Singapore has positioned itself as a hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in Asia. More blockchain-based startups have been founded in the city-state than in Switzerland, which is known in Europe as a hub for crypto.
At the FinTech Festival in Singapore 2020, PwC Singapore carried out a survey to assess the development of the industry. The results showed that blockchain is among the top three technology trends in Singapore.
The survey also ranked Singapore as a leader in blockchain in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, the same survey found that the majority of respondents believe that awareness of blockchain technology is still very low – this is a major challenge to drive the development of the industry.
An ongoing global blockchain survey conducted by another PwC found that “lack of understanding” contributes to the trust gap in the introduction and growth of the blockchain crowd. In fact, many executives and the average public still have no idea what blockchain really is and how it is changing all facets of business.
Photo credit: Blockchain.wtf
Most people still confuse cryptocurrency with blockchain and think that these terms are synonymous.
A global blockchain survey by Deloitte found that most people only heard about blockchain by mapping it to Bitcoin.
Currently, the most famous blockchain companies in Singapore are all cryptocurrency trading platforms like Coinhako and Binance. This shows that the average public tends to associate the industry with volatile and speculative trading assets without considering any other use case.
Outside of decentralized finance and finance applications, however, many blockchain-based companies are thriving in Singapore.
To give you a better idea of blockchain use cases, here are three blockchain-based companies in Singapore that you should know about:
1. Yojee – logistics software
Founded in 2015, Yojee is a platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and a blockchain-based system to automate and improve the security of logistics and supply chain operations.
This ranges from optimizing the fleet plan; Manage tracking, collection and delivery; to organize invoicing, order placement and driver evaluation.
Route optimization / Photo credit: Yojee
Machine learning is used to constantly analyze and improve the efficiency of all aspects of operations, especially for more seamless logistics planning and ensuring the best order distribution between drivers and delivery partners.
When it comes to blockchain applications, Yojee uses decentralized smart contracts to securely track, archive and review transactions as well as deliveries without the involvement of an intermediary or wasting time.
When the conditions and the agreement of partnerships in the blockchain contracts are met and verified, a computer network performs automated actions. The contracts are securely encrypted and transparently shared between all parties involved.
As of 2017, Yojee has a customer portfolio of 70 leading e-commerce websites in Southeast Asia.
According to CEO Ed Clarke, companies using Yojee have been able to cut delivery times from three days to the same day in some cases.
The company also plans to develop driverless trucks and further automate their services and offerings to keep up with other competitors in the logistics industry.
2. Electrify – A retail market for energy
Electrifying team / Photo credits: Electrifying via medium
Since 2001 Singapore has been working on an ongoing campaign to democratize the electricity market to give consumers more options to manage their energy bills.
It was only in April 2018 that Singapore announced plans to deregulate the electricity market.
Electrify saw this opportunity to become the first energy retail market in Singapore. Founded in 2017, the company enables consumers to compare the options available on a single platform without having to reach out to individual retailers.
Consumers can simply sign up with an Electrify account, indicate their energy needs and the system then compares them with the relevant providers to create the most suitable energy subscription.
They have another special product for solar energy – a peer-to-peer energy trading platform that connects rooftop solar panel owners with consumers. In this way, owners can generate income from their excess energy production, while consumers can purchase a cheaper energy supply.
Electrify began adopting blockchain technology in 2018 to improve the security, transparency, and efficiency of Electricity Marketplace and Synergy.
ELEC token / Photo credit: Electrify the ICO whitepaper
With smart contracts based on blockchain technology, consumers can secure and authorize transactions directly with vendors, eliminating the costs associated with the middleman. Consumers can also opt for transactions with Electrify's ELEC cryptocurrency.
That same year, Electrify raised $ 30 million through token sales. Founders Julius Tan and Martin Lim said they plan to use the funds to expand in the Asia-Pacific region, where countries are also starting to liberalize their electricity markets.
3. Blood Cell – Peer-to-Peer Data Storage Share
Blood cell / Photo credit: Blokt
Bluzelle was founded in 2014 by Pavel Bains and Neeraj Murarka and is known as the "Airbnb of the data room".
The platform allows users to get paid to share additional space on their computer that they don't need for buyers. In short, they are revolutionizing the world of data storage with blockchain technology.
With the help of a decentralized database system, Bluzelle users can interact directly with different computers and nodes in order to store their data. Anyone with a reliable internet connection and a computer with adequate performance can run a blood cell knot and potentially earn passive income in the process.
This decentralization eliminates the risk of downtime and central point failures as users can now have multiple nodal storage points without the need for a central broker.
The workload of computing power is distributed over several points, which speeds up the performance of computing operations. It also reduces the risk of cyber attacks. When a node is hacked, only a fraction of the data or information is stolen.
Bluzelle users can also carry out transactions with secure and transparent smart contracts, where providers and customers can compensate each other with the Bluezelle token BLZ.
Bluzelle has expanded the functionality of smart contracts to generate a “consensus” – a feature that allows all users to securely vote to determine the arbitrary value of data storage pricing. Other non-blockchain use cases include gaming network content and data storage.
In the future, Bluzelle will develop further use cases for non-blockchain projects. It is committed to supporting projects that use its technology to resist censorship.
The blockchain potential is limitless
As can be seen from the overview of the startups mentioned above, we are currently only scratching the surface of blockchain technology development.
What began as the basis for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain technology is now spreading across a wave of industries.
For example, Daimler has worked with Singapore-based Ocean Protocol, a decentralized data exchange, to investigate how blockchain can be used to exchange supply chain data between its manufacturing centers and partners.
Airline loyalty is another area where blockchain is already running. Singapore Airlines' KrisPay is a blockchain-based digital wallet that securely converts miles into cryptocurrency that can be used with trading partners.
While the mass adoption of the technology in Singapore still has a long way to go, it is clear that the future potential of blockchain application is unlimited.
Selected image source: CryptoSight