Singapore Fintech – Cryptocurrency Is Gaining Steam

Bitcoin SingaporeGerben Visser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the Singapore Fintech Consortium has kindly given an extensive statement regarding the FinTech advancements in the region. You can read the first here and the second part here.

Cryptocurrency began in 1998, where Wei Dai published an anonymous distributed electronic cash system. Then, the concept of “b-money” was first published. Later on in 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto created the first decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Other noteworthy inventions include Namecoin, which was an attempt to form a decentralized Domain Name System, and Litecoin, which utilizes scrypt technology. Cryptocurrencies are a subset of alternative currencies, or specifically of digital currencies. The first cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies typically feature decentralized control and a public ledger (such as bitcoin’s) blockchain, which records transactions. Blockchain is seen as the main technological innovation of Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency can be categorized into 5 types – SHA-256-Based, Script-based, CryptoNote-based, other proof-of-work and non-proof-of work.

Blockchain implementation consists of two kinds of records: transactions and blocks. Transaction is the actual data to be stored in the block chain. Blocks records that confirm when and in what sequence certain transactions became journaled as a part of the blockchain database. Every node in a decentralized cryptocurrency has a complete or partial copy of the blockchain (no master data center).  Functions of Blockchain include Cryptocurrencies exchange (Bitcoin, Namecoin, etc.). notary services (Bitproof), TV and Movie streaming services (Popcorn Time), cyberattack protection. Blockchain ensures transparency and efficiency in land registry, and scholarship matching (Skola Fund). Blockchain has 7 stages. In the transaction stage, transactions are broadcasted to all miners, who then create a block. Miners then try to solve the puzzle and get proof that it works. Miners will broadcast the proof of work to other miners to get verification.

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Within South East Asia, bitcoin is seen as a solution to the region’s developing banking and payment systems. As many of the people in the region do not have access to banking services, Bitcoin is seen as a potential solution for them, and the remittances market. The ability of bitcoin to keep track of every transaction serves as a powerful tool to eliminate corruption, and ensure transparency.

In Singapore, cryptocurrency is gaining steam. Being a global financial hub, Singapore provides a safe haven for investors to invest their funds. One of the world’s most renown cryptocurrency wallet and bitcoin exchanges, Coinbase is expanding to Singapore. It has currently more than 15,000 customers in Singapore. Apart from Coinbase, Singapore houses other cryptocurrency companies like BitX, CoinPip, Coin Supermarket, and Tembusu System.

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A key driver of cryptocurrency in Singapore is their strong legal and judicial system. It creates a conducive business climate with regulations in place to protect various stakeholders. The government is also working towards developing a strong regulatory framework within FinTech itself. Recently, MAS has set up a new FinTech and Innovation group (FTIG). FTIG will formulate and develop regulatory policies and development strategies. This is to facilitate technology and innovation usage, allowing better risk management, enhanced efficiency, and increase competitiveness in the financial sector.

Learn more about the rapid development of the Bitcoin Asia situation here at Coin News Asia.

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