London Tech Week: UK Asia Tech Power House

The UK is home to more than a third of Europe’s fastest growing tech companies, with London leading the growth across the continent. Every year, this is most on display when London Tech Week brings the many companies of the city together.

Wednesday 12th June, was the final of the two-day UK Asia Tech Power House Conference, an event hosted by ABP London in association with Asia House at ABP’s new Royal Albert Dock Development in East London, a site said to be “London’s next vibrant business district”.

John Miu, Chief Operating Director of ABP provided the opening remarks of the day, capturing the overriding factor which unifies the tech community that “Technology knows no boundaries. It’s about working together.” Technology grows thanks to collaboration and one of the greatest examples is how the world wide web developed into what it is today. In recent times, this is true of how blockchain technology has continued to evolve.

The stage was then given to Jim Duffy, CEO of Tracr a De Beers backed company who operate to connect the diamond industry through provenance, authenticity and traceability in their industry blockchain platform. Tokenising real life assets brings a new importance to blockchain applications to create their distributed ledger technology.

His talk titled “The rise of the Internet of Value” was concerned with internet of value technology and how the industry has developed and how the digital world is opening the industry to new audiences. Data is one of the most precious resources, it’s a vehicle for integration and companies like Tracr use their platform to connect everyone efficiently through horizontal integration; making use of the speed in which data can be connected to us through blockchain. Eliminating a lack of efficiency many industries are plagued with when accessing data. The decentralised nature of the technology means that control is also distributed with the platform.

L-R: Charlie Humphreys & Jim Duffy

This was followed by a panel discussing the future of finance in Asia and the UK, and when discussing Asia in particular, Daniel Widdicombe, Head of Investment Banking of the China Construction Bank “currently we have around 1.4 billion middle class in Asia, and that’s expected to maybe double in the next 10-15 years, so I say the future of Asian finance is very bright,” before turning his attention to the changing needs as demographic changes, leaving traditional industries at risk if they don’t meet new demand. “The majority of these countries are going to have very young populations in the next 10-15 years. These people will never have credit cards, they won’t even see cash. Even in the UK 25% of people don’t really use cash in their average month.” This has been seen by the rise of challenger banks and alternative payment systems like the cryptocurrency backed prepaid card, UKEX Pay.

L-R: Daniel Widdicombe, Charlie Humpreys, Armand Widjaja & Stuart Bedford

Development is only possible due to experimentation, and we’re seeing that with the likes of Visa with their cooperation with Coinbase for a crypto wallet, Facebook’s digital Global Coin, amongst others in the testing phase. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are entering a new stage in its lifecycle, as old organisations experiment to find ways to adapt to incorporate them into their businesses as the technology makes an inevitable step towards the mainstream.

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