X360 MetaFinance - LëtzBlock: Unlocking the Europe-Asia Crypto Connections
Crypto and blockchain assets and services are being accepted at different speeds across the world. Arnaud Wenger, Director, Biba Homsy, the President of LëtzBlock, and Junya Yamamoto, a crypto entrepreneur, discuss the international barriers slowing crypto adoption in European and Asian countries and how to improve crypto communication between them.
What is the current position of Asia in the crypto and blockchain businesses?
Crypto was defined in Japanese law in 2016 which is quite early on a global scale. After the Mount Gox exchange debacle, Japan now has strict regulations including crypto exchange licenses and taxes on NFT (non-fungible tokens). The crypto and blockchain groups are quite active, especially in NFTs where a lot of creators have joined the space to create a community. The Japanese DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) are also developing. People in other countries think that it is difficult to enter the Japanese market. But blockchain is expanding across east Asia. Singapore is currently the destination for crypto blockchain projects partly because many crypto projects have relocated from Hong Kong for political reasons.
“There need to be more opportunities for the crypto and blockchain communities in Europe and Asia to interact”
How do crypto developments in Europe compare?
Much of Europe is far away from going into NFTs and the multiverse. DAO is taking off slowly in Europe because regulators don’t think regulation is necessary – or they don’t care. However, DAO is gaining traction in Switzerland because of the regulators’ flexible interpretation. There are a lot of crypto connections between Switzerland and Asia. An important milestone was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Swiss financial regulator, Finma, and its Singapore counterpart, MAS. There need to be more opportunities for the crypto and blockchain communities in Europe and Asia to interact. It would be good if the blockchain and crypto communities with various interests from different countries could connect in a borderless and seamless way.
What are the challenges of crypto businesses in Europe and Asia?
In Europe entrepreneurs dealing in crypto have difficulty finding a bank. Banks understand a technology company it is straightforward to open a bank account. However, if crypto, exchanges, or some token businesses are mentioned it is difficult because this raises compliance issues for the bank. It is also difficult for crypto entrepreneurs to connect with local banks in Asia. It is easier in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong than in Vietnam and Cambodia. Cross-jurisdictional issues are a problem. For example, Chinese companies relocating to Europe because of the ban on crypto in China, feel lost because of the different regulations. The advice is not to choose your jurisdiction but to come to Europe with your business model and then see where your business model can best adapt.