Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, recently sat down for a chat with IMF’s Deputy General Counsel Ross Leckow. The conversation took place at Monday’s Singapore Fintech Festival. In the dialogue, the two exchanged ideas on the opportunities that blockchain technology and digital assets provide for the financial institutions in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region.
IMF Devoting a Lot of Attention to Fintech and Blockchain
Mr. Lechow was quick to point out that the IMF was devoting a lot of attention to Finetech and blockchain technology. However, he was quick to point out that other emerging technologies were also worth mentioning. These technologies include cloud computing, APIs, Mobile and more.
Regulatory Clarity Boosts Crypto and Blockchain Adoption
During the chat, Brad Garlinghouse pointed out that the blockchain challenges and opportunities in the ASEAN market were unique in that there was regulatory clarity from several governments in the region.
Mr. Garlinghouse had this to say with regards to the matter:
Regulatory clarity has a huge ability to drive digital asset and blockchain adoption. It is surprising how many markets still have uncertainty. But, in ASEAN, the regulatory environment for blockchain and digital asset technology is clear.
According to Ripple’s CEO, countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, have provided a suitable environment that allows for the blockchain and crypto industry to thrive. He cited an example of how Thailand has managed to balance consumer protection and innovation.
Leckow also added that the ASEAN region is more open to Finetech. He stated that:
Every country in this region also has very different needs. Some are further ahead than others in thinking through policy, and it’s not surprising that they’ve taken different regulatory approaches…
But, in the ASEAN region, there is general openness in embracing Fintech and allowing innovation to happen. Fintechs in this region are willing to engage with regulators and let them understand the technology, services and products that they’re producing in the early stages of development. Regulatory sandboxes in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are examples of this.
What about the Rest of the World?
From the point of view of crypto enthusiasts and traders, regulatory direction is vital in determining the value and validity of their digital asset investments. One such example is the eagerly awaited Bitcoin ETF decision by the American SEC. Many believe that a nod of approval from the Regulatory body, will rubber stamp crypto as a mainstream investment asset class. This will in turn bring in the ‘big money’ from Wall Street and High Net Individuals.
Regulatory Decision Cannot be Ignored
But as much as many might want to adhere to Satoshi’s vision of a truly decentralized payment system without the interference of governments and banks, they are also aware that they reside and abide by the laws provided for in their country’s of residence.
Part of ‘the deal’ of being a citizen of a particular country, is to follow the laws and regulations of the land. Therefore, government direction cannot be ignored.