The government of Singapore will offer financial incentives in order to grow the blockchain ecosystem in the country.
According to The Business Times, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) which falls under Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information will offer seed funding to players in the media and ICT sector. This is with a view of incentivizing them to develop platforms which link special interest groups in the blockchain space, solution providers as well as other related groups.
In order to obtain seed funding from the IMDA, the platforms to be developed must meet certain criteria and this includes a capacity to connect with other blockchain communities spread across the globe.
Expanding Beyond Finance
Per the IMDA, blockchain adoption has largely been restricted to the financial sector and there are few, if any, large-scale successful cases that exist outside banking and insurance. In IMDA’s view, this has hampered the adoption of blockchain in other sectors due to lack of interoperability.
The IMDA said in a statement:“This has resulted in the industry showing signs of siloed, specialised blockchain solutions rather than interoperable network blockchains, which would deliver the most benefit to users.”
To reach its goal of becoming a smart nation, Singapore has come up with various other initiatives aimed at boosting the country’s blockchain ecosystem. Earlier in the year, the IMDA launched the Blockchain Challenge whose goal is to incentivize firms to develop pioneering solutions that go beyond financial applications using distributed ledger technology.
Through the Blockchain Challenge, participating firms are required to come up with either Proofs-of-concept or Minimum Viable Products that solve particular problems.
Three months ago, a fund to assist tech firms in sectors such as blockchain was launched jointly by the governments of Singapore and China. Known as the China-Singapore ICM Joint Innovation Development Fund, the sectors that the initiative sought to target were in ICT and Media and hence the initials ICM.
Other pro-blockchain initiatives undertaken by Singapore include a move by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) to grant firms in the fintech space including blockchain companies special treatment when awarding patents. Rather than having these companies wait the usual two years, the IPOS announced in April that the waiting period would be cut to six months, as CCN reported at the time.
According to the CEO of IPOS, Daren Tang, this would serve to assist Singaporean fintech firms to compete globally:
“By significantly reducing the time needed for grant of a fintech patent, our innovative enterprises will be able to compete effectively through their intellectual property and use these intellectual assets to scale up and enter the world’s market.”
HSBC Cuts 25% in FX Trading Settlement Cost Using its Blockchain Platform
British multinational financial services holding company, HSBC has saved 25 per cent forex trading cost using a blockchain powered platform compared to a traditional source.
According to, Mark Williamson who is Chief Executive Officer of HSBC’s FX Cash Trading and Risk Management, who also oversees the bank’s blockchain project said that its HSBC FX Everywhere platform saved 25 per cent in cost incurred in settling FX trades compared with traditional methods.
The bank has till now settled transactions worth $250 billion using its HSBC FX Everywhere platform. He has further mentioned that the bank had settled 3 million forex transactions and 150,000 payments over the digital ledger system. The bank has been using the blockchain-based platform over the last year to integrate payments across the HSBC’s internal balance sheets.
Williamson said to Reuters that the bank processes 3,500 to 5,000 transactions a day on FX Everywhere platform with trades now being worth $350 billion. He said:
“We’re able to demonstrate that this is not a one-off proof of concept or just one or two trades.”
The bank has been investing and experimenting in blockchain platforms for quite some and has also joined the blockchain consortium startup R3 in 2015. It has also tied up with Bank of America and Singapore government on a blockchain supply chain trial.
Yesterday, US banking major JPMorgan Chase has also announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency JPM Coin to facilitate its payments solution business.
Bitcoin Millionaire Erik Finman is Fixing America With a Blockchain Solution
I’m now on to something big. We are launching a blockchain-based solution in 3-4 weeks and I’m super excited about it.
The incredible story of the youngest bitcoin millionaire Erik Finman, continues to live on as he is about to announce a blockchain solution for one of the biggest industry of the U.S. that is governed by strict regulations and controlled by big corporations. Finman claims that the product will prove to be extremely beneficial for everyone, minus the big corporations that are preying on U.S. citizens. In an exclusive interview with BlockPublisher, he said;
I have been part of the crypto community for so long and I thought why not might as well build something.
Finman invested the $1,000 his grandparents gifted him, in bitcoin in 2011, that later made him the youngest bitcoin millionaire. This story didn’t end there because he later founded and sold his educational company ‘Botangle’, for 300 bitcoins. It is fair to say that Eric is a doer and the guy has proved everyone wrong, from his high school teacher who advised him to dropout and work at McDonalds to all of his doubters, and now he is up for something bigger.
At the young age of 19, Finman has already decided to make a difference to contribute to the blockchain revolution and change people lives. He said;
After doing so many things, I feel like I have conquered a lot but as I’m growing older and wiser, I thought about bringing a change and making impact by changing people lives would be great and many big corporations are going to hate us.
Finman has enjoyed his fair share of teen with cars and jets but now he is looking for a better purpose to spend his wealth and is going to fund the blockchain project with his own bitcoin riches. He said;
It is self-funded. I can spend all this money on different stuff like cars and don’t get me wrong I’ve done that but I want to do something that is real and meaningful.
He also talked about how useful the implementation of blockchain is to the industry which he plans to disrupt, the industry that has been played in the hands of politicians and corporations for too long.
I just want to do something real and blockchain is the technology that can be used as a medium to make an impact in this industry, without any politicians.
Finman has a firm belief that his solution will live up to its reputation. The biggest challenge they have faced so far is the development of the platform but he is dreaming big and so is the idea, he said;
Till now the hurdle was just getting the tech built and it will be almost done by the time for launch. Our purpose is big and that is the thing about all great ideas but it is actually real and believable and I believe in doing real things.
Finman’s Political Aspirations
Finman is a very vocal guy and does not shy away from speaking out his mind. He openly talked about his aspiration to join politics one day, to serve and provide relief for people which is the basic responsibility of a politician that many fell short of. Expressing his feelings Finman said;
I’m really passionate about politics and I want to achieve some real things from it. I actually want to do things for the people through politics and I think most of the politicians these days are not working for the benefit of general public.
He also expressed his disappointment where people underestimate their own power and don’t do much on their own by relying so much on politicians, who mostly disappoints, and said.
Our solution will prove to be revolutionary, the notion which is believed by everyone in the U.S that they need politicians to do it for them, will be proven false.
Future of Bitcoin and Blockchain
Finman also shed light and spoke freely about the future of bitcoin. He is of the view that bitcoin will have a couple of more bull runs but won’t go much farther. He also expressed his views about Bitcoin Cash and the Lightning Network. He said;
I think bitcoin is not going do too well in the future. It will have a few more bull runs and not much after. I don’t like lightning Network, I think Lightning Network just turns bitcoin in the Visa or MasterCard. Bitcoin Cash is cool, I like the technology of it but the people behind Bitcoin Cash are not in the right direction and screwed it up and I think Bitcoin Cash has no future at all.
He also talked about the bright future of blockchain technology and that the technology has genuine use cases in almost every vertical we can think of. He also believes that his blockchain solution will prove to be monumental for the industry, that will ultimately put the technology at the forefront. He stated;
I think we will see blockchain everywhere. I actually believe my project will be the first mainstream blockchain based product and it is going to bring blockchain to the forefront and people will see it everywhere. It just have to have the use case and I believe this is going to be one ‘killer’ use case.
Finman is also very critical of the current education system and is of the view that one can learn everything about anything over the internet. He made a bet with his parents that if by 18 years of age he become a millionaire, they won’t ask him to go to college, which he ultimately won. Although a high school dropout, Finman is very vocal and committed on reforming health, educational and financial institutions, that many are afraid to even talk about. His mission statement on his official website states;
We are going to fix America. Starting with Wall Street.
Finance, health and education are the toughest and highly monopolized sectors in the U.S. and this youngest bitcoin millionaire is trying to fix that with his own money. Many believe that he is fighting against the same institutions that enslave our mind and are looking forward to his success.
Luxembourg Passes Bill to Give https://www.coindesk.com/luxembourg-passes-bill-to-give-blockchain-securities-legal-status Securities Legal Status
The European nation of Luxembourg has just passed a bill providing a legal framework for securities issued over blockchains.
According to a notice published Thursday, the country’s Chamber of Deputies, the county’s parliament, passed the bill on Feb. 14 with 58 members supporting the legislation and only two voting against.
Titled Bill 7363, the legislation is intended to provide financial market participants with legal certainty for issuing securities using blockchain technology.
“The bill should provide greater certainty for investors and make the transfer of securities more efficient by reducing the number of intermediaries,” the chamber said.
Luxembourg, an EU member nation, passed a bill making it possible to legally issue “dematerialized securities” in April 2013 via an amendment of a securities law passed in 2001.
Taking into account technological developments in recent years, the chamber said the new bill further amends the 2001 law to also include the registration and distribution of securities using secure electronic registration, “such as distributed ledger technology and in particular blockchain technology.”
Specifically, the amendment adds Article 18a to the law, which states:
“Account-keeper may hold securities accounts and make registrations of securities in securities accounts within or through secure electronic registration devices, including distributed electronic registers or databases. Successive transfers recorded in such a secure electronic registration device are considered like transfers between securities accounts. Holding of securities accounts within such a device secure electronic registration or registration of securities in securities accounts through such a secure electronic recording device do not affect the fungible nature of the securities concerned.”
A document proposing the bill prior to its passing indicates that blockchain securities have the same status as traditional securities under the bill. It say that, for securities issued over blockchain, “the easiest way today is to use the token concept… This is from the technological point of view a new type of dematerialized security, but to which are attached from a legal point of view the same rights as classic dematerialized securities.