Why Blockchain Market is Thriving in Singapore

The blockchain technology, which was being viewed as skeptical in the
past, is now beginning to move past cryptocurrencies to the companies in
diverse sectors

Blockchain, which is also known as digital ledger technology (DLT), was
first implemented by a bitcoin company to mark transactions digitally
about 10 years ago. The DLT is a public ledger of activity that stores
information about all the transactions taking place on the network. It
cannot be hacked or tampered with and it is not owned by any central
authority. Instead, a group of participants uphold the network. From
music to gaming to fintech, today the technology is being used by the
players across the sectors.

The Asia Pacific region is currently the fastest growing market for
blockchain in the world, according to a recent report by Genesis Market
Insights. Another report by the consulting firm PwC highlights that 82
percent of executives in Singapore have reported that blockchain
initiatives are underway in their organizations. Out of which, 13
percent have brought the initiatives live to the market.

Entrepreneur took a deep dive to understand why Singapore is the leading
example of blockchain in the Asia Pacific region, and what exactly is
driving the growth of blockchain market.

Beyond Crypto

The world’s best blockchain researcher along with the government that
supports innovation is giving Singapore an edge over other countries in
leading the blockchain revolution. The more you get into its tech
circle, the more you hear the news of 21st century fundraising programme
– Initial Coin Offering (ICOs) launching in the city. The start-ups in
Singapore are not just confined to cryptocurrencies, but are moving far
beyond it to explore new markets. As Singapore has become a hot spot for
crypto and blockchain enthusiasts, a lot of entrepreneurs are carving
the niche with their regional offices.

David Wachsman is one such entrepreneur. His company based in New York
recently opened its Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. The company
provides public relations, event management, and strategic advisory
services to some of the most indispensable companies and projects in the
blockchain ecosystem. Wachsman says, “Singapore, along with a number of
other countries in the region, is wellknown as an innovation hub and
has a favorable environment for business and technological disruption.
Many of our clients are headquartered or have regional offices in
Singapore. These were some of the factors that made Singapore a clear
choice for our own Asia-Pacific HQ.”

Another blockchain-based startup, MusicLife is Singapore’s music
blockchain trading channel, which is using the combination of blockchain
technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in its operations. In
August, the company raised a $5 million funding round led by Metropolis
VC. The startup aims to bring transparency in the cluttered music
sharing market through the blockchain technology, so that the artists
and songwriters get their due in the industry. “The music industry is
currently dominated by giants, burdened by copyright restrictions, and
lacking fairness and transparency for artists. MusicLife will funnel
more profit to artists while giving fans the opportunity to become song
owners,” says Kaiming Lu, founder and chair of MusicLife.

Another duo forayed into the blockchain market of Singapore. Pavel Bains
from Silicon Valley chose Singapore to start its blockchain company in
2014. An alternative to cloud database services, Bluzelle is building a
decentralized database service that businesses can use to store their
data. The company’s vision is to disrupt the cloud database services
such as those offered by Oracle and Amazon. It is providing its
blockchain-based storage network, called “Bluzelle” network, which will
provide storage resources to people in exchange for Bluzelle tokens
(BLZ). The company closed its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) having raised
$19.5 million in order to develop its decentralized database technology
and fill the missing piece in the decentralized internet.

Government’s Push

The growing dominance of blockchain technology can also be attributed to
the Singapore government’s policies. A recent report by Global Market
Insights also points out the same. From 2016, the Monetary Authority of
Singapore is working in a partnership with R3, a blockchain technology
company, and a consortium of financial institutions on a
proof-of-concept project to conduct inter-bank payments using blockchain
technology. The country is also exploring the use of blockchain to link
the National Trade Platforms to the trade platforms of other countries.

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies still remain a grey area for
many countries, which is not regulated by any authority. Wachsman says,
“Although at present regulation surrounding blockchain and
cryptocurrencies is rudimentary in the majority of jurisdictions, I
believe that this will change quickly as we enter 2019 and 2020. As
regulation matures across the globe, we are going to see an increase in
the number of companies utilizing the technology and far more capital
allocated to the blockchain space. The number of industry-focused
attorneys will multiply correspondingly. I believe that more precise
regulation will lend clarity, not confusion, to the space.”


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