Cryptocurrency continues to enjoy a rapid rise in influence as institutions across the United States and the West slowly but surely express confidence in virtual currency.
Research continues to point towards Asian markets being the epicenter of current and future crypto and blockchain disruption. Many digital asset enthusiasts understand Asia already holds a massive number of crypto and blockchain fans, traders, miners, and related companies.
Even traditional financial institutions in the region are working together on harnessing distributed ledger technology. In late February, several major Asian banks, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Bank of Thailand, announced a partnership to build a cross-border central bank digital currency.
The Asian Blockchain Market Keeps Heating Up
Speculation is entities across Asia could also start to invest in crypto and continue to see the growth of blockchain-related investment funds. In November 2020, former Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rust announced Sonic Capital, the continent’s first venture capital fund tokenized on blockchain.
Researcher Mira Christanto from Messari.io revealed in a 2021 report how six out of the globe’s top ten largest crypto firms are in Asia. She also notes as of January 12,
“of the top 20 token projects with headquarters, 42% of the market capitalization is based in Asia.”
Christiano explains Asia’s influence in the crypto and blockchain world stems from factors like
“High penetration of public market investing, high-technology pedigree, the prevalence of WiFi, deep penetration of e-payments, propensity for gambling, and high percentage of computer- science graduates. Furthermore, Asia’s development as a finance hub has helped contribute to fintech progress. Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong are among the top five largest stock markets in the world.”
Blockchain enthusiasm in Asia continues in full swing even for companies who run into turbulence in other parts of the globe.
News from early March covers the saga of blockchain payment firm Ripple and it’s U.S. SEC lawsuit, but notes CEO Brad Garlinghouse explains the legal action
“has not really impacted what’s going on for us in Asia Pacific.”
Founded by Eric Gu, Chen Hao, and Michael Jiang in 2017, Metaverse is one blockchain company that’s reaping the rewards of Asia’s rapid rise to crypto notoriety. The first public blockchain in China is a popular front-running, decentralized, and open-source platform for digital assets.
Metaverse has garnered attention for its secure ledger technology, an intuitive digital identity system (Avatar), and for bringing the first Hybrid Consensus Algorithm to Substrate. Metaverse developers intend to release the protocol’s alpha testnet, hyperspace mainnet, and implement the Stratum Protocol in 2021, building on goals to solve some of the main issues plaguing the decentralized finance ecosystem.
Notably, Metaverse users can build smart contracts using popular tools like MetaMask and Remix without having to rewrite or reconfigure. Hybrid Consensus Security mitigates 51% attacks while utilizing POW to dictate block authoring and Grandpa finality.
Metaverse Smart Tokens, and Metaverse Identifiable Tokens, also allow digital assets or NFTs to be owned and transferred.
Individuals and Companies Across Asia Only Look to Expand Involvement
Traditional investment entities like BlackRock have already been dipping their toes into the world of crypto. But blockchain infrastructure providers like Cobo appear to also be benefiting from Asia’s interest in crypto.
Cobo Custody has emerged as the continent’s leading custodian service, underpinned by a 150% year over year increase in Bitcoin custodians from 2020.
Co-founder Changhao Jiang remarks
“Offering a 360° technology infrastructure for the crypto industry, especially a custodial service, is unheard of in Asia due to its complexity, however the recent wave of investors and latest interest has proven that the demand for our platform is accelerating.”
In February 2021, Hong Kong-headquartered financial giant Henyep announced the creation of subsidiary Q9 Capital to run an OTC trading desk to facilitate crypto demand from high-net worth and institutional investors.
AAX exchange CEO Thor Chan says Bitcoin participation by Asian institutional investors keeps heating up thanks to record trade volumes and amounts of assets under management, even though Asia
“still lags behind the U.S.” According to him, regulatory developments in jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Singapore “are key to unlocking the next growth explosion.”
Many across the crypto and blockchain world hold high hopes for the future of high-tech companies in Asia.
They point towards immense opportunities found in the South Korean markets for altcoin and utiliti token issuance, alongside Chinese government commitment to blockchain and CBDC infrastructure innovation, as evidence the next waves of high profile and influential blockchain companies will emerge out of Asia.