Singapore has become a hotbed for financial technology and blockchain innovation. This week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has conceived two joint ventures that aim to progress blockchain research and development in Southeast Asia.
Monetary Authority of Singapore & Government of Andhra Pradesh Partner in a Blockchain Joint Venture
According to MAS letters of intent, the central bank of Singapore will collaborate with India and South Korea on distributed ledger projects.
The first partnership began with authorities from the Indian region of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP). The organizations are aiming their focus on cryptocurrency solutions and the academic research related to distributed ledgers. The first agreement states:
“Under the agreement, MAS and GoAP will explore joint innovation projects on technologies such as digital payments and blockchain, and collaborate on the development of education programs/curricula on FinTech. MAS and GoAP also agreed to discuss emerging FinTech trends and exchange views on regulatory issues related to innovations in financial services.—From MAS’ perspective, we are looking to create a marketplace in India for FinTech solutions developed in Singapore. This can potentially help Singapore FinTech startups that are looking to venture into India.”
Two Days Later, The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Korean Financial Services Commission Sign a Cooperation Agreement
Following the deal with GoAP, the Monetary Authority of Singapore also formed a partnership with the Korean Financial Services Commission (KFSC) to “foster fintech.”
MAS will cooperate with KFSC to help build a framework that will explore “potential joint innovation projects on technologies.” Technology interests include Big Data architecture, mobile payments, and current fintech trends.
Singapore banks, corporations and promising startups have already been laying financial technology foundations in the region. Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer, MAS, believes the initiative will lay the “groundwork for deeper FinTech collaboration between Singapore and South Korea.”
Mohanty says Singapore’s vibrant fintech ecosystem will make it a natural choice for Korean fintech businesses and neighboring markets. KFSC executives agree with Mohanty and look forward to the cooperative effort.
“This agreement is an important step forward in enhancing the financial relationship between Korea and Singapore,” said Hoon Choi, director general of banking and insurance bureau, KFSC.
“We hope that the agreement serves as a stepping stone for FinTech firms from both Korea and Singapore alike to expand their business globally.”
Singapore’s Financial Tech Interest Is Growing Exponentially
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has moved towards blockchain and fintech for over a year. In June 2015, managing director Ravi Menon revealed the central bank’s plan to invest $225 million USD into the fintech space.
Additionally, in August of 2016, the Singaporean United Overseas Bank (UOB) started its own fintech accelerator program. The blockchain smart contracts project Attores was included in the accelerator program.
Interest in the financial tech space has grown rapidly in the region and surrounding Southeast Asian countries. One thing is for sure: these countries are looking to become leaders within the emerging economy of financial technology.
What do you think about the Monetary Authority of Singapore partnership with India and South Korea? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via MAS, Pixabay, and the Korean Financial Services Commission.
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