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KBW 2022: Digital property rights key to thriving Web3 economy — Animoca’s Yat Siu

Yat Siu, co-founder of Hong Kong-based venture firm Animoca Brands, has argued that on-chain digital property rights are the main aspects of blockchain technology that will drive a more decentralized society.

Speaking at Korean Blockchain Week 2022 (KBW), the Hong Kong entrepreneur noted that we’re all “digital dependents” and “data is the resource of metrics” that bring value to platforms like Apple, Google and Facebook, Sui said:

“The most powerful companies in the world today are not energy companies or resource companies, they’re tech companies and they’re not powerful because they make software. They’re powerful because they control our data.”

But, unlike the Web2 platforms that we’ve become accustomed to, blockchain-based applications allow us to control that data and not be subject to “digital colonization,” said Sui, adding:

“The powerful [thing about] Web3 is the fact that we can take ownership and we can make a big change with this because we have distributed and decentralized ownership for these assets.”

Sui also reinforced the importance of property rights by making the point that countries that afford strong property rights to their citizens enable their society to thrive. Sui pointed out the correlation between the International Property Rights Index (IPRI), and the Gross Domestic Product Index (GDPI):

“Places that have almost no property rights […] You can see [are in] the bottom 20% [of GDPI] But the countries that have very strong property rights, South Korea, USA, Japan, most of Europe, enjoy very, very high property rights,” he explained, adding that digital property rights should be no different.

Digital ownership set to take off in Asia

Siu added that the Asian continent has by far the most room to grow when it comes to Web3, as well as capitalizing on digital property rights.

Siu said that Asia has a very rich history of “incredible content” and “digital expression,” much of which can be transformed into blockchain-based assets [in the form of nonfungible tokens] and provide them with digital property rights over their assets.

Related: Digital sovereignty: Reclaiming your private data in Web3

Siu added that while people of Asia spend more time on the internet today than on any other continent, there is still so much room to grow. “Unlike the rest of the world, which has almost 100% penetration in the West,” Asia is only around 67% continent-wide internet adoption, he noted.

Siu also said that the sentiment toward blockchain-based metaverses, gaming and NFTs, as well as the digital property rights that come with them, is much more positive compared to the West.

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