Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, stated that he sees web 3, blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFT), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) as potential game-changers in the fintech (financial technology) community. He mentioned this during the opening of Point Zero Forum in Switzerland on June 22.
The Point Zero Forum is an exclusive invite-only, in-person gathering of selected global leaders, founders, and investors which aims to develop new ideas to advance the Future of Financial Services (FOFS)— this includes decentralized finance and Web 3.0, embedded finance and sustainable finance.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted that the current wave of technology has yet to run its course and there are “still untapped opportunities.”
“A new wave of technology is emerging in the form of Web 3.0. Blockchain, NFT, and DAO – these technologies are not as well understood or defined. But they could potentially be game-changing.” –Heng Swee Keat, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister
Further into his speech, he also highlighted that the recent events have put “crypto assets in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.”
“This, however, does not reflect where the greatest value of blockchain and digital assets lies, much of which is away from the retail glare,” he emphasized.
Then, he proceeded to set cryptocurrencies as an example, according to him, the prices of crypto can be “highly volatile and subject to speculative movements, making them unsuitable for retail investment.”
“But the blockchain technology underlying cryptocurrencies has potential to improve wholesale cross-border transactions, where the settlement process is far from simple. Today’s cross-border settlement typically goes through a few intermediaries and is mostly bound by fixed operating hours of settlement banks and systems,” he explained.
He further stressed that developers, fintech firms, and other financial institutions can explore blockchain technology to improve the efficiencies, accessibility and affordability of cross-border transactions.
Accordingly, Heng Swee Keat stated that Singapore remains driven to work with blockchain and digital asset players.
“We are committed to partner innovative and responsible players to grow the Web 3.0 ecosystem and community in Singapore,” he said.
He shared that the country will facilitate live experiments through regulatory sandboxes, including testing the feasibility of DeFi and asset tokenization. Also, he stated that Singapore hopes to pioneer work in these fields “in a way that will benefit lives and our regions.”
He also invited the attendees of the forum to “be part of this journey, as we strengthen the partnership between regulator and industry.”
“As we stand at point zero, I hope this forum will generate new ideas in pioneering areas, seed concrete action that will change the world, and improve the circulation of innovation between Europe and Asia,” he stated as he ended his speech.
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