Asia Blockchain Review recently spoke to Danny Christ, Co-Founder of Moonwhale Ventures, an STO Advisory for existing businesses such as MNCs, SMEs, and listed companies to finance expansion by tokenization. Moonwhale also covers the identification and implementation of blockchain technology in value chains of companies to improve security and transactions. Mr. Christ talked about developing blockchain solutions for clients in Southeast Asia and the US primarily, driving forward the crypto asset ecosystem, adoption, and his vision of how blockchain will change the world.
Asia Blockchain Review: What is the inspiration and rationality behind the founding of Moonwhale Ventures?
Danny Christ: After a 20-year career in operations, evaluating inefficiencies and implementing solutions (ERP), blockchain came naturally as a new technology to improve, secure, and disrupt legacy systems in various industries. My corporate life was flourishing to the point of being a VP in a large organization. However, the urge to do what I (learned) to love — crypto and blockchain tech — was not possible in that company. Being in my late 30’s, it was ‘now or never’, and I decided to go into consulting on blockchain technology, ICOs, and STOs to help startups and existing companies identify blockchain solutions and leverage ‘tokenization’ with a larger investor crowd.
In 2017, I was appointed as a blockchain technology consultant for GLG (US) and NSCS (Malaysia) and then had inquiries to advise startups in the ICO/STO field, of which I consulted on about 20+ projects until 2018. During that time, I met Stefan Bergstroem, Co-Founder and Chairman of Moonwhale. We decided to ‘formulize’ and ‘professionalize’ our services by founding Moonwhale Ventures, a cool brand, blockchain tech consulting and STO advisory. Fortunately, we found great supporters, including Iliya Zaki (Head of Marketing and Business Development) from Singapore, Eike Schramm (Chief Operating Officer) from Germany, and many top-notch board advisors who hailed from a wide range of places, from Hong Kong to Texas.
ABR: How have your experiences in IT, operations and supply chain contributed to the founding of Moonwhale Ventures?
DC: In my corporate roles, I found the most difficult (and interesting) part of new technology is the implementation — the translation of new technology and its advantages to the operations team in order to achieve ‘buy-in’ and support. This is a crucial process to succeed, and oftentimes, ERP and new technologies stretch through the entire value chain of a company. Therefore, full support is needed by the team operating the systems. Here, the ability to translate complex technologies and processes in an understandable and logical way to a team which might not be so tech savvy is fundamental. Often, change management is applied too. Moonwhale is all about translating this new thing, ‘Blockchain’, and everything it involves — ICO, distributed ledger technology, financial disruption, Bitcoin and crypto, and investment and trading. We’re about helping companies and individuals learn, understand, and make the right decisions in the pursuit of blockchain implementation.
Now, of course, Moonwhale is very specialized in Security Token Offering (STO) Advisory. This is a new way for companies, multinational corporations, and SMEs, in particular, to raise funds (alternative growth-financing) through tokenization — to grow their business, expand, or develop new divisions.
ABR: What are some of the key challenges in developing blockchain solutions for businesses, particularly those in Southeast Asia? How have you tackled these issues?
DC: A key challenge with new and innovative technologies like blockchain is the education that needs to take place. Often, people only know of Bitcoin and may have possibly heard about ICOs. Like any new business opportunity, there are also a lot of conmen, black sheep, and wannabe experts out there. Therefore, Moonwhale’s primary task is to educate, while at the same time protect individuals and companies from making errors in investment or technology applications. Specifically, in Southeast Asia, the general opinion on this new disruptive technology is very open, with many new blockchain startups emerging here. New technology is rapidly considered and implemented. This is for two reasons, the first being technological curiosity. Asians are, in general, very playful and like to explore, whereas in Europe, for example, people are more skeptical. The second reason is the lack of regulatory frameworks. Even as this may occur in Europe or the US, laws in developing countries are rarely in place to control or guide disruptive technologies, especially as they relate to emerging investment opportunities.
Moonwhale, with its international team, guides companies and offers customized and suitable solutions according to their preferences and regional possibilities.
ABR: What is Moonwhale doing differently from other advisories? Can you tell us about some success cases?
DC: Moonwhale has a team and advisors from various industries (finance, service industry, oil & gas, real estate, supply chain, sales & marketing, influencers, and corporate consultants) and in various locations (Asia, USA, Europe, UAE), offering a huge global network to potential clients and partners for projects.
Moonwhale is also devoted to giving the most efficient STO solutions to existing companies, capable of rendering the fullest possible quantity and the best possible quality of service in our capacity, and to create a complete and safe end-to-end Security Token Offering (STO) investment platform to drive global adoption.
We have successfully helped startups with partnerships through our network. For example, Moonwhale connected a taxi-sharing startup (with blockchain payments) with the largest ride-sharing firm in Asia, Grab, and the largest in the UAE, Cadeem, allowing them to leverage each others’ technologies. We have also successfully advertised and promoted companies through our networks, making marketing and potential adoption easy for projects to reach end-users or corporate partners, such as for our current client, MoneyFi.
ABR: Can you tell us about MoneyFi and how Moonwhale is helping them to develop the crypto asset ecosystem?
DC: For MoneyFi, Moonwhale did the entire STO preparation and execution. This includes setup of websites, marketing strategy, events, and roadshows. We facilitated all collaterals, whitepaper, business paper, investor decks, and 1-pagers. Moonwhale also represented MoneyFi at various family office events, pitching to potential investors. Moonwhale actively works with creative ideas to add value to our clients. Ultimately, the project’s success determines Moonwhale’s success.
ABR: What are some other projects that we can expect to see from Moonwhale Ventures this year?
DC: Moonwhale Ventures primarily focuses on the US market. The United States is a massive market for SMEs to conduct STOs. Furthermore, America is already used to investing in shares and stocks, more so than Germany, for example. Therefore, investors in the US are more likely to invest in these new digital shares, security token offerings.
Of course, Moonwhale also takes on startups and projects from other regions, such as our home, Asia. Attractive to them should be our network in the US. In turn, other projects likely find our network in Southeast Asia attractive.
We do not limit our approach to any industry, since alternative fundraising can be applied everywhere and for everyone. We see a rise in medical cannabis and commercial real estate projects where firms aim to leverage blockchain technology and tokenization.
ABR: How can blockchain enhance security for clients in the banking and financial sector?
DC: “A Blockchain is essentially a public ledger (decentralized register) for every transaction that has been carried out. It provides a bookkeeping service, computer accounting, ‘verifying transactions’ using different devices’ computing power. Cryptocurrency is the fuel reward and incentive. Since the network and therefore the stored transactions/data is decentralized or distributed over a (ideally) global network, it is hard to impossible to hack. Hacking a blockchain would mean one has to hack all computers participating in the network or claiming 51% of the network hash rate (which is too expensive).”
Very technical, but the best way to answer the security question. For this reason, financial institutions are already adopting blockchain. JP Morgan and most major banks are either investing in or developing this new disruptive technology. Through Facebook’s Libra, cryptocurrency remittance will set new standards, and projects like MoneyFi will disrupt legacy money-transmitting services.
ABR: How will blockchain technology change the world?
DC: Blockchain Technology has a real social and economic impact and can help to realize Sustainable Development Goals by providing new, efficient ways of facilitating cross-border payments and, therefore, financial inclusion.
Furthermore, cryptocurrencies (tokenization) offer a new way of non-bank financing for startups or business expansion. Now, literally everyone can invest in potentially high-growth technology projects, which had previously only been accessible to financial institutions, private equity firms, or high-net-worth individuals.
Disrupt or be disrupted.
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