At the Blockchain Week recently held in New York, it emerged that two quite distinct differences exist between the Asian crypto market and the West.
In the US, initial coin offerings are about ideas rather than returns and vice versa when it comes to Asia, according to Coindesk interviews conducted at the conference. Asian investors want returns more quickly than US investors, who are in for the long haul, better invested in terms of financial knowledge than quick gains.
“At the very beginning, the information coming from Asia to the US was very limited. We didn’t know what’s really going on,” said Zhuling Chen, co-founder of Aelf, a Singapore startup.
With no real reference point, this resulted in the market evolving in Asia as a separate entity, not part of a Bitcoin or Ethereum ecosystem, but certainly informed by them, followed by Asian banks joining the fray in early 2016.
“Asians love to gamble,” commented Jason Fang from Sora Ventures at the Token Summit 111, one of the Blockchain Week events. Fan added that unlike Western projects, they don’t want to see long lock-up periods, but want their tokens out and realize quick returns.
Fang suggested that Asian investors have one eye on the market, knowing there will always be quick value increase after a coin is released, happy to let them go having made the quick return.”We’re money in, money out in crypto,” he said.
Ricky Li, co-founder of blockchain company Altonomy, told Coindesk that Asians rarely diversify their portfolios over time, again after that quick return:
“US and Europe ICO project teams are more well-invested in terms of financial knowledge… Chinese companies and their neighbors will raise funds in ether and largely maintain those positions, sometimes failing to lock in gain or riding volatility through their whole portfolio.”
“The general view is that a lot of American companies are pushing the boundaries of technological advancement,” Chen said. “In China, it’s slightly more balanced. More companies are looking from a business point of view.”
Nick Tomaino, of VC firm 1confirmation, thought that Asia was arguably the most important part of the world in terms of cryptocurrency, and that the Asian market does mirror Western protocols. He felt, however, that there was a willingness to find common ground between US and Asian companies within the space.
Asian markets very much follow a common theme that is recognizable to all Chinese, that of family, or in terms of business, community, and localization:
“The best way is to have your own project that’s local,” Li concurred. “That’s very appealing to investors in China culturally.”
This, of course, has been affected by the Chinese ICO ban which is now driving companies to towards global business ventures, although this is seen as somewhat of a double-edged sword, giving benefits which weren’t considered before, due to the localized nature of Chinese business.
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