September (as it usually often is) proved to be a challenging month for financial markets, driven by uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Federal Reserve's stance on interest rates and concerns of a potential recession. Stocks trended downwards, and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, warned clients about the possibility of interest rates reaching 7%. Amidst this turbulence, the crypto world experienced intriguing developments, such as the launch of Europe's first Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) in August. Calvin Shen, our Managing Director and Head of Sales & Business Development provided valuable insights on this milestone, which signifies the increasing mainstream acceptance of digital assets and bridges the gap between traditional finance and cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, alongside closely monitoring the progress of the ETF launch, our involvement extended to engaging in various events, such as fireside chats, community meetups, and collaborations with prestigious institutions like Stanford University. These events, including the notable Token2049 conference in Singapore, explored diverse topics within the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, covering areas such as the innovative potential of the XRP Ledger, the future of decentralized finance (DeFi), institutional custody solutions, and the convergence of traditional finance (TradFi) with blockchain technology.
We co-hosted an exclusive side event with zkSync at TOKEN2049 Singapore. Set atop a 33-story venue (appropriately named Level33) with stunning views of Marina Bay, the event brought together industry leaders, visionaries, and enthusiasts for engaging discussions on Web3 and the Hex Trust ecosystem. Attendees enjoyed bespoke cocktails, delectable cuisine, and valuable networking opportunities. The event set the stage for the Token2049 conference, leaving participants with new connections, new memories, and a renewed focus on driving the future of blockchain technology.
Alessio Quaglini, our CEO and Co-Founder, participated in a fireside chat during Ripple's XRPL Zone Event, focusing on how traditional financial (TradFi) institutions are entering the crypto space. The event gave attendees firsthand insights into this trend and the intersection of traditional finance and cryptocurrencies. Alongside the fireside chat, the event showcased real-world DeFi solutions built on the XRP Ledger, highlighting its potential to transform the financial landscape.
We appreciate the participation of all attendees for their active engagement during the fireside chat with MBA students from HKUST Business School earlier last month. The event featured representatives from Hex Trust, including Andre Mak, Giorgia Pellizzari, Filippo Buzzi, and Stan Choi, who shared their valuable insights on the topic of "Unlocking the Future of Finance: TradFi vs DeFi." The conversation sparked meaningful discussions, exploring the dynamic changes happening in both TradFi and DeFi and their impact on the financial industry.
We would like to acknowledge our Managing Director and Head of HR, Stan Choi, for participating as a speaker at Lockton's Global Benefits Forum. In the session on "Managing Corporate and People Risks for a Global Workforce," Stan shared valuable insights alongside speakers Rakesh Patel, Stephen Winter, Jayesh Gadekar, and Melvyn Ford. They discussed developing a sustainable risk management strategy to mitigate various factors.
Later this month, Stan will be representing Hex Trust once again at the upcoming Inspire HR 2023 by Human Resources Online. Inspire HR is a platform for HR visionaries and professionals to collaborate, innovate, and gain insights into the latest trends and strategies shaping the future of work. Join Stan on the 19th of October at The Mira Hong Kong as he shares his expertise and explores the evolving landscape of HR.
The Hong Kong TV channel, TVB, featured our collaborative efforts with our intern from Stanford University in an exclusive video. The video highlights the teamwork, innovation, and transformative projects that have resulted from our internship program. Through our collaboration with Cyberport and Stanford University, we actively attract talents in the field of Innovation and Technology (I&T) through internships. Hex Trust is one of the community members, alongside Clare.AI (Wati), GoGoX, and Gense Technologies. The interns recently shared their experiences and perspectives on I&T development in Hong Kong during a TVB news program, highlighting the program's ability to attract overseas talent to the local innovation and technology community.
Geoff McAlister, Managing Director and Head of Hex Trust Markets, joined Edward Lashinski, CEO of AlgoRai Finance, to discuss the convergence of finance and technology. The conversation provided informative perspectives on the intersection of these two domains and the potential implications of their integration. As finance and technology continue to intersect, this discussion highlighted the evolving landscape and potential opportunities in the industry.
Our recent Community Meetup in Hong Kong garnered a significant turnout, bringing together members of the dynamic DeFi community to discuss the future of decentralized finance. The event featured a Fireside Chat on 'DeFi and Institutions: Self Custody vs Custody,' with notable speakers including our Head of Product, Kelvin Ting, Rachaika Verma (VP, Digital Custody Product Specialist), Anton Bukov (Co-Founder of 1inch Network), and Felix Fan from OKX. Moderated by Sarah from Blockbooster, the panel engaged in insightful conversations. Industry leaders from MetaMask and BlockBeats also participated, contributing their expertise to exploring the future of DeFi.
Calvin Shen, our Managing Director and Head of Sales & Business Development, provided expert insights on the debut of Europe's first Bitcoin ETF, highlighting its implications for the global economy and the growing acceptance of digital assets. Europe's introduction of the spot Bitcoin ETF marks a significant moment in the continent's financial history, setting a precedent for other jurisdictions to follow. While Europe takes the lead in embracing digital assets, the United States remains hesitant in approving a spot Bitcoin ETF, showcasing the divergent regulatory visions between the two regions. The debut of the ETF could act as a (catalyst) for developing ETFs for other cryptocurrencies and drive institutional investment into the digital asset space. Traditional financial entities are also adapting to the rise of digital assets, with banks establishing relationships with crypto companies and the financial sector experiencing transformative shifts. The recent court victory of Grayscale against the SEC further emphasizes the growing acceptance of digital assets and the need for regulatory bodies to adapt to the changing financial landscape. As Europe balances innovation and regulation, collaborative efforts, informed regulations and continuous education will be crucial for a stable and prosperous financial future in the digital asset space.
Tracy Wu, our VP of Sales and Business (MENA) based in Dubai, is instrumental in cultivating and expanding business relationships at Hex Trust. With a background in startups and a passion for the crypto industry, Tracy serves as the first point of contact for new clients, offering a suite of products including custody, markets, financing, and OTC trading. She ensures a smooth onboarding process and strives to meet clients' specific needs, whether they are high-net-worth individuals, fund managers, or native token projects.
If you're interested in exploring further, please contact Tracy at email@example.com.
In a recent podcast on "The Future of Crypto Custody: Mainstream Staking, Self Custody and More," Alessio Quaglini and Henri Arslanian discuss the disparities between staking services offered by exchanges and the fundamental principles of blockchain. The podcast highlights the distinction between custodial staking with segregated wallets and exchange offerings. During the podcast, it is mentioned, "Exchanges offering staking services are not truly providing staking. They operate differently from the blockchain market's principles. Exchanges use commingled funds in omnibus accounts, where pressing the staking button transfers ownership to the exchange. The exchange then decides how to handle the funds, which may not involve actual staking. This resembles a collective investment scheme rather than true staking. Regulators rightly consider this activity as a potential area for regulation." These variations between blockchain staking and exchange offerings carry regulatory implications, underscoring the importance of comprehending the distinctions. Further exploration of the topic can be found in the podcast.
Till next time.
The Hex Trust team