In the Hong Kong Fintech Week Conference in November last year, Web3.0 and Metaverse have become one of the hot topics in the fintech communities in Asia.
Karena Belin is the cofounder of AngelHub and WHub. To continue this hot discussion from Hong Kong Fintech Week, she joined other experts on a joint 100WFinTech x HK Fintech Association Panel in Hong Kong – Web3.0 & Metaverse: the future of Digital Wealth Management? – on January 19, right before the Chinese New Year of Rabbit. Karena participated in this panel by representing her companies AngelHub and WHub, and in the capacity as a 100 Women in Fintech directory member.
‘The interest around web3 and metaverse in financial services are growing, but it is still early days for their impact in the wealth management industry,’ Karena explained. ‘It’s also important to clarify what people define as metaverse and what falls under the broader definition of blockchain enabled web3 solutions. If we look at a definition of metaverse as a blockchain enabled virtual worlds such as The Sandbox or Decentraland, we can see that banks in Asia up to this point have mainly been experimenting with use cases. With one objective being to properly advise clients, the main push into the metaverse has been mainly brand building in nature with limited commercial application. Hence the question on return on investment (ROI) so far.
However, looking into wealth management in web3 as in blockchain enabled use cases across the wealth management industry, we can see some very interesting use cases, mostly by new entrants and tech companies, though we are still in early stages and some areas will clearly benefit from regulatory clarity. Use cases include decentralised lending and borrowing platforms like Aave and Compound, stablecoins such as DAI, yield farming for returns on idle assets like on Yearn. And not only can we now mimic use cases from the non digital world such as creating immutable assets, but we can also think of new possibilities through tokenisation and fractionalisation of physical assets to create more accessibility and liquidity in previously illiquid asset classes such as real estate, art or privately held share capital.
About AngelHub and WHub:
AngelHub (angelhub.io) is Hong Kong’s first tech company investment platform licensed by the SFC (local regulator) for professional investors and growth companies scaling in Asia, with own co-investment funds. It democratises access to tech investments by combining the professionalism of VCs, flexibility of Angel Investing and the power of key strategic partnerships, building an efficient digital private capital market for tech companies and providing a new asset class to investors.
Investor in Animoca Brands, The Sandbox, WeLab, Anfin, MetaKey, BNV, Pomelo Fashion, Neoswap, Village Studio, Coda, TinyTap, Botsync, KnowYourCustomer, Avant Meats, StockViva, Pouchnation, Good on You, Adapt Ideation, etc.
WHub (whub.io) is the largest platform and Startup Ecosystem accelerator from Hong Kong, helping startups scale and any stakeholder to connect with the innovative power of the ecosystem (talent, corporates, universities, governments, accelerators & incubators, etc). WHub is also the organizer of #SIS (Scaleup Impact Summit), the core event of the StartmeupHK Festival by InvestHK. WHub has a global network of over 500 partners, over 65,000 members and over 100 corporate clients.
Karena’s 20-plus-year background in financial services and corporate includes being a co-founder & CEO of WHub and Co-Founder and COO/CFO/RO (Responsible Officer) of AngelHub, as well as former Finance Manager at Procter&Gamble in Europe, North-East Asia and Greater China.
She is a Member of the Board of the German Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Startup Committee of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) of the HK S.A.R., Ambassador of StartupAsiaBerlin initiative from the German Senate in Berlin, Member of the Organising Committee of the Hong Kong Innopreneur Awards of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI), Member of the Advisory Committee of Hong Kong Baptist University, Member of the Board of Managers of Hong Kong International School, Member of the HKTDC Belt and Road & Greater Bay Area Committee, Member of the Hyderabad FinTech Forum core team and of the FinTech Association of HK.
She acts as international keynote speaker, judge and mentor. She holds multiple awards incl. 10 Best Female Entrepreneurs of the World award by True Global Ventures and Women of Hope Awardee.
She holds a double-diploma from the University of Mannheim, Germany and the MBA business school ESSEC in the Paris region, France. Karena resides in Hong Kong since 2011, after having worked 7 years in Japan, 5 years France, and 1 year in Germany. She enjoys spending time with her 3 daughters and husband in Hong Kong’s nature, as well as travelling around Asia and the world.