Since its launch through Bitcoin in 2008, blockchain technology has revolutionized record-keeping systems. To put it simply, blockchains are decentralized, immutable, and distributed digital ledgers that are available to the public. Today, many progressive governments have adopted this technology to benefit their operations and economy. For instance, the United States is looking to use it for ledger applications, while the European Union seeks to combat counterfeiting with its superior security features.
Moreover, blockchain technology has not gone unnoticed in Asia, which is home to at least five countries known for being tech hubs. Unfortunately, the South China Morning Post reports that almost 70% of Asia-Pacific countries are hesitant to adopt the technology, citing struggles to understand just how reliable it is. But in the face of such views, Asian startups have readily embraced cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that make them possible. Tech-savvy citizens, who are aged below 30 and make up over 718 million of the Asian population, see the potential of blockchains and cryptocurrencies — as not only do they know how to work with the technology, but how to build with and around it as well.
That said, how far has blockchain technology made its way through Asia and its startups?
Increased consumer awareness and use of blockchain technology
Hackernoon claim that the appetite for cryptocurrencies in Asia is 10 times bigger than that of the United States, with some regions of Asia skipping credit cards and going straight from cash to digital payment and blockchain technology. In fact, 1 in 3 South Koreans own or are being paid in cryptocurrencies, while Hong Kong citizens get to use services such as Bitcoin ATMs.
The healthcare industry is also seeing major changes, as blockchain technology makes its way through the region. Management of data is more methodical now, and blockchains have enhanced the security and interoperability of the healthcare market, which works with critical sensitive data.
Governments creating clear regulations
Unclear regulations in markets such as the United States make it hard to enter. Fortunately, several governments in key Asian countries are now paving the way for blockchain technology to better enter their economies. For instance, The ASEAN Post reports that Thailand has already introduced laws to govern cryptocurrencies and is planning on using blockchains for instant securities settlements. Malaysian and Singaporean governments are also making it a point to support blockchain startups, creating incubators and investment funds that focus on cryptocurrencies and other uses for blockchain.
Changing regulations in Hong Kong has helped the region become a significant international hub, creating an infrastructure that ensures growth and innovation for all businesses. Case in point: LINE, a Japanese messaging giant, has invested over $10 million to set up their company in Hong Kong with the use of blockchain technology.
Slowly but surely entering new markets
As blockchain technology makes its way throughout the globe, many countries and governments are aiming to catch up. Blockchain technology has found fertile ground in countries like the Philippines, which played host to the Global Blockchain Summit and the Inaugural Blockchain Achievement Exhibition last year, and is home to no less than 41 crypto businesses. Indonesia has also seen a recent explosion of blockchain-related startups that have initially focused on cryptocurrencies, and are now investing in other areas for blockchain applications. In addition, Vietnam is paving the way for the entrance of blockchain startups and their applications and services. That’s because the Vietnamese government has begun preparations for a fintech, regulatory sandbox that blockchain startups can use to grow their businesses accordingly.
Meanwhile, blockchain technology development is still in its early stages in other countries such as Brunei, Myanmar, and Cambodia — but they are sure to catch up in time. With the arrival of Blockchain 2.0 that allows for more extensive use in smart contracts and other applications, the current initiatives set in place by various governments in Asia are sure to cultivate a welcoming space for blockchain-related startups to establish themselves in the market.
Feature specially submitted to startupsuccessstories.com
Submitted by: JenReports
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