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Singapore blockchain ecosystem to get boost

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The Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme will engage close to 75 companies to conceptualise 17 blockchain-related projects. KUA CHEE SIONG/The Straits Times

Singapore blockchain ecosystem to get boost

A S$12 million (US$9.0 million) programme has been launched to strengthen Singapore’s blockchain ecosystem and facilitate the development, commercialisation and adoption of blockchain technology for real-world applications.

The Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme will engage close to 75 companies including multi-national corporations, large enterprises and info-communications technology companies to conceptualise 17 blockchain-related projects within the next three years in sectors such as trade and logistics.

It was launched jointly by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) on December 7. The programme is funded by NRF.

Beyond research translation into real-world needs, the programme will look at enabling the adoption of blockchain in environments with high transaction rates and growing the blockchain tech talent pool.

ESG chairman Peter Ong said: “Covid-19 emphasised the need for trusted and reliable business systems in the new digital world.

“Blockchain technology helps to embed trust in applications spanning logistics and supply chains, trade financing to digital identities and credentials. The acceleration of innovative business solutions under the Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme will help our enterprises be more globally connected and competitive.”

IMDA CEO Lew Chuen Hong said the programme looks to encourage blockchain adoption in more industries beyond finance, which includes scaling up industry manpower and know-how.

“These efforts allow Singapore to build a strong blockchain ecosystem and establish our role as a trust hub,” he said.

The Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem Report 2020, released on December 7 at the Singapore Fintech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SFF x Switch), spotlighted Singapore as a key hub for blockchain research and commercialisation.

It also showcased how the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the application of blockchain technology, which is being used to verify health credentials.

Singapore has produced the highest number of blockchain-related research publications in Southeast Asia, and third highest globally.

The report was co-presented by blockchain industry partners OpenNodes, Temasek, IBM, PwC Singapore, EY and SGTech, and supported by IMDA and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network

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