Hot topics at Token2049: regulation, payment rails and the future!

Singapore getting ready for Formula1.

The following is the first in an ongoing series by Elastos community leaders sharing key trends and takeaways from Token2049 and crypto events in and around Singapore. In this edition we hear from Jon Hargreaves, Global Head of Business Development at Elastos. 


Elastos was in Singapore recently for Token2049. With Co-Founder, Sunny Feng Han leading a side event on BTC-L2, Elastos Growth Lead, Fakhul Miah spending time with our new partners Alibaba Cloud, Elacity Founder, Sash Mitchell representing the future of the Access Economy amongst others, Elastos was well represented in the Little Red Dot for the crypto conference and its many side events.

Over the course of a week, Jon Hargreaves, Global Head of Business Development at Elastos observed many trends, which we want to share with you here:

Elastos Growth Lead, Fakhul Miah at Eth Singapore
Elastos Growth Lead, Fakhul Miah at Eth Singapore


One of the key themes of Token2049 was regulation, highlighted at the show by the open hostility to the US regulatory mindset versus the praise for practical solutions in Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia.  Indeed this was not limited to Singapore but extended to announcements from the United Arab Emirates with perhaps Europe showing the most comprehensive regulation framework.  Hong Kong too was chomping at the bit but with JPEX being given a warning by the SFC and shutting their stand after day 2, it took away some of the anticipation!

A lot of the regulation talk was about getting it right as the sector changes shape over the next three years. Scams dominate the mindset in the US (thanks Luna/ FTX) and at the show, even Asian geographies such as Australia are indexing regulating scams as the primary focus for legislation.  Yet there was also a ground swell of more innovative thinking perhaps led by Franklin Templeton.

During a panel aptly titled, “The Future of Crypto Currency as an Asset Class”, Jenny Johnson shared her conviction of Bitcoin’s ability to revolutionize traditional financial services. She forcefully outlined the limitations of traditional ETFs as prices are only updated twice during the trading day and explained how they are exploring the possibility of mutual funds that operate on blockchain technology.  A move driven by the belief in the future of the technology as a creative platform that drives cost out of system as reflected in approval from the SEC for their on-chain fund that will use Stellar and Polygon blockchains to process transactions and record ownership.

This theme of new forms of crypto was everywhere from talk of ETFs to bitcoin ordinals and other complex tools linking to real-world assets such as carbon credits.  These new encrypted digital assets that move beyond even traditional crypto formats also highlighted the need for payment rails between these assets and fiat currencies.  We sounded out many partners on how Elacity was pioneering this transition and followed up with news on Elacity’s partnership with Metaverse Bank to illustrate how open banking is central to this solution.

This highlights the other significant take away from Token2049 namely that the focus was on Web3 rather than just crypto. From the launch of the Mocaverse to CZ’s dial-in (literally) and exploration of adjacencies, the future was clearly about innovating in decentralised systems.  The story that epitomised this more than any other was The Open Network announcing an integrated wallet into the telegram messaging app enabling 800 million users to store, send and trade directly within the application.

Here, despite the best efforts of the SEC to block the original Telegram Open Network (TON) open-source developers have created 551 applications leading to the birth of TON – The Open Network.  So enabling the self-custodial wallet, called TON Space, will further enhance the user experience by enabling direct access to the TON blockchain and Web3 ecosystem. Users will be able to send and receive TON tokens, BTC and USDT on the Tron Blockchain using the wallet and so facilitating the entry of mainstream users into the crypto world. This is another example of the importance of payment rails for the future or failure for Web3.

Were you at Token2049 or any other crypto conferences lately? Let us know what other trends are relevant at the moment down in the comments.

The article and images by the Elavation Team