Bertrand Perez: “We are thrilled by the openness to engagement by regulators in jurisdictions in APAC.”

In this Q&A Bertrand Perez, the CEO of Web3 Foundation tells us about the importance of web3 regulation and the mass adoption in the creative industry.

Quick take:

  • Bertrand Perez discusses the importance of a clear regulatory framework to accelerate the mass adoption of web3.
  • He also talks about the segments of the technical aspects of the crypto industry that will be crucial for mass adoption.
  • And why his organisation continues to back projects despite the bear market.

The Asia Pacific region has emerged as one of the hot spots for web3 adoption. The region is home to some of the leading web3 investment companies including the likes of Animoca Brands, HaskKey Capital and Double Jump.Tokyo.

Leading blockchain gaming and entertainment companies in Japan and Soth Korea including Bandai Namco, NCSOFT, Square Enix and Netmarble, are also spearheading the adoption of web3, while governments in the region continue to demonstrate openness to engagement to implement a clear regulatory framework for web3 companies.

To gain more insights about what makes Asia Pacific a magnet for web3 companies, we got in touch with Bertrand Perez, the CEO of Web3 Foundation. His organisation has been collaborating with policymakers in different jurisdictions around the world to establish a clear framework for crypto regulation.

Web3 Foundation is the organisation behind the decentralised blockchain network, Polkadot. The organisation has recently launched an initiative with regulators to help unleash the economic potential of blockchain technology, starting with Japan.

This comes on the heels of Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s declaration of his country’s commitment to support the advancement of web3 technology in the country.

A day later, Binance CEO Chengpeng Zhao revealed his company opened a trading exchange focused on the Japanese market, Binance Japan, amid continued regulatory scrutiny in the US market.

Although the Western economic block, including the EU, the UK and North America are also working on a regulatory framework for web3, Perez, points out that jurisdictions in the APAC have demonstrated more openness creating to engaging with industry players.

Here is more about his views on the web3 industry in Asia overall and the mass adoption of users.

Please tell us about your journey in web3 and your role at Web3 Foundation.

Two years ago, I joined the Web3 Foundation, bringing my experience from Libra, the payment project by Facebook (now Meta). During my time at Libra, we set a precedent in the crypto industry, which is now influencing regulators as they create laws inspired by our past participation. At the Web3 Foundation, I’ve continued my focus on regulation, understanding its impact on the decentralized space, and exploring innovative ways to navigate these challenges.

At Web3 Foundation, we have been actively forging partnerships with several sectors, most recently the music industry. We strongly believe that music will play a crucial role in the evolution and mass adoption of Web3. As part of our efforts, we organized the successful Web3 Music Summit, which brought together key stakeholders to explore the potential of Web3 in revolutionizing the music landscape.

My passion for Web3 stems from its potential to create a more equitable and decentralized world. I’m committed to driving the adoption of Web3 technologies, fostering meaningful collaborations, and creating an inclusive ecosystem that empowers individuals and communities.

I’m honored to be part of this transformative journey, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside the Web3 community to push the boundaries of innovation and drive real-world impact.

Your organisation recently initiated roundtable discussions with policymakers. What made you start with Japan? And how important is the government’s role in advancing web3?

The Foundation has been engaging with regulators since its formation. Whether it is the SEC in the US, or EU regulators.

It is clear that many jurisdictions, including Japan, are looking to change their regulatory framework to unleash the innovative and economic potential of blockchain technology.

We want to formalize our outreach to regulators on behalf of the web3 and Polkadot community, as we continue to build relationships and understanding with global regulators.

What is the status of crypto regulation in the Asia Pacific region compared to Europe and the US?

There are variances between jurisdictions within the Asia Pacific.

However, we see encouraging signs from regulators in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea, who are indicating that they want to provide thoughtful and clear regulations that support the innovative and economic potential of blockchain technology.

Ultimately, the industry wants regulatory clarity, the EU took a major step towards this with MiCA this year.

However, the US has shown an increasing lack of clarity for web3 entrepreneurs. This harms innovation and drives entrepreneurs to other jurisdictions with greater clarity and tailored regulations.

Your organisation recently announced wave 18 of its grant funding to support web3 projects. Has the crypto winter affected the grants program in any way? For example, the amount offered and requirements from applicants etc.

Despite the bear market, we continue to be encouraged by the number of entrepreneurs building in the web3 ecosystem.

For the Foundation the goal remains the same through market cycles, fostering a robust and innovative Web 3.0 ecosystem.

What segments of the crypto industry will be crucial to the mass adoption of web3? And how has Web3 Foundation positioned itself to support these segments?

The segments of the crypto industry that will be crucial to the mass adoption are:

  1. Governance and DAOs: Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) empower community-driven decision-making and governance structures, fostering inclusivity and transparency within projects. At Polkadot, we have transformed into Open Gov, an initiative that empowers the community to create a more decentralized system, leading us to become one of the world’s largest Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).
  1. Interoperability: Achieving seamless interoperability between various blockchain networks will be critical to enable fluid data and asset transfer across the decentralized web.
  1. User-Friendly Wallets and Interfaces: Developing intuitive wallets and user interfaces is essential to attract mainstream users to the Web3 world, making interactions more accessible and secure.
  1. Privacy Solutions: Enhancing privacy features on Web3 platforms will be crucial to address user concerns and ensure data protection while maintaining transparency and accountability.

By focusing on these segments and addressing the challenges within each, we can drive the mass adoption of Web3 and revolutionize how people interact with technology and the internet.

Korean and Japanese traditional gaming companies have spearheaded the adoption of web3 elements in gaming. What is the biggest challenge that blockchain games must overcome for mass adoption?

A consistent barrier for consumer uses of web3 is user experience. However, we continue to see entrepreneurs innovating on this front.

We believe there will be a future where people will use “web3 gaming” without recognizing they are using “web3 gaming”.

Instead, the technical underpinning of the games will be seamless and demanded by customers without knowing the specifics of how blockchain interacts with their gaming experience.

Google Play Store recently updated its policy to allow blockchain-based apps. What aspect of this decision do you see making a big impact on web3 adoption?

We continue to see broader institutional adoption of blockchain technology from DeFi to gaming to creative industries.

The Foundation isn’t a blockchain-based app developer so we don’t have direct knowledge of how Google Play Store’s decision is impacting players in that space.

However, we see this as symptomatic of a broader convergence where more and more traditional players are accepting the potential and uses of blockchain technology.

Where do you see web3 and decentralised apps in five years’ time?

In five years, Web3 and decentralized apps are likely to be deeply ingrained in our digital lives, driving significant changes in how we interact with technology, financial systems, and each other. However, as with any technological projection, these possibilities are subject to various factors, and the actual evolution might differ from these predictions.

Anything else related to recent events in the web3 industry you want to add?

We want to point to two things.

  • First – we are thrilled by the openness to engagement by regulators in jurisdictions in APAC, and look forward to continued dialogue on behalf of the web3 community to support regulators crafting thoughtful and clear regulations.
  • Second – we continue to be excited by the increasing adoption of web3 technology in the creative industry. For example, the Web3 Foundation recently partnered with Primavera Sound to help educate the music industry on how Data ownership through decentralized technology is a valuable asset for creators.


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