Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma talked about digital currencies, potentially playing an important role in building the financial system of the future. Ma at the Bund Summit in Shanghai said,
“Digital currency could create value, and we should think about how to establish a new type of financial system through digital currency.”
He said the future vision of a financial system in the next 30 years might have digital currencies at its “very important core.”
“Digital currency may redefine currency.”
Ma criticized global financial regulation during the event. According to him, they stifle innovation and, as such, urged for a system that focuses on development.
“After the Asian financial crisis, the risk control highlighted in the Basel Accords has been” regulators’ priority, he said adding that now the world “only focuses on risk control, not on development, and rarely do they consider opportunities for young people and developing countries.”
Comparing the Basel Accords to a club for the elderly, Ma said they are used to solving financial systems operating for decades. But China is still a “youth” and needs more innovation, he said.
Ma’s speech came just hours after Ant Group set the price of its Shanghai listing. The IPO, which is also planned to be in Hong Kong, is one of the most anticipated and on course to become the “biggest in history,” surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion share sale last year by raising $34.1 Billion at aa valuation of $310 Billion.
Amazing speech by Jack Ma. Not easy to be so openly commenting on regulations in China. Talked a lot about cryptocurrency and the future. It’s in Chinese, not sure of there is an English transcription available. https://t.co/NX5jTpi3NU
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 25, 2020
Retired from all his corporate roles, Ma, who is still the face of Alibaba and Ant, said the IPO's share price had been decided on Friday but didn’t disclose the figure.
At the event, which hundreds of bankers and regulators attended, Ma said the Ant Group offering was a “miracle” because, for the first time, a big tech company set prices outside New York.
“We didn’t dare to think about it five years ago, or even three years ago. But the miracle just happened.”
Ma said China’s financial system is dominated by big state banks and needs an inclusive, sustainable, and green system that uses new technologies like big data, cloud computing, and blockchain.
“Innovation always comes with a risk, there will be no risk-free innovation … the biggest risk is that you try to minimize the risk to zero.”