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Emerging Asian leaders in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency to watch out

Given the recent dampening of excitement surrounding blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the U.S., I thought it would be interesting to recognize the Asian leaders who are raising the influence over the futures of these fields.

While influential Asian Americans such as Bill Shihara, the co-founder and CEO of Bittrex, and Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, are widely known and frequently cited or referred to in western media, there are Asian developers, creators, and visionaries who are blazing trails in their own respective countries.  

Let’s be honest; investors have become wary of ICOs promising to revolutionize every incumbent industry from gaming to car insurance.

It didn’t help that the SEC and the CFTC recently threw water on the ICO fire with their join customer advisory regarding the prevalence of ‘pump and dump’ schemes.

In Asia however, many central banks are pressing ahead with blockchain adoption and innovations like there’s no tomorrow. As reported in the Bangkok Post, the Bank of Thailand’s governor Veerathai Santiprabhob recently announced plans to develop an interbank payment system based on blockchain technology. Seeing the potential of having higher security and faster, cheaper transactions, Santiprabhob outlined plans to use blockchain technology to issue bonds.

This came days after the managing director of the MAS, Ravi Menon, reaffirmed the central bank’s commitment to using blockchain technology to increase the efficiency of international payments.

With this in mind, who are the shakers behind the latest Asian blockchain and cryptocurrency developments?  I picked out three interesting projects to shine a light on some of the potential candidates.

Adisak Sukumvitaya – CEO of Jaymart
While ICO-mania may be waning stateside, Thailand’s first ever cryptocurrency – Jfin – was snapped up by investors during its presale in February. Although the pre-sale period was planned to run through February 14 to 28, all 100 million JFin coins was sold in under 48 hours, raising 660 million baht (US$20.6 million) for its creator, J Ventures.

As J Ventures is a subsidiary of the Thai firm Jaymart, this makes its CEO Adisak Sukumvitaya arguably influential Asian leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency field at present. The speed at which the project was designed an executed stands as testament to Sukumvitaya’s unique management style and approach. According to Bloomberg, J Ventures Co., Ltd was founded in 2017 and began by developing application software and investing in financial technology businesses. As the corporate venture capital arm of mobile retailer Jaymart, J Venture’s move into blockchain and cryptocurrencies under Sukumvitaya stands as one of the most daring and dramatic moves by any Asian firm so far this year.

Akshay Mehra – CEO and Co-Founder of Crowd-Genie
Crowd-Genie, an Asia-wide cross-border lending platform, concluded its ICO on March 1, raising over $5.5 million. Under the stewardship of CEO and Co-Founder,Akshay Mehra, Genie is aiming to build a private capital hub using smart contracts to make borrowing safer, cheaper and more efficient. Mehra is certified in CMFAS by the MAS and has over 15 years industry experience. His goal of creating a tokenized lending platform puts him at the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology in Asia.

Under Mehra’s leadership, Crowd Genie’s goal is to develop a Business Loans Asset Exchange on which lenders can enhance their liquidity by transferring asset ownership. Crowd Genie Financial Services Pte. Ltd. is one of a handful of licensed platforms in Singapore to hold a ‘Dealing in Securities’ license by MAS and GenieICO’s token - CGC - was listed on the Cobinhood exchange on March 19. With Mehra’s visionary approach to peer-to-peer lending, Genie is focused on making lending to SMEs more transparent than traditional financing.  

Andy Tan CEO of New Era Energy
With the noble aim of decentralizing the carbon market, New Era Energy’s ICO hopes to support the people’s response to combat climate change. According to the project’s white paper, New Era Energy is aiming to deploy blockchain technology to accelerate the adoption of clean energy and green initiatives in Southeast Asia.

With over eight years’ experience of working in the energy market, CEO Andy Tan is uniquely positioned to help NERA’s blockchain solution called the NERA project create a community-driven movement. Tan has over five years’ experience in the IT industry during which time he specialized in cloud implementation and software applications. His focus on Regional Business Development makes him one of the most influential Asian leaders in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology at present. His role is to promote strategic investment and implementation of NERA.

Final thoughts
Although many North American and European investors are getting cold feet when it comes to ICOs, Asia is abuzz with innovations and genuine consumer enthusiasm for the solutions that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in general promise to provide. 

 

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Marina Evseeva

Marina Evseeva

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