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Henri Arslanian Tells Us How Things Are Going in Asia's Fintech Market

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Henri Arslanian Tells Us How Things Are Going in Asia's Fintech Market

Benzinga's Fintech Focus Podcast features conversations with the biggest names in fintech. Subscribe to the Fintech Focus newsletter to get a roundup of industry news delivered to your inbox weekly, and check out upcoming programming at Benzinga events.
  
In this episode of the Fintech Focus podcast, we’re going to take you on a trip across the globe to Asia where, according to Henri Arslanian, the fintech business is booming. And what better way to learn about it than from someone who’s seen it grow from the ground up?
 
Arslanian is the head of fintech and crypto for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Asia, the chairman of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Hong Kong where he teaches the only fintech university course in Asia.
 
Arslanian advises anyone and everyone who wants to know about fintech policy and how to grow fintech—that includes government agencies, businesses and students. From crypto to the technology behind the technology, he’s your man.
 
Listen to the podcast below to hear how Arslanian is bringing the ends of the earth together through all things crypto.
 

Interview Highlights

For the skeptics out there, why should they be bullish on cryptocurrencies?
I think we're having really this kind of institutional entry inside the crypto ecosystem, which is quite frankly what the industry and most importantly, the industry deserves as well. In other elements as well, they're happening at the macro level.

For example, the increased investor interest, for example, last year was a big deal for ICOs, initial coin offerings. That market has pretty much died this year. But now we're seeing, actually, a regain in interest from traditional investors. But also, investing start-ups, in crypto start-ups and also from traditional capsule owners. Endowments, pensions, large VC funds, or family money to invest in crypto companies.

The big question is whether in crypto we are 1994 if you compare that to the internet, we are right now in 1994 or we're 2001 after the crash. Nobody knows what that answer. We don't know how long it's going to take, for example, to reach where we are today.

What is currently the biggest issue facing the development of Fintech in Asia?
It seems like any other ecosystem, the Fintech ecosystem; we have a lot of challenges. And I can tell you as chairman of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, there are a number of issues we try to actually work with and try to help the community.

For example, some of them are very practical, day-to-day issues that we have. The biggest one we probably have in places like Hong Kong or Singapore. It may sound very stupid, but it's hard to open a bank account. For a lot of these products, opening a bank account is very, very challenging. And that's actually, we're looking forward over next coming days, we're expecting some announcements, in Hong Kong for example, of what we call virtual banks. Which is, you know, it's like challenger banks or digital only banks in other places, and we expect the regulator to announce the approval of some of them.

Posted-In: AsiaCryptocurrency Fintech News Global Markets Tech Interview Best of Benzinga

 

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