On Aug 9, we invited Makoto, Founder of WebX; Dhila Rizqia, organizer of CoinFest Asia; and Rachel of Cyberport, partner of HK fintech week and organizer of Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) to explore the prominent Asia Web3 conferences.
WebX: Pioneering a Better Web3 Environment in Japan
What is WebX
At the heart of WebX lies a dual-purpose name: “X,” symbolizing the exchange of opinions and cross-industry connections to foster a healthier internet environment in Japan. Rooted in the belief of collaborative efforts, the name encapsulates the conference’s mission to unite diverse perspectives for the betterment of the digital sphere. Overcoming its inaugural challenges, WebX boasts remarkable accomplishments. Supported by 130 sponsors (including sponsors from web2 area like Toyota or Deloitte, Accenture, and Tokyo University) and backed by a network of 200 million partners from both crypto and mainstream media outlets, including television studios and local newspapers, the conference has emerged as a pivotal influencer in shaping the landscape of crypto and web interactions.
Organizing a sizable conference in Japan for the first time posed formidable challenges for WebX. Every aspect of the venture was uncharted territory, demanding immense effort and resilience. Amidst numerous hurdles, the most significant challenge revolved around attracting attendees from the Web2 sector. Diverging from the norm, WebX aimed to welcome players from conventional organizations, such as Toyota, Deloitte, Accenture, and Tokyo University. Bridging this gap proved arduous due to the inherent focus of CoinPost, the event’s organizer, on crypto media. Despite these difficulties, the conference managed to draw a diverse audience, with half of the 10,000 attendees hailing from traditional industries, marking a commendable achievement in bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3.
Government Support and Recognition
The Japanese government publicly gave supports on WebX. As a small startup was relatively unknown in the larger market, CoinPost faced an uphill battle in attracting attendees. However, with the Prime Minister of Japan and the head of the Bank of Japan gracing the event’s stage as speakers, credibility and interest were magnified.
WebX is already receiving sponsorship applications for 2024, even though official announcements have yet to be made. Remarkably, these applications are coming in before the venue for the 2024 event has even been determined. The interest is notably strong, with sponsorship applications from IP holders and the banking sector.
Interaction with Government
As a prominent crypto media in Japan, CoinPost has engaged with the government for over 3 years, advocating for a conducive Web3 environment. CoinPost has actively collaborated with governmental bodies such as METI, JFSA, and other agencies that have been supporters of WebX. They assisted them in compiling reports and have facilitated meetings with overseas projects by arranging gatherings. This engagement in supporting and communicating with the government has yielded significant outcomes. Notably, these efforts led to a speech by the Prime Minister and garnering support from the Japanese government. The role of government support has been pivotal in attracting attention from the Web2 sector.
Approach of Attracting High-profile Speakers
Securing notable VIP speakers was not an accidental feat for WebX. The progressive stance of the Japanese government and its welcoming attitude toward Web3 innovations created a favorable climate. Additionally, CoinPost’s extensive experience in crypto media, amassed over five years, built a robust network of industry leaders. Direct connections with founders and CEOs facilitated speaker invitations. The allure of post-pandemic international travel and the allure of Japan as a destination further contributed to the caliber of speakers.
Tips for Buidlers to Japan
For those venturing to Japan, cultural concerns need not be a primary worry. The Japanese population is known for their hospitality and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds. However, language barriers are a notable challenge, with limited English proficiency prevailing. To navigate this, having translation apps on hand is essential. While immersing in the conference, remember that Japan can be quite warm, so dressing casually and comfortably is advisable.
CoinFest Asia: an Asia’s Web3 Festival
What is CoinFest Aisa
CoinFest Asia stands as a testament to the dynamic evolution of the Web3 landscape. Unconventional in its approach, the festival refrains from adopting the traditional conference format, opting instead for a more relaxed and casual ambiance. This choice mirrors the vibrancy of Web3 communities, creating an environment conducive to networking and insights. The festival’s ultimate goal is multi-fold: to provide a platform for enriching knowledge, facilitating connections, and fostering the benefits of virtual assets and Web3 technologies.
The Theme for this year is “Web 2.5.” With this theme, CoinFest’s primary objective is to facilitate the convergence of both Web2 and Web3 industries, fostering enhanced collaborations and synergies between these two dynamic realms.
CoinFest Asia, despite its distinctive approach, shares challenges with its peers, like WebX, especially in a landscape bustling with events and conferences. Creativity becomes a valuable asset as the festival vies for attention and attendance in a competitive field. Budget considerations weigh heavily on companies in the current market, and CoinFest Asia endeavors to offer compelling value propositions. However, it’s not all about competing for attention; bureaucratic hurdles present their own set of difficulties. Visa regulations for foreign speakers have posed challenges, requiring meticulous coordination with Indonesian authorities.
Interaction with government
While regulatory landscapes can often be tumultuous for crypto-related events, Indonesia’s support of crypto and Web3 is a beacon of positivity. The government’s favorable stance facilitates the attraction of speakers, attendees, and Web2 companies to the festival. CoinFest Asia garners government backing through its partnership with ASEAN and the Indonesia Blockchain Association. This collaboration fosters engagement with various government ministries, such as trade and tourism, solidifying the event’s credibility and potential impact. The support of governmental entities proves highly advantageous in attracting Web2 companies as well.
Approach of Attracting High-profile Speakers
Drawing high-profile speakers is not only a result of international connections but also a testament to the festival’s previous successes. CoinFest’s prior edition, held outdoors as a unique festival experience, garnered significant attention and admiration. When engaging with potential speakers, showcasing the festival’s past accomplishments bolsters their interest.
Tips for Buidlers to Indonesia (Bali)
If you’re gearing up for CoinFest Asia or any visit to Bali, envision a splendid summer adventure bathed in radiant sunshine. It’s wise to pack a collection of lightweight clothing, including breezy summer dresses that reflect the tropical climate. As a vital shield against the sun’s rays, don’t leave behind essentials like sunscreen and sunglasses.
Indonesia’s culinary richness presents a diverse range of options for food enthusiasts. However, it’s wise to exercise caution with spicy dishes if your palate isn’t attuned to such flavors. “Sambal,” a popular Indonesian chili paste, often imparts spiciness to dishes. To avoid unexpectedly fiery meals, opt for menu items without the term “Sambal.”
Bali, while welcoming to foreign visitors, retains its cultural and traditional roots. A respectful attitude towards the locals is highly recommended
HK FinTech Week: A Nexus of Innovation
History of HK FinTech Week
For numerous years, Hong Kong FinTech Week has stood as a pivotal event in the industry’s evolution. Last year, in particular, marked a significant milestone for Web3 communities as a groundbreaking policy announcement concerning virtual assets was unveiled on October 31st during FinTech Week. This momentous occasion garnered immense attention, including over 500,000 listeners in a Twitter Space conversation that zeroed in on Hong Kong’s Web3 advancements. The ensuing year witnessed tangible outcomes, with policy enhancements reflecting augmented government support for virtual assets and cryptocurrencies. The city’s Web3 sector flourished, encompassing the launch of innovative initiatives such as a new machine-assessment mechanism by the SFC (Securities and Futures Commission). Further, the Financial Secretary’s formation of a Web3 task force signals Hong Kong’s commitment to Web3’s trajectory.
During the upcoming HK FinTech Week, scheduled from October 30th to November 5th, there will be a substantial number of Web3-related events both prior and subsequent to this week. The challenge lies in effectively organizing the agenda and timing of these events, aiming to avoid overcrowding them into a single day and instead ensuring a spread-out schedule. Alongside the FinTech Week, the period of October and November will also feature ETH HK, taking place at Cyberport from October 22nd to 24th. This event is co-hosted by Newman and Scroll, who assume the role of main organizers. While providing the venue, Cyberport and HK FinTech Week also contribute to the overall ecosystem.
Another event is the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum, set to occur at the end of October, right before the commencement of FinTech Week. This conference seeks to involve reputable and high-quality global investors and projects, providing an exclusive investor matching platform for deal-sourcing and fundraising.
In November, specifically from the 3rd to the 5th, the Ape Festival is scheduled to take place in Hong Kong’s central area. The months of October and November are brimming with activities, presenting a considerable manpower challenge and underscoring the complexity of managing such a diverse array of events. The organizers are additionally focused on fostering robust engagement from technical communities, aiming to attract more builders to Hong Kong during this bustling period. This effort represents another facet of their ongoing endeavors.
Government Support and Strategic Partnerships
The Hong Kong government plays an instrumental role in driving the success of FinTech Week. Spearheaded by agencies such as the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and InvestHK, the event is bolstered by the participation of regulatory bodies like the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission. The support isn’t confined to government entities; financial industry heavyweights like HSBC, Bank of China, OKX, and Citibank contribute to FinTech Week’s robust framework.
Cyberport stands as a significant partner for the upcoming FinTech Week, and its involvement goes beyond this event. The institution has organized four distinctive signature events previously, including the Venture Capital Forum discussed earlier. Another imminent occasion, the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum, is scheduled to take place from August 25th to 27t. This forum aims to explore the disruptive power of Web3 in the field of digital entertainment, including gaming, sports, music, arts, and culture. The event promises to be an exciting and engaging experience, offering attendees a mind-blowing carnival of fun and knowledge. Additionally, the Digital Economy Summit, supported by governmental backing, is on the horizon. These events are designed to not only gather industry experts but also government officials who provide valuable insights to the participants.
The interest in Cyberport has surged notably since the government’s announcement late last year. The influx of Web3 companies has been substantialestablishing Cyberport as the largest Web3 community in Hong Kong since the launch of Web3 Hub@Cyberport in January 2023. Presently,the community hosts over 180 Web3 companies, spanning various categories such as layer one chains, infrastructure projects, private key management wallets, securities, and applications including teams specializing in socialfi, defi, and more. The spectrum extends to trading-related companies, encapsulating a diverse array of enterprises
Following the Web3 Festival in April, Cyberport established connections with numerous companies throughout that month. An observable trend is the eagerness of investors to aid their portfolio companies in expanding their business, particularly in Hong Kong. A substantial number of major venture capitalists have expressed interest and referred commendable projects to Cyberport. This includes several noteworthy unicorns that have joined the fold.
Approach of Attracting High-profile Speakers
Beyond establishing connections, an additional motivating factor exists for speakers’ involvement. Many speakers express a desire for exposure to the Hong Kong market or the adjacent markets. A subset of these speakers already maintains their own enterprises. Therefore, these conferences offer a unique opportunity for them to not only share their expertise but also to assess the level of popularity and market sentiment within the region. This assessment aids them in forging connections with potential partners who align with their business goals. Ultimately, the pursuit of such opportunities contributes to the rationale behind their participation in these events.
Tips for Buidlers to Hong Kong
Traveling to Hong Kong needs preparation, with special attention to clothing choices for its warm climate. Booking accommodations well in advance is advised to avoid price spikes closer to conferences. The rich tapestry of cuisine offers myriad choices, but watchful consideration of spiciness levels is essential. A simple inquiry about a dish’s spice level can spare any surprises.