What is Blockchain?
According to IBM,Blockchain is a technology for a new generation of transactional applications that establishes trust, accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes. It is a design pattern made famous by bitcoin. It has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of cross-enterprise business processes. The distributed ledger makes it easier to create cost-efficient business networks where virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded—without requiring a central point of control.
Blockchain technologies can be used to share a ledger across the business network. The network will be private to the parties concerned, permissioned so only authorized parties are allowed to join, and secure using cryptographic technology to ensure that participants only see what they are allowed to see. It has two main concepts, a business network, in which members exchange items of value through a ledger, which each member possesses and whose content is always in sync with the others.
Kiren Kumar, Executive Director, Infocomms and Media, EDB, said:
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.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, said that 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.
What will the center do?
The establishment eyes to engage small and medium-sized enterprises to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade. It will house staff from the Singaporean talent pool to work with the government, industries, and academia to develop applications and solutions based on blockchain, cybersecurity, and cognitive computing technologies.
Robert Morris, Vice President, Global Labs, 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.
IBM claims that the center’s pilot projects will focus on trade solutions using Blockchain to improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions. And will build on IBM’s work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform to deliver fintech solutions over the years.
IBM also said it will work with the Port Authority of Singapore to create a trade ecosystem which connects emerging financial technologies with the physical world of global trade and logistics. This could mean more global trade and finance to Singapore as it prepares itself to pose as Asia’s fintech hub.
Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International, said:
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,” Meng added.