Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Q&A with Neal Mitra, CEO of AKJ Crypto

Q: What has been the impact of this year’s volatility?

When there is a significant correction as we are now experiencing, it serves as a rationalising event that shakes out a lot of the hangers-on. We also saw this in the early phases of the internet economy, where initial exuberance led to overfunding and overcrowding within the sector.  We are seeing the same here, and a periodic shakeout will only serve to support long-term growth and sustainability.

Q: What is the future of crypto; how do you respond to those who say it has no value?

A: There’s too much value creation that has already taken place for someone to credibly say that the whole crypto sector is going to just disappear. It’s not going to go to zero, not now or ever.

The reason some people think this is going to go to zero is because crypto hasn’t yet brought sufficient utility to the mainstream. Many projects in crypto are focused on behind the scenes, infrastructure-level stuff. The sector is focused now on building the pipes. We haven’t really come to the point where projects are interfacing directly with end users in a meaningful way.  Once they do, crypto’s potential for value creation will become accessible to all and its role in our lives will become ubiquitous.

When people see the role that crypto can – and will – play in their daily lives, its long-term viability will become self-evident to all.

Q: What are the advantages of a “token economics” model?

A: Having an enterprise driven by token economics allows you to do so many more things than through a traditional capital structure that is constrained by the more limited functionality of equity and debt.

Q: Do you use the blockchain?

A: Our business operations and client service are not channeled through the blockchain today. While the technical capabilities are there, we need to follow regulatory frameworks.

There will be a time when asset management migrates more fully onto the blockchain and the delivery of services becomes increasingly decentralised. I expect that we will see various functional components of asset management, whether fund administration, audit or others, being implemented on, or at least facilitated by, the blockchain.