[Panel Recap] Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu on Importance of Digital Property Rights

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Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday

  • Animoca Brands CEO Yat Siu spoke at the Philippine Web3 Festival about the importance of digital property rights for digital freedom.
  • Siu cited the example of Axie Infinity, a popular web3 game in the Philippines, to illustrate the power of ownership as the foundation for true freedom and interaction.
  • Siu also emphasized the potential for tokenization and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to allow users to judge the value of data and incentivize reinvestment in games rather than extraction of value by platforms.

Along with other prominent names in the web3 space all over the world, Yat Siu, the CEO of game software company and venture capital giant Animoca Brands, also attended the Philippine Web3 Festival—an event aiming to highlight Filipino talent and bring international web3 leaders to the country—last November. 

Aside from his presence, Yat Siu graced the event’s participants with a fireside chat with Global Impact FinTech (GIFT) Forum co-founder Malik Khan Kotadia about the significance of digital rights—it was part of day 1 of the conference. Access the live coverage for day 2 and day 3 here. 

“I think we can start with a very simple foundation. I can sort of lean off a quote from George Washington, basically what he said was that freedom and property rights are intertwined, you can’t have one without the other, and the same is true for digital property rights. You can’t have digital freedom unless you have digital property rights. The foundation of this is ownership,” Yat Siu explained tackling digital property rights.

He then took Axie Infinity as an example, as it was a popular web3 game in the country, and according to him, “the paradigm that made Axie (Infinity) powerful was not play-to-earn, play-to-earn was obviously built here, but it came from ownership first.”

“It’s the ownership of Axies that allowed someone like YGG to come and create a business on top of that ownership. And when you think about our history in the physical term, everything we do, whether it’s car ownership, house ownership, shoe ownership, or fashion ownership, in the physical world, there are industries that surround and grow from that because we can do business with a person who has ownership. Meaning, you have true freedom; true freedom to interact, to transact, to own, and to do whatever you wish you to,” he continued.

He also added that with digital ownership, property rights are nearly impossible to implement in nations that have low property rights, such as North Korea, because “they have very low GDPs (gross domestic products) and very low incomes. You can’t build on something that could disappear tomorrow, that you don’t have ownership.” 

“All the countries that have strong property rights, whether this is in the US, Europe, Hong Kong, or Singapore, have very strong GDPs and that is not a coincidence. If you translate the property rights ownership paradigm from the digital world, which is our equity, we are not just going to create more equity in the world; we are also going to create an incredible amount of new capital formation,” he added.

Further, Yat Siu stated that through web3, humans can now be informed about the value chain, which allows them to know what the actual value of the data is, and because web3 enables them to have ownership, users can go and have intermediaries. 

However, he noted that this information is still not properly utilized as the majority of the data and its value are hoarded by major companies and platforms that “only extract.”

“Through tokenization, imperfect as it may be, for the time being, we have a way in which we can judge the value, the perspective of gamers (users), and when you giveaway, for instance, NFTs, we’re actually giving advertising dollars out by a user acquisition method. But the thing is, when you give them these NFTs, what actually happens is the percentage of the people that might reinvest into the game is much larger because as a gamer, you really have the incentive to do so. So you were really rewarding the players as opposed to giving value to that platform who are only there to extract,” he expounded. 

Last October, he defended the idea that a low player count for web3 games is not enough to measure a game’s worth, explaining that user transactions do not reflect the final engagement on a platform, as some of them prefer holding onto their NFTs to use in the game rather than selling them. 

He also discussed the importance of scarcity in the existence of virtual lands in a Twitter thread last year. 

For other news and articles about the PH Web3 Fest, click here.

This article is published on BitPinas: ‘Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu on Importance of Digital Property Rights

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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