Organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) was hosted from November 8 to 12.
This year, the theme of the festival was the impact of Web 3.0 on financial services. Web 3.0 has collided with financial services, and the movement towards decentralised finance (DeFi) continues to accelerate.
The festival saw many frontrunners and investors in the crypto space, from Kevin O’Leary to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin hosting panels.
In case you missed it, here are some of the key conversations that happened during SFF 2021:
Vitalik Buterin on building the value exchange layer on the Internet
The panel “Building The Value Exchange Layer Of The Internet” saw Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum Founder and Raoul Pal, Co-Founder of Real Vision as panelists.
“When I started it [Ethereum], I expected it to be a tiny side project,” said Buterin. He added that he had expected to go back to university life, and did not expect the crypto space to grow to the level it is today.
However, the explosion of DeFi, NFTs, Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, a lot of which is built on Ethereum, have proved otherwise.
Even though crypto is a very speculative space, the DeFi ecosystem is growing, and projects are continuing to survive. Projects like Maker and Uniswap have continued to be stable and are growing and providing the functionality that people expect of them, which signals that people are likely to develop greater trust in DeFi over time, said Buterin.
The trends that the crypto space is seeing is growing adoption, with more kinds of people using DeFi. Buterin note that DeFi is not just a financial system, but is a whole ecosystem.
Buterin said that many projects are not just about money in nature, but still benefit a lot from being plugged into the greater crypto ecosystem. For example, buying and selling NFTs require a smart contract and crypto tokens, all of which are created by a DeFi platform.
“There are DeFi components being plugged in all over the place, and value comes from all the different pieces talking to each other,” said Buterin.
He added that the DeFi space is likely to stabilise as more and more different people and projects start entering, and onlookers will then be able to identify which parts of DeFi are here to stay.
MAS’ Ravi Menon on the digital Singapore Dollar
Ravi Menon, Managing Director of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), talked about the future of money, finance and the Internet.
Singaporeans were particularly interested when he mentioned the possible launch of a digital Singapore Dollar, under Project Orchid.
According to Menon, the MAS is embarking on Project Orchid in close partnership with the private sector to build the tech infrastructure and competencies necessary to issue a digital Singdollar.
Linkin Park announces NFT drop
Mike Shinoda, co-founder of Linkin Park announced an NFT drop on Tezos during the festival.
Tezos is a decentralized, open-source proof-of-stake blockchain network, and Shinoda revealed that the NFT drop will be an art and music one.
As a guest speaker at SFF, Shinoda mentioned that he first ventured into the world of NFTs after becoming inspired by a Malaysian fan. Shinoda encouraged her to turn her art pieces into NFTs, and said that he would purchase them.
The speculative crypto culture and NFT craze
The panel discussion ‘Digital Currencies: The Missing Puzzle Piece?’ saw Cuy Sheffield, Vice President and Head of Crypto at Visa, Yusho Liu, Co-Founder and CEO of Coinhako, Eric Anziani, COO of Crypto.com, and Kevin Lim Director at Temasek speaking.
During the discussion, a participant asked whether crypto’s value has caught up with prices, citing the Shiba Inu coins as an example.
Eric Anziani noted that beyond the pricing, “there’s still a lot to be realised for crypto.”
I think where we see a much bigger economy is through Web 3.0. For now, we’re building the tools, and they’re priced differently sometimes even on the non-fungible tokens (NFT) space at stratospheric prices. I think we should not focus on that, we should focus on whether we’re building the right tools for Web 3.0 for this more fair and equitable world that we want to build where people have true ownership, and better control of their money, data, and identity. And prices will come to something that is closer to value.Eric Anziani, Chief Operating Officer of Crypto.com
The panel also discussed the hype on NFTs that has taken the mainstream internet by storm. Buy believes that NFTs represent a new tool, and is shifting the nature of what crypto wallets do, beyond just holding money.
On the whole, the speakers agreed that we are just getting started in the crypto and NFT space. There are around 250 million crypto users today, and compared to the global population, it’s still a long way to go.
Featured Image Credit: Monetary Authority of Singapore / VOI / Loudwire