Singapore Government Joins IBM to Create Blockchain Innovation Center

IBM will work with Singaporean agencies, major banks and fintech startups to develop solutions based on blockchain.

Computing giant IBM (NYSE: IBM) has revealed that the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are collaborating with it to establish its first Center for Blockchain Innovation in the country. The Innovation Center is expected to involve both global banks and fintech startups and to develop a number of technology pilots for the finance and trade industries, built on the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform.

Robert Morris, Vice President of IBM Research, said: “This is IBM’s first collaboration with the private sector and multiple government agencies within the same country to explore the use of Blockchain and cognitive technologies to improve business transactions across several different industries. Now with new cloud services that make these technologies more accessible, leaders from all industries are beginning to take note of the resulting profound and disruptive implications in a range of settings including finance, banking, IoT, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing, technology, government, the legal system, and more.”

Kiren Kumar, Executive Director at EDB, commented: “The IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation will allow companies across industries to partner with IBM in co-creating cutting edge digital solutions for global markets from Singapore. We are also pleased that IBM continues to engage actively with institutes of higher learning through the Center, creating roles for a deep talent pool in Singapore to advance emerging technologies.”

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“The financial sector is well-placed to play a leading role in Singapore’s vision of being a Smart Nation. Given that technology is a key enabler of financial services, MAS is pleased to continue to work with companies like IBM to promote technology innovation in finance, and encourage the adoption of safe and efficient technology with the financial industry,” added Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS.

Blockchain Trade Hub

The collaboration also gained support from the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (iDA).

“PSA is pleased to be a collaborator in the new Center for Blockchain Innovation being set up in Singapore. We will work with IBM and other partners, as well as through our new incubator program PSA unboXed, to explore the development and use of Blockchain technology for Trade, Finance, and Logistics. These are fields that we can add value to with our expertise as a hub port operator in Singapore and around the world. We believe new technologies such as Blockchain have the potential to reinvent multi-party business transactions and that Singapore is the right innovation hub to carry out field trials of such technologies across a variety of uses,” commented Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International.

Assistant Chief Executive Khoong Hock Yun, iDA, said: “As we build Singapore into a Smart Nation, innovation in the financial sector is key to help increase Singapore’s competitiveness as a global trading hub. The industry’s move is a clear sign that Singapore is capitalizing on opportunities to be market leaders in emerging technologies such as the Blockchain. This can translate to strong benefits throughout our entire finance ecosystem including the boosting of local tech capabilities. We hope to see more examples of industry innovation moving forward.”

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