It’s just coming up to our attendance at Vietnam Blockchain Week, a two-day conference in Ho Chi Minh City featuring some heavy-hitting names from all arms of the booming blockchain industry. The conference will discuss the future of blockchain, hearing numerous speakers from key blockchain projects, highly influential corporations, and NGOs such as the UN and World Bank.
We sat down with the host of the event, Kimble Ngo, to hear some of his insights on the blockchain space.
Where do you fit into the picture with blockchain?
Blockchain is a complex industry, full of some of the smartest individuals on the planet. While they may have the most spectacular technological knowledge and vision, sometimes the brilliance of these individuals means they inhabit a world not of our own. My role as a Blockchain & ICO Advisor is to help these smart people change our world, turning their vision into something anyone can understand and appreciate.
I ensure their ICO and business model is sound, then help them find local advocates to champion their cause – all in all, doing everything I can to see their vision have maximum impact.
Tell us a little about your background.
I’m a serial entrepreneur based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, though originally from Canada, where I had a brief stint in the light infantry, believe it or not! My background is in the compliance side of banking and trading, and I’ve spent almost a decade in the industry in Singapore.
In addition to running marketing campaigns for Samsung and Pepsi, I went on to own and operate a number of business ventures based in Singapore, and am now the face and spokesman for several ventures, including Vietnam’s SharkTank, Echelon Asia Summit, and Vietnam Blockchain Week, naturally.
Based on your experience in the world of finance, what would you say to anyone unsure about cryptocurrency?
There is a delicate difference between cryptocurrency and blockchain. Right now, the value of most cryptos are based on faith – just like fiat currency. While speculation can lead to rapid gains, cryptocurrencies inflate if you (or the market) lose faith in them, and this happens all the time. This is why prospective investors need to identify whether they are investing based on faith, or the actual value that it represents (i.e. the usage case).
With Vietnam Blockchain Week coming up, what’s the scene like in Vietnam?
There is a huge amount of fervor for investment and trading cryptocurrencies in Vietnam buying into ICOs, day trading, etc. That said, the (more meaningful) fervor for blockchain development hasn’t affected the public in any way – right now, interest in the technology is reserved for hardcore advocates only.
One thing in Vietnam’s favor is its huge supply of high-quality engineers, a very attractive resource that has been utilized by a number of prominent projects – Kyber Network and Cardano, to name a few.
Ultimately, Vietnam’s position is like that of any other country right now; it’s still trying to figure out how blockchain can be realized. Until then, existing regulations will cover the usage of cryptocurrency. The general sentiment here is definitely positive, and people are open to the benefits of blockchain.
Where do you see the blockchain industry headed? What are some challenges it will face?
ICOs will carry on full steam ahead for now, but it won’t be too long before people become more selective and conscientious of their investments. Next, it will be the “battle of the protocols,” with only a few blockchains rising to the top, each for their own industry-specific application. This culling will include privacy coins – only a handful will remain.
The idea of decentralization is sexy, but the reality is that it slows effectiveness – just like democratic gridlock. This is why the future holds a balance between centralized and decentralized structures, as projects slowly start to merge with the sphere of government. For example, cryptocurrency wallets will invariably be regulated, requiring some form of government-verified ID to be attached for usage.
What will stay the same?
There will still be big players to lead markets, i.e. the blockchain industry will never truly be decentralized. Just like Aristotle’s democracy, the “best” (the most educated, etc.) will rule supreme. Note that the most interesting blockchains right now are all centralized to some degree, while decentralized projects suffer from the likes of forks and fragmentation.
Finally, blockchain will be integrated in a form that’s probably more mundane than we anticipate. It is first and foremost a tool for a means, which is why it won’t be obviously different to anything in existence today.
What blockchain projects are you involved in?
It’s busy times ahead – I am tasked with growing the presence of NEM in Southeast Asia, in addition to hosting a number of blockchain events like Vietnam Blockchain Week. As a personal venture, my company AMBlockchain amplifies and grows the message of ICOs. I’m currently working with a number of exciting projects the in spaces of agriculture, education, and lifestyle.
What projects are you particularly excited about?
My clients at AMBlockchain have some truly revolutionary ideas, which is why I am beyond excited to help these people bring change in the world. By amplifying their strengths and translating their ideas into action, I help them focus on their business as they watch their ideas turn into something even the layman can see the value in. It’s all about making blockchain benefit the masses!