A Global Perspective
With the year, and decade coming to a close, we at securities.io thought it prudent to gauge industry sentiment as it stands. What is the current state of the digital securities sector? Is it better today than it was yesterday? Maybe those ‘in-the-know’ feel as though strategic work still needs to be done.
These are all queries that many may have, including us as securities.io. With this in mind, we have reached out to various representatives within the sector. Each hailing from differing regions of the globe.
The following commentary sheds insight into their thought processes, and how regulatory environments may shape market perception.
Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom. These are the regions which we have decided to look at on an individual basis.
In this issue of ‘A Global Perspective’, the CEOs of the five companies have taken the time to share their thoughts.
Penny for your Thoughts?
Our methodology was simple – ask the same 5 simple questions pertaining to digital securities to 5 CEOs from around the world. The goal? Gain insight into the variances in perception and adoption of the sector based on geography. Something we feel is an important metric, given the potential of the sector to influence FinTech on a global scale. The questions were as follows,
Asia – Julian Kwan, CEO of InvestaX
Founded in 2015, InvestaX maintains headquarters in Singapore. The company is spearheaded by CEO, Julian Kwan, with the team working to develop a platform specializing in digital securities.
The company describes their operations as the ‘core of an ecosystem of key stakeholders that deliver end-to-end solutions for securities issuance, investment and divestment in a digital format’.
The following is a brief, but informative, 10 minute clip of Julian Kwan discussing ‘The History of Securities’.
In your opinion, what represents the largest industry achievement/hurdle cleared, to date?
I would say the institutional testing, adoption and implementation of different blockchain and DLT use cases, i.e. project UBIN (MAS Singapore) and JP Morgan’s Quorum platform.
With the aforementioned achievements laying a foundation for the industry, what remains as the biggest obstacle moving forward?
The biggest obstacle is the quality of people and projects entering the space, crypto and ICO saw a flood of bad actors trying to capitalize on easy new money and the results were not always positive. For the implementation of digital securities/security tokens you need people that understand capital markets first and technology second bringing the best of both worlds together in a compliant way so investors are protected and the quality of investments needs to dramatically improve which we have seen happening throughout 2019.
With regards to ‘friendly’ regulation and government acceptance, have you noticed any countries leaving the rest behind?
Singapore and Switzerland seem to be way out in front on so many levels.
Much has been made about the transformative capabilities of digital securities. With the potential to affect change in many industries, which do you feel stands to benefit the most from the digital securities sector?
There is no one person/industry that will reap the most benefits, we now have a better technology resulting in a better and more efficient way to do execute business, the people who will hurt are the rent-seeking middlemen who do not need to be there anymore and businesses will be able to reduce operating costs by removing paper and back-office admin which is a significant cost burden for many businesses especially banks.
Looking forward, where along the growth trajectory do you see digital securities in the next two, and five years?
In 2 years many institutions will have issued their first digital security, in 5 years there will be no new company set up in paper form anymore and every security offering will be digital as smart governments migrate company set up and management to distributed ledgers removing the need for any paper.
Well there you have it! As 2019 is about to wrap up, there is a clear trend evident within the sector – a positive one. While many hurdles have been met and cleared, there remain many more on the horizon. Despite this, the potential that digital securities hold to reshape investing remains as tantalizing as ever.
We will touch base in a few months to re-gauge industry sentiment with a new set of influencers from around the world. Until then, stay informed by reading securities.io!