Opens blockchain innovation centre, promises to team up with government, industries to help make Singapore FinTech capital of Asia
IBM is expanding its blockchain services into Singapore, opening a centre for ‘Blockchain Innovation’ in the country to work with the government, industries, and academics to develop blockchain applications.
The move comes after the company announced a raft of new blockchain services in April, establishing a new framework for operating blockchain networks and services on IBM’s cloud designed to meet regulatory and security requirements.
Blockchains are essentially public ledgers of all transactions made, negating the need for multiple payment and transaction systems by replacing them with one database.
While IBM will be going after big business in the financial capital, it said the services will also target small and medium sized businesses to aid in the growth of new markets in finance and trade.
“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,” said Robert Morris, vice president at IBM Research.
“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, the legal system, and more.”
Singapore has long been ramping up its financial technology viability, looking to rival Hong Kong as a prominent fintech hub in Asia.
One of the IBM’s first projects will be to roll out blockchain products that will improve the efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions. These products will be developed themselves in Singapore at the centre, and will involve the help and collaboration of global banks and emerging fintech companies in the country.
The services will build on IBM’s work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform. The Innovation Centre will be staffed with technical talent from Singapore as well as researchers from IBM Research Labs worldwide.
Assistant Chief Executive Khoong Hock Yun, of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, said: “As we build Singapore into a Smart Nation, innovation in the financial sector is key to help increase Singapore’s competitiveness as a global trading hub.
“The industry’s move is a clear sign that Singapore is capitalizing on opportunities to be market leaders in emerging technologies such as the Blockchain. This can translate to strong benefits throughout our entire finance ecosystem including the boosting of local tech capabilities. We hope to see more examples of industry innovation moving forward.”