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Beyond Blocks at Blockchain Week Bangkok

Security tokens, stable coins, scalability and regulations were hot topics at this year’s Beyond Blocks Summit Bangkok which attracted over two thousand attendees from 50 countries. Despite the bearish trend of the crypto markets, the speakers and attendees were optimistic about the long-term potential of blockchain.

Right now, the crypto exchanges differ significantly from traditional financial markets, however, with the development of the industry, I think long term the crypto exchanges will mirror that of the financial markets” commented Yovie Liu, CEO of IDAX Singapore.

No matter the current situation of the crypto markets, the underlying technology of blockchain is here to say and there is a lot of opportunity. As the use cases of blockchain increase, its adoption will inevitably follow.

Commenting on why the vast majority of ICOs were raising money via Ethereum and not stable coins, Alameda Research CEO Sam Bankman-Fried noted that there are two different models at play here: one in which you are holding Ethereum to see an appreciation in its value, and the other to raise funds by issuing tokens to develop your company. The two should not be necessarily mixed. If ICOs had used stable coins, “it would have been boring and would have been great for markets.

While there was a lot of enthusiasm for security tokens, it was noted that currently we are at the infrastructure stage of the industry. “There is a lot of potential for future liquidity, but currently the market is not there”, commented Kingsley Advani, Founder of Chainfund Capital. However, with the recent interest of the stock exchanges of Malta and Gibraltar as well as London Stock Exchange’s pilot project, that may change in the foreseeable future. The development of security tokens is very important at this early stage of the industry. We need to figure out ways to collaborate more than to compete.

The key challenges for the development of the industry included a lack of clearly defined regulatory framework in various jurisdictions. Grace, senior associate at Herbert Smith noted that “it remains to be seen what the regulators would require from the issuers side.

Prinn Panitchpakd, Governor at the Stock Exchange of Thailand, commented on the crypto regulations in Thailand by saying that “if people are using it (cryptos) for payments we want to make sure that it does not affect consumers in the wrong way.

STOs are possible in Thailand, however not for new start-ups currently” commented Bhume Bhumiratana, technology consultant with the Security and Exchange Commission of Thailand.

Yo Nakagawa, Executive Director; General Manager, and Global Management Committee Office at Monex Group Inc commented on the Japanese regulation: “Japan was one of the first countries to regulate crypto and as you know regulation takes time to legislate. The regulators began to deal with crypto as settlement coins, but today the bulk of the exchange is not payments – it is trading and leveraged trading, so there is a lot of catch-up for the regulators to do.

Written by

Usman Javed has consulted with a number of blockchain startups – all the way from Toronto to Hong Kong. He is an ICO investor, a cryptocurrency trader and frequently writes and speaks on the crypto landscape. He graduated from the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School.

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