30 DEC 20
Emma Cui, LongHash
Having spent her career at several banking institutions, Emma has witnessed first-hand how dated inefficiencies plague the current financial system. Convinced that the security and transparency of blockchain technology would be the remedy, Emma kickstartedLongHash Ventures in 2017.
LongHash Ventures is a global blockchain accelerator and investor building the native Web 3.0 blockchain economy. Within 18 months, LongHash Ventures has raised over S$16 million in funding across their portfolios. They offer end-to-end support across the spectrum of strategy formulation, go-to-market execution, and subject matter guidance across technology, marketing, and fundraising.
What made you start LongHash and what is the long-term goal?
Leaving the comfort and security of a management consulting job (at McKinsey) was not an easy choice and journey. But at the end of the day, meeting like-minded people, many who went through the same career trajectory as myself, and having the opportunity to support and champion these tremendous entrepreneurs and ideas - that’s what keeps us going. As a blockchain accelerator, we are dedicated to building the native Web 3.0 economy, and by extension supporting companies that share the same vision. The long term plan is to continue building upon our strong capabilities and take the spot of the leading blockchain accelerator and investor in Asia.
Could you share more about interesting blockchainstartups Longhash has supported recently?
That’s a great question - we’ve just introduced Batch 4, focusing on open finance innovations powered by blockchain and are very heartened by the warm reception our latest cohort has been receiving.
For instance, StaTwig is an end-to-end tracking platform for the global vaccine supply chain with blockchain&IoT, and the team has already partnered with UNICEF, Facebook,and PwC among other leading institutions. Another great project Pravica, a comprehensive communications suite focusing on security and privacy that provides a seamless experience across email, chat, voice and video. The first to deploy blockchain to restore ownership and control to users, the product has clinched the no.1 dApp spot on Blockstack within a mere 18 months, and we are confident this is only the beginning. I could go on, but the list is long, so definitely do check out the rest of our portfolio here.
In light of how the Singapore government is supporting the FinTech industry, how are firms in Singapore and Singaporeans embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology thus far?
Singapore has benefited tremendously from welcoming, nurturing policies that have promoted the city-state as a blockchain and cryptocurrency hub. Earlier on, the government embarked on a public consultation on the income tax treatment of transactions involving digital tokens, as well as initial coin offerings, before publishing its e-Tax guide. Most recently, the successful conclusion of Project Ubin in its fifth and final phase, developed in collaboration with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Temasek, has raised the possibility that it could become the template for a commercial multi-currency platform. Singapore’s favorable governance will go a long way in allowing the country to come out ahead as nations begin to recognize the innovative potential and importance of blockchain.
How is your experience working at Bridge+?
We’ve been settled in at Bridge+ for the past 2 years now, and it’s been a really enjoyable journey. What’s really clear is that the infrastructure and amenities are all thoughtfully designed to meet our needs, whether be it having an event venue, a fully stocked pantry, or even just around the clock access to the office. Common spaces also add a really nice touch, and our team has frequently used the meeting pod rooms. The community aspect of working at Bridge+ is wonderful. The Bridge+ team has always lent a helping hand whenever possible, regardless of the matter. It’s important as a startup to be assured that our working space affords flexibility and convenience.
How do you feel about your upcoming move to Bridge+ coworking space at 79 RR?
While the team has taken to working remotely quite well, there is a certain energy that comes from working together in the same space and from having personal interaction. So I think I represent the team when I say we are all looking forward to moving into our new place at 79 RR. I’ve spoken at length about the many merits of working here at Bridge+, but the proximity of our new location to the central area of the Singapore city is also going to be a huge plus.
Will cryptocurrency and blockchain technology disrupt the necessity of banks in the near future?
One common opinion is that in the future, blockchain will replace, or as some naysayers might put it usurp the position that banks currently hold in the current financial system. In fact, the very opposite is happening today, with many banks already integrating or trialing the use of blockchain on their existing platforms. With lower costs, quicker settlement, and potentially as a driver of new revenue streams, the keen interest in blockchain adoption should come as no surprise.
Where cryptocurrencies are concerned, banks have also amped up their efforts to push for central bank digital currencies. With consumers likely becoming more comfortable with using digital means to exchange value, CBDCs can be a way for governments to gain a competitive edge in global trade. Sometimes also referred to as “programmable money”, the design aspect of CBDCs have also ignited interesting conversations on how it can be suited for the specific economic policies or objectives of central banks, for instance.
What do you think are some challenges that need to be overcome before cryptocurrencies/blockchains are more common/ widely used?
Overall, we have seen sentiment on the ground shift from outright skepticism to what I would say is now, more of a cautious optimism. And that in itself is a great recognition of the hard work that the industry has put out in building credibility and trust for itself. At the same time, real challenges remain - Gartner famously predicted that blockchain is currently sliding into the Trough of Disillusionment in its 2019 Hype Cycle. So some hard questions we need to ask ourselves is how do we keep the momentum going after the initial exuberance? And I think that’s when the proof is really in the delivery of projects that show results through practical, grounded experimentation. Appending blockchain to projects as a gesture to transformation might have worked for the odd company at the start, but how we move on from here in the next few years will determine if blockchain can truly enforce a business revolution.
About LongHash Ventures
LongHash Ventures is a global blockchain accelerator and investor building the native Web 3.0 blockchain economy. With a global network established across key technological hubs including Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, the company is committed to catalyzing growth for the next generation of blockchainstartups. In parallel, LongHash Ventures offers end-to-end support across the spectrum of strategy formulation, go-to-market execution, and subject matter guidance across technology, marketing, and fundraising. LongHash Ventures is supported by Fenbushi Capital, Hashkey Capital under Wanxiang Group, and Enterprise Singapore, a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. For more information, visit https://www.longhashventures.com/