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Inside the Stablecoin Summit 2023: A Ground-Level Perspective

The Stablecoin Summit 2023 provided a comprehensive overview of the current landscape and future prospects of stablecoins, emphasizing their transformative potential in the world of digital finance.

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On 15 September, Singapore's Raffles Hotel wasn't just a luxury landmark; it was the epicenter of the digital finance world. Thanks to the joint efforts of XREX and the Unitas Foundation, the Stablecoin Summit 2023 transformed the venue into a hub of innovation and discussion.

After two full days at TOKEN2049, we hadn't got enough of our crypto conference fix, so we headed to Raffles Hotel bright and early for another full day of panel discussions and networking. Walking through the event, it was hard to miss the industry giants. Paolo Ardoino of Tether, Yam Ki Chan from Circle, Lennix Lai of OKX, and many others were deep in conversation, sharing insights and forging connections. But beyond these known faces, there was a broader mix of attendees. From international experts to local enthusiasts, the crowd was diverse, reflecting the global interest in stablecoins.

The discussions were intense and focused. Topics ranged from real-world applications of stablecoins to their potential in reshaping the financial landscape.

Key highlights included:

  • Tether's Evolution: Paolo Ardoino, representing Tether, the first-ever stablecoin issuer that introduced Tether USD (USDT) in 2014, emphasized the transformative liquidity and market efficiencies USDT offers. He highlighted that over 100 million people, especially in emerging markets, now use USDT to counteract local currency challenges like depreciation and inflation.
  • Tether Gold (XAUt): Ardoino unveiled Tether's ambitious plans for Tether Gold (XAUt), a gold-backed digital token. He expressed his belief in Bitcoin's superiority over gold but acknowledged gold's universal value. Ardoino anticipates XAUt, backed by physical gold in Switzerland, to play a pivotal role in the stablecoin and commodity-backed stablecoin landscape in the coming years.
  • Stablecoin's Future: Wayne Huang, XREX's Group CEO, expressed his robust confidence in the growth and potential of stablecoins in the next decade. He believes stablecoins will redefine the transparency, programmability, and self-sovereignty of assets, accelerating money velocity and boosting GDP growth.
  • Unitas Protocol: Winston Hsiao from the Unitas Foundation introduced the Unitas Protocol, emphasizing the concept of unitized stablecoins. While USD-denominated stablecoins have revolutionized the digital asset industry, Hsiao pointed out the continued reliance on local currencies for daily transactions in most countries. Unitas's unitized stablecoins aim to bridge this gap, offering on-chain USD liquidity while enabling users to transact in their local currencies.
  • Stablecoin Regulations: The past year has seen substantial advancements in stablecoin regulations across the US, EU, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Over 60 countries are now delving into Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

Blockhead's key insights from the panels:

  • Asian Regulation: Compared to the West, Asia's regulatory environment is more receptive, fostering experimentation with various stablecoin designs.
  • Stablecoin Yields: The focus currently lies on T-bills and other risk-free interest strategies. Institutions are keenly observing yield-bearing tokens, liquid staking derivatives/tokens (LSDs), and Real World Assets (RWAs).
  • DeFi Strategies: In the realm of DeFi, looping emerges as the preferred method for yield or risk-free yield. The extent and depth of looping are likened to venturing deep down the rabbit hole.

The panel on "Stablecoin Yield Farming Opportunities: DeFi vs CeFi Platforms" was particularly insightful – that panelists agreed that DeFi is the infrastructure, and real-world assets (RWAs) are the asset offering, and that not all stablecoins are built the same, though regulation is providing clarity on how issuers want to build products.

By the end of the day, the takeaway was evident: the future of digital finance is here, and stablecoins are at its forefront. XREX and the Unitas Foundation also announced a second Stablecoin Summit to be held in 2024, so see you there next year!

Catch up on the summit, with full videos of the panels here.

Blockhead is a media partner for Stablecoin Summit 2023.

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