CoinDesk Executive Director of Global Content Emily Parker, who recently returned to the U.S. after traveling across Asia, discusses the key highlights and trends around the continent for crypto.
A very familiar face is joining us now. Coin desk executive director of global content. Emily Parker. Emily, where have you been? I missed you guys. It's great to see you back. Um Yeah, I, I've been to a lot of places I, I've been waiting for this segment for weeks. That's, that's, that's better, Lawrence. Yeah, weeks and weeks. Um Yeah, I've been kind of all over Asia. Well, not just I especially was speaking at events in Seoul, Singapore and Hong Kong. There were big fin tech events in Hong Kong and Singapore specifically and I was also speaking at an event in Korea. Well, Emily, we got the first question that comes to mind is what's the reaction people are having to this Binance news? You haven't been here for so long? Um Of course, we've, we've seen what's happened with BC Z has stepped down as CEO. What's the reaction like, what's the reaction been like in Asia? So I was back in the US when this news broke. But I mean, I think in general, you know, the the reaction in the crypto industry is kind of mixed, right? I mean, I think there's some people that see this as like the beginning of a new era, a lot of people are pointing out that finance is not in fact dead. In fact, it just kind of has new leadership and it has, you know, leadership that has kind of a reg background. So I think there are some people that are positive about this new era for b of course, there are others who think that, you know, this is an example of us overreach and that the US was targeting Binance specifically because it was crypto. So, you know, I think as usual, the crypto industry doesn't really agree exactly on this. Can't believe it. Now, you're saying that the uh R IP borderless crypto, is that what you think is going on here? Yeah, I mean, I think that's one of the interesting larger trends here. So II, I would argue that it's very unlikely that we will ever see a massive company like the old Binance because Binance was a very unique animal as we know from the show, right? We talked to a lot of people about Binance. We talked to Binance, you know, Binance, this whole thing was like, we don't, you know, nobody really knows where they are, you know, they're kind of everywhere and nowhere. Um You know, the whole idea of a headquarters were sort of antithetical to Bin's whole identity. You know, CZ famously didn't really like questions about like where he was based where the company was based where the headquarters were, you know, that was a big part of Bin's whole thing. And I would argue that that era is over, at least for a company at the scale of Bin. I mean, I think that's very, very clearly the measures that the US wanted to send. But I don't think it's just the U si think, you know, we're just seeing again a lot of countries and, and just, just trying to establish very clear regulatory regimes and clear jurisdictions. And I just don't know if we're going to ever see like a huge company like that. That's kind of like in this nebulous area where we don't really know where they're based. I I is that because for the most part B was sort of in the acceptable world if you will, I mean, we had, we have China UAE, uh the United States, these are places that have some regulations, some more than others. Um But at the same time, uh we look at maybe some other actors, Iran, Russia, et cetera, North Korea, which might say, you know, what would be really cool if we set up an exchange and we kind of control it but not really and let it, uh you know, take a lot of this volume. Could we see a global company if you will go to that size again and that kind of influence uh based somewhere that's too much. I mean, I think if you ask us officials, I think it's quite unlikely. Right. I mean, look, I think finance like to its credit, it established a very different kind of model. I mean, it was, it was a really unique company. Right. I mean, it, when, when it formed and I think people didn't really know what to do with it. And so for a while it was in a little bit of a gray area. I think the US has very clearly said that are just not interested in this kind of thing anymore. And you know, we're actually seeing some moves. Our colleague, Jesse Hamilton just reported that, you know, the Treasury US Treasury is actually pushing for expanded powers to sort of go after, you know, illicit finance using crypto and they're looking for, you know, special jurisdiction over non us stablecoin issuers. And you know, they're looking for expanded powers that would involve transactions that don't even involve us citizens. So I don't see, you know, the US stepping down, if anything, I think they're pushing for expanded powers. Obviously, this is quite controversial. There are people in the crypto industry who think this is really bad for decentralized finance, for example, they think that the US is maybe going too far, but I just think that we're trending away from this idea of a borderless decentralized company. Where does the industry go from here? We know you've been in a lot of think tank events. Do you think we're going to see uh innovation move more towards Hong Kong and the United United Arab Emirates that have, you know, more clear regulatory structures than we do over here in the US. Do you think international regulators are going to start opening their investigations into bin and firms like that? What, what are folks saying out there? So I do think that, you know, in the near term, we are trending towards jurisdictions that have regulatory clarity, you know, and I think that's where, you know, Singapore obviously has had an advantage for a long time. I think Hong Kong is establishing, you know, more regulatory clarity. The thing to remember here is that regulatory clarity is not the same thing as ease of doing business. These are actually quite difficult places to do crypto business. But I think one other trend that we, that I saw a lot in Asia is, you know, this trend towards um uh real world asset uh tokenization. And, you know, again, this sort of split between, you know, digital asset um tokenization and crypto, which I think some some governments are, are are trying to kind of uh are trying to distinguish that difference and just based on your, your time in Asia, you know, I always got to ask about Web three gaming. It's something that I love to follow. And Emily, I know I know you do too. Um some data that we recent report recently reported on, on the show said, I think 40% of game developers are in the Asia Pacific region. And what kind of innovation are you seeing while you're over there? Absolutely. Yeah, this is something Jen, we definitely want, we need to dig in further. I mean, this is clearly a very big narrative and something that you hear a lot. Um Yeah, I mean, I think that there is a little bit more energy uh for Web three gaming in Asia versus the United States. I think there's a little, I mean, again, speaking very generally here, but there's, you know, we've talked about this before on the show, there's a little bit of a backlash um towards web three gaming among some in the gaming community in the United States. And I think in Asia it's a little bit less. So, so definitely like some of the big players that are emerging, for example, are Korea Japan. You know, a lot of the big companies are expanding quite aggressively into web three gaming. There isn't so much of a stigma about it within those local gaming communities which I think gives companies a little bit more of a wider breath to explore that. All right, Emily, we are going to have to wrap it there. Thanks so much for making an appearance. We look forward to welcome you, welcoming you back to the show um full time soon.