Report Finds Singapore A Key Hub for Blockchain Research and Commercialisation 

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The Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem Report 2020, launched at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SFF x SWITCH), highlighted impactful developments and trends in Singapore’s blockchain ecosystem over the last year.

Co-presented by OpenNodes, Temasek, IBM, PwC Singapore, EY, and SGTech, the report was supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore

It highlights Singapore’s lively blockchain research landscape due to active contributions from both academic institutions and the private sector.

The report also showcases how COVID-19 has accelerated the application of blockchain technology, which is being used to verify health credentials amid the pandemic. It features a bibliometric analysis of blockchain-related scientific publications, showcasing Singapore’s pioneering progress in driving both high quality and quantity research in the field of blockchain technology. It concludes that Singapore has produced the highest number of research publications on the subject in the Association of SouthEast Asian Networks (NASEAN), the third-highest in the world. 

PwC Singapore conducted a survey for the Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem Report 2020 to assess the developments of blockchain-related activities in Singapore. Results showed that blockchain emerged as one of the top three technology trends in Singapore for 2021, with 70% of the respondents showed support for the technology. 

The survey also ranked Singapore amongst the leading countries for blockchain in the Asia Pacific region. It highlighted the optimism for the growth of blockchain in Singapore, as nearly half the survey respondents believed the growth of blockchain technology will accelerate with more applications and opportunities. Interestingly, more blockchain startups are progressing towards mature funding stages, pointing towards the vibrancy of the blockchain startup ecosystem.

When asked about applications of Blockchain, Asset Track and Traceability was the field most chosen, by about 52% of respondents, which corresponds to the rise in the use of blockchain in supply chain tracking. 

Moreover, of the respondents that are not currently engaging in blockchain initiatives, the majority (77%) believe more awareness of blockchain applications and use cases is the primary challenge, which is a key priority for industry leaders as we move forward into the recovery phases of COVID-19.

Dr Ong Chen Hui, Cluster, Director (Technology Development), IMDA, said: “We are focused on fuelling innovations within the blockchain community, driving awareness and adoption in the technology. 

“It has been another intense year of collaborating with the industry stakeholders to develop the Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem Report 2020 that reveals exciting opportunities for blockchain in the country.

“The report is aimed at creating opportunities for high potential local blockchain companies to continue to thrive, grow, and contribute to the blockchain community. We are heartened to see the growth of the ecosystem and the many positive outcomes from industry efforts to bring parties together. These efforts reaffirm our commitment towards areas that are important to us – digital identity and credentials, programmable money and digital assets.”

Pradyumna Agrawal, Director, Investments (Blockchain), Temasek commented: “Work in these areas will spur new and innovative solutions that can affect the SciVal Field-Weighted Citation Index, which provides access to research performance of institutions and nations worldwide, places Singapore 3rd in the world with a citation count over 1000. change on existing infrastructure and create a meaningful impact on our everyday lives.

“The blockchain field is abuzz with a lot of activity and innovations, more so after the pandemic. Use cases like verifiable digital health passports leveraging blockchain technology will go a long way in tackling the travel challenges,” said Ng Yi Ming, Managing Partner, OpenNodes. 

“From the time the crisis hit us all, startups within the Singapore ecosystem have been working on key challenges posed, including the need to issue discharge memos for migrant workers who have recovered from COVID-19. These memos acting as an indication of recovery, are based on blockchain technology, and cannot be tampered.”

  • Gina is a FinTech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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