We ask builders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space what they think of the industry…and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week our 6 Questions go to Alyssa Tsai, Founder and CEO of Panony – an incubator, investor and advisor for blockchain and Web3 businesses.
My name is Alyssa Tsai and I am the founder and CEO of Panony. There are three pillars of businesses under the umbrella of our group. PANews is one of the premier crypto news outlets in Greater China and South Korea. He has published over 20,000 articles, averaging over 5 million page views per month. At Panony, we invest in blockchain projects around the world and consult with Fortune 500 companies for industry integration and expansion, covering the full spectrum of the blockchain industry, solution providers and exchanges to public chains, protocols and DApps. I am also a limited partner of NGC Ventures, the Animoca Metaverse Fund and the Delta Fund.
Before falling down the crypto rabbit hole, my previous work experience included Condé Nast, Isentia, Ogilvy, and a high-tech law firm. I also actively speak and moderate global blockchain conferences.
1 — What is the main obstacle to the mass adoption of blockchain technology?
The industry is still in its infancy. We need to be aware of the many challenges, even though it’s already a buzzword in the tech world. The scalability issue is directly related to blockchain adoption and implementation. This question is whether the system can operate smoothly as demand increases, which inevitably determines mass integration.
It is also important to consider that the complexity of blockchain technology limits the ability of mass markets to appreciate the benefits. The barrier to entry is high, so people have to make an effort to understand, not to mention having to keep up with the rapid changes and disruptions. Now they might as well use a suitable solution for their needs, like regular financial services.
That’s why I feel like I’m doing meaningful work every day. It’s early for blockchain and never too early for us. There is so much to do and so many people we can support through education. The future is now.
2 — Which countries are doing the most to support blockchain, and which will be left behind?
Since I’m based in Greater China, I can share what’s happening here from my perspective.
Chinese President Xi Jinping once said that the country should “seize the opportunities” offered by blockchain technology. Following this principle, China has developed a platform, known as the Blockchain-based Service Network, aimed at facilitating the implementation of blockchain technology for businesses. Many governments are experimenting with a CBDC – a central bank digital currency, which relies on blockchain – and China is piloting its digital yuan.
In recent years, the country has issued statements supporting the development of blockchain technology in several sectors, with the ambition to consolidate the technology into its financial and growth strategies. We also appreciate his intention to put in place industry standards or pricing incentives to support blockchain-based businesses.
Hong Kong has a robust system that has spawned Animoca Brands, Crypto.com, BitMEX, and many other outstanding companies in the industry. And globally, Switzerland has SEBA Bank, the first regulated crypto bank in the country. In 2016, the local government of Zug became the first municipality in the world to accept taxes in Bitcoin; and in 2020, Swiss authorities allowed citizens and businesses based in Zug to pay their taxes in Bitcoin or Ether.
Other countries such as the United States, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and South Africa also play an important role in the blockchain ecosystem.
3 — What would you like to see tokenized? When, if ever, do you think this will happen?
The history of art in museums, such as the Dunhuang murals. I visited years ago and learned that many experts and scientists are working tirelessly to discover a solution to slow the oxidation of wall paints caused by exposure to light and air. The tokenization of these could help generate more money for research and democratize investment in art by making works of art accessible to the general public. It can happen at any time.
Additionally, charity work and research support would be great to see symbolized, especially in the shadow of COVID-19.
4 – What makes sense to you, and what doesn’t?
Gender equality. As a young female entrepreneur from the East and connected to the West, I advocate for more investment and education around women. I’ve met so many powerful women from a variety of backgrounds, and they’re just as smart and hardworking as the men. In reality, challenges remain: there is discriminatory legislation, societal practices persist, and women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions at all levels.
Speaking of education, children learning to learn for the sake of their parents’ pride doesn’t make sense to me. We should pay attention to personal growth.
5 — Which alternate cinematic universe would you most like to live in, and why?
That of Marvel. At the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I understood that we really could have a powerful superhero who could save thousands of lives. In addition, the films tell incredible and exciting journeys through time and space. I would like to discover new worlds. For now, I’m going to have to choose crypto as my wild new world to explore.
6 – Think of a favorite poem or song. What is it and why is it talking to you?
From “Bring the Wine” by Li Bai of the Tang Dynasty: “When hopes are won, oh, drink your fill with great pleasure; And never leave your wine cup empty in the moonlight! Heaven has given us talents; we are not made in vain. A thousand pieces of gold spent; others will return. For people who might be interested in the original version — 李白《将进酒》：“人生得意须尽欢，莫使金樽空对月。天生我材必有用，千金散尽西”
I learned this classic Chinese poem in middle school, and it opened my eyes at the time to how people living thousands of years ago could live their lives to the fullest even when they were excluded from a position in the service of the Emperor. I guess that’s how I learned resilience and not being afraid of challenges.
Even today, I still remember every word of this poem that inspires me and empowers me – it’s like I’m encouraged to be someone like Li Bai, who keeps moving forward despite the difficulties and to remain honest. I just keep doing things I believe in, even when I’m feeling down.
A wish for the young and ambitious blockchain community:
Be aggressive and inclusive. Get to know your community and listen to your community. Elevate and add value to each other through collaboration and fair competition.