R3 and Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, have partnered up to establish a “distributed ledger technology center” to give Singapore a lead position in Asia’s FinTech industry.

Setting up a lab

The MAS will be collaborating with the NY-based company to develop and potentially implement Blockchains into financial institutions with the R3 Asia Lab. Both companies are aiming to disrupt the FinTech industry with efficient, transparent and cost-effective solutions which could improve transaction security and be used on capital markets worldwide.

Sopnendu Mohanty, CFO at the Monetary Authority of Singapore states:

"The practical spin-offs from fundamental research in distributed ledgers and Blockchains are beginning to be realized. MAS is pleased to collaborate with the financial industry through broad, international, consortia such as R3 to create and conduct rigorous experiments that will inform and encourage adoption of these advances."

The lab itself will be located in Singapore’s Central Business District and will be the workplace of R3’s regional partners, experts and technologists, with the aim of redesigning Bitcoin’s distributed ledger idea, to be used globally and commercially by financial institutions.

Singapore goes Blockchain

Singapore already has numerous Bitcoin and Blockchain companies, including DXMarkets, DigixGlobal and Ripple Gateway, which all work with Blockchain technology.

In addition, the Bank of Tokyo is already conducting Blockchain-related tests for payments and Blockchain-sealed contracts and amongst all these FinTech companies, Singapore has been ranked as the top FinTech innovation hub.

IBM has also opened a Blockchain Innovation Center in Singapore to continue the development of Blockchain smart contract solutions for the corporate sector. R3’s decision to install a DLT lab in Singapore will give it the opportunity to pursue joint-ventures with local competitors.

Numerous countries in Asia are looking into efficient Blockchain solutions for financial services including Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea. With Singapore joining the group, they will all be striving to catch up to and compete with the U.S. and Great Britain, who are continuing to test Blockchains for trading securities and commercial bank transactions.

Tim Grant, CEO of R3's Lab and Research Center commented:

"We are honoured and delighted to build on our relationship with MAS and to signal our strong intent to support Singapore as a leading global FinTech hub as well as the entire Asia-Pacific region. We look forward to deepening our relationships with local financial services companies, regulatory bodies and the tertiary education community.”

Singapore itself is a city-state and offers a business environment similar to Hong Kong, attracting many financial institutions.

Yoshio Tomiie, head of commerce at Senjō Group, said:

“Singapore has established an enviable position as a leading Asian financial technology centre with an exciting innovation eco-system, a great talent pool and fantastic infrastructure. It also boasts a business-friendly environment so it was therefore an obvious winner when considering locations for new headquarters for our global operations.”