Understanding Asia's web3 surge

Web3 has made remarkable progress in establishing itself as a functional sector worldwide, with Southeast Asia particularly drawn to this industry. The region’s enthusiastic reception of cryptoasset and blockchain technologies is evident in its representation in Chainalysis's 2023 global crypto adoption index. In 2023, the country's central bank allocated $112 million to bolster local fintech solutions, underscoring its dedication to advancing the adoption of web3 technologies. Additionally, legacy web2 giants like Sony are actively contributing to the region's web3 ecosystem, particularly in the gaming sector. Other Asian countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand also stand prominently on the verge of a digital asset revolution, and it is clear that these nations are ready to lean into digital assets and web3. In fact, according to Statista, the number of cryptoasset holders in Thailand is projected to rise steadily from 2024 to 2028, with a total increase of 2.2 million users, representing a growth of 14.26%. And in Asia totally, user penetration is projected to increase from 9.63% in 2024 to 11.34% by 2028. Based on these statistics, it is fair to say that Asia is setting the stage for a web3 boom.

Financial institutions in the APAC region are actively bridging the gap between traditional and decentralised finance, with institutions like UBS and HSBC making significant progress in integrating digital assets into the traditional financial system. UBS has enabled affluent clients to trade cryptoasset ETFs in Hong Kong, and HSBC has fuelled the tokenisation trend with a gold-centric offering, leveraging distributed ledger technology to facilitate trading tokenised ownership of physical gold. Given the cultural significance of gold as a symbol of prosperity and intergenerational wealth preservation in Asia, HSBC's decision to tokenise gold ownership resonates with Asian investors' cultural preferences and investment requirements. Beyond institutional involvement, Asia also hosts major events like TOKEN2049, which has drawn the attention of industry players worldwide. Korean Blockchain Week and Hong Kong Fintech Week have also gained much attention, cementing the region's status as a prominent global hub for discourse on web3 technologies. 

Clear regulatory guidelines have also gone a long way in supporting the growth of the web3 and cryptoasset sector in the APAC region, giving companies the confidence to explore new opportunities and expand their operations. For instance, 

Hong Kong recently opened digital currency trading to retail investors, issuing licenses to HashKey and OSL. Similarly, Ripple secured a cryptoasset payments license in Singapore to enhance its expansion in the APAC region. These advancements show the region's dedication to cultivating a regulatory framework that promotes the interests of consumers and web3 projects alike.

Digital currency is not just a technological innovation but a powerful tool for economic empowerment, addressing financial service gaps and fostering financial inclusion. By providing access to decentralised financial services, digital assets enable individuals to participate in global financial networks, regardless of geographical or socioeconomic barriers. This democratisation of finance has the potential to uplift communities and drive economic growth across the region. In Africa, countries like Nigeria are also in the midst of a digital revolution driven by a youthful demographic eager for financial empowerment. As these regions continue to embrace web3 technologies, the importance of clear regulatory frameworks and international collaboration cannot be overstated.

While APAC leads the charge in web3 development, all web3 companies face various challenges, including the need for fast fiat-to-cryptoasset exchange. XEROF is ready to support web3 companies in addressing these needs. From facilitating cross-border transactions to ensuring regulatory compliance, we offer a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique demands of the web3 industry. If you are a web3 company and want to learn more about our on/off-ramp offerings, contact us here.

XEROF Infographic - Digital Assets in Asia
Image Source: XEROF

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