Singapore Banking Sector Takes Frontline in Building a Smart Nation – Boosting Blockchain and FinTech

Finance | Published 23. Aug. 16

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Singapore's ambitious vision is to create a leading smart nation, which would pull together universities, R&D, investments and a growing community of tech and FinTech startups along with a large pool of investment capital. It has already started to create results and generate investments.

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After revealing this vision, the development has been fast. Especially the banking sector has been active in developing and investing into new technologies, which has a significant impact, as Singaporean banking system is already among the most competitive in the world. Being Asia’s third-biggest Financial Centre, Singapore paves the way for others to follow.

Recently, one of the most interesting development trait has been Blockchain and FinTech. Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has referred to Bitcoin and Blockchain as innovations that will reshape global finance.

Last year, the Central Bank of Singapore announced a five-year $225 million investment plan. The money will be used for building innovation centers and fund financial tech projects such as the Blockchain record-keeping system.

According to Ravi Menon, the goal is to attract financial tech startups to build their companies in Singapore.

It seems that the plan is already working. This month, the Singaporean banking society, the United Overseas Bank (UOB), held its first accelerator program. The program focused on technology solutions for the financial sector and the nine startups that took part in it.

In July, IBM announced that it will open the first Centre for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore. The centre is created in collaboration with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). IBM Researchers will work with the government, industries, and academia to develop solutions which are based on enterprise Blockchain and cognitive computing technologies.

The aim is to accelerate Blockchain adoption for finance and trade. The first projects for the center will focus on trade solutions using Blockchain to improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance transactions and processes. The solutions and associated Blockchain platform will be designed and developed in Singapore.

“This is IBM’s first collaboration with the private sector and multiple government agencies within the same country to explore the use of Blockchain and cognitive technologies to improve business transactions across several different industries. Now with new cloud services that make these technologies more accessible, leaders from all industries are beginning to take note of the resulting profound and disruptive implications in a range of settings including finance, banking, IoT, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, technology, government, legal system, and more,” said Robert Morris, Vice President, Global Labs, IBM Research.


Blockchain is a distributed database technology that helps create cost-efficient business networks without requiring a centralized point of control. Learn more about Blockchain at the next ASEAN StrategyForum Banking event on the 17th-18th of May 2017 in Singapore. For more on our upcoming event, visit the Event Calendar »


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