Wall Street elites “flock” to Web3

Web3, is continuously and violently impacting the US financial system.

On February 16, a regulatory filing by the NYSE to the USPTO was made public. It wants to build a “cryptocurrency and NFT exchange” and compete with Web3 companies like OpenSea. OpenSea, an NFT trading platform, was valued at $1.5 billion in July and is now valued at more than $13 billion. Obviously, the New York Stock Exchange, as a profit-making institution, also hopes to join this track to “share a share”.

This isn’t the first time the NYSE has courted Web3. In April last year , the NYSE launched its first set of NFTs to commemorate the first transactions of six well-known listed companies including Roblox and Spotify.


Spotify’s NFT (Source: NYSE official website)

Not only a financial institution from the New York Stock Exchange entered the game, almost on the same day (February 15), JPMorgan Chase also announced its entry into the Metaverse. JPMorgan Chase has set up a lounge on Decentraland , its “virtual land platform,” with a photo of the company’s CEO, Jamie Dimon.

In addition, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Hong Kong), one of the big four accounting firms, also purchased the virtual land plot on The Sandbox as early as last December. PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed its intention to build a Web3 Consulting Centre to facilitate a new generation of professional services, including accounting and tax.

New York Stock Exchange, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG… Various leading institutions in the financial industry are marching into Web3, are they hyping? Or is there really a detailed plan?

Wall Street Elite, Flowing to Crypto Finance

An interesting phenomenon is that more and more executives of the US financial regulators have flowed to Web3 companies and are preparing to make a big splash in the crypto world.

On Tuesday (February 15), Scott Bauguess, Deputy Chief Economist of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced that he has joined the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase as vice president of global regulatory policy. A Wall Street financial veteran.

Coincidentally, this week (February 14th), Justin Slaughter, a former US SEC official, served as Paradigm’s policy director, helping the Paradigm team and portfolio projects to address issues related to encryption policy and regulation. Paradigm is a crypto venture capital firm whose founder Matt Huang invested in ByteDance at the age of 24, bringing him a 2,000x return on investment.

Justin Slaughter believes: “Cryptocurrencies can be a force for economic growth and increased competition. Too many people are left out of a financial system dominated by a few corporations, without access to the technological innovations at the heart of modern economic life, including more affordable savings and money transfers. The way.”

In China, with the popularity of Alipay and WeChat payment, if we need to transfer money and transfer funds, we can complete it in an instant. However, in the field of cross-border payment, there are still pain points such as high handling fee, long transfer time, and large policy influence factors. The emergence of cryptocurrencies has allowed some Wall Street elites to discover “blind spots” outside the coverage area of ​​traditional finance.

Of course, this is only one of the reasons and functions of crypto-finance. In fact, it is more likely that crypto-finance will bring them higher salaries than traditional financial institutions and a future with “10,000 times leverage” that attracts financial elites.

Several staff members of Web3 agencies told Huxiu that their salary sources are often composed of fixed salary + crypto currency, and some companies themselves publish their own currency, and even give priority to insiders by airdrops, which makes their salary upper and lower limit very high. Resilience attracts many people with a high risk appetite for capital.

And this “innovation” in salary distribution has gradually spread to many industries such as government and sports in the United States.

New York Mayor Eric Adams is one of them, announcing last month that the first paychecks will be paid in bitcoin and ether. Adams said New York is the center of the world and wants it to be an innovation center for cryptocurrencies and other finance. Of course, high ideals always cost money, and Adams may not escape such a fate. January 2022 has been “hailed” as the third worst January in Bitcoin history, with a drop of nearly 20%. If issued according to the Bitcoin price at the end of January, the mayor’s salary will be greatly reduced, but if it is issued according to the Bitcoin price at the end of January, the salary of the mayor will be greatly reduced. The price, the mayor will smile.

Marx famously said: If capital has 50% profit, it will take desperate risks; if it has 100% profit, it will dare to trample all the laws of the world. There are always people who pursue 100% or even 300% profit, but the 3000% profit in the crypto world will certainly cause the madness of Wall Street elites. Even if they are, few people have played such a “leveraged” game.

With the strong support of the mayor of New York on the top and enough profits on the bottom, Wall Street elites have flocked to Web3, and even senior officials such as former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton have joined One River Asset Management, and the cryptocurrency publicly owned by this hedge fund has become As much as $1 billion.

The United States is creating another “financial ecology”

The United States is forming two major financial ecosystems.

One is the “financial trading market ecosystem” centered on traditional exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, which mainly provide stock trading services to companies around the world; the other is based on crypto trading and NFT trading. The main “crypto financial ecosystem”.

Some people stick to the traditional financial position, thinking that cryptocurrencies and their related markets are “Pandora’s Box” that will bring disaster to the United States. Buffett and his longtime partner, Charlie Mango, are among the most staunch opponents.

Charlie Munger thinks Bitcoin is disgusting, he believes: “China is right to ban cryptocurrencies, I hope this thing has never been invented and will never buy cryptocurrencies”. And Buffett also insists that cryptocurrencies are a bubble.

Musk responded to Charlie Munger with a tweet. He said: “I had lunch with Munger in 2009 and he told the whole table how Tesla was going to fail, and it made me sad, but I told him I agreed with all those reasons, we might Die, but it’s worth a try anyway.”

Looking at the current data, 24% of U.S. adults hold the same view as Musk that they own crypto assets. They believe that the idea of ​​decentralization is actually more important than technology.

The traditional financial ecology, through the transformation of stocks, makes the company and the world economy more dynamic. The purpose of crypto assets itself is to change the centralized financial ecology, hoping to influence the transaction mode of online and offline natural persons in a fairer way.

Maybe one day, when we open the windows of the Hilton Hotel in downtown New York in 2050, passers-by on Wall Street are still in a hurry, but the full name of the New York Stock Exchange is no longer “New York Stock Exchange”, but “New York Securities and Crypto Assets Trading. Place”.

write at the end

The Internet enables the free flow of information. Web3 is a blockchain-based Internet, which aims to realize the free circulation of assets.

Every “thing” produced by an individual on the Internet, such as text messages, articles, pictures, videos, etc., is an asset as long as it is on the chain; if it is not on the Internet, such as real estate, cars, certificates, works of art, etc., as long as it is on the chain, it will also be on the chain. become an asset. At present, the rise of NFT (non-fungible tokens) is rapidly turning valuable things online and offline into assets.

At present, there are hundreds of organizations and institutions in China that are putting pictures on the chain, such as Tencent, Ant, Ali, JD.com, Station B, Xiaohongshu, etc. in Internet companies; QuChain Technology, Conflux , Bigverse in blockchain companies etc.; Visual China in Copyright Protection Company, etc. Some companies with more advanced technology and capital, such as Ant and Tencent, have already realized the “on-chain” audio, and Douyin will also “on-chain” video in the future.

Most of the encryption practitioners told Huxiu that they do not recognize that domestic blockchain companies belong to Web3. The reason is that they are not completely decentralized. The pricing of most NFTs is determined by companies such as Ant, Tencent, etc., which violates the The original intention of the most idealized group of people in Web3. They hope that Web3 can subvert the Internet giants who have established “data hegemony”. This is a valuable idea, and it is precisely because of this original intention that the unintentional destruction of innovation by Internet monopoly giants has been declared bankrupt. However, the world of Web3 is not synonymous with “good”. Mainstream decentralized Web3 companies such as OpenSea are also compromising and becoming less “decentralized” due to copyright, legal and other issues in the real world. “.

When we put aside national borders, ideology and various ideological trends, we find that, no matter domestic or foreign, a certain trend is that they are all moving offline assets to online, “confirming rights” for offline assets, and also There is no price in the online itself, but valuable content “into” assets.

There is reason to believe that in the future we will form such a society: all the “content” that comes into contact with the Internet, as long as someone recognizes its value, it is an asset. And one of Web3’s missions is to turn them into assets and circulate them, just as every Internet company has a mission to let information flow freely.

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