This past Monday, YouHodler attended the Crypto Valley Association’s (CVA) inaugural launch event for its Western Chapter. Held at the EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the event covered a wide array of topics from asset tokenization, the merging point of traditional finance with crypto finance and much more. As a team, we were proud to attend this event with other partners such as Sygnum, SEBA, and Swissquote as well as reputable exchanges Kraken and OKEx to engage in innovative discussions that will help shape the future of not only YouHodler, but the industry on the whole.
Unlike some other crypto conferences you see around this world, this one was hardly a meet-and-greet centered around a party atmosphere. The key focus was launching the CVA’s Western Chapter in Lausanne, but it was also much more than that. Bringing together the most experienced minds in FinTech, DeFi, traditional finance, and blockchain technology meant a serious discussion was to be had regarding the current state of these industries and how they can work together for the future. The EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology served as the perfect backdrop for this educational experience.
The crowd of hundreds, featuring students, professors, and industry professionals, gathered to welcome the CVA to their city while engaging in a deep discussion panel featuring the CVA’s leading partners.
All too often, we hear eager crypto startups talking about a “revolution” and how this technology will finally squash the big banks and destroy traditional finance as we know it. Well, it’s been over ten years since Bitcoin was first introduced and we have yet to see anything close to the destruction of traditional finance. In YouHodler’s opinion, that is the wrong way to look at it. A key talking point in the first panel discussion was not the replacement of traditional finance by crypto but instead, how these two industries will cooperate for a better future.
If you do a side by side comparison of traditional and crypto finance, you’ll see there aren’t that many differences. It’s all about technology. Crypto is faster, more transparent and has some slight differences in terms of increased security. Yet, it is still a currency, a payment tool and an asset class. Just like fiat currency. Hence, this is not a revolution where Bitcoin will replace the US Dollar for example. Instead, it’s an evolution that will see fiat enhanced by technology.
Countries and states will probably always use fiat to drive their economies. Some will start implementing digital stablecoins that are connected to their local currencies but it’s still the same fiat currency, just powered by distributed ledger technology (DLT). Decentralized finance will replace some aspects of traditional finance like the way we conduct P2P transactions and cross-border payments, but to say banking practices that have been in place since the Roman empire will simply dissolve tomorrow is highly unlikely.
Crypto should not aim to replace banks and banks should not aim to destroy crypto. The two should embrace each other as they can both evolve more efficiently together. Even traditionally conservative institutions are now starting to show increased interest in the crypto industry. They see the potential this technology has in making their operations more affordable to run and attractive for new clients.
Just last week, we saw news from Germany saying that national banks now have the right to store and execute transactions with Bitcoin and other cryptos starting in 2020. The bill was approved by the country’s parliament and will soon be submitted to authorities. This is another win for crypto-recognition and shows how regulation can impact crypto in a positive way.
Not all regulation is created equal though. Depending on how it is carried out, regulation can affect the industry in a negative fashion. On the topic of regulation, YouHodler CEO Ilya Volkov presented in the panel saying:
“The market is sensitive, modern and dynamic. The only way to get efficient regulation is with the following three principles. First, do not disrupt the market with unneeded, impulsive regulations. Secondly, we must be careful with “local regulations” (as recently announced in Germany). We all know that we live in a time of trends on localization, Isolation, and protectionism. But that doesn’t work for global markets in the same manner as the DLT market. (Hopefully, after a period of localization we’ll again come to synchronization). Lastly, we must have an open dialog of governments and professional communities”
The first panel was a great example of point number three. All the speakers that took part in that panel used both traditional and crypto finance. The comparison between the crypto world and the fiat world needs to stop. Both can coexist and this discussion was a great sign of how cooperation can build a bridge between industries for a harmonious relationship.
The second panel discussion was the highly anticipated unveiling of the CVA’s Asset Tokenization Paper. Spearheaded by Florian Ducommun, the Chair of the Asset Tokenization Working Group, the paper clearly defines best practices for tokenizing assets in the Swiss blockchain ecosystem. The 52-page paper features a task force of compliance specialists, attorneys, and leading tech experts from organizations like the HDC, MME, PwC, SEBA, and Lykke. In an interview with YouHodler. Ducommun said that:
“The aim of the paper is to set the various asset classes, define what the legal challenges are, expose the hurdles that companies tokenizing assets should be careful of, and to streamline the legal processes and practices for tokenization in general. The purpose is to actually make the tokenization process easier and clearer for companies and have all the information in one easy-to-read document. Essentially we have defined the legal requirements for tokenizing each token asset class, from property to shares.”
As the CVA looks to bridge the development gap in Switzerland and expand the reach of the organization, the "Asset Tokenization Paper" will be a key tool to drive the CVA towards this mission.
The third and final panel discussion featured the event’s keynote speaker Eva Oberholzer, CMO at SEBA bank and educators from EPFL and University of Geneva and Blockchain Student Association. Oberholzer spoke about the importance of education, particularly in regard to blockchain and crypto in this industry. As a new industry, cryptocurrency’s evolution is largely dependent on the future of its leaders. Without proper education, innovation will not arise to fuel a new market. This is part of the inspiration for SEBA Bank’s SEBAversity, an educational project to teach students how to work with blockchain technology.
The country of Switzerland is fortunate to have companies like SEBA as well as universities like the EPFL in Lausanne, the University of Geneva, The University of Zurich and others that are following this forward-thinking approach to blockchain education.
From the client’s point of view, there is plenty to get excited about following this event. Not only did YouHodler witness first-hand accounts of monumental progress within the realms of finance, crypto, and blockchain technology, but we made several connections that will ultimately benefit our user-base directly.
As a client-focused, platform, YouHodler has never hidden behind fancy buzzwords or mealiness whitepapers with grandiose promises. Our main goal has always been to help HODLers and traders alike navigate the ups and downs of the crypto market with increased efficiency and giving them all the opportunities to benefit from their crypto assets. After this event, we have made more relationships that will further enhance our mission and make the platform even easier for our clients. We can’t wait to share the details with you so please, keep following along for more updates coming soon.