Malcolm Tan, Advisor at KingSwap talks about the impact of DeFi and HyFi on today’s financial ecosystem in this chat with GlobalFintechSeries. Catch the complete QnA:
Can you tell us a little about yourself Malcolm, we’d love to hear about KingSwap and its launch- how did the idea of this platform come about?
I’ve been in the cryptocurrency space since 2017, and was an advisor for over 80 ICO/IEO/STO projects to date, and wrote 2 books in the space – one on “How to ICO…” and another on the DeFi space. I’ve spoken at numerous conferences around the world in the past 3 years on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, especially on the topics of legal, regulatory and compliance matters in the space.
In August this year, I started to learn more about the DeFi space, and started writing my book on DeFi, and also started looking at incubating projects in the DeFi space. I mentioned this to 2 of the co-founders of KingSwap, and they took to it, and ran an idea by me of doing a fork and improvement of Uniswap and Sushiswap, which I readily agreed to, and the name for KingSwap also came from one of these two co-founders.
How are you seeing technologies like Blockchain / DeFi impact the global finance and banking marketplace?
It is a necessary step, albeit one that will take a while for the rest of the world to catch on to. However, with technology being ubiquitous, and with centralized financial systems under immense inflationary pressures that were largely self-inflicted, it is inevitable that the masses will turn towards financial ecosystems and methodologies that do not require reliance on broken centralized controls. DeFi and HyFi will shake the world to its core in terms of financial services once sufficient improvements and mass adoption starts to take place.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on a few game-changing DeFi platforms that you’ve come across from the global fintech marketplace. How do you feel DeFi apps and platforms will evolve in years to come?
Some top projects in the DeFi space are Yearn.Finance, Uniswap, Curve, MakerDao, Compound, Aave, Synthetix, etc. More and more of the CeFi financial tools and elements will find their way into the DeFi space and through the use of technology, become accessible to the lay persons who will no longer need to rely on centralized authorities to administer such financial services.
As fintech matures and institutions and banks focus on providing an end to end digital journey to their customers, how are you seeing technology reshape the way users are being served?
Increasingly, we are seeing traditional banks earn more from their digital banking services, where margins are thicker and operating costs are lower. Users are more reliant and conversant with technology, and whereas nobody 20 years ago would trust the internet and digital platforms with their money and financial transactions, today, any millennial and tech-savvy person would have no qualms about performing financial transactions online.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the fintech startup marketplace in the APAC region; what are some of the fintechs you’d tell a global audience to watch out for?
You can certainly look out for us to make a difference in the space! There are many regional Asian players who are trying to appeal to and reach out to a regional first, then later, a global audience, but it is still difficult to see any APAC fintechs really get onto a global market as cultures are too diverse in APAC, and the tech giants of China are facing increasing push-back from the Western world due to geopolitics.
Can you share a few thoughts on the evolution of blockchain based apps in fintech, how do you see these platforms transforming now when compared to a few years ago?
There is a lot more adoption and real usage of fintech applications riding on blockchain technologies now, as compared to 3 years ago. Today, the only projects that are succeeding are the ones who are delivering. Some top projects from 2017 and 2018 have been failing badly, and many have already utilized their entire runway of funding raised back then, and are shutting down. Blockchain and cryptocurrency has evolved tremendously from “White Papers and websites” to real, technologically interesting and cutting edge applications and technologies today.
As global fintech trends change and the market shifts due to business environments (and also Covid-19), what are your comments on the state of fintech in 2021 and beyond?
Fintech is very healthy and the prognosis looks good, although many fintechs are still burning cash and digital banks are losing stakeholder monies, but with increasing penetration into traditional finance and markets, the giants of tomorrow will be fintechs – look at how all governments around the world sat up and took notice the moment that Facebook announced that they were rolling out the Libra project – the governments worldwide saw a real threat where a tech platform with 2 billion users could suddenly challenge their traditional hegemony.
Before we wrap up, what are the biggest learnings / tips you’d share with fintech innovators and founders?
Stay true to the course and deliver value to your user base, as that is what can carve your niche and allow your loyal supporters to stay with you until you expand your services sufficiently to reach scale.
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