When Binance, meets the city of Dubai, it’s the beginning of the Binance Blockchain Week from March 28 to 30! Now fully back after too many events, Coinpri is here to sum up the most important conferences of the event! On today’s menu, the Recipe For A Global Adoption. Let’s see what Richard TENG (Head of Mena at Binance), Tim GRANT (Head of EMEA at Galaxy Digital) have to say.
When did you get into crypto?
Tim GRANT (TG): The question is not to make me younger. With 7 years in cryptos, I am a bit of a dinosaur in the sector. In 2015 I was working for a Hedge Funds in New York. And part of my job I had to visit Silicon Valley’s start-ups.
At the beginning of the day I had zero knowledge about blockchain, but after talking with Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO and the Ripple (XRP) team I came out transformed. I quickly understood that Bitcoin (BTC) will change things, it was at $200 at the time. It my first BTC buy order.
Richard TENG (RT): It was 5 years ago. I was working in the futures industry. Every March we have and event dedicated to futures trading: the FT Commodities Global Summit.
At the event, a lot of people were talking about cryptos and curious I started to explore the sector.
I was working with the Abu Dhabi Global Market and I’m proud to say we were the first regulators to try to put in place a framework to regulate the ecosystem.
To achieve adoption we need to put in place an appropriate framework to support it. A framework which protect the ecosystem and its users without stifling it.
As a regulator, my philosophy is: I cannot regulate a new ecosystem without knowing it.
It will never occur to anyone to regulate a bank without having a bank account.
Why would you want to apply this logic to crypto?
What is Galaxy Digital ? Do you think adoption is coming?
TG: Galaxy Digital is on the spot and derivative trading as well as consulting to help traditional companies raise capital. We even have a Bitcoin mining unit with a focus on renewable.
I’ve been on the job since August 2021 and the adoption is here! Whether I’m talking to customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa or North America, they all take the ecosystem very seriously.
The blockkchain world, once favored by small holders and crypto Hedge funds is now attracting traditional Hedge funds, insurance companies and governments. We also have a stronger demand from corporates to include cryptos in their cash flow.
Unlike before, these clients are not thinking about getting into crypto, they are getting into it!
It’s awesome to see this huge attraction to the sector and the money coming into it.
In this continuity, we recently made a trade with Goldman Sachs. Given their historical distrust of the sector is an excellent indicator of where we are in the adoption. But keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg!
What do governments take into account before entering the Web3 world?
RT: Obviously the economic growth that a sector can bring is part of it. As the future of finance and money, Blockchain cannot be ignored. Nevertheless being external to the ecosystem they still don’t understand it fully.
When we see something new, we try compare it to something we already know.
When governments look at blockchain and cryptos they try to compare it to a security, a commodity, or a currency. That is why they come up with inconsistent and/or inappropriate regulation.
The other problem is that governments don’t give enough resources to regulators to understand the technology behind cryptos. This naturally leads to clichés about the money laundering that cryptocurrency enables. But when these regulators dig into it, they realize that we have onchain monitoring and tracking. And they realize that ironically our ecosystem actually has much less risk than FIAT.
When we talk to regulators it’s important to show them how investors are protected. We need to educate them if we want them to take the right decisions.
TG: Usually, when a new asset classes emerge, they start out being traded by Hedge Funds or banks before spreading to the average person. In the blockchain industry, this structure is reversed!
Small holders have mobilized to democratize an asset and this is, to my knowledge, a first in history! This adds difficulties for them to understand and regulate properly. But don’t be fooled, many great legends of classical finance are already trading cryptocurrencies.
We will see a normalization and I think we will soon find the classic structure that I mentioned earlier.
What do institutional investors think about blockchain applications?
TG: Not surprisingly, they are thinking about the application of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which is not a new idea!
Six years ago we already launched the idea of the Ubin project in Singapore. There was also the Jasper project from Canada which tried to evaluate the potential of CBDCs.
Governments have this idea of setting up a CBDC, without really knowing what it will look like.
Stablecoins are a first step in imagining what will happen next and are not ignored by governments anymore.
Beyond CBDCs, non-crypto blockchain solutions are more and more used. As the analysis tools we are using are not working for blockchain, they need to create new one.
I predict that token analysis jobs will develop shortly. They will be specific to blockchain to explain to institutional and big entities the impact of cryptocurrencies.
We have done a lot and yet we are only at the beginning…
What will be the factor to reach the 1 billion users in the Web3 world?
TG: The simplest and often the right answer is “regulation”, but in my opinion it’s not the only one, it also requires education. To you reading this or attending blockchain events, we are all evangelists and understand the ecosystem. We are all addressing at our level those billions of people who still don’t understand what blockchain is or have a misconception about it.
RT: We also need to teach people to think long-term and not just focus on the false problems of the present such as volatility.
TG: Exactly, we need to change the mindset. If you come from the traditional financial world, you are used to seeing others as enemies to kill. It doesn’t exist in our ecosystem.
We are all focused on working hand in hand to create a better future for ourselves and future generations.
CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Coinpri I have been navigating the waters of Blockchain for 5 years already.
Wait, I can see the Promised Land of Adoption in the distance.