Let's get the 'digital' right in digital trade

(Dec 9): The new buzzword in global commerce is “digital trade”. And with new technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain gaining traction, the chatter around getting global trading digitally enabled is getting louder. The rapid pace of technological change has made many current rules obsolete.


Bitcoins mirroring offerings of mainstream markets

(Dec 2): Interest in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies seems to be waning, according to Google Trends. There was a sharp spike in interest when bitcoin hit an all-time high of about US$20,000 in December 2017, but it declined within six months and flattened in 2Q2018 when the price fell 85% from its peak.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped the cryptocurrency market from evolving. Industry players have continued to provide investors and traders with more ways to utilise their digital tokens.


China's blockchain environment

(Nov 25): Last week, in Beijing, I went to the bank. It was unusual for two reasons. Firstly, because bank branches have almost become redundant with the widespread penetration of WePay. They will become less important from a retail perspective as China progresses more rapidly towards the development of a digital currency and blockchain implementation as recently promoted by President Xi Jinping.


MAS, JP Morgan, Temasek jointly develop prototype for multi-currency payments

SINGAPORE (Nov 11): The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), global investment bank JP Morgan and local sovereign fund Temasek have jointly developed a blockchain-based prototype that enables payments to be carried out in multiple currencies on the same network.

MAS says that the payments network has the potential to improve cost efficiencies for businesses, and is currently undergoing industry testing to determine its ability to integrate with commercial blockchain applications.

Singapore sees world's first digital aviation carbon exchange

(Oct 31) Singapore-based AirCarbon launched the world’s first blockchain-based carbon trading exchange, which will allow airlines and other corporate buyers to buy and sell tokens backed by carbon offset credits approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The company is applying to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a recognized market operator license and targets for the exchange to be fully operational in 2020, it said in a statement Wednesday.

DBS expands fintech's purpose beyond digital banking with track-trace, sustainable products, risk assessment

(Nov 11): Mikkel Larsen, chief sustainability officer at DBS Group Holdings, sees fintech’s purpose as more than making banking accessible and convenient to millions with a mobile phone. Increasingly, fintech - which has made banking easy through smartphones and been a force for good by fostering financial inclusion in emerging Asia - can through Sustainable Digital Finance (SDF) also provide solutions to the most pressing global problem of our times like sustainability and climate change.

Hashtacs aims to simplify processes in financial sevices sector with blockchain

SINGAPORE (July 19): Jay Ng had a near-death experience in the UK a couple of years ago, when London was experiencing a fintech boom.

While he was lying in a hospital bed, three things came to mind: health, relationships and social impact.

At his previous job at URA, Ng was already managing a portfolio with assets worth about $1 billion, but he did not think he was making a significant social impact.

Later, a chance meeting with an old classmate caused Ng to think of marrying his knowledge of asset and fund management with blockchain technology.

Vacheron Constantin adopts blockchain certification

Who says heritage Swiss watch brands are slow to adapt to change? At 264 years old, Vacheron Constantin may be the world’s oldest running watch Manufacture, but it also stands as one of the most forward-thinking, not just in terms of horological innovations, but also in the way it looks to incorporate new technologies in its retail experience.



SINGAPORE (May 6): “What’s wrong with a female emperor, I wonder? Those practices need to change in the modern era.” Yukiko Minegishi, who works with a uniform maker in Tokyo.

WikiLeaks founder Assange sentenced to jail

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to nearly a year in jail for skipping bail as he prepares to fight extradition to the US.


Start-ups and big companies using blockchain to help fight conflict minerals

SINGAPORE (May 6): Tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, often grouped together in mining industry jargon as 3TG, are vitally important to the industrial economy, used in high-tech products from smartphones to jets. But these conflict minerals, as they are known, frequently follow a sketchy path from mine to factory, coming from mines whose profits flow to violent militias, criminals and even terrorists. As human rights groups step up pressure on big companies to better police the provenance of raw materials in the US$600 billion ($816.9 billion) industry, Nathan Williams says he can help.


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