The 2019 Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) kicked off on Monday at the Singapore EXPO, marking the first day of the world’s biggest annual fintech gathering. The Blockchain Week follows back to back with SFF. We have met many good projects such as TransferWise, Razer Pay, FlovTec, Zigway and more. We have also managed to catch up with some of the leading blockchain practitioners at Singapore this week. We will collate some interviews and have them featured on our interview section.
Today, we have Mr Anndy Lian with us. He is a blockchain advisor to an inter-governmental organisation, a book author and a strong voice in the blockchain community.
Blockcast.cc: Hi Anndy, good to see you again. It has been a while since we meet. I rememeber the last time we met was in South Korea and ever since I am being sent to the USA office, I have not seen you. How are things?
Anndy Lian: Thanks for asking. Things are great. We have been working on multiple things for the government and also in the midst of going through a RMO application in Singapore for SingDax. Things for me are very hectic and I have been travelling for quite a bit and have not gotten the chance to catch up with your team.
Blockcast.cc: It is always good to be busy. Since you are looking at the STO market and have the experience in the regulations matter. Let us go through some questions that I have in mind for you.
Anndy Lian: Sure that will be good. I will try my best to be tactful and also give you some candid replies.
Blockcast.cc: What is your opinion on the development of the blockchain industry during the last year?
Anndy Lian: I would say that the development of blockchain is slower than what I have expected. As you know, I travel quite a bit and have been actively giving advise to governments agencies on blockchain matters. The people on the grounds are thinking very similar as I do. 2019 to me is supposed to be a less speculative time for cryptocurrencies. More adoption of blockchain should be seen but the numbers does not add up. Many projects came up with good ideas, but fall short of implementing properly. Some of them failed to get funds too. Others will get into new troubles with the changes in the regulations. Well in 2020, I hope to see more traditional companies coming in and also helping some of these good ideas go into execution.
Blockcast.cc: What is your vision on the development of the STO market in the upcoming years?
Anndy Lian: There is a lot to say for this topic. Speaking from my own perspectives. The STO market is very promising and will do well starting in 2020. In Singapore and also in ASEAN, I see regulators stepping up to issue related licences to facilitate the STO market. This is a good sign for the market.
If you look at the overall STO market, the leading country is still United States and if you look at the European side, Switzerland is the champion. The next prominent bloc will be South East Asia and to me Singapore is obviously the lead country pushing this across, getting traction from the neighboring countries. The actual number of STO skyrocketed almost 10 times if you compare the statistics for 2017 and 2019. Again, if you look at it deeper, the smaller STO projects appear to be more successful, the sweet spot is between $1m to around $5m.
With new global investors coming into the STO blockchain scene and this will create a new demand in time to come. As some of you know, my team is working on a new security digital asset exchange call SingDax. We have good support from the regulator and traditional companies too. Like I have mentioned above, the support from traditional companies are very vital in this process of merging the new economy with the old. The value creation is far more than what some can imagine.
I also do see a minus point on how STOs are structured and how blockchain technology can come into play in this security market. Many of the operators, funders and brains behind some of these projects are just too “old school”. There is nothing wrong with being safe, if I may say but being safe is not necessary good when we are innovating. Being safe would also mean that we may not have a real competitive advantage over the existing business models.
Blockast.cc: What do you think about the possibility for accredited investors to participate in opportunities such as SpaceX or other private companies and startups worldwide?
Anndy Lian: Personally I am a fan of Elon Musk and SpaceX of course, projects like this are wonderful and if they are opened for global accredited investors to participate using the blockchain, it will be good news for all of us and also for SpaceX. But then again, you cannot compare SpaceX with all other startups. The risks involved in investing to startups are very high in some aspects. If you look from STO point of view, equity based tokens have very high up side for investors, my take is that projects or companies who are issuing such tokens should be listed on a regulated token exchange for STOs. This can help to defray some risks and also give new investors more confidence.
Blockcast.cc: I also noted that you have not been sharing much recently. Are you slowing down your pace?
Anndy Lian: (Laughs) To be honest, I have been very busy. On my governmental work, I have just completed a training module of over 100 slides for Asian Productivity Organization on Smart Manufacturing and Blockchain where all the members from 22 countries can access to it online.
I am also busy with SingDax. The process is very interesting and promising frankly. If I have more resources, things can move a lot faster. I met regulators regionally, virtual banks, global real estate funds, developers and more. I can’t disclose anything more as I have a board to answer to.
Blockcast.cc: Do you still have time to speak at events? Again, I don’t see any new updates on events that you have spoken on.
Anndy Lian: I can’t stop what I am doing. I want to share as much information to people who want to understand blockchain. There were a couple of events that I have spoken at but did not have the time share.
I was the keynote speaker at Blockchain Summit 2019 in Singapore on 20 September 2019 organized by a India based knowledge partner where I spoke about “The Future Roadmap for Blockchain”.
Also on 17 October 2019 at RHT ASEAN Summit 2019 where I was part of a panel titled “Regional Supply Chain” where we discuss the trends, issues and opportunities for supply chain. During the summit, we also had the honour for SMS Edwin Tong to present us the appointment letter as the Advisory Panel Member for the China-ASEAN Business Alliance.
Blockcast.cc: Thanks for your insights again. I do understand where you are coming from especially on the securities side of things. As our usual practice, can we get a quote from you.
Anndy Lian: Ok. I would like to share something different with you today.
“Grow together with the blockchain technology, not the hype. Disruption is just beginning.”
Blockcast.cc: Thanks Anndy.
Anndy Lian: Thanks Melody for the interview during this Singapore Fintech and Blockchain Week 2019.