Messari – the Market Intelligence firm founded by Ryan Selkis (formerly DCG and Coindesk) – released a new research report on the Crypto Landscape in Asia, covering the World’s most interesting destination for Crypto Entrepreneurs, Business and Traders.

The Asian market has increasingly played the dominant role in Crypto since the second half of 2013 – a role which is still underestimated by various industry observers in the West.

The new Messari report is aiming to alleviate this lack of knowledge by providing a comprehensive overview over all the various markets in Asia – from developed nations such as Japan or Korea; financial market capitals such as Singapore or Hong Kong, the landscape in the World’s new leading superpower China as well as the rising stars in South East Asia.

The report has been compiled by Mira Christanto who prior to joining Messari had a career in Asset Management, Hedge Funds and Investment Banking across Asia & North America.

BitcoinVN News: Hello Mira! First of all – can you briefly introduce yourself, and when and what brought you to “give up” a career in legacy finance in favour of joining our industry?

Mira Christanto: Thanks for having me, it’s an honor to be here especially with what you’ve done for educating the community about Bitcoin and crypto currencies in Vietnam!  I spent more than a decade focused on equities investing, where macroeconomics and politics were a major component of my research. I see a trend with decentralization, grass-roots community movement and I wanted to be on the right side of history. Also, crypto is something I’m invested in for the long term and so passionate about that I wanted to find a way to give back to this incredibly talented community. 

BV News: What was the main motivation to conduct the research and ultimately release this extensive report on Asia’s Crypto Landscape?

Mira: In managing an equities portfolio, I visited all the Asian countries about five times a year for a dozen years. So I’m very familiar with the different cultures, politics and macroeconomic conditions of each country. I felt that enterprises and investors in the West didn’t really understand what was happening in Asia and that many of the protocols and companies they dealt with on a daily basis were based in Asia. It’s a buy blind spot. I also realized that Asia-based investors also had no real understanding of what was happening within the crypto community in neighboring countries.  So I wanted to write this report for greater awareness and to highlight how important Asia is. Also, a lot of crypto adoption is happening in emerging markets.  While that’s generally trivial in terms of transaction volumes, it’s significant in terms of population and potential. 

Mira Christanto - lead author of the Messari Research report into the Asia's Crypto Landscape
Mira Christanto – lead author of the Messari Research report into the Asia’s Crypto Landscape.

BV News: What were some of the most surprising findings during your research?

Mira: I was surprised at how different each market was. For example, on some of these nuances: Japan’s crypto-native exchanges have intense competition from online securities brokers that are entering the space with their large client base. Japan exchanges also have the most hacks in the world. Hong Kong’s regulators are the only one to inject crypto to its existing financial framework with other countries having created a separate crypto regulator framework. Singapore’s largest bank and the Singapore Stock Exchange has launched a digital asset exchange — which is a first mover by legacy finance companies. In markets especially like Vietnam, Indonesia and India, Gold is typically the first investment people make, even over equities, to hedge against currency volatility. That all bodes well for crypto adoption with the macroeconomic play and also regulatory clarity. 

BV News: Many people in our part of the world predict that Asia will increase its dominant rule further in the years to come as the economic & regulatory situation in the West forces a significant brain drain & capital flight towards greener pastures in Asia. What is your personal opinion on what changes and trends to expect in the next few years to come in regard to our industry?

Mira: Asia is just beginning so it’s early days in our development and there is a long, exciting and profitable road ahead. That said, I think with decentralization and work-from-home, we will increasingly see an internationalization of companies that don’t have any headquarters. However, Asia has demographic dividends and a need for crypto. For example, the Philippines government offered a portion of their government bonds on Ethereum out of necessity and a developmental mindset. Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong’s regulations seek to promote Security Token Offerings (STOs) as there’s a need to reduce fundraising friction. The West typically is more developed so the case for crypto isn’t needed, but a nice to have. In the end, governments will have to compete for human and capital resources, by introducing favorable regulations. 

BVNews: Thank you Mira and we wish you and the Messari team success and look forward to upcoming research reports from your team!

The full report “Asia’s Crypto Landscape” can be downloaded here.

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