.
And the Cardano Foundation, we said, if we define what success looks like, we are super biassed, right? We say oh, that success, and then we try and do that. So we actually took the this one stand back. And we chose the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Okay, it might not be the best framework, but it is a universally accepted framework, it holds a lot more than just you know, environmental impact. It also holds about identity is about governance is about loads of different points 17 to be exact.
And we're ensuring are trying to ensure at least that all projects we engage with, from the Cardano Foundation, that least crossover, you know a couple of those points, because then we can measure our success in an external framework and not in an internal framework, not a proof of stake. What that really is, is that you're having, in our case, 3500. Let's call it miners, we'll call it stake pool operators, they operate notes. That means that they have a full working, quote unquote copy of the blockchain in reality that is the blockchain right. So everybody has a full set of the data. They keep checking each other.
So there's, you know, immutability and other things, and how you get get this a picked in a lottery to actually end the block and get a reward, basically, is a game theory. And when you do what's called staking, what that means in Cardano, is that if I'm a, an ADA holder, and your stake pool operator, I can stake my ADA to you, you will never own ADA, you will never have access to my ADA. So it's like an IOU in finance. And that's what I meant with positive reinforcement. That means you cannot you don't control it. It's just basically a way of voting that I'm voting on you and saying, I trust you more than I trust the other one.
So the more ADA, which is entrusted through this virtual action, and there's no contract and you don't have access to it, the higher the likelihood that you will end the reward at the end of the epoch, which is how we basically cut down the time intervals in the blockchain. There is a, say a lottery going on, and then a set of stateful operators are selected.
And then there is a race among those who is basically the final one is, so what is really about is that you want to get to a situation that you have verifiable randomness, because what you're trying to ensure is that nobody can guess which stake pool operator actually signs it. And that's where the security comes in.
Walter Jennings: Amanda Wick, she is the founder for the Association for Women in crypto. This full time job is a group that helps provide mentoring leadership and insight for professionals, male and female in this space. They have a very active community of female professionals with Mentoring Circles, as well as a group of male allies and we spoke about some of the challenges of being in this industry.
Amanda Wick: A lot of people when they think of mentoring, they think of oh, I have a senior mentor, right. And I learned from the senior person. But this is really outdated, wrong thinking, because some of the people that I've learned the most from have been 20s something year olds who are fearless and start their own companies.
Walter Jennings: Well I'll introduce you to my teenager son. He'll teach you a lot.
Amanda Wick: Exactly. And that's the thing about technology. We're constantly learning from young people. And yet, we think that the learning path only goes one way. So instead of a mentoring of a senior woman and a junior woman, we have Mentoring Circles, where we put about six to eight people together and match them across industries, across geographies. And we say "Look, you can all learn from each other".
And we saw this at our launch event in Santa Clara, where there was a very senior successful woman who was having difficulty kind of getting into the C suite. And she said, You know, I'm just having difficulty getting into this. And this woman who was I think, maybe 29. She said, Well, have you thought about joining a startup and the woman said, That's too much risk. And she said, Oh, I'm, I'm on I've started my second company, like we should talk. And you could just see the bonds being grown and the and the possibilities being open. Because the reality is, is a women are more risk averse, we just are we invest less in venture capital, we tend to be just more risk averse, generally.
So to have those conversations, sometimes women need somebody to push them to consider the cost benefit, the cost risk analysis, but, you know, if you don't take big leaps, it's very hard to make big gains. The biggest thing I tell men is tell me what you need to have a woman that I can put forward.
And that's the thing is we have to get men to be more intentional. You're planning a conference, you're working on a paper, you have a job opportunity, just be intentionally inclusive for both women, people of colour and it's such an important thing. And to think globally, even conferences in the United States. I'm like you couldn't get one person from Southeast Asia or Europe, you think all of FinTech is in the United States. Yes, travel is a cost issue. But we just have to figure out ways to do this better.
And being more broadly inclusive is something that we just we all have to do it for for crypto for global fintech. If we're going to make this work. We have to be more intentionally inclusive.
Walter Jennings: It was a nice break to have Anthony Sar CEO and Co-founder of Finoverse. Step into the podcast booth to talk with Toya Zhang, the CEO of Bit.com.
Toya Zhang: So Bit.com is a Cryptocurrency Exchange, which offers crypto trading from the spot market futures market and as well as the options trading. So this actually offers a very comprehensive financial market compared to the traditional finance. So traditionally, that's why during our panel, I also indicate that we have a lot to learn from the financial traditional finance market, because the participation of hedge fund like high net worth individuals asset management firms is building a sophisticated financial infrastructure that actually helped to get to the traditional finance and the very healthy level comparatively, so we are also doing something and pushing that from the crypto space as well.
So this is necessary, like you have a healthy infrastructure people understand this. People know how to hedge that risk. Being professional because it's undeniable that cryptocurrency has a price in the market and people are taking advantage of the price. This has already built itself a financial market. So you can't ignore it. You just need to navigate through it and master it.
We are already having a taste of Metaverse already. I think there are Metaverse concerts happening last year. It's it's really immersive. And audiences are really enjoying it, tickets being sold and post promotions being enjoyed as well. So this is just a tip of a home Metaverse the thing, what I'm thinking is that it is going to be a thing because again, this is what human nature wants. They want to experience things in a very enjoyable level and being entertained.
So there is a joke actually from a stand up comedian saying I can't imagine myself after 30 years, being old or going to a hospital. And the nurse is just shouting at me and saying how many times I need to teach you how to make appointments on metaverse. So this is going to be something that is real and is going to be part of our life. We are already having tasted it.
Walter Jennings: Our next guests were Petr Rudenko and Artem Vorobev from 1inch. They are a decentralized exchange aggregator allowing you to overcome the price differentials on a coin that may trade at different levels across unconnected exchanges. So by providing an aggregation service that overcomes the arbitrage opportunity and allows people to get the best price possible.
Petr Rudenko: But the problem of that one, the source is problems that Anton and Sergey had by back by this time, so they won't simply trade on DeFi. It's the best rate. And they had to say, hey, there is a five units for Poles and there is a balancer. So where's the best price on the balance or on the union soap or maybe I need to swap first from us DC to die and then die to other. And it's like, it was always like problem. Outs and conveniency for Anton, hey, how where is the finds the best price and they were always Hey, there is no such shares. Let's build this. It's a great haircut on idea. So the guys just after made monitoring for the uniswap, balancer pools, they may be introduced some more protocols, I thought it would be it was four different protocols back in this time.
And they implemented as a just front-end application so that just one HTML page that go through the smart contracts, finds the best rate, simple routing algorithms, it splits your liquidity. And I would say it's just it was brilliant idea that the solve Anton, Sergey problem. And eventually, it was not only the Sergey, anton problem, it was like problem for planning to have DeFi users, especially crypto whales, who find this very useful and like yes, I think it was healthy. We find the racket markets.
Walter Jennings: I was thrilled to spend time with Adam Jin. He's the leader and founder of FTX and ventures. This is the venture capital arm of the Global Exchange FTX and we spoke with him about the challenges of attracting the right organisations in and they're focused on crypto and equities and wide ranging opportunities in this field.
Adam Jin: We actually in the past like bull run and we saw a lot of institutions having their interest into crypto. They reached out to us and talk about like how they actually can participate the market. And this is a part of that we're ready for it because we are the exchange offering the derivative tradings. We have a different way for them to hedge their market. So they will have spot trading, we have their tradings and we'll have some volatility products that they can also trade as well. So, most of the players are ,I think, it's a prop trading firms they provide like market making. And some of them are like asset managers, they provide like the restaurant trading.
So there are a variety of options to for them to trade. And we're a cross margin platform so basically means that you're holding BTC as a collateral you can trade eth or other contracts, which will increase your utilise your capital more efficient.
Social is a little bit like a tough way to think like how they can leverage crypto. But more often like blockchain, I guess, yeah. Most of time like social are our like social needs like network effect, because I use WhatsApp as not because of like, how great the product? Of course it is. But most of the time is my friends on WhatsApp. So I use it. I guess this is also the same for Web3 social people needs to have a friend on surrounding or our product. And the difference I think here is like there's a way I guess, like in the form that people want to record their histories of either their blog or their code on the blockchain. So for example, we saw that Mirada XYZ is the fully on chain, like a blog platform.
So whenever you post a blog, it's like fully on chain and as long as like the blockchain exists, there won't be any way that people can take that down. So it's like a forum for people to record whatever they want to and won't be controlled by like a centralised like company or whoever can do BDR post. So this is a form that I see is interesting.
Walter Jennings: The next episode was hosted by my colleague, Maria Vovchok, and she spoke with Saemin Ahn who is the managing partner of Rakuten Ventures.
Saemin Ahn: Rakuten ventures was set up specifically in Singapore 10 years ago, specifically because it has a lot of tax benefits, setting up a hub here and whatnot. But what was interesting is that when we actually came, we were probably the luckiest people in the world because it was just the start of the venture ecosystem. It was just a start of how people are looking at technology and really thinking about what the next future of consumption.
And as you see Fintech is, and when we as we did that more and more investors more and more liquidity came into the market. And we saw just an amazing upswell of investment and of course, innovation. Now what's interesting right now, with the macroeconomics going on with all the craziness of the Fed, with all the interest rates going on, Southeast Asia is probably one of the best or if not best place to be right now, if you look at the ASEAN MSCI index, I'll give you a quiz. What do you think the 30 year return on the MSCI index for China is right now? 30 year return?
Maria Vovchok: 3.9% percent?
Saemin Ahn: It has just hit 0%.
Maria Vovchok: Okay, sorry, I didn't guess
Saemin Ahn: And the MSCI index on ASEAN has outperformed every single index for the past maybe two to three months, up to about 120 basis points. That is very peripheral in terms of how well the company, countries in the companies have performed. But more importantly, understanding that this is a place for very productive consumption, credit consumption. And people still build things and those things still are not in competition, necessarily but additive to the whole ecosystem.
Walter Jennings: To end up the day we talked about Dedoco or a document management as a service and how a company founded in 2019 has grown throughout the pandemic to be able to provide document management and signing no matter where in the world you are. We spoke at length with co founder Dr Ernie Teo.
Dr Ernie Teo: So Dedoco basically stands for decentralised document connector. So it's an acronym but it's it doesn't rely on like an acronym right? And what we do is we do document management as a service, right including document signing. So, we are full featured signing platform actually and we are equivalent to any any kind of centralised document signing platform you can see out there, but we are also blockchain based. So that that is the the key differentiator for us. We are blockchain based. We are decentralised in nature at the back end. And what that means is we provide two types of value propositions.
Number one, we allow our customers to store their own documents instead of storing it with our cloud. Now, if you use other kinds of signing platforms, your documents goes into the cloud while it's getting signed, and it's actually stored there even afterwards. Right? And that is a privacy concern. Right? Even though these guys have good security as well. If they ever get hacked, your contracts, your agreements are going to be read by other people, what we call all documents or non fungible document processes. What that means is we install document hashes, so hashes or like cryptographic, kind of convergence of the documents that allow us to make sure that the document hasn't been tampered with. We started on the blockchain and we start a signature trail together with that hash.
So what we are able to do is then allow anyone to be able to directly verify the document and its processes on the blockchain so they can make sure that the contract has been signed by the right people. You know, as long as they have a copy, they will be able to verify that directly.
Walter Jennings: That brings to a close day two at Singapore FinTech festival. We're looking forward to more conversations and highlights again tomorrow. Thanks for joining. Do hit subscribe and thank you for listening to Waves in the Finoverse.