Crypto investment risks rising, but virtual technology still worth cultivating, says KPMG executive

Ines Lin, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0


The crypto trade bubble may burst, but the technology applications and innovation trends behind it will not, according to KPMG Taiwan's head of advisory Jason Hsieh.

Basic technology developments such as AI, cognitive technology, blockchain infrastructure, and virtualized visual technology are still worthy of commitment from Taiwan's industries, Hsieh said at a crypto forum held on August 4.

Expressing his views on the future direction of the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency, Hsieh pointed out that the past fever for cryptocurrency has hidden issues such as low value, lack of transparency, and hard-to-follow legal terms. As for NFTs, it still needs to overcome obstacles such as questionable strategies, the abundance of copycats, and difficult rules.

The recent major fluctuations of the crypto market are threatening the burst the bubble, but Hsieh believes that the technology applications behind the market are not at risk. He noted that back in 2017, the initial coin offering (ICO) industry collapsed but the crypto ecosystem remained active. Legal exchanges and supply chains are still thriving in the capital market, and the metaverse is driving the NFT to trend again.

He stated that the technologies behind crypto such as blockchain infrastructure, AI, cognitive technology, and virtualized visual technology as well as mediums such as virtual economy carriers, storage devices, and wearable digital reality equipment are still areas where Taiwan's industries can commit more to.

In an interview after the forum, Hsieh gave an example, the e-wallet, as one of the product options. Currently, the main issues with the e-wallet are high technical thresholds, high risks, and users being limited to only those who are familiar with blockchain technology. Therefore, if a company can develop an e-wallet that is easy to use and secure, it will be competitive in the market.

Hsieh said that Taiwan's strength lies in cryptography technology and program development, and Taiwanese players should consider diving deeper into these fields.

If FinTech application in its entirety is likened to a building, Taiwan, with its smaller market size and limited capital scale, is not suitable to lead the construction of the entire building. Instead, Taiwan should develop niche technologies, like the smart lock and high-strength glass of the building, Hsieh said.

In other words, when developing FinTech applications and metaverse infrastructures, Taiwan should first grasp the basic and key technologies. This is a long-term strategic approach that suits Taiwan's industries, Hsieh said.