If you’re a gaming lover and a blockchain enthusiasts, your world is about to change as blockchain developers have decided to bring a new Fortnite into the blockchain. With millions of active players, one of the most profitable games in the history of games is looking for new ways to satisfy its users. The success of Fortnite battle Royale game was what pushed other game developers to make battle Royale modes available. However, this reduced the frenzy around Fortnite as people began to sell their accounts and move to newer games.

Imagine Blockchain In Gaming

Implementing blockchain technology is going to change the gaming industry entirely. This is because blockchain will give in-game assets more value. The games will be able to transfer items to each other and this will serve as an incentive for players. In this case, the issue of scarcity will come to play and boost the value of in-game items. New options will be created for gameplay. Imagine a situation were Thanos gauntlet in Fortnite will always be available on the blockchain.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD

Name Price 24H (%)
Bitcoin
$5,648.35
1.23%

A study conducted by WAX shows that developers are more likely to create more in-game items when they have the option of reselling them across several games. There are many other benefits of this arrangement. The CEO of Ultra, a blockchain powered platform had this to say:

“As industry leaders like Google, Steam, and Apple have the right to charge developers commissions that are too high, small developers can’t benefit from these platforms. However, blockchain is going to provide a lasting solution to these problems. It will change the gaming industry by giving developers instant payments that allow them to reinvest in their business”.

Pointing out how blockchain can help prevent fraud due to its immutable features, Hanson said:

“Blockchain technology offers fraud-proof marketing that gives developers the power to spend their resources effectively while keeping track of legitimate resources”.

The Drawbacks Of Blockchain In Gaming

While blockchain may seem like the best technology for the gaming industry, it is not without its disadvantages. According to the lead developer of the POA Network, Igor Barinov, developing in-game items isn’t a problem. The main problem is getting users. In his words:

“Before you can play games based on blockchain technology, you’ll need to go through many steps that may not be required when playing centralized games. For starters, you’ll have to install a web wallet and you’ll need basic understanding of crypto-fuel like ETH to play the game. People who have no prior knowledge of blockchain technology may not be propelled to get onboard”.

Some blockchain-based games have cut out the need for some of these steps. For example, DopeRaider now allows users to enjoy the game by simply signing up with an email address. If the onboarding process for blockchain games are as simple as the process for centralized games, mass adoption will be possible.

Fortnite was able to reach an incredible height of success because it depended on creating new items that kept everyone happy. With Blockchain, both developers and players will be getting incentives. One day, a blockchain-based game will be as successful as Fortnite. All that is required is the simplification of the technology. The easier it is for average users to use it, the more the adoption.

*This post is credited to Smartereum

 

Thailand Gets Ready For Its First ICO Portal

The securities regulator of Thailand has affirmed that at least one Initial Coin Offering (ICO) portal will be opened in the country in November. Rapee Sucharitakul, the secretary general of Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has affirmed that ICOs will possibly start to be regulated in the country by December.

It looks like the market for cryptos and ICOs in Thailand might just be starting to be on the right development track as regulation is started to be enforced in the country for these cases. Everything began with a royal decree back in May that was used to confirm the development of a framework for cryptos in the country. Now, the Thai SEC will regulate and oversee the whole process.

First, the companies will have to applicate for the new regulation and then they will have a 90 day to comply with the regulation created by the SEC, which is trying to diminish the risks of the markets in the country. Also, the SEC has affirmed that it will not amend the royal decree in any way.

However, the authorities are not necessarily pro-ICO yet. They affirm that ICOs are always very risky and that regulation will diminish the risks for the scam but that there are still issues to be solved.

At the current moment, there are six businesses trying to operate digital asset exchanges in the country: Bitcoin Co (bx.in.th), Bitkub Online Co Ltd (bitkub.com), Cash2Coins Co Ltd (cash2coins.com), Satang Corporation Co Ltd (tdax.com), Coin Asset Co Ltd (coinasset.co.th) and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co Ltd (seadex.io).

The two businesses trying to operate as digital asset dealers are Coins TH Co (coins.co.th) and Digital Coin Co Ltd (thaiwm.com).

Another platform that could receive some attention is J Ventures Ltd, a subsidiary of Jaymart Plc., which has been wanting to create its own decentralized digital lending platform for quite some time now.

By approving these entities and their businesses, the government and the regulatory agency hope to create a safe environment for the people who want to trade these assets free of legal trouble and uncertainty.

In somewhat related news, the country is now trying to use the blockchain technology in the validation of taxes paid by the citizens in an effort to speed up the tax refund process. This, the government believes, could be very beneficial for the whole process.

*The post is credited to Bitcoin Exchange Guide

The government of Taiwan has recently cracked down on anonymous cryptocurrency transaction, as it reportedly ordered cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country to identify their users through know-your-customer (KYC) checks.

According to Finance Magnates, the move was made by amending laws related to money laundering and terrorism finance. New regulations now allow local banks to reject anonymous transactions, which they should report to the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Commission.

Through a statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice revealed that national laws regarding financial crimes hadn’t been amended for two years, and the changes will “align Taiwan more closely with the rest of the world.” To ensure these are enforced, fines of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,200) for individuals and 500,000 yuan ($72,000) for financial institutions have been introduced.

The move sees Taiwan follow in the footsteps of the EU Parliament, and of Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), which is now authorized as a self-regulatory body. South Korea has also banned cryptocurrency traders from using anonymous accounts, and cryptocurrency exchanges like Changelly have revealed they may withhold users’ XMR if they deem it necessary.

Despite Taiwan’s move Wellington Koo, the chairman of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), has revealed the country doesn’t plan on following in the footsteps of some of its neighbors – South Korea and China – and ban initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Nevertheless, some believe China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies is influencing Taiwan. While the region is fully self-governing, the People’s Republic claims sovereignty over it and has threatened to use military force if it claims independence.

Cryptocurrencies in Taiwan

Taiwan’s new amendments to curb money laundering with cryptocurrencies shouldn’t come as a surprise. Back in April Qiu Taisan, the country’s Justice Minister, called for regulations that would go into effect this month. Their goal is to stop cryptos from being used for illicit activities, and not clampdown on then ascent industry.

Regulators in the country have, in fact, been supportive of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, so much so they have considered allowing convenience stores in the country to facilitate crypto to cash transactions.

During the Asia blockchain Summit in July of this year, in Taipei, Koo revealed the financial watchdog supports blockchain technology’s development, while minister Chin Mei-ling of the National Development Council noted the government would encourage it.

Per Mei-ling, it would be good for Taiwan to become an international hub for blockchain technology. Despite these approaches Yang Chin-long, the governor of Taiwan’s central bank, has said cryptocurrency transactions lack the trust element found in fiat currencies and in the traditional financial system.

*This post is credited to Cryptoglobe

Yet another step into the digital age is upon the oil and gas sector, this time in the form of the revolutionary blockchain technology.

The domestic upstream oil and gas industry is amongst the most promising and innovative globally, having contributed more than $300 billion to our local economy and continually playing an important part in the growth and future of Australia.

With LNG set to become the second biggest Australian resources export by dollar value in 2019, the stakes are high for oil and gas players as they face intense pressures to reduce cost and improve productivity.

In an environment of volatile oil prices, sustained bottom-line pressure and changing energy portfolios, upstream oil and gas operators are increasingly looking to innovate and simplify operations with standard processes and automation.

The industry has already embraced a range of new technologies that have created new efficiencies in exploration and production, such as artificial intelligence, big data and the cloud.

These have mostly been focused on the core operations, but what about the back office?

As a supply chain intensive industry, the prevalence of siloed databases and infrastructures still presents significant challenges, impacting overall performance.

A new technology which is being increasingly explored, tested and adopted is blockchain technology, which has the potential to revolutionise the complexities of the supply chain for oil and gas companies in Australia, bringing transparency and security to the industry.

Blockchain, the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is being applied across a wide range of industries, where it is recognised for its transformative ability to safely and securely store data across multiple stakeholders.

A new form of database, blockchain, or ‘distributed ledger technology’, fundamentally changes how data is managed.

With blockchain, every party along the supply chain can work together to streamline and integrate processes in a controlled and secure way.

For the oil and gas industry, blockchain can create efficiencies, minimise error, modernise trade and transform processes, including logistics, provenance, asset management and quality, procurement, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.

There are mounting cases across the globe pointing to the advantages of blockchain technology.

In September 2018, a new blockchain platform, komgo SA, was launched to facilitate oil and gas deals, backed by Shell, BP, Equinor and banking giant Citi.

Pemex, the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, has also announced it plans to use a blockchain platform to manage its oil and gas supply chain.

Accenture’s research found that 70 percent of upstream leaders planned to spend significantly more over the next five years on digital technologies, including blockchain.

This desire for digital technologies is reflected in blockchain’s projected growth, as the global blockchain technology market size is expected to reach $7.59 billion by 2024, according to Grand View research.

Accenture sees blockchain revolutionising business operations in the Australian oil and gas industry in the following three ways.

  1. Reinventing processes

Blockchain is particularly useful for Australian oil and gas companies that have substantial transportation expenditures, processing thousands of freight transactions each day.

This technology allows for secure transactions to be made and shipment invoices to be authenticated immediately.

Complex supply chains can be monitored and appropriately measured without need for intermediation from a central authority.

Overall, this significantly reduces process costs associated with logistic-heavy supply chains in an ever-globalised market.

With many vulnerable business transactions at stake, blockchain has the capability to help oil and gas companies track all related components and assets, and to share records among business partners.

It provides a framework for oil and gas companies to register contractors, helping them to track performance, quality and reliability.

  1. Increasing transparency

Oil and gas companies frequently contract with third-party blenders to manufacture specialty products.

The risk of counterfeits, which can bleed revenue and erode the value of a respected brand, is a concern for manufacturers.

With blockchain, oil and gas companies can provide an immutable audit trail of the equipment used across its lifecycle.

As an example, mining giant BHP is running a proof-of-concept, called Project Rai Stones, to use blockchain to track well-bored samples, which are ordinarily tracked using spreadsheets and email.

Well-bored samples are expensive to acquire and can result in high penalties as well as loss of reputation if lost or damaged.

Having an accurate trail of equipment provides greater transparency and allows BHP to better understand any issues and improve any tools accordingly.

  1. Improving productivity and quality

Blockchain can also support new business models in the oil and gas industry and support critical operations such as trading.

As an example, crude oil is one of Australia’s most traded commodities across the globe.

The aforementioned komgo SA is a new trading platform that uses blockchain to deliver real-time tracking and certification technology to manage physical oil and gas transactions from trade entry, shipping, to final settlement without the need for third-party interaction.

As well as removing added costs of paperwork and human error, this platform also provides greater transparency of commodity movements.

Additionally, the implementation of smart performance-based contracts on a shared blockchain can enact and improve interaction between companies to optimise communication, reconciliation, and data management that is necessary for all cooperative stages of oil and gas production.

The blockchan benefit

Blockchain is set to transform the Australian oil and gas industry, and companies should act now to unlock trapped value.

Oil and gas operators and oil field service companies such as BP, Shell, ENI, and Petrotec are already investing in blockchain, and as one of the strongest resource market globally, Australian oil and gas companies are well positioned to harness this innovative technology.

The existing siloed supply chain and complex business models of the oil and gas industry presents a multitude of opportunities for blockchain technology to drive transformative change in the Australian market, which must be swiftly realised for the industry to deliver meaningful value for every participant in the supply chain network.

*This post is credited to Gas Today

David King, technology writer specializing in privacy, blockchain and FinTech, shares his view of the China’s blockchain technology journey, explaining key regulations, policies, and technology’s use-cases in the country.

In a recent broadcast, China Central Television (CCTV), the dominant state-controlled broadcast company announced in an hour-long broadcast that “the value of blockchain is 10 times that of the internet”, and that blockchain is the next significant global technological revolution, exceeding the importance of the Internet, according to Quartz which analyzed the implications for China and beyond.

This groundbreaking newscast included Chinese government officials, as well as Don Tapscott, a well-known Canadian author of the book Blockchain Revolution. China’s position on blockchain may surprise outsiders because the country historically held a very skeptical, if not overtly hostile view of cryptocurrency.  In the last year, China banned crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings. They also curtailed crypto mining.

Around the same time, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission issued a warning to investors that tokens issued via ICO may be classified as securities, and that the Commission is “concerned about an increase in the use of ICOs to raise funds in Hong Kong and elsewhere.”

However despite proceeding with extreme caution on cryptocurrency, technology experts and cryptocurrency advocates in China were pleased with the country’s pro-blockchain perspective and its potential for the world’s largest country by population, specifically citing the three main points of the televised presentation: “Blockchain is the second era of the Internet” (Don Tapscott, author of “Blockchain Revolution”), “The value of blockchain is 10 times that of the Internet” (Stanford physics professor and founder of Danhua Capital Zhang Shoucheng), and “Blockchain is the machine that produces trust.”

Xi Jinping, president of China, spoke in May 2018 about the potential breakthrough technologies that blockchain could produce, including applications in artificial intelligence. “A new generation of technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communications, internet of things, and blockchain is accelerating breakthrough applications,” Xi said, via a translator.

MATRIX AI Network and Other Chinese Companies Leading the Way

MATRIX AI Network, a company registered in Hong Kong, is launching an intelligent, open-source, new generation blockchain that aims to solve major challenges currently constraining the development and adoption of blockchain technology. MATRIX leverages the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology to deliver an easier, safer, faster and more flexible blockchain.

“In addition to AI experts, we also gathered experts in distributed computing who understood network architecture, topology, and latency. We wanted the team to bring fresh eyes to how blockchain had developed to date, and innovate from there,” says MATRIX AI Network Chief AI Scientist Steve Deng.

The results, to date, have been impressive, with MATRIX AI Network recently confirming that system throughput speeds exceed 50,000 transactions per second (TPS).

In addition to faster and more efficient transaction processing, MATRIX differentiates itself from previous blockchains by offering breakthrough technologies in building AI-enabled autonomous and self-optimizing blockchain networks, featuring multi-chain collaboration and decoupling of data and control blocks.  With the successful completion and release of its Testnet in October 2018, the MATRIX Main Network is scheduled to go online on December 30, 2018.

China appears to be lending support to other domestic companies with promising blockchain technology including NEO, a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency designed to build a scalable network of decentralized applications and QTUM, a blockchain technology that bridges Ethereum’s smart contracts on top of Bitcoin’s stable blockchain while using proof of stake for verification.

Implications for China

The discussions and presentations made it clear that China is angling to become an epicenter of innovation. Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong are all trying to attract blockchain startups and become a laboratory for FinTech innovation.

However, critics are concerned that blockchain technology will still be unable to be used in China for cryptocurrency applications. Critics state that prohibiting and/or regulating the use of cryptocurrencies in China, but embracing blockchain, indicates that the foundation of blockchain technology is being misused; meaning that the fundamental idea behind blockchain encourages a free market without government interference, which may diverge from China’s interests.

Of interest, media outlets are reporting that the People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang supports cryptocurrency, which could be a reason for the country’s embrace of blockchain technology. China is ahead the rest of the world when it comes to using digital currency on a daily basis. Even vending machines in China are equipped with the technology to accept a payment from a scanned code on a person’s phone.

In 2017, a conference titled (note, this is translated to English from Chinese) “2017 Trustworthy Blockchain Convention” was held in China, where government officials discussed their plans for instituting a standardized blockchain into the Chinese economy. Also discussed were ideas about effective regulation of the technology.

One trader and technology insider speculates that China is embracing blockchain technology to reap financial rewards. For instance, each cryptocurrency transaction made results in fees generated for any transaction and/or transfer of the currency. If the Chinese government creates its own cryptocurrency, the government itself could potentially benefit tremendously from any fees associated with the transfers and transactions.

China Embarks on Blockchain Technology Research 

In January 2018, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, discussions online and in person took place that illuminated the ideas and the future of blockchain in China. One article from the Annual Meeting argued that since blockchain technology is difficult to understand, policies are being outlined to provide guidance for industry executives and investors alike.

In September 2017, the Trusted Blockchain Open Lab was launched in China. This research facility was launched by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a research arm under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology umbrella. The purpose of this lab is to research and develop blockchain technology in China under general use. It will not address how blockchain is utilized in cryptocurrency, and it will not look at the blockchain uses in the cryptocurrency exchange markets.

Government Regulatory Guidance

Also discussed at the World Economic Forum was the idea that the world is on the brink of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, as evidenced by the work of Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. His book, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ details how he believes that “…we are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another.”

As China readies itself for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it appears necessary to utilize blockchain technology to ensure the highest security of digital technology. For example, some experts believe that China is poised to develop work between blockchain experts and established data and technology companies to integrate blockchain technology into a wider scope. Government regulation is essential to integrating blockchain technology into everyday uses.

As China embarks on its own blockchain technology journey, it will be important to keep an eye on regulations, policies, and general uses for the technology outside of cryptocurrencies.

*This post is credited to CoinSpeaker

A new review article finds that blockchain technology is gradually entering the fields of humanitarian and development aid. This brings with it both advantages and risks.

The review examines the uptake of blockchain technology in terms of the work undertaken by humanitarian and development agencies. This review finds that blockchain presents a duality. On one hand the disruptive technology can present advantages, like connecting smart contracts with forecast-based financing. However, on the other hand the technology can present new risks, such as those centered around privacy.

The adoption of blockchain technology by the non-governmental sector was discussed in a Digital Journal article published in 2018. This looked at G2 Crowd’s 2018’s Digital Trends report and the concern with displaced persons and their identities. According to Michael Fauscette, without a government to back them up, refugees can lose their identities. Without an identity, it becomes almost impossible to find meaningful work. Fauscette put forward the case that blockchain can help address these concerns.

According to the new review, for blockchain to work it needs to be implemented with thought and purpose. Successful blockchain technology can help to tackle corruption. Moreover it can: “improve land tenure and property rights, create secure digital identities, tackle gender inequality.”

Drawing on big data analytics for support, blockchain can assist in less political and more targeted funding and aid programs occurring. Blockchain can also reassure donors that their money is being well spent.

However, there are factors that need addressing, the review noted. These include data privacy and a need to further develop the technology to avoid too much disruption in a sector that is focused on improving and saving human life. The recommendation is that an ethical guideline is put in place, supported by monitoring and analysis during the early phase of blockchain application in the ‘third sector’.

The research has been published in the Journal of International Humanitarian Action, in a research paper titled “Blockchain for humanitarian action and development aid.”

*This post is credited to Digital Journal

Many parts of the world have felt the ripples of change thanks to the impact of blockchain technology. One area which has witnessed a very positive result of this new technology is Asia. In fact, the world’s largest continent has witnessed a 50% uptick in blockchain, cryptocurrency jobs.

Across the continent, blockchain innovation and creativity have emerged in a variety of forms, one of which is SophiaTX’s debut roadshow in Singapore and Malaysia.

SophiaTX, an emerging blockchain platform and marketplace which extends and combines traditional applications such as ERP, SCM, CRM with robust, collaborative and decentralized blockchain solutions, will host its premiere event, BUSINESS REDEFINED 2018, on September 25 at Suntec City, Singapore and September 27 at Connexion, Bangsar South, Malaysia.

CEO of SophiaTX, Jaroslav Kacina, said: “Singapore and Malaysia are two emerging markets that have been on our radar since we’ve incepted SophiaTX. Adoption of the distributed ledger technology has gained steady momentum across both nations as businesses and governments alike come to realize its vast potential to transform industries.”

“With a common goal to push forward nationwide adoption of blockchain, we believe SophiaTX will not only pave the way to a decentralized future which mobilizes a wide array of cases and applications, but also develop an ecosystem where businesses are empowered by the potential of blockchain in these key ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] markets,” he added.

BUSINESS REDEFINED 2018 brings together forward-thinking business leaders and blockchain enthusiasts in South East Asia to bridge the gap between business and disruptive blockchain technology for greater trust, transparency and a higher level of collaboration.

“At the end of the day, our mission is to reimagine and reshape business models through the adoption of scalable enterprise-grade blockchain solutions that spur privacy protection and business efficiencies in this region and beyond,” said Kacina.

The limited-space event will cover trends and the future of blockchain technology; featuring real-world opportunities and applications of blockchain technology to disrupt the world of business.

*This post is credited to TheBitcoinMag

People who are passionate about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have strong ideologies and values.

They tend to be the same people who rank transparency, efficiency and financial inclusiveness high in their belief system. Not all of them (some just got in it for the money), but many of them.

In the interest of promoting cryptocurrency and blockchain, here is a list of Malaysia-based companies, associations and groups you should know about.

Note that this list is not exhaustive but the popular ones with active members have been listed.

This list does not and will not include the following:

  • mining companies
  • trading-related groups
  • wealth-generating platforms
  • exchangers
  • companies doing ICO (without other blockchain implementation), and
  • companies selling bitcoin clones

Also not included are groups that speculate about cryptocurrencies as purely investment vehicles.

Cryptocurrency groups

Cryptocurrency groups in Malaysia that promote adoption of cryptocurrencies as payment and adoption of its blockchain platform. They are considered ambassadors – some of them are even formally appointed by the core group and received funding for marketing purposes. You can contact them to know more about what they do.

1. Bitcoin Cash Malaysia

Bitcoin Cash Malaysia community promotes the use of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as a low-cost, fast payment method.

2. ZCoin Community

Some of the most respected names in the local crypto scene in Malaysia promote ZCoin, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency. They receive funding from the core ZCoin team.

3. Dash Community

There are a few groups promoting Dash cryptocurrency as a payment method. Rocketpay is one of the most active. They receive funding straight from the core Dash team. Ask them about their event space RSpace, which they generously offer for free to the crypto and blockchain community.

Another group promoting the same cryptocurrency is Dash Malaysia.

4. Steemit Community

The group claims to have more than a thousand Malaysian Steemit members, which is cool. They host events to introduce people to the Steemit platform. Something like Medium, except upvotes will reward content creators with Steem cryptocurrency.

5. Stellar Lumens Community

Respected crypto-payments infrastructure with a strong focus on the developing world.

Another group that actively promotes Stellar Lumens is SenangBit (along with other cryptos). Malay-language friendly.

6. NEO Community

Driven under NEO Smart Community Malaysia (registered as a non-profit), they host smart contract workshops and events.

7. NEM Community

Made up of very driven community members and aggressively expanding in this region. Will open the NEM blockchain centre in Glo Damansara.

Companies using blockchain technology

Proving that blockchain is beyond cryptocurrencies.

1. XenChain

Identity-management services enabled by blockchain technology, for easier and faster eKYC. Planning an ICO. Website

2. HelloGold

Gold investment platform targeting the underserved i.e. not just super-rich people. Amazing team, amazing values. Built on the Ethereum platform. Recently partnered with KLEAN – you can exchange recyclables like plastics and cans for gold.

3. LuxTag.io

Valuable asset tagging services using blockchain technology as proof of authenticity. Built on the NEM platform.

4. BESC (Blockchain Energy Savings Consortium)

Enabling efficient and renewable energy using blockchain technology. Received funding from 1337 Ventures.

5. Ataplus

‘World’s first blockchain-enhanced licensed equity crowdfunding platform’.

6. WinApp.Inc

Payments platform built on Hyperledger. Now looking for beta-testers.

7. Finterra

Is building own blockchain platform and waqaf management platform. Planning an ICO.

8. SEDA

‘Recruitment on the blockchain’.

9. BeeOnPay

Payment gateway services.

Educational/Tools/Services

These companies offer blockchain-as-a-service, tools to understand cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms and blockchain and crypto-related seminars and conferences.

1. CoinGecko

One of the most popular cryptocurrency ranking charts in the world. Built by a local team.

2. Etherscan

THE block explorer and analytics platform for Ethereum. Built by a local team.

3. Blocklime

Education-focused company, hosts Ethereum and smart contract development workshops. Student-friendly. Provides blockchain services too.

4. Bloktex

Blockchain service provider. The team behind the Kuala Lumpur Blockchain Conference. They brought over Andreas M. Antonopoulos twice.

5. Blockchain Academy Asia

Provides courses for blockchain and smart contract development.

6. Blockchain Technology Malaysia

Blockchain service provider.

7. Neuroware

Blockchain service provider. Works closely with Malaysian government agencies.

8. BlockZero

Iskandar, Johor-based blockchain marketing, business support and training services.

9. Protech Future System

Among other things, does ICO security audit.

10. Celebrus Advisory

Blockchain strategy advisor.

Blockchain associations/groups

1. ACCESS Blockchain Association Malaysia

Supports the development of the blockchain industry in Malaysia. Sister of ACCESS Singapore.

2. Blockchain Embassy Asia

‘Asia’s only public blockchain consortium’.

3. Blockchain Developers Malaysia

Developers only. You need to prove you know how to code before you can join.

4. CryptoKnights

Group that brings cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts together.

*This post is credited to FreeMalaysiaToday

Blockchain technology is an emerging area which is being actively explored around the world today.

A blockchain is a public ledger which records and verifies transactions that have taken place. By design, it cannot be tampered with or changed. It provides transparency, traceability and trust, and removes the need for middlemen – therefore reducing transaction costs.

While blockchain was originally proposed for cryptocurrency, the technology has the potential to transform how businesses transact in domains such as financial payments, healthcare and supply chain management. The concept of smart contracts enables many such applications.

For example, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and a consortium of local and overseas banks have been testing the use of blockchain for clearance and settlement of payments and securities to improve efficiency with reduced risk and costs.

Blockchain technology is still in the early stages of exploration and experimentation, but is progressing rapidly with interesting opportunities in many sectors such as healthcare, logistics and finance.

At the same time, these opportunities have also underscored the need for standards to prevent incompatibility and to enhance interoperability. Other issues include the increasing use of blockchain as a buzzword without a universal definition for it and its associated terminology.

This has exacerbated confusion and difficulties in understanding the new technology.  It is therefore crucial to standardise the terminology used in the blockchain industry to provide greater clarity to potential stakeholders.

Standards also play a key role in establishing baseline security and privacy protections of technologies. Information security is a key concern when it comes to the application of blockchain solutions.

The governance of a foundational technology of this complexity requires the various stakeholders to collaborate in establishing common ground and making this technology work.

By setting the security, privacy and governance requirements, standards will support the deployment and adoption of blockchain technology with greater market confidence and scalability.

To achieve this on a global scale, we need cooperation through international bodies such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Some groundwork has been laid with the establishment of an international technical committee on Blockchain and Digital Ledger Technologies (ISO TC 307) in 2017.

The work of 37 member countries – representing various entities from the government, industry and academia – to set international standards for blockchain technologies has begun.

ISO TC 307 is working to develop a suite of blockchain standards on reference architecture, taxonomy, ontology, security, privacy, identity and smart contracts.

Targeted to be released by 2021, these ISO standards would constitute a global set of norms which will help enable blockchain applications to operate reliably and effectively.

Specific blockchain use cases and governance aspects are also being studied to understand the evolving applications of blockchain and potential areas which require standardisation.

In view of these developments, the Information Technology Standards Committee, under the industry-led Singapore Standards Council appointed by Enterprise Singapore, has formed a national technical committee on Blockchain and Digital Ledger Technologies to represent Singapore in ISO TC 307.

The inputs from this technical committee will help shape the development of these international standards to support the use and sustainable growth of blockchain technology in Singapore and beyond.

The focus of this national technical committee is to develop standards to set quality requirements, build trust in blockchain solutions and guide new business models. The technical committee will prioritise the development and promotion of international blockchain standards that are aligned with Singapore’s interests.

It is therefore crucial to involve various segments of the blockchain community in this public-private partnership to obtain balanced and holistic inputs from Singapore. Key stakeholders being impacted include blockchain technology providers, government bodies, regulators, academic institutions and representatives from the various sectors.

With the rapid pace of innovation in this space – there are hundreds of blockchain technology projects being explored to reimagine how we do things in the future – it may seem somewhat premature to start standardisation efforts.

However, while regulation and standardisation should definitely not stifle innovation in any way, it is not too early to start comprehending the multi-dimensional impact of this technology and considering frameworks to make this process more structured, data-driven, inclusive and synergistic for the benefit of all stakeholders.

*This post is credited to Today Online

A friend of mine keeps a large glass bowl at the entrance of her house on the table where the keys are stored and a notebook and pen are ready to hand.

Throughout the year the family jots down notes, folds them and puts them in the bowl, to be read together at the end of the year. Most begin with the phrase: “I’m thankful for” or “I’m excited about …”

It’s a way to refocus on the good, during New Year’s celebrations. But it’s also a principle that can be tweaked for business. The “I’m excited about” notes could serve as jumping off points for what businesses could focus on in the new year.

Personally, I’m excited about the potential of blockchain. The headline that most people have read about is how blockchain is the underlying technology for bitcoin.

But I’m excited about the broader implications for the technology.

BLOCKCHAIN CAN HELP SOLVE MANY SOCIAL ISSUES

Blockchain could fundamentally change our world. It’s a technology that begs us to step back and think: What really big thing could we fix? It has that kind of gravitas.

Consider the social issues it can help solve. Nearly one sixth of the global population – 1.1 billion individuals – currently live without proof of identity. These individuals are marginalised by society, vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking, and struggle to access the critical services and social benefits designed to provide support.

Accenture is a founding partner of the ID2020 Alliance, a UN-affiliated public-private partnership that is bringing together governments, NGOs and the private sector to help solve this identity and verification problem. It uses biometrics, including fingerprints, voice, face and/or iris scan, captured at an enrollment station.

A highly secured, unique identifier is created – that is what is recorded on the blockchain – and this identifier acts as an index, linking all applicable data. No personal data is stored on the blockchain with the ID2020 solution.

The user is in control of his or her own personal data and determines who sees what, where, when and for how long. It’s a technological solution to a serious social problem and it’s an identity that grows and strengthens through an individual’s life.

Once a person enrolls, they would no longer need to carry all their paperwork with them – it would be permanently available on the cloud. The person would be able to prove his or her identity and thus have access to social services that many, who can’t prove who they are, are currently barred from utilising.

SINGAPORE, A BIRTHPLACE OF MANY NEW IDEAS

I believe Singapore is very likely to be the birthplace of many new ideas that could help solve global problems, including blockchain’s development.

Consider how in early November, through its first global digital hackathon, Accenture challenged young talent from 11 cities around the world to prototype digital solutions that create a truly human city environment.

Close to 500 recent graduates, undergraduates, entrepreneurs and individuals from start-ups in more than 100 teams participated in the hackathon across 11 cities (Bangalore, Chicago, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Manila, Mexico City, Monterrey, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore).

The winner was from Singapore. Team “Wombat” developed a prototype for an early warning system to detect and prevent outbreaks of dengue and other vector-borne diseases.

Dengue, as we all know, is a problem here – but has been an even greater challenge elsewhere in the world. A solution didn’t have to come from Singapore but I’m not surprised it did.

The government has consistently recognised the need to invest in innovation – in 2016 it announced it would spend US$13.6 billion to support research and developments during the next five years. In 2017, the government said it would spend more than US$100 million just on artificial intelligence during the next five years.

It wouldn’t surprise me if start-ups in Singapore used blockchain to address other challenges as well.

BOOST FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES

In financial services, blockchain could provide greater transparency into the origins and underlying risks of any investment, regardless of its complexity, to regulators, banks, investors and other key stakeholders.

This could have proven useful during the recent financial crisis where in the case of mortgage-backed securities, the loans bundled into each security could have been traced all the way back to the original loan documentation, making the true credit profile of the product apparent to anyone who looked.

We have since seen a host of fintech start-ups develop businesses designed to improve risk assessment.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, in partnership with The Association of Banks in Singapore is already leading the way globally by looking at how blockchain could be used in financial markets. They recently published a report, called Project Ubin Phase II that illustrates how blockchain technology could significantly improve the kinds of payment systems that currently enable banks around the world to transfer trillions of dollars per day to each other and help them manage their financial liquidity.

We live in a world of abundant economic opportunities – many stemming from the promise created by new technologies, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and biotechnology.

I challenge business executives to think about those opportunities and ask themselves, “What excites me here?” And then to take the next step and consider “How can I make that help my business?”

I challenge start-ups and graduating students in the city to ask themselves the same question, and then consider if there is a new business opportunity for them to create.

And while you’re at it, you might consider a glass bowl at the entrance of your business or house – to prompt ideas you, your family or your team at work may be excited about in 2018.

*This post is credited to Channel News Asia