(From left) Asia Times China Editor Jeff Pao, Standard Kepler Executive Director Tobias Mathiasen, Hong Kong Blockchain Association Co-Chair Tang Yi and Asia Times conference host, Tohfeek Gafoor. Photo: Asia Times

The 2018 Asia Finance Review, which was held on December 11 in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, was the first ever regional financial forum to address fintech and blockchain, and their roles in the future of the Asian economy.

The forum, organized by Asia Times, tackled three topical financial areas: Asian blockchain development from a global perspective; the impact of fintech and artificial intelligence on Asian economic development, and future opportunities that such new technology presents to markets.

The event saw keynote speakers shed light on the future of fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Speaker Dr. Yuan Xianzhi Photo: Asia Times

Dr. Yuan Xianzhi , a financial-engineering and mathematics professor at Suzhou and Tongji Universities, talked about the innovation of fintech (financial technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services), and how to meet the many challenges presented by the new digital economy. Yuan also discussed how “big data” can be applied to risk management in the financial sector.

The gathering also saw presentations and discussions on blockchain in the media industry. Zhou Guohua, a news media, cultural communication and financial investment expert, highlighted the role to be financial technology can play in the development of the media industry, with emphasis on how the industry will be affected by artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Asia Times China Editor Jeff Pao (left) and Standard Kepler Executive Director Tobias Mathiasen Photo: Asia Times

Tony Tong, co-chairman of the Hong Kong Blockchain Association, gave an in-depth talk on the history and emergence of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and explained how he believes they will challenge the economic order and take on a decentralized role in the financial system of the near future.

Regarding digital finance, Tobias Mathiasen, executive director of Standard Kepler, talked about the technological development of blockchain and how it will, to a certain extent, drive the anticipated value of Bitcoin. However, Mathiasen also noted that Bitcoin may fail as a mode of value storage as it is not backed by assets so it may therefore fail as a currency if and when it fluctuates.

The forum ended with the inaugural Asia Finance Awards that recognize institutions for their contributions to the Asian economy and Asian financial development.

Big Business Data Inc. (BBD) won the Asian Financial Technology Outstanding Innovation Award.

TC Concord Financial Group won the Outstanding Asian Wealth Management Platform Award.

TC Concord Financial Group’s CEO Lai Tsao Lung won the 2018 Outstanding Securities CEO Award.

Lai Tsao Lung (left), CEO of TC Concord Financial Group, and Tohfeek (right), host of the conference: Asia Times

Asia Pacific Daily, a multilingual multinational new media platform originating in Hong Kong, won the Outstanding Asian Finance Media Service award.

As the organizer of the forum, Asia Times intends to make the Asia Finance Review a world class, international, financial and technological event by creating a forward-looking industry platform that contributes to the development of financial innovation and the global digital economy.

The forum was co-organized and supported by DSIGN Inc., Frement IR, Cyber Media, Hong Kong Qianhong, Summit International Youth Leadership Association, Hong Kong Association of Tertiary Education and Greater Bay Area Economic Promotion Ltd.