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DEC 27, 2023

Ripple exec: regulatory priority as focus shifts to tokenization in APAC

by CoinNess Global

While the digital assets space moves at a blistering pace, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is on the brink of a substantial regulatory transformation, with a focus on tokenization as we enter 2024.

Continued regulatory focus

That’s according to Rahul Advani, Ripple’s Singapore-based Policy Director for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The Ripple Labs Executive expressed his thoughts as part of a series communicated by the company last week on social media, emanating from some of its top tier executives. This shift comes amid growing interest in tokenized assets within and beyond traditional financial markets.
In setting out his thoughts, Advani reflected on the APAC region’s regulatory focus on achieving clarity for crypto in 2023. Throughout the year, there has been an emphasis on consumer protection, retail investor safeguards, market integrity and business conduct requirements. This regulatory momentum is expected to continue into 2024, particularly concentrating on enhancing retail protections.

Shift towards tokenization

The Ripple Policy Director highlighted tokenization, which converts assets into digital tokens, as an item that is experiencing increased adoption. Notable collaborations, such as Iota’s partnership with Fireblocks to streamline asset tokenization, highlight its relevance in both crypto and traditional finance. The United Kingdom’s venture into fund tokenization further exemplifies this cross-industry trend.
Ripple itself has been moving further towards real-world asset (RWA) tokenization. In September, an influential pseudonymous account on X underlined how Ripple was preparing itself to get further involved in asset tokenization. The account stated:
#Ripple now owns properties that can build the infrastructure for exchanges, companies, wallets and apps to connect to fiat rails, banks, trusts, retirement plans, etc., to tokenize real world assets and hold them in safe, compliant ways.”
In May the company collaborated with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on a pilot program with the objective of showcasing an RWA tokenization solution.

APAC to advance CBDC and stablecoin development

In the stablecoin sector, where digital assets are pegged to stable values, APAC is positioned to lead in regulatory efforts, according to the Ripple executive. While some regions are still formulating stablecoin regulations, Advani envisions more APAC jurisdictions providing the necessary regulatory clarity to foster innovation while ensuring consumer safety.
In the broader context, Advani anticipates more focused efforts towards the development and implementation of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), emphasizing the need for a shift from speculative hype cycles. He wrote:
“In the coming year, we also foresee a regional trend that involves a more focused effort on developing CBDCs. Stablecoins will continue to be a regulatory priority, with an emphasis on ensuring a high degree of value stability.”
The forecast underscores the dynamic regulatory landscape in APAC, where regulators must delicately balance fostering innovation, safeguarding investors and maintaining market stability. Striking this balance will be a defining aspect of the regulatory narrative in 2024.
Advani’s thoughts were offered by Ripple alongside those of some of his colleagues at the company, such as the enterprise blockchain firm’s APAC region Managing Director Fiona Murray. These predictions from Ripple executives collectively offer insights into the evolving regulatory landscape and industry dynamics as we approach 2024.
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