The best recent year for international conferences was in 2019. Let me use the Singapore Festival (SFF) as a benchmark to prove this “best” descriptor. I attended SFF for the first time in November 2018. The following year was more significant, with more industry experts, ideas, and budgets. There was no international travel in November 2020, and that year’s event was cancelled because of the pandemic. In 2021, the meeting conference was virtual, but this year will feature an in-person conference. This conference will enable us to ask challenging questions to the world’s best solution-tinkerers.
Questions to attendees and organisers would include:
How far from the 2019 level is the global sentiment about running a business, expanding, and scaling up?
How have sentiments changed since 2019 concerning the running and expanding of business?
Question to companies like Google/Microsoft/Amazon about machine learning related to digital assets:
When will an AI virtual assistant in a digital bank or investment platform be able to answer investors’ questions with sufficient security and convenience? Is this feature available now? Could we already test it? Investors might also have questions about these topics:
- When is my next capital call?
- When is the next annual general meeting (AGM) for a fund?
- What are my bank details?
- How much of the funds in cash do I have left to invest?
- Did I hit last year’s investment targets?
What would be the best way to communicate with such a virtual assistant? Should it be a voice-based, web-based application? Or should it be a purely mobile native solution? The conference is an excellent place to see the current state of solving these challenges.
The question for promoters of blockchain is the following:
How do we fit a bearer instrument, such as a digital crypto asset, into a financial ecosystem which regulates securities, a non-bearer instrument?
Questions about the mass adoption of natively digital assets are the following:
Strong security is crucial for a bearer instrument, such as bitcoin, so if a user (investor in our case) loses a private key to the digital asset, then the digital asset is lost forever.
Would multi-signature solutions be allowed – that is, two digital signings out of three or any combination of required and total signatories?
Does this also imply that we never want to be in a situation where losing a car key means losing access to a car? In the same way, security in the financial terminology of a specific asset will always require processes, institutions, and regulators.
Questions about raising capital for a startup to VC are the following:
If a Software as a Service model is readily available, where is the consumer’s edge when using it? If everyone has access to the service, how am I differentiating myself in the competitive financial technology market?
These are the questions I hope to find clues about at SFF, which starts November 2, 2022, in Singapore.