Blockchain is applicable to nearly every industry which requires a secured database. Many people will think of Fintech whenever they talk about Blockchain as it is the technology behind Bitcoin, the most popular digital currency. However, Blockchain is actually an example of distributed ledger technology (DLT) which supports networks of databases that enable participants to create, disseminate and store information. The key idea behind this is to skip the controlling central party as these networks of databases can operate securely without being administered by this central party and can be distributed and managed across a number of different computers.
Finance is still the key industry for Blockchain application in 2017
According to Oddup, Finance will still be the most active industry trying to apply the Blockchain technology in Asia 2017 based on the fact that we have two international financial centres within the regions, Hong Kong and Singapore. However, Oddup believes that Singapore will take the lead as far as Blockchain application on Asian Finance industry is concerned. As we mentioned in our previous post “Fintech Boxing: Hong Kong And Singapore Battle It Out Again”, we believe inter-bank payment/transfer or even cross-border transaction will be the key application area in 2017. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has currently announced its partnership with R3 (Blockchain technology company), and a consortium of financial institutions in November 2016 for a proof-of-concept project to conduct inter-bank payments using Blockchain technology. Besides, with increasing agreement signed between MAS ad oversea authorities including UK, Switzerland and South Korea), we are convinced that the plan for cross-border transaction is around the corner.
In addition, inter-payment and cross-border transaction, stock exchange could be another area for Blockchain technology to “invade” as this technology can help improve the efficiency (e.g. shorten the settlement days). In November 2016, Myanmar Securities Exchange Commission announced that Myanmar’s nascent Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) will be using Blockchain technology in its settlement platform, and putting it into practical use within two years. In our view, we will hear more related studies and discussions in 2017. However, this may take longer for key trading hubs like Hong Kong and Singapore to adopt due to the prolonged legal process and testing involved in the main trading.
Blockchain application in other industries will explode in 2017?
Apart from Fintech, we also believe that the technology will integrate into other industries, including healthcare, logistic (supply chain & inventory management) and real estate.
Oddup believes that there is a higher chance to see more Blockchain related startups in real estate industry. In this respect, we have already seen some related startups in Singapore called POPETY and Averspace, which aim to implement Blockchain technology for property manager and p2p renting. We believe there is a great potential for technological inclusion in the real estate industry due to its supply-chain communications (real time update), Proof-of-Provenance (security feature) and smart contract feature.
Satoshi Studios, Southeast Asia’s first Blockchain incubator, mentored and invested by Bitcoin Pioneers like Roger Ver, Amit Bhardwaj, Michael Terpin was launched in late 2016. Although it is for Southeast Asia’s Blockchain startups, selected founders will spend the time with each other in New Delhi, India. They will receive a funding of US$50,000 for 8%-15% equity in the company. We see a bright future in 2017 as the Blockchain related startups will receive more attention from investors as well as media.