How SEABW 2024 Is Shaping Blockchain's Future in Southeast Asia

9 May 2024

The inaugural Southeast Asia Blockchain Week (SEABW) successfully concluded, marking a significant milestone in the adoption and exploration of Web3 technologies across the region. Hosted in Bangkok, Thailand from April 22-28, the event attracted over 3,000 attendees, 40 sponsors, and 110 partners, spotlighting the evolving landscape of blockchain and its applications.

The conference boasted an impressive lineup of over 200 speakers, including industry stalwarts like Vitalik Buterin from Ethereum and Yat Siu from Animoca Brands. The discussions spanned a wide array of topics, including Ethereum scaling solutions, the Web3 startup investment scene, NFT community building, and the role of guilds in Web3 gaming. Other notable topics included enterprise blockchain adoption, real-world asset tokenization, and strategies for integrating blockchain technology to serve the unbanked population in Southeast Asia.

One of the event’s highlights was the insights shared by Hojin Kim, CEO of ShardLab, who emphasized the significant role Southeast Asia plays in the global Web3 market. "Southeast Asia accounts for 8% of the global population and about 6% of GDP, but in the Web3 market, it has 12% of global users and 9% of DeFi TVL (Total Value Locked). This means that Southeast Asia has more than 50% higher importance compared to the Web2 market," Kim explained. He also highlighted the region's high cryptocurrency penetration rate, which is three times the global average, underscoring the substantial growth potential for blockchain and Web3 technologies in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Arak Sutivong, Deputy CEO of SCBX, provided a perspective on the current state of the blockchain industry, suggesting that the sector is emerging from a 'crypto winter' and seeing a rebirth of blockchain and Web3 technologies. "We are currently emerging from a 'crypto winter,' which represents a rebirth for blockchain and Web3," he noted. Dr. Sutivong also touched upon the trending application of real-world asset tokenization, including innovative approaches like tokenizing condominiums for investment and fundraising purposes.

Further driving home the potential of blockchain in the region, Seojun Kim, CEO of Hashed, pointed out the demographic advantage Southeast Asia holds. "The high proportion of young and unbanked population in Southeast Asia is a great driving force for the explosive growth of blockchain technology," he said. Kim also detailed plans for fostering global partnerships, "Through partnerships with various local large corporations and financial companies formed through SEABW such as SCBX and Siam Piwat, we plan to actively support the entry of global Web3 companies into the local market."

The event also showcased practical applications of blockchain technology, like a blockchain-based application demonstrated by zkSync that implemented zk-powered decentralized identity (DID) and distributed NFT-based vouchers offering discounts at Thailand's premier shopping mall, ICON SIAM.

Looking forward, SEABW plans to expand its reach and impact, with Dr. Arak Sutivong emphasizing the ongoing commitment to nurturing the Web3 ecosystem in the region. "Right now, everyone wants to push for SEA to become one of the regional hubs for blockchain and Web3. What we lack are talented individuals, projects, and intensive incubation programs. We will continue to support the development of this ecosystem within SEA," he concluded.

As SEABW gears up for its next edition in 2025, the event promises to delve deeper into the latest trends and opportunities in blockchain technology, policy, and regulation, ensuring a continued focus on driving innovation and collaboration within the industry.

Vested Interest Disclosure: This author is an independent contributor publishing via our business blogging program. HackerNoon has reviewed the report for quality, but the claims herein belong to the author. #DYOR.