I have just returned from a week in Singapore attending two prominent blockchain conferences; The Capital - CoinMarketCap and Blockshow Asia. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the industry and meet some amazing people.

Before leaving Australia I had four clear goals for the trip (both personal and business related) and it was particularly satisfying to achieve all four within the first four days.

I made meaningful connections with more than 30 people / companies across the week so I now have a busy few weeks ahead following up on those conversations!

General Observations

Here’s a quick fire list of my general observations:

  • Blockchain is still dominated by finance / trading solutions.
  • Data sovereignty is only on the radar of a select few, but those few are extremely bullish on that being the key to mass adoption of DLT.
  • Progressive governments and large enterprises are adopting blockchain / DLT at a rapid pace as it’s value proposition is better understood.
  • Asia’s take up of the technology is massive; particularly with China now 100% behind the technology, while less well off countries are leveraging the technology to jump ahead (see Philippines).
  • Switzerland appears to have a large ecosystem of enterprises working collaboratively with government to rapidly usher in this new era (see Crypto Valley Association).
  • VeChain is an absolute beast. It’s depth of technical expertise, constant innovation, quality of projects, quality of partners and strong support at government level places it in an enviable position to capitalise on the global market opportunities in traceability.
  • Australia is looked down upon by other countries due to our lack of apparent government support or enterprise appetite for innovation.
  • The blockchain community is full of wonderful people that share a common sense of purpose to make the world a better place.

Personal data wallet

With Verida, I am creating a personal data wallet where any individual can easily own and control their personal data. Attending both conferences provided an ideal opportunity to explore the idea with a wide variety of individuals and businesses.

It was extremely encouraging to receive a near unanimous response of “Yes, we need this!” within 30 seconds of most conversations. A number of new cases to explore were also raised, including:

  • Storing personal vaccination data
  • Storing purchase history that can be shared with a third party to earn loyalty rewards
  • Storing verified documents for re-sharing within a particular industry
  • Supporting institutional level KYC and facilitating transaction pre-commitment for enhanced security of financial transactions
  • Storing verified employment history and references

Watch this space….

Meeting the VeChain Community

I was fortunate enough to spend time with members of the VeChain community, gaining a deeper understanding of all the hard work going on behind the scenes.

After arriving in Singapore at 5pm, I rushed to the official warm-up party for The Capital conference, hosted by VeChain. It was great to finally put faces to the names behind many online conversations and share a few drinks looking out over Singapore.

Singapore at night

Over the coming days I attended the a meetup discussing how Jur is disrupting the legal industry, an Enterprise Blockchain Showcase with Azure at Pwc Singapore and met the VeChain core development team.

I was very impressed with everyone working hard behind the scenes to ensure VeChain is a success.

FATF Travel Rule

I have been closely following the FATF Travel Rule and how the emerging regulatory changes will impact Crypto Exchanges. Over the two conferences I was able to attend two panel discussions; Treading FATF Recommendation 16: Compliance, Custody and Security and How FATF affects the industry today and the future.

Panel discussion on the FATF Travel Rule changes

OpenVASP was announced during the Blockshow conference, an exciting new intiative seeking to pull together VASP’s to produce an open standard that addresses the FATF Travel Rule.

While in transit back to Australia, I made some updates to a draft proposal I had been working on and released it as a contribution to the new OpenVASP intiative.

Crypto Exchanges

One of my objectives for the trip was to explore the feasibility of developing an open standard for shareable KYC credentials between crypto exchanges. I fundamentally believe individuals should be able to own and control their personal data, plus having to complete a new KYC process for every crypto exchange account is a very painful user experience.

I was very pleased to get widespread support for the concept from both crypto exchanges and KYC providers. While it was great to get some early market validation, there is still a lot of work to do in establishing a thorough process of engagement with exchanges and develop a workable standard.

Singapore was a blast!

Drinks Arab Street, Singapore

Finally, a big shout out to all the wonderful people I was able to spend time with over the past week. You all made it a memorable trip and hopefully the first of many blockchain gatherings around the world.

A special mention should go to those who led me astray late into the evening; Ben, Rik, Fabian, Ale, Perkins, Marcel, Leah, Nath

And of course, the amazing Mel!

Posted by Chris

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