Author: Samantha Yap

YAP Global | CEO and Founder


2023 was a pivotal year for crypto, characterized by its resurgence after several setbacks in the previous year, including the FTX incident. While the collapse initially rattled some, media coverage of the trial disassociated Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) from crypto and focussed on the case of fraud instead – which is positive for the crypto industry’s reputation. This shift in narrative sparked a renewed interest in decentralised applications and decentralised financial technology. For example, JPMorgan carried out its first live blockchain-based collateral settlement transaction involving BlackRock and Barclays in October this year.

While the SBF trial was going on the crypto-native community still gathered at conferences around the world; most notably EthDenver in Denver, EthCC in Paris and Token2049 in Singapore. The atmosphere at these events did not reflect an industry in a bear market. Protocols and projects were still spending money on putting on developer-focused hackathons, workshops and networking events. There was an appetite for projects and applications, the main trends being growth in interest for zero-knowledge technology (with the launch of zkSync, and Polygon’s zkEVM and Scroll on mainnet), liquid staking (with Lido Finance leading the way) and the emergence of different Layer 2s (including Layer 1s like Celo moving back to Ethereum to become a Layer 2).

On the market side, it has been positive to see Blackrock’s application for a spot BTC ETF look like it may come to fruition. This has caused a spike in market activity which indicates that there is an interest from traditional to invest in crypto and this is what we anticipate will drive market growth in 2024.

Another notable trend of early 2023 was the U.S. SEC’s hard stance on crypto – for example when Gary Gensler labelled many tokens securities. This saw many crypto organisations and protocols looking to move their focus to the East in the Asia Pacific region. The regulatory climate and reception of crypto companies have improved in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and many other areas making it easier for crypto companies to do business in Asia. We expect Asia to continue to grow its crypto hubs in 2024. From Hong Kong’s Hashkey and OSL trading licenses to Singapore’s stablecoin regulation and Japan’s regulatory adjustments enabling startups to raise funds via digital assets, it is no surprise that most predict that Asia’s regulation clarity will fuel the next bull run.

Overall, it has been positive to see that there has been a filtering of projects in the market, with the seriously committed players persistently building innovative applications for crypto and web3 adoption.

About Samantha:
Samantha Yap is the Founder and CEO of YAP Global, an international PR and communications consultancy that works with meaningful companies and organisations in the cryptocurrency, decentralised finance (DeFi) and web3 sector. With her expertise and stewardship, she has built YAP Global to be the link between complex cryptocurrency technology and mainstream press. Prior to delving into PR, she worked as a broadcast journalist and producer for Channel NewsAsia Singapore.

Since establishing YAP Global in 2018, Samantha has grown the team across continents and launched YAP Cast (a podcast series exploring the history of money, in turn allowing listeners to make sense of the world of crypto and DeFi), YAP DAO (a DAO aimed to connect DeFi projects with communications, and marketing professionals), and The Context (a newsletter that provides a grounded perspective on developments in crypto, DeFi and web3 industries).