Hong Kong-based C Block Capital is one of the newest entrants pushing the boundaries of how distributed ledger technology can be applied to traditional finance. Blockchain Asset Review spoke to managing director of C Block and blockchain evangelist Mun Shing Cheong on various topics, notably the challenges and opportunities in the brand new field of asset tokenization in the context of Asia.
By Tsering Namgyal
BAR: Please explain C Block and what exactly does it do? What is your value proposition as a blockchain company?
Mun: C Block Capital Group is a private international investment group headquartered in Hong Kong and backed by one of Asia’s largest fintech groups. Our business operations span across asset management, venture capital, and technology media. C Block Capital Group’s vision is to become a leading fintech investment platform in Asia, bridging the traditional & digital capital markets between China & the world.
BAR: What are some of the most promising use cases in blockchain? What are you most excited about?
Mun: Blockchain technology has the potential to transform many different industries. Among the more promising use cases are in the areas surrounding supply chain management, digital identity, healthcare, and payment services. Take money transfer as an example – with blockchain technology, there is increased trust and the elimination of intermediaries which can increase the speed of transfers significantly. However, I am most excited about the prospect of asset tokenization and fractional ownership brought possible through blockchain technology. An asset’s value can be broken down into fractions, thereby making it more affordable for investors and lowering the barriers to ownership.
BAR: You recently formed a strategic partnership Securitize to help ramp up their business in Asia, especially their DS Protocol. What is the rationale behind the collaboration and how is it going so far?
Mun: Securitize and C Block Capital announced a strategic partnership to bridge the traditional and digital capital markets in the Greater China Region. Through this partnership, C Block Capital will be channeling digital securities offering projects originating from the Greater China Region onto Securitize’s platform for the issuance and management of digital securities.
BAR: Do you think the security token offerings are the next big thing? What is its future?
Mun: On a longer term view, I am positive on Security Token Offerings (STOs) given the benefits they offer over IPOs. However, admittedly there are still many hurdles that STOs will need to overcome before gaining wider acceptance. Firstly there is the issue of regulatory uncertainty. Regulations around how to treat STOs are still unclear in many jurisdictions. Secondly, there is a lack of quality Issuers with trophy assets that have decided to go down the STO route. Thirdly, there’s a scarcity of professional and high-quality service providers, especially in Asia. Apart from these hurdles, there is also a lack of understanding of STOs among investors. If these issues can be overcome, we will see STOs truly taking off.
BAR: Finally, your views on Hong Kong and Singapore as financial/fintech hubs for blockchain firms? What are their pros and cons?
Mun: Both Hong Kong and Singapore have characteristics that make them suitable as hubs for blockchain firms. Both these countries have stable economies, sound financial infrastructure, and favourable environments that encourage innovation. Singapore is well-positioned as the gateway into the Asia Pacific while Hong Kong provides a good entry into the Greater Bay Area with great access to funding. The governments, especially in Singapore, play an important role in encouraging the growth of fintech and blockchain firms. For example, Singapore’s government has launched numerous initiatives to promote the use of blockchain such as Project Ubin, cooperation with R3 and various financial institutions. Hong Kong, on the other hand, even though welcoming to startups, may be slightly more conservative when it comes to implementing new regulations on digital assets, possibly due to ties with China.