Navigating the Financial Frontier - Digital Assets, AI, and Sustainability

Written by Jaskaran Bhalla, Content Lead at Elevandi

The Point Zero Forum is returning for its second edition between 26 to 28 June 2023 inZurich, Switzerland. The inaugural Forum held in June 2022 attracted over 1,000senior-level attendees and featured more than 200 esteemed speakers from Europe,Asia-Pacific, the USA, and MENA. The Forum represents a collaboration between the SwissState Secretariat for International Finance (SIF) and Elevandi and is organised in cooperation with the BIS Innovation Hub, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Swiss National Bank.

As we gear up for this year’s Point Zero Forum, let's take a moment to reflect on some of the pivotal moments that have shaped the financial industry since the previous Forum and also moulded the three key themes that will take centre stage this year: Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Assets.

COP 27, the rise of blended finance and the groundbreaking Net-Zero PublicData Utility (Nov 2022)

In November 2022, the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt hosted the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27), with a view to accelerate the transition to a low carbon future. In the build up to COP 27, Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore spoke at the inaugural Transition Finance towards Net-Zero conference in October and shared with the audience that the world is currently not on a trajectory to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. And according to the UNE missions Gap report 2021, based on the current policies in place, the world is 55% short of the emissions reduction target for 2030.

He also elaborated on the significant role that blended finance can play in tackling climate change, a theme that widely resonated with the global leaders at COP 27. To enable easy and transparent reporting on climate commitments, the Climate Data Steering Committee (CDSC) outlined next steps on its recommended plans for the Net-Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU) at COP 27. NZDPU aims to aid efforts to transition to a net-zero economy by addressing data gaps, inconsistencies, and barriers to information that slow climate action.

The Point Zero Forum 2023 will deep-dive into the data, technologies, capital and riskmanagement solutions that can accelerate the fair transition towards a low-carbon future.Panel Discussion Highlight: The opening panel discussion, titled "Data for Net-Zero: Views from the Climate Data Steering Committee," scheduled for 26 June, will feature members of the CDSC, which include the Financial Conduct Authority, the Monetary Authority ofSingapore, Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), and the Swiss StateSecretariat for International Finance. The panel will discuss the role of new technologies and collaborative platforms in promoting greater accessibility of transition data and innovating new business models.

The launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI and its record for the fastest 100M monthly active users (Feb 2023)

The launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI on 30 November, 2022 led to widespread adoption by users globally - eventually setting the record for the fastest growing active users, hitting 100M monthly active users by Feb 2023. While on one hand users rushed to share enormous efficiency gains achieved by the use of ChatGPT (this study by MIT points to an37% increase), on the other hand ChatGPT soon became a disruptive tool to spread fake news (this AI generated pic even caused the S&P 500 index to fall).

The Point Zero Forum 2023 will deep-dive into Generative Artificial Intelligence’s potential for enhancing efficiency, improving risk management and providing better customer experience in the financial services industry while highlighting the need for ensuring fair, ethical, accountable and transparent use of these technologies.

Panel Discussion Highlight: The session titled “Breaking New Ground with Generative AI:Project MindForge”, scheduled for 27 June, will feature global leaders from NVIDIA, theMonetary Authority of Singapore, Citigroup and Bloomberg. The panel will be speaking on the opportunities of Generative AI for the financial services sector.

MiCA regulation gets adopted by the EU lawmakers and sets a precedent for digital asset regulations (April 2023)

More than 2.5 years after it was first proposed, the EU Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation was approved in April 2023 by EU Parliament. While there is still work to be done to implement MiCA and measure its success, and to answer open questions around regulation for out-of-scope assets (like DeFI and NFTs), the digital assets industry is keenly observing whether MiCA could serve as a template for global crypto regulation. In May 2023, International Organization Of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the global standard setter for securities markets, also joined the global discussion on digital asset regulation by issuing for consultation detailed recommendations to jurisdictions across the globe as to how to regulate crypto assets.

The Point Zero Forum 2023 will do a stocktake on key global regulatory frameworks, market infrastructure and use-cases for widespread adoption of digital assets, asset tokenisation and distributed ledger technology.

Panel Discussion Highlight: The sessions titled “State of Global Digital Asset Regulation:Navigating Opportunities in an Evolving Landscape” and “Interoperability and Regulatory Compliance: Building the Future of Digital Asset Infrastructure”, scheduled on 26 and 27June respectively, will feature global leaders from both public sector (such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Bank of Italy, Bank of Thailand, U.S. Commodity Futures TradingCommission, EU Parliament) and private sector organisations (such as JP Morgan, Sygnum,SBI Digital Assets, Chainalysis, GBBC, SIX Digital Exchange). They will be speaking on digital asset regulations and key considerations in the rapidly evolving world of digital assets.

Attend the Consequential Policy-Technology Dialogue in Financial Services

Join central bankers, regulators and industry leaders at the Point Zero Forum for a series of leadership dialogues, public-private roundtables and deep-dive workshops to drive confidence, adoption and growth of transformative technology. Those who are interested in joining may register here. Receive 10% off the Industry Pass by entering the code JB10 at check out.

  • Policymakers, regulators, think tanks, and academics receive complimentary access.
  • Founders of tech companies (incorporated for less than 3 years), can apply for a discounted Founder’s Pass.

About the author:

Jas is currently serving as the Content Lead at Elevandi, where he plays a crucial role in bringing together financial services thought leaders from across the globe on platforms such as the Singapore Fintech Festival and the Point Zero Forum. Before his current role, Jas was a Corporate Venture Builder, where he worked to identify and solve problems while scaling solutions. During his 2.5+ years at the ING Innovation Lab in Singapore, he built Blacksmith, a KYC Venture. Prior to his work at ING, Jas was a Manager at Rainmaking Innovation's Singapore office, where he focused on Corporate Innovation and Venture Building. There, he worked closely with corporations to establish innovation strategies and implement them through stage-gated ventures built using lean design thinking techniques. Before his work at Rainmaking, Jas was a Business Consultant focused on Portfolio Management Platforms in Private Banking. Over the course of three years, he had the opportunity to work on major projects in the ASEAN & MENA regions, including Standard Chartered, ABN AMRO, UOB, andBPI while working at the Asian offices of two boutique European consulting firms. Jas graduated with First Class Honors in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Business from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Expertise in:

  • Corporate Venture Building for 4+ years - as a consultant at Rainmaking Innovation and internally at ING Innovation Lab SG
  • Building and scaling banking platforms for 3+ years - as a consultant at Asian offices of two European consulting firms - worked at some of the biggest change management programmes in the ASEAN & MENA regions at banks includingStandard Chartered, ABN AMRO, UOB and BPI
  • Focused on RegTech and Portfolio Management Platforms with a keen interest in how banks implement regulatory policies from a tech, process and people perspective
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