IBM plans to open a blockchain innovation center in Singapore in collaboration with the Singaporean government to digitalize the trade and finance sectors, reports ZDNet. The centre will develop applications and solutions based on blockchain, cybersecurity, and cognitive computing technologies and also engage with small to medium enterprises to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade.
The blockchain can translate to strong benefits throughout our entire finance ecosystem including the boosting of local tech capabilities.
As Singapore aims to become Asia’s main financial technology hub, IBM’s initiative perfectly aligns with the government’s goal. The tech company will be working with the main economic planning agency, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to accelerate blockchain adoption for finance and trade.
One project, together with PSA International—one of the world’s largest container transshipment ports owned by state investor Temasek Holdings—aims to connect fintech with global trade and logistics.
Singapore is rushing to reinvent itself as Asia’s fintech hub to fend off a regulatory threat to its wealth management industry and revive a sluggish economy.
Singapore is now ahead of its long time rival, Hong Kong, but measures to cut the number of foreign workers and regulations have created a risk averse culture which is at odds with the trial and error approach of fintech startups. This remains a key obstacle in developing this sector in Singapore.
The opening of the new blockchain center will build on IBM’s work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger Platform. At the end of 2015, IBM was among one of the tech companies to partner with the Linux Foundation to develop an enterprise grade, open-source distributed framework. This aligns with the foundation’s belief that this standard of innovation can transform the way business transactions are conducted across the world.
A version of this appeared in ZDNet on July 12. Read the full version here.