In the mid-2010s, cryptocurrencies or digital assets were still very much perceived negatively due to their usage in the internet black market. While corporations have started to notice the potential behind their underlying technology, the risks associated with digital assets as well as its reputation caused them to be largely ignored by the market. However, as the cryptocurrency market gained legitimacy and started to enter the mainstream, a number of institutional investors came on board, seeing the opportunity to take a slice of the pie. Meanwhile, other larger companies have started to acquire or partner with cryptocurrency-related companies to venture into the arena.
In recent months, the number of Singapore-listed companies that jumped on the crypto bandwagon has grown. They have expanded into the digital assets business by investing in digital asset exchanges, entering the blockchain mining machine space as well as publishing non-fungible tokens (NFTs), among others.
SMI Vantage — formerly known as Singapore Myanmar Investco — was for years in a mixed bag of “traditional” businesses such as logistics, auto services, construction and running serviced offices. Its other key business was to operate retail outlets in Myanmar’s airports and when the coup happened in early 2020, its businesses took a hit.