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Singapore strides ahead in blockchain with new innovation programme and trade network

The government of Singapore has announced a number of initiatives aimed at increasing real-world adoption of blockchain technologies.

Speaking at the Singapore Blockchain Village Peter Ong, chairman of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), ushered in a new Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme (SBIP). The programme will engage various companies, from large enterprises to technology providers, to help ‘facilitate the development effort and use cases for blockchain technologies in Singapore’, from scalability to security.

As reported by The Straits Times, a $12 million fund has been set aside to launch the programme.

Alongside this is the launch of the Blockchain & Trade Connectivity (BTC) Network. The network, which has been put together with ESG alongside the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), aims to ‘allow for innovation and testbedding of blockchain solutions with multimodal global supply chain companies, digital trading platforms and technology specialists.’

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with an initial group of six commercial partners. One partner is VeChain, an enterprise-focused blockchain platform provider known for its work with Walmart.

“The pandemic has shown that businesses and even entire industries have to change,” said Ong. “With the booming demand for digital solutions to support this change, there is now an increased need for a secure and trustworthy way to transact.

“It is important that we continue to co-innovate and collaborate,” Ong added. “Together, we can discover how blockchain helps to advance industries and countries into a digital future that is secure, transparent and effective.”

Each aspect of these initiatives appears to be closely linked. Alongside the two organisational announcements, a report was issued on the Singapore blockchain ecosystem. The report was co-authored by OpenNodes – whom Ong noted as a platform of choice – IBM, PwC Singapore, EY and others.

The study found businesses were optimistic about blockchain growth in Southeast Asia. Four in five said blockchain was either their primary or secondary solution. Funding also appears to be moving upward; more than a quarter (27%) of blockchain companies in Singapore have progressed to series A funding, with an additional 37% at the seed stage.

Almost half (49%) of blockchain projects in Singapore have moved beyond the pilot stage – 36% in ‘experimentation’ and 13% at full scale production – while integration between applications is also progressing. 30% of those polled said they had four or more applications, with asset track and traceability the most common.

“Blockchain projects in some consumer-facing sectors have had their progress hampered by the impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic as internal resources were diverted to address near-term priorities,” the report noted. “However, blockchain projects in core sectors like food and energy have continued largely unaffected. Additionally, some companies have pivoted towards using blockchain to address the challenges of contact tracing and health certification as countries work towards resuming international travel safely.

“Singapore is fast becoming a leader in blockchain technology, both in the region as well as globally,” the report added.

You can read the full report here (pdf, no email required).

Photo by Joshua Ang on Unsplash

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.

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