How Singapore turns into a global blockchain center

Original author: Elena Mesropyan
  • Transfer
imageThe development of technology drastically changes the nature of the interaction of people with banks and other financial structures. And, of course, the most noticeable and discussed today is the technology of distributed registries. We have previously described how Estonia applies blockchains across the entire state. And today we turn to the East and take a closer look at the fintech industry of Singapore. What is this state famous for? First, a favorable business environment. Secondly, an incredibly rich ecosystem of financial services. Thirdly, a large concentration of blockchain projects. Read more about this further in the translation of the LTP material .

Singapore is one of the gems of the international financial services ecosystem: there are about 200 banks operating in the city-state, with a total assets of $ 2 trillion. Global financial institutions such as Mastercard , UBS , DBS Bank , OCBC , Wells Fargo and Citigroup launch their innovative laboratories and accelerators here and make significant investments in the local market.

Participants in the international financial services market often choose Singapore as the headquarters for their Asian satellites. Among them AmEx, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and many other financial organizations.

However, Singapore is known not only for its favorable business environment and support from the government, but also because there are a number of interesting blockchain companies that play a crucial role in the global blockchain ecosystem.

In addition, Singapore recently became the focus of attention due to a number of events in the world of finance and technology related to blockchain products.

In late October, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) signed an agreementon cooperation in the field of financial technologies in order to promote innovations in the field of financial services in their domestic markets. Under the agreement, MAS and GoAP will explore the possibilities of joint innovative projects, in particular, in the field of digital payments and blockchains and will be engaged in the compilation of educational financial tech programs. MAS and GoAP also agreed to discuss the latest trends in FinTech and to establish a dialogue on the regulatory issues of innovative solutions in the field of financial services.

In early November, the private investment firm Senjo Groupintroduced its new international headquarters in Singapore. An advanced fintech investor fully rented the 56th floor of One Raffles Place (one of the three tallest skyscrapers) in the central business district of the city:


Senjo Group - founded in 2015, a holding company engaged in investing in payment and fintech companies and operating in Asia, Europe, North America and Africa.

Iosio Tomii, the company's commercial director, commented on this event in an official press release:

“Singapore has achieved for itself an enviable position as the leading financial and technological center of Asia with an impressive innovation ecosystem, great human potential and fantastic infrastructure. The city boasts a favorable business environment, so it became an obvious choice when looking for a place for our international headquarters. ”

Just recently, on November 15, research fintech-company R3, headquartered in New York together with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, launched the first of its kind Asian center of excellence, which will be devoted to the study of technologies of distributed registries. The new site will be named R3 Asia Lab and will serve as a place for a research laboratory and Center of Excellence, which will receive guests - engineers and specialists in this field and business leaders. The laboratory will be located in a latteftech hub .in the central business district of Singapore. Participating in its activities will be both senior executives and a team of experts in the field of business and technology, including employees from the members of the R3 CEV consortium, scientific interns, and local engineers.

During the recent Singaporean FINTECH festival, IBM together with a startup KYCK! announced the launch of a new blockchain project aimed at helping financial companies to streamline the process of reviewing applications from new clients, taking into account the requirements of the KYC procedures ( “know your client”, eng. ). This and other similar projects using IBM blockchains can reduce the time and cost required to register new customers.

Earlier in late October, IBM also announcedon collaboration with the Singapore startup FreshTurf within the IBM Bluemix Garage site located in the city. The company's developers and designers help FreshTurf create a city-wide distributed network for tracking sea and land shipments in the city-state, optimizing the interaction between merchants, logistics companies, storage operators and consumers. The project aims to improve the final stage of package delivery to the consumer.

IBM Bluemix Garageacts as an innovative hub where developers, product managers and designers can get together to collaborate on their projects using the proprietary IBM Bluemix toolkit. Bluemix Garage Singapore is one of the newest in the company's international network, including cities such as San Francisco, London, Toronto, Nice and Tokyo.

It should also be noted that on November 15, the Singapore-based OCBC became the first bank in Southeast Asia to applyblockchain technology for domestic and cross-border remittance services. This payment blockchain solution will improve the efficiency, transparency and security of the system, as well as reduce costs and improve the quality of customer service. A test payment between the bank and its subsidiaries OCBC Malaysia and Bank of Singapore was successfully completed on November 8, 2016. The blockchain solution that made this transaction possible was the result of a collaboration between OCBC and the local payment tools developer BCS Information Systems ( BCSIS ).

Bright representatives of the Singapore blockchain start-up ecosystem

The Singapore blockchain-start-up community is very diverse and includes companies offering solutions for regulatory and security areas, payments, corporate tools, identification systems, trade and real estate markets, infrastructure solutions and other areas. Let's take a closer look at some of these companies and their products. Acronis

Solutionsfor backup, disaster recovery, secure file storage has long become the standard in the field of protection of hybrid cloud data. With a set of technologies AnyData Engine, whose work is described in more than a hundred patents registered by the company, Acronis offers customers simple, complete and affordable products to protect any files, applications and operating systems in any environment - virtual, physical, cloud or mobile. Now the list of the company's services has been replenished with a blockchain prototype for data management. Acronis was founded in 2003 and today protects data for more than 5 million consumers and 500 thousand businesses from more than 145 countries.

Agriledger- a mobile application that uses cryptographic registries to provide farmers and agricultural cooperatives with a reliable way of maintaining documentation and accounting for trade. AgriLedger is positioning itself as a tool for streamlining workflow and financial planning, solving typical legal issues, as well as finding sales markets for products. The startup was an active participant in the FinTech Hackcelerator program organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Attores- a distributed platform that provides smart contracts based on blockchain as a service (Blockchain-Smart-Contracts-as-a-Service, Eng.) Through the application of the same name. Smart contracts are computer protocols that regulate and implement the conditions of certain financial arrangements in the form of computer programs.

BitX is a secure digital bitcoin wallet. The service also offers exchange services for the purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin-payment integration tools for merchants.

Blockchain foundryenables organizations in Asia to quickly and effortlessly design and deploy their own projects based on distributed registries. Startups and large companies can also try to work with pre-configured blockchain applications or use them as a basis for further refinement, thus observing the work of the blockchain in practice before proceeding to its application in practice.

CoinGecko is an analytical company that collects and visualizes all the necessary information for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the viability of altcoins. It also offers a comparative rating of coins, which is compiled using a proprietary algorithm that can determine the total value of each coin.

Coinhako- Bitcoin wallets service offering cryptocurrency purchase, sales and storage services and positioning itself as the most convenient way to work with it. Based in Silicon Valley, the company is now located in Singapore and works with Asian users.

CoinPip is a blockchain service for B2B payments that helps businesses accelerate and cheapen the process of paying vendor bills and suppliers, as well as paying wages to remote employees.

Coinut is a bitcoin options exchange that offers customers to use them asmeans of profit or to hedge risks in growing and falling markets. Considers the possibility of launching other cryptocurrency derivatives in the future. The owner of the exchange is Singapore company COINUT Pte. Ltd. Investors in the project were BoostVC and Bitmain .

Digital billions- a technology company whose products are designed to help corporations grow, innovate and remain competitive. Works in four directions: blockchain technology, venture investment, digital marketing and consulting services. Digital Billions offers a wide range of products and solutions for areas such as trade finance, digital identification (including KYC), digital wallets, digital signatures, asset management, and data integrity.

DigixGlobalrealizes the sale of tokens secured by high-grade gold bars stored in protected vaults. Tokens are based on Ethereum-blockchain and the decentralized IPFS network. A startup effectively uses Blockchain's immutability, transparency and controllability to carry out any trading operations with real precious assets.

Dragonfly fintech- Singapore-based company that provides blockchain solutions for financial ecosystems, which allows, among other things, to carry out such operations as cross-border payments, clearing and settlement of exchange transactions. The founder of the project is Lon Wong, a serial technology entrepreneur and inventor of the claimed patent for his own digital money business model. Lon Wong - a permanent member of the team opensorsnogo blokcheyn project NEM .

DX Markets helps integrate blockchain technologies into corporate financial processes of companies, increasing their efficiency and reducing costs. The company cooperates with a number of blockchain platforms to develop individual, but universal and scalable solutions for each of its clients.

Gocoinprovides a full range of payment processing services. The emphasis is on processing bitcoins, but the company integrates other currencies and payment methods, eliminating potential difficulties for merchant partners. Buyers have the opportunity to choose a convenient currency to pay for the purchase, and merchants - payments in those currencies, with the help of which it is more convenient for them to settle accounts with their suppliers.

Keychain provides a decentralized authentication platform that allows customers to solve real business problems related to authentication and access control. One of the advantages of the company's solutions is the ease of integration into existing systems and processes.

KYC chain- an innovative platform that effectively takes advantage of Blockchain and smart contracts. As the name suggests, the KYC chain allows banks and financial institutions to easily and reliably manage KYC data. The mechanisms of the platform provide a consensus on identifying individuals and companies with the highest level of trust, allowing businesses and financial institutions to significantly simplify the processing of applications from potential customers, while maintaining full compliance with industry legal standards.

Magnr(formerly offers bitcoin savings accounts with high interest rates. For daily interest calculation, an open blockchain is used, which allows depositors to monitor the status of invested funds transparently, independently and without any commissions. The company also offers Magnr Trading, a centralized trading tool that allows customers to manage Bitcoin positions on several exchanges at once and open short-term positions using leverage.

Nickel- an international money transfer application that runs on the blockchain base and allows migrant workers to send money home. Nickel is working to create a system that helps small and medium businesses to simplify the process of paying employees in foreign currency and make it more efficient by applying the most favorable exchange rates.

OTDocs helps eliminate errors, bottlenecks and reduce the risk of fraud in documentary operations by creating genuine digital originals of documents, as well as matching unique digital copies of paper originals. The use of closed blockchains allows participants to maintain complete control over data and access rights, without any need to entrust their storage to third parties.

Otonomos- a platform that allows you to organize the process of establishing a joint-stock company using blockchain tools. The management of the company and the interaction of shareholders becomes as simple as making a bitcoin payment.

Quantified Assets is a Singapore-based private equity investment company offering personalized savings and trading services for physical precious metals and bitcoins. Quantified Assets owns a whole group of diverse blockchain services, including Bitcoin ATM and a brokerage office in Singapore, a platform for paying bills using bitcoins, Bitcoin POS terminals for merchants, an anonymous online dealer of precious metals working through Tor and others .

REIDAO- A decentralized autonomous organization (Ethereum DAO), specializing in real estate. The service allows you to sell real estate in the form of DAO tokens, which gives their owners the opportunity to share ownership of the property and make collective decisions on all important issues relating to its condition and development. Thus, the company expects to attract individual investors to the platform, whose financial reserves are not large enough to invest in large objects on their own. The minimum amount for those who want to receive such shares in real estate is $ 150.

Ripple Singapore is a Ripple network-based service designed to purchase, store and exchange precious metals for any currency and vice versa.

ToastIt offers direct money transfers for residents of the Philippines who came to work in Hong Kong with a commission of less than 0.5%. The service operates on the blockchain basis and supports transactions in US dollars and a number of other Asian currencies, using the wallet application and Visa debit card.


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