IBM has announced plans to establish the first IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore. In the first collaboration of its kind with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), IBM Researchers will work with government, industries and academia to develop applications and solutions which are based on enterprise Blockchain, cyber-security, and cognitive computing technologies. In addition to drawing from the expertise in the Singaporean talent pool and that of the IBM Research network, the Center will also engage with small- and medium-sized enterprises to create new applications and grow new markets in finance and trade.
“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,” said Robert Morris, Vice President, Global Labs, IBM Research.
“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,” said Kiren Kumar, Executive Director, Infocomms and Media, EDB.
The first projects for the Center will focus on trade solutions using Blockchain to improve efficiency of multi-party trade finance processes and transactions. The solutions and associated Blockchain platform will be designed and developed in Singapore. These projects, which could also involve global banks and emerging financial technology companies known as “FinTechs,” are aligned with the vision of MAS, Singapore’s Central Bank, to further develop Singapore as a Smart Financial Center.
“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,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS.
IBM will also work with the Port Authority of Singapore, 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. This will lead to new business models and attract more global trade and finance to Singapore.
“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,” said Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International.
The Center is also welcomed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (iDA). Assistant Chief Executive Khoong Hock Yun, Development Group, iDA said, “As we build Singapore into a Smart Nation, innovation in the financial sector is key to help increase Singapore’s competitiveness as a global trading hub. The industry’s move is a clear sign that Singapore is capitalizing on opportunities to be market leaders in emerging technologies such as the Blockchain. This can translate to strong benefits throughout our entire finance ecosystem including the boosting of local tech capabilities. We hope to see more examples of industry innovation moving forward.”
Over the next three years, the Innovation Center is expected to deliver a number of technology pilots across the finance and trade industries. These projects will build on IBM’s work with the Linux Foundation Hyperledger platform. The Innovation Center will be staffed with technical talent from Singapore as well as researchers from IBM Research Labs worldwide.
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- OpenLedger’s Apptrade (www.apptrade.io), the platform creating “Kickstarter for Apps on the Blockchain”, has received a $100,000 USD boost from OpenLedger ApS, the world’s first blockchain powered conglomerate. Powered by the digital token APPX, Apptrade creates portfolios, or groups, of apps, where if one of those apps becomes the next Instagram or Angry Birds, then the value of the portfolio rises. Ronny Boesing, CEO of OpenLedger ApS, explained that Apptrade’s initial token offering (ITO) changed its valuation in the middle of its crowd sale as an immediate response to the result of its preliminary offering. Boesing said, “The Apptrade platform is much too important to not succeed, and it was clear that we needed to adjust the valuation to make it more appealing to anyone deciding to participate. In addition, we wanted to show our belief in this project, and felt that there was no better way to show this than putting our money where our mouth is. OpenLedger will be adding a total of $100 000 USD to the Crowdsale over the next 7 days.” The minimum fundraising goal is $1M USD with a cap of $5M USD. With a total of 8.25M APPX tokens on offer, OpenLedger’s Apptrade ApS will back these tokens with 20% of the future revenue from the Apptrade platform, and any unsold tokens will therefore be distributed proportionally to all participants. All early bird participants, as well new participants, will receive the extra tokens according to the published Stage 1 structure, plus benefit from the additional tokens to be divided. Daniel Pineda, Founder of Apptrade says, “After listening carefully to feedback from public and private supporters, and with great consideration, we decided to update our master token valuation. We firmly believe that our platform, built on the ecosystem of OpenLedger and powerful BitShares financial trading technology, is a strong Blockchain project that will be a success for years to come. We feel that this is the right action to ensure a satisfactory outcome for all.” Apptrade’s final valuation is going to be based on the amount raised, whether $1M USD as its threshold or money back guarantee, or the maximum of $5M USD. The valuation of the Apptrade platform will be determined on what is raised. The deadline according to the escrow agreement is set to end on April 30 2017. Boesing continued, “This approach and change of valuation resulted from requests from within the community, and we hope to accommodate many more participants. But one thing is clear to all of the Early Birds – this is your lucky day!” - March 27, 2017
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