Did you know that only 27% of the 655 million population in Southeast Asia hold a bank account?
With blockchain’s capacity to bank the unbanked, coupled with Southeast Asia’s rapidly booming internet access, Southeast Asia is fast becoming a hotbed for blockchain development. Investors and techpreneurs are flocking to the region for its relatively ‘relaxed’ regulatory approach, and as a result Southeast Asia’s blockchain industry has been making headlines across the globe.
In no particular order, here are 15 noteworthy milestones and projects that have bloomed out of Southeast Asia’s blockchain industry over the past year or so.
1) Thailand has begun a government initiative to rehaul its state railway and postal services by combining blockchain and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies.
2) The Governor of the Bank of Thailand announced that they are considering blockchain as a means to facilitate cross-border payments.
3) Omise (parent company of OmiseGo) and the country’s Ministry of Digital Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This will see both parties collaborating to develop a nation-wide identity verification and online payment system utilising blockchain technology.
4) The Philippines are looking into blockchain technology to power rural areas with electricity. In partnership with Shanghai-based Energo Labs, they aim to decentralise electricity storage and distribution.
5) Coins.ph, a Filipino bitcoin-based mobile wallet, raised $5 million from a Series A funding process led by Naspers Ventures.
6) The central bank of Cambodia is partnering with Japanese company Soramitsu to build a blockchain-based payments system that would allow for the regulated usage of a cryptocurrency, thus eliminating the use of formal financial institutions to send and receive money.
7) The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is looking into a closed loop blockchain-based technology to enhance the central bank’s ability to facilitate and monitor inter-bank lending and transactions.
8) The Indonesian government are looking to blockchain technology to increase data transparency and combat tax fraud through a blockchain-powered app for tax data.
9) Sastrowardoyo (Founder, Blockchain Zoo) confirms that there’s ongoing research looking into the creation of a Digital Rupiah, a cryptocurrency backed by the government. Rumors of this surfaced earlier this year, though it is still in very early stages of development and won’t be rolled out anytime soon.
10) The National University of Singapore (NUS) announced earlier this year that it is partnering with IBM to develop a curriculum around blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
11) To boost innovation and adoption of blockchain technology beyond fintech, Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has launched its very first Blockchain Challenge.
12) Bank Negara Malaysia have announced that 9 Malaysian banks are currently working together to develop blockchain applications to assist with trade finance.
13) AirAsia has stated its intentions to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to streamline their payments system and loyalty rewards programme.
14) South Korea’s ‘IncuBlock’, a blockchain lab, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaysian government advisory committee to make blockchain tech development permissible under Sharia Law. Overseas, blockchain technology is currently being used to effectively track halal foods.
15) As part of NEM.io Foundation’s expansion into Malaysia, they have invested 40 Million USD to develop Malaysia’s very own Blockchain Centre in KL.
These projects, if successful, will further validate Southeast Asia’s blockchain industry and its quest for disruption. The increased involvement of venture capital, overall positive outlook with regulations, and the appearance of numerous startups all add to the region’s success.
World-Class Blockchain Education In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia’s blockchain industry continues to grow, but educational opportunities in the sector are still playing catch-up. Through courses offered in tandem with leading global institutions, some for the first time in Asia, Blockchain Asia Campus allows regional blockchain enthusiasts, developers and entrepreneurs to further their knowledge in this exciting and fast-moving field, fostering the industry’s growth from the grassroots up.
If you’re looking to become ‘blockchain job-ready’, why not check out our range of industry accredited courses?
With a raft of respected blockchain thought-leaders from Malaysia and around the world set to feature, Blocfest’s focus will be on blockchain’s immense potential in the Southeast Asian region, where the technology has already made great headway.
Blocfest is set to launch 26-27 September, and guests are invited to also join us for KL Blockchain Week.
Find out more about our speakers by clicking here.
Sean’s unequivocal passion for all things blockchain blossomed in late 2016. Starting off his journey as a daytrader, he found himself quickly immersed in the projects and their visions of a decentralised future economy. He is Blocfest’s chief writer/editor, and publisher of Channel 3.0, a blog focusing on blockchain-powered digital media, content and advertising platforms.