What is Cryptobuzz?
Since last quarter of 2017, we have seen prices of cryptocurrencies emulating a roller coaster ride. The market trend reflects a mixture of investor sentiments between uncertainty and confidence caused by developments on the global crypto stage. Events such as regulatory changes in different countries, crypto platforms compromised due to security breaches and consumers scammed due to a decision made with bad sources of information seem to contribute to these fluctuations. In Singapore, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have seen exponential growth over the last couple of years; but like the rest of the world, there are lingering questions remaining on their future, upcoming applications and potential regulatory issues.
This prompted Xfers together with key industry stakeholders in Singapore like ACCESS, Singapore Bitcoin Club (SBC) and Coinhako to start a key discussion on the need to reach out to the Singapore community at large to address their concerns and also to provide updates on crypto/blockchain developments in Singapore. Through the discussion, the Cryptobuzz community was borned. The main purpose of the Cryptobuzz community is to create a platform for the community to interact with the key industry stakeholders.
At our first inaugural Cryptobuzz meetup on 10th May, about 100 participants were introduced to key members: ACCESS, Coinhako, Singapore Bitcoin Club and Xfers. The event ended with a fruitful panel discussion involving leaders from the four organizations and good questions being raised from the ground.
The evening began with a presentation from Xfers Co-Founder and CEO, Mr. Liu Tianwei, who touched on present industry challenges and key issues such as the lack of understanding of blockchain/cryptocurrency technologies, the fragmented market, and an ever-changing regulatory landscape. Despite all of these challenges, Mr Liu reaffirmed that Xfers is committed to improving user access to cryptocurrency and will continue to try in the future. He also spoke at length about how Xfers was planning to position itself as a unifying payment and KYC gateway for companies and users across Southeast Asia. Such an accomplishment would unify the Banking Networks and authorize Cryptocurrency/Blockchain system in the SEA and Singapore.
Mr. Liu also went into detail of the pausing of the Coinbase service in Singapore, citing Coinbase’s reasons for doing so being their intention to consolidate and refocus their efforts globally. Liu went on to reassure users that the “gap” left behind by Coinbase’s departure is not the end of cryptocurrency in Singapore, but that there are other players which have stepped up to the plate to serve the industry, one of the most prominent being Coinhako.
The second speaker of the night was Gerry Eng, Co-Founder of Coinhako. Coinhako has been serving the Singapore cryptocurrency industry since 2014 and is Southeast Asia’s first bitcoin trading platform. Having recently launched Bitcoin Cash support on its exchange, the company is now looking towards other popular cryptocurrencies, like ERC20 and Litecoin. In addition to more cryptocurrency diversity, some platform features such as limit orders and crypto-to-crypto exchange support are in the works. Eng also highlighted that Coinhako is expanding to other countries in Southeast Asia. Lastly, Mr Eng teased a new project: Counter Network – a smarter OTC (over-the-counter) market. He was intentionally sparse with the details, only stating their intention to support OTC trading and with more details to follow in the next few months.
Edge Neo was represented by Daryl Lim, Head of Product and Sales. As a part of their effort to address the topic of cryptocurrency ownership and security, Mr. Lim highlighted the potential security and ownership risks which every cryptocurrency investor bears. “In-depth comparison of the different kinds of cryptocurrency wallets available.”
Singapore Bitcoin Club (SBC)
Peter Sin, Co-founder of SBC, took the stage to bring attention to the knowledge gap which was present in the community. SBC’s primary goal is to provide better understanding and education for the community in Singapore by holding seminars and classes run by qualified and experienced experts. Through interaction with the audience, he showed how even seasoned traders and enthusiasts had a lot to learn and were not tapping on all the tools available to them. Perhaps what was the most important lesson of all is that those who try their hand at cryptocurrency trading do not always have a clear purpose when starting to invest, leading to skewed perspectives and making under-informed decisions.
The key highlight of the Cryptobuzz event was the panel discussion featuring Co-founder of Xfers, Co-founder of Coinhako, Co-founder of SBC and Chairman of ACCESS. The panel received various questions ranging from regulatory concerns, market trend opinions, and potential developments with the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency adoption.
Below are some key questions that were encountered during the discussion.
Q: What advice will the panelists give to a layman investor in the blockchain/cryptocurrency technology?
Anson (ACCESS) smiled and said that for ordinary investors to succeed they should watch tutorials on Youtube. The individuals should put more effort and be careful. ACCESS advocated about this due to his belief that it is essential for individuals to have knowledge on what they are being involved in.
Coinhako, on the other hand, argued that online blockchain communities and forums are very important. This is because Coinhako believes that knowledge sharing and interaction with experts and other interested parties. This interaction will help the investors gain more knowledge on system and technology. This, therefore, can help in designing better and effective investment methods.
SBC when answering this question smiled and asked the investors to join their courses. He, however, reminded the investors to first consider their reasons for investing in cryptocurrency. Individuals should not just invest in cryptocurrency because others are also doing so but rather investment should result from individual zeal.
Q: What is the road to cryptocurrency mass adoption?
According to Coinhako, the road to cryptocurrency mass adoption is a top-down approach which involves various stages. The first stage seeks for leading companies to start acknowledging cryptocurrencies and modernizing more assets and tokens. In order to attract consumer adoption, loyalty programs and wallet systems should be introduced. When large companies adopt a specific type of token and put it in practice, many people will be attracted to adopt cryptocurrency. Therefore, this builds a chain effect that brings about a top-down approach which means from larger companies down to consumers.
ACCESS, however, thinks that it should be a combination of both top-down and bottom-up approaches. He argues that both the companies and the end-consumers should share the same mindset about crypto, and be willing to accept it as a part of society. And only then cryptocurrencies or any digital tokens can be wisely used.
Q: So what is the future of Cryptocurrencies in Singapore?
Xfers thinks that the current position of cryptocurrency in Singapore is better than the past position. Xfers came to this assumption after having a conversation with banks and MAS. According to Xfers, the behavior of the individuals in the ecosystem determines the growth of cryptocurrency in Singapore.
ACCESS, on the other hand, believed that Singapore is heading towards the right direction. This is because Fintech/crypto companies conduct themselves in an appropriate manner seeking to achieve their main objective. Therefore, crypto in Singapore has a bright future.
When is the next CryptoBuzz?
This is still in discussion within the CryptoBuzz community partners. Do stay tuned for updates on our channels. If you are keen to get updates on the Cryptobuzz event, kindly subscribe to our mailing list here.