In 2002, 2006, and 2010 I was able to win 8 total Olympic medals. This was a huge milestone, but something was missing. I never wanted to be just an athlete.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve invested in all sorts of industries, from real estate and land deals to telecommunication and mining.
Simply put, blockchain technology blows them all away.
Let’s be clear. Blockchain isn’t going to improve banking, real estate, healthcare, and government. What it will do is create entirely new paradigms. Usher in new systems. Upend the way millions of people around the world work and live.
In the near future, we’ll use blockchain to conduct banking, buy and sell items, and store sensitive information. Organizations will use it to verify users’ identities, monitor ownership of intellectual property, and prevent fraud.
The blockchain revolution has already begun, and there’s one continent already ahead: Asia.
Here’s why it is uniquely situated to command blockchain technology and what this means for the global economy.
1. Consumers in Asia Are Already Ahead.
I’m half-Japanese, half-American. I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia, and I understand the people and their preferences. That’s how I know that Asia will prevail as a global leader in adopting the blockchain.
The appetite for crypto is already monstrous in Asia. Arguably 10 times bigger than in the United States.
While crypto trading platforms are gaining popularity in the U.S. — Coinbase just reported nearly as many users as Fidelity — they’re still lagging behind.
One out of every three South Koreans either owns cryptocurrencies or gets paid in it. Let that sink in for a moment.
But why are consumers in Asia early adopters of blockchain and cryptocurrencies? There are a few reasons. Many regions in Asia actually skipped right over credit cards, going directly to digital payment. Clearly, they aren’t afraid of the idea of digital currency.
Additionally, the Asian population is large (over 4 billion) and more willing to place risk on speculative investments. In the U.S., for example, the average consumer is only willing to invest $1,000 in crypto. In Hong Kong and other areas of Asia-Pacific, however, the average consumer is willing to spend $10,000 to $100,000.
If these investors were operating in the U.S., they’d be considered quasi-accredited. In Asia they’re a dime a dozen.
South Korean crypto exchanges have already outgrown traditional stock markets. There’s just no comparison. The South Korean Finance Minister has even said that he believes cryptocurrencies could even replace the traditional fiat system, a huge moment for cryptos everywhere.
2. Key factors allow consumers to stay ahead.
The U.S. isn’t going to reach 100 million blockchain users anytime soon. Adoption takes a while, and the market is highly penetrated already.
There’s also a lack of clarity when it comes to crypto regulations.
This fuzziness makes the U.S. a difficult space to enter — the government hasn’t defined its regulation policy on crypto platforms. In Asia it’s more clear cut. Regulators are receptive the technology’s potential, what it can do for a country. They’re interested in working with us to establish effective regulations and make sure we’re fully compliant.
Besides regulation, another way that Asian consumers will stay ahead is education. Learning about distributed ledger technology. Realizing its true economic value. Understanding that crypto requires a long-term investment.
Education is really the key here, that’s why I started HybridBlock. I want to teach people about blockchain’s tremendous potential. And I want to onboard the next 100 million users in Asia.
3. This Will Affect The Global Economy.
Blockchain technology is still relatively new. But in the near future we’ll begin seeing some of the dramatic ways that blockchain — and Asia’s leading role — will affect the global economy.
Here’s an example: Every oil and gas transaction is done in U.S. dollars, whether in Nigeria, China, India, Saudi Arabia, or at home. The dollar is the de facto standard, and it has been for a long time.
It’s coming. Will we be ready?
Many nations are already trying to figure out an alternative digital reserve currency. One that can dethrone the U.S. dollar and decrease the amount of money laundering that physical money makes possible. China is even looking into creating its own Chinese version of bitcoin to protect their national currency, the Renminbi. Eventually, cash would become obsolete.
I don’t know what the end result will look like. But the impact of blockchain and cryptocurrencies on the global economy will be huge.
Asia has an early advantage when it comes to blockchain adoption, and it’s poised to lead the way by embracing sensible regulations and education. With HybridBlock, my ultimate goal is to give consumers a comprehensive knowledge of the power of blockchain: What it is, how you can use it, and how it will change the world.
Opportunities to participate with life-changing innovations are once in a lifetime. By engaging with innovation, Asia is ensuring a dynamic and altogether new manner of living and interacting with each other. The benefits that will come include decentralization, democratization, radical transparency, self-data ownership, voting and more.
And the earlier these changes are championed, the quicker these benefits will come to life — wherever you may be in the world.