Regulatory Ramblings podcast

Don't Fear Technology, Embrace It

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Walter Jennings, Founder of Asia Insight Circle 

Walter is a branding and communications veteran – and someone who has increasingly become a voice of influence in Hong Kong’s FinTech and Web3 scene over the past decade. He currently owns and manages Asia Insight Circle, a private members group of C-suite executives. The group meets monthly for frank discussions on critical local business issues and its membership roster represents a diverse swath of the city’s commercial players. 

Prior to that he was head of branding and communications at Finnoverse, which until 2022 was the organiser of Hong Kong FinTech Week. While there he was responsible for leading the company’s communications strategy and its branded events worldwide. Walter has extensive expertise in emerging financial services technologies – including regulated digital assets, blockchain and 5G. 

He also hosts a podcast called Waves in the Finnoverse and earlier, Crypto Savvy, which explored and decoded all things relating to cryptocurrencies, digital assets and FinTech. 

With his experience in communicating why new technologies matter and helping companies grow globally, as well as in marketing across Web3, virtual assets and traditional finance, Walter is well situated to speak on a great many of the topics that the territory is grappling with as it charts a course for itself in the digital economy of the 21st century. He’s also a savvy operator in institutional and regulated environments, and has advised decentralized finance (DeFi) start-ups.  

Additionally, he did a stint in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, offering his counsel to the Kingdom on its experimental city of the future – NEOM. Before that, he was Huawei’s vice president for global corporate communications in Shenzhen where he looked after the phone giant’s worldwide reputation. 

He chats with Regulatory Ramblings host Ajay Shamdasani about how he transitioned from the world of public relations to learning more about the role of digital technology in our daily lives, to being one of its most enthusiastic advocates – not least in its application to financial services and the way we transact. 

Walter stresses the importance of Web3 and why everyone should engage with the technology rather than fear it. He also shares some of the challenges he’s faced as an entrepreneur and his thoughts on doing business in the East versus the West. Most poignantly, despite all the tumult and uncertainty Hong Kong has faced in recent years, he explains why he is one of this city’s most stalwart defenders and promoters; ever the eternal optimist, Walter believes the Special Administrative Region’s best days are ahead of it.   

A key point he emphasizes, however, is that Hong Kong must have the right kind of regulatory policy for FinTech, virtual assets and Web 3 to thrive and create opportunities for society at large. 

On a more personal level, Walter also shares a little bit about his roots, growing up in small town New Jersey, being captivated by the big city life of New York, how he got into public relations and his penchant for the theatre – being a faithful Broadway afficionado: to say nothing of being an ardent Francophile who calls Rouen, Normandy his second home after the SAR. 

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