ARPA Co-founder Yemu Xu Attended APEC Voices of the Future 2020 Webinar as China Representative

On November 30th, ARPA co-founder & CGO Yemu Xu attended the APEC Voices of the future 2020 Webinar as one of the China representatives.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC’s 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.

Founded in 2007, APEC Voices of the Future is a youth meeting for exchanges among young students from each economy held concurrently with the APEC Summit. On APEC Voices of the future 2020 Webinar, guests and representatives discussed how are the youth coping with the COVID-19 situation, and what are their priorities.

This year’s APEC Voices of the future Webinar had a total of 250 attendees from APEC’ s 21 member economies, with the theme of: “APEC Re-Imagined, Priorities in the Aftermath of COVID-19.”

As one of the 30 pre-selected panelists from 21 APEC economies, Yemu was the only representative from economy China that was eligible to ask questions to the three distinguished panelists on stage.

At the summit, many guests of honor offered their insights during the panel discussion, including:

H.E. Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth of Singapore

Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Former Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation

Mr Ho Meng Kit, Chief Executive Officer Singapore Business Federation and APEC Business Advisory Council of Singapore

The panel was moderated by Datok Rohana Tan Sri Mahmood, Chairman, APEC Business Advisory Council of Malaysia

During the panel discussions, Yemu put forward his insightful questions on the impact of COVID-19 on cryptocurrencies, and the answer from the panelists is more than excellent:

Below we have documented the scripts from the real-time Q & A.

Yemu: My name is Yemu Xu, I am representative for the economy China, and also a blockchain/cryptocurrency industry practitioner.

My question is on digital currency, especially central bank digital currency.

Pandemic has increasingly blurred the lines of virtual and reality. It also seemed like that it has speeded up the adoption of crypto assets and central-bank issued digital currencies. China has rolled out its own digital currency and electronic payment, or DCEP. Many countries have approved and been developing their own Central bank digital currency(CBDC). What impact do you think it will have on their domestic economy and financial system, as well as global financial infrastructure? Thank you!

Mr Ho Meng Kit: Thank you. Great question. I’m not an authority on this. And I don’t think there is an authority of this. I think currently in COVID-19, the issue is not so much whether it is digital or hard currency, the issue is to be able to have a good cash flow, to be able to have credit, these are actually bread and butter stuff. People want to be able to borrow money and to finance their businesses. So, we are very pragmatic, whether it is hard currency or digital, as long as you can run, so long as you can transact, so long as the credit is there, so long as the credit is cheap, I think that’s very important now.

I think we are increasingly using blockchain internationally for trade. That is a big area, and that’s an area where I think can aid in terms of financing international trade. But on digital currency, our key is that we need access to cheap credit as possible particularly for small companies, and also to help people hedge their risk at this point of time. At APEC level, we closely follow its development.

H.E. Mr Alvin Tan: Yemu thank you for your question. Coming from the financial sector many years ago, to me, currency is just based on trust. It cannot be based on tulips, which is where the first financial crisis happened, to gold. And then now to the future blockchain which is distributed, where you place your trust in, the fiat. So that’s very critical. I don’t think there is a lot of confidence yet.

And that is why there is no authority on this subject. If you look at Facebook’s roll out on Libra last year, they’re working together with regulators to see whether it is viable, whether there is liquidity in the system. Singapore is looking into fintech significantly in different modes, including blockchain.

What we are trying to do is we have been signing these bilateral digital economy agreements — there’s ones with Chile and New Zealand, we have one with Australia as well. All of this helps to facilitate the interoperability of the systems — whether you can transact financially across using e-payment modes across Australia, across Chile, across New Zealand. But that’s where the architecture is important, because that’s where countries come in to say, okay, we accept this currency or this MOTO payment or this invoice. And then you can facilitate goods and services.

Now, in the absence of a lot of multilateral arrangements around this, you start with bilateral, you start with a small group, and then you see how those can transact across borders. I think that’s a start, at least.

And also, it brings to mind the famous quote from Bill Gates almost 20 years ago , where he said he envisions a time where you need banking but not banks. And I think it’s really happening. You do need banking and you do need transactions using fiat or some other currency, but it doesn’t have to be banks doing it.

For China, you guys have taken a leap. And those unbanked are moving up the ladder.

About APEC

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC’s 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.

About APEC Voices of the Future

Founded in 2007, APEC Voices of the Future is a youth meeting for exchanges among young students from each economy held concurrently with the APEC Summit, aiming to let young students know more about APEC, expand their horizons, stimulate their enthusiasm for taking on the roles of leaders, and promote in-depth cultural exchanges among countries.

The Voices of the Future program brings together young people with potential for leadership and making a difference in society, and exposes them to the real-life deal-making process of world leaders, inspiring them to do the same with their own ideas.

About ARPA

ARPA is a blockchain-based solution for privacy-preserving computation, enabled by Multi-Party Computation (“MPC”). Founded in April 2018, the goal of ARPA is to separate data utility from ownership, and enable data renting. ARPA’s MPC protocol creates ways for multiple entities to collaboratively analyze data and extract data synergies, while keeping each party’s data input private and secure. ARPA allows secret sharing of private data, and the correctness of computation is verifiable using information-theoretic Message Authentication Code (MAC).

Developers can build privacy-preserving dApps on blockchains compatible with ARPA. Some immediate use cases include: credit anti-fraud, secure data wallet, precision marketing, joint AI model training, key management systems, etc. For example, banks using the ARPA network can share their credit blacklist with each other for risk management purposes without exposing their customer data or privacy.

Team members have worked at leading institutions such as Google, Amazon, Huawei, Fosun, Tsinghua University, Fidelity Investments. ARPA is currently assisting the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology in setting the national standard for secure multi-party computation. ARPA is a corporate member of MPC Alliance and IEEE and is in partnership with fortune 500 companies to implement proof-of-concepts and MPC products. In 2019, ARPA was named as the Top 10 most innovative blockchain companies in China by China Enterprise News and China Software Industry Association.

For more information about ARPA, or to join our team, please contact us at about@arpachain.io.

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