Singapore, SINGAPORE – Few things are as precious as gold. And that’s why Shaun Djie was one of the pioneers of tokenising gold using blockchain technology. And while many crypto projects have fallen by the wayside, Digix Global is weathering the storm by being steadfast on leveraging the immutability and auditability of distributed ledgers and applying it to precious assets while also innovating for the future. Notably, Digix has created the Proof of Asset Protocol (POA) and the accompanying Digix Gold Tokens (DGX) is worth its weight in gold. We spoke to Djie to get his insights into staying the course and to find out why others had given up.
Lessons learned from 2018?
Two things. One of which, treasury management is key. Many projects do not see the importance of using their funds wisely. While this is easier said than done on hindsight, managing one’s own treasury is important. Capital budgeting should have been done at the onset and a disciplined approach maintained from the very beginning when you are raising funds.
Secondly, mass adoption did not take place on the scale predicted. As an industry, we should start to observe and make actionable changes because crypto-adoption is not as rosy a picture as it seems. The hype and eventual bust of many utility tokens is exactly what is wrong with the system. Simply, few projects have, if any at all, have real utility.
Your outlook and perspective on 2019?
There will be attrition of talent and consolidation of assets among the various business entities in the place. This year and the next might just be the much-needed wakeup call and shakeout for many. We are starting to see talented individuals from prestigious financial and tech institutions going back to where they came from. Or are simply pursuing new ventures.
When value erodes this quickly, it is not surprising to see teams cutting staff headcounts or have difficulty in retaining people. Many should look to work together for the collective betterment of the industry. This could result in mergers, acquisition, or culling of competition across the landscape.
Your latest project/development and what you and your team have been pushing lately?
For Digix, we are actively promoting the adoption and the use case of our Gold-backed token, DGX. Every DGX represents one a gram of physical gold held in vaults. We are also launching the first working, live version of the DigixDAO platform. This is where autonomous governance will be on display for DGD token holders who will have a say on proposals that will drive real-world adoption of DGX.
Ideas you have developed to push crypto adoption further and one crypto project that you are following closely?
There needs to be a reduction of technical and blockchain jargon. We are simply going ‘digital’. I like Polkadot as an interoperable network of blockchains by Parity. I’ll also be paying close attention to crypto adoption in Singapore because this is my home and where I belong. As a community, we just need to continue to stay humble and prudent even as we aim to be as ambitious as always.