Modern Asia is a real headliner of the blockchain world and the crypto-economy, ground zero for real innovation and equally advanced projects like that. Governments of the Asian countries are serious about blockchain and crypto economical aspirations and consider them as a new economic opportunity but not as a dangerous tool. This is the reason why investors are looking at Asian markets with a huge interest.
Let’s take South Korea as an example. That's a tiny country that has less than 1% of the world population, is responsible for 30 percent of all cryptocurrency trading in the world. Or Singapore that became a real “hotbed” for crypto startups in 2017, amassing staggering 7% of the all fintech startups in the world after a number of them were forced to search for a new home because of the hostile legal framework. And they found it in Singapore.
We talked about this and other things with Christina HUMTSOE from the Veen Foundation, the global marketing specialist that has been working at Asian markets for more than 3 years.
According to her words - if there are innovations involved, there will be South Koreans. This might be a little weird, considering the fact that South Korea has very strong traditional financial institutions, but when it comes to technologies - this is a very fast, active country that aims to become a leader in the field right away. And the cryptocurrency is no exception from that rule. Basically - in South Korea, following a trend is a part of the modern life, where information about all changes goes from all mediums non-stop. This was a breeding ground for the unique blockchain community.
And because of the influence of the industry giants like IBM Korea and LG that are working on their own blockchain development, this community ended up truly huge. Sure, it is risky to go “blockchain or bust” but without it - there is no way to become a part of the trend and people accept it. This is visible if you look at the average age of the startup crowd in Europe - they are mostly young people, and in Korea, the average age of the startup people is 40+.
The reason for this is Korean definitive vision of digital technological future and new markets. They understand that their previous experience is not as relevant as it used to be, but they don’t want to stagnate, so they sign up for the new things. A good example of this is plastic cards. Not so long ago no one wanted to do anything with them and now - they are all the rage that is accepted pretty much everywhere, cashless financial transactions are standard now.
This is probably one of the most positive traits of the South Koreans, that they “feel” trends and buckle up behind the things that will become big in the future and because of this - there is nothing special when specialists in their 50s start anew in the new field only because of their faith in a possible trend. This is a mundane thing in Korea.
But it’s not like this is neighboring countries. When South Korea was under a siege of hacks - many companies registered their companies in Singapore and Hong Kong. But now - people are flowing back into Korea for a very simple reason - the South Korean government is interested. In fact, at every conference, there is a significant portion of the people from the government there. And it’s worth mentioning that they are not thinking about this only as a matter of “control and regulations” but also the ways to effectively use the technology for the benefit of the country's economy.
Cryptocurrency benefits in Asian countries are very visible, especially in the low income countries or countries with significant part of their population working abroad - for example in the Philippines, money transferring startups save up to 13% of the funds moving back into the country where the numerous citizens work abroad. According to the Nomura report - throughout the first three months of 2018 Bitcoin raised overall GDP of Japan on 0,3% and that number promises to grow in the future.
But Asia has different examples, like India. Out there, all the efforts must correspond with the government. Anyone must have a strong consensus otherwise they will come at you and say “No, you can’t do that” at some point. Of course, it’s not so easy in Korea either, the government is not yet ready to make a decision on the legal framework, as they are not sure about some aspects, but there are people on the markets who are fairly optimistic about it. Basically - in South Korea, people are building the digital economy together, as a team.
It’s also worth mentioning that South Korea signed a lot of MOUs with their neighbors and because of this all technological things are quick to catch on all around Asia. It’s a great success of the governmental apparatus since Korean retail sector is pretty much ready for the crypto and now just waits for the “green light” from the regulators.
Sure, if compare South Korea with others - it’s not the biggest market but at the recent American based blockchain roadshow that was held in the US, there was a clear interest towards it. Everyone wants to be on it for a reason - it is still growing and developing, while in Europe there is a certain set of rules and possibilities for the growth are greatly limited.
You shouldn’t think that Asia is an ideal market, take China as an example - due to the nuances of the legal framework more and more companies are becoming interested in opening offices abroad or moving out of the country instead of staying and developing the industry. So, no one should think that Asian markets are perfect, and no one knows the future. But for now - the path for growth is clear and visible. And promises of the “bright future” are always positive; it influences people in the industry and stimulates people to continue their work at 100%.
According to the research prepared by Morgan Stanley, Asian Markets are absolutely crushing it - Asian crypto markets trading volumes are rivaled only by Malta(but it’s mostly because of the fact that Binance, originally Asian crypto exchange moved over there to avoid legal uncertainties). All of this - despite the fact that Asia has way fewer exchanges than the UK, that has 22 exchanges registered on a British soil.