IBM is to establish its first 'Centre for Blockchain Innovation' in Singapore, working in concert with the island city-state's Economic Development Board and Monetary Authority.
Over the next three years, the Centre Will be working to deliver a number of technology pilots across the finance and trade industries, tapping into the nation's technical talent pool and building on IBM's work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform. The involvement of the Monetary Authority of Singapore is further expected to help encourage strong ties with the state's banking sector and emerging fintech firms.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS, says: "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."
IBM says it will also work with the Port Authority of Singapore (PSA), the world's largest container transhipment port, and others to create a trade ecosystem which connects emerging financial technologies with the physical world of global trade and logistics.
IBM is understood to have conducted early stage trials of the implementation of blockchain technology and bitcoin-to-fiat payments in transnational container shipment.
Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International, comments: "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."