Thursday December 14, 2017
Home Lead Story Blockchain Te...

Blockchain Technology Could Unblock Southeast Asia

0
27
Hard disks are pictured inside a server room at a company in Bangkok, Thailand.
Hard disks are pictured inside a server room at a company in Bangkok, Thailand. VOA

Imagine you could swipe your phone over a piece of fish in the supermarket and instantly see secure records of its entire path through the supply chain, from the technique used by the fisherman who caught it in Indonesia to when it was shipped and how it was processed at a factory in your home country — all at the tap of a smartphone.

Trial projects such as that one are testing the potential of Blockchain technology to bring transparency to all sorts of notoriously inefficient or shadowy industries in Southeast Asia.

Blockchain, the technology that powers bitcoin, is an essentially unchangeable form of bookkeeping. It creates cryptographically chained signatures between blocks of information that are authenticated by users over a peer-to-peer distributed ledger — a public record that can be applied to any type of bookkeeping, not just cryptocurrencies.

“It removes the requirement for a centralized authority, and in a lot of the products that it’s being launched in, this centralized authority tends to be the government,” said Alisa DiCaprio, head of research at R3 — an enterprise banking software firm that uses distributed ledger technology.

In a region where the most important records — identity and ownership for instance — are often subjected to little or no external oversight, blockchain offers enormous potential benefits.

Erin Murphy, Founder and Principal of Inle Advisory Group, a Myanmar and emerging business advisory firm, said major Asian business hubs are looking to blockchain to clean up and simplify transactions.

“Ideally, we would want to see the adoption of blockchain at an official level all across the region,” she said in an email. “But perhaps not surprisingly, the governments that are leading blockchain adoption are those that are already low-corruption.”

One of those governments, she said, is Singapore, which is working with major banks on a blockchain-based system to streamline and qualitatively improve their customer (KYC) processes.

In other countries, it is being used for completely different purposes. In the Philippines, a remittance market worth billions of dollars per month has been invaded by firms offering cheaper services built on the blockchain, which people can access without a bank account.

“Any steps that get taken at first may not be viewed through an anti-corruption lens and may inadvertently tackle that issue; it will likely be viewed through a development lens to kickstart poverty alleviation and bringing sectors up to international standards that attract foreign investment,” Murphy said.(VOA)

Next Story

Interesting facts you should know about Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency gold of 21st century

Bitcoin or Gold? The trends suggests bitcoin price is increasing multiple fold per day compared to slow price of gold surge in a year. Read more to know interesting facts about the most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin

0
163
Bitcoin Price, Cryptocurrency surge
Bitcoin, the gold of cryptocurrency (VOA)

If you would have invested in cryptocurrency Bitcoin worth 100 $ in 2010, you would be sitting at a total of Bitcoin price of 80000000 $ right now

  • Bitcoin market cap today is $172,565,842,974 USD, more than IBM and Walt Disney
  • The cryptocurrency market cap has breached $300 billion
Bitcoin: What is it, where can you use it? 

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009 by a mysterious figure using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. It can be used to buy or sell items from people and companies that accept bitcoin as payment, but it is not the traditional form of currency, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency, as the name suggests, are currencies generated by computer codes, thus it has no issuing agency (like Reserve Bank of India). Any cryptocurrency is generated by ‘miners’ on a cryptocurrency network like bitcoin that solves complex mathematical problems. The network is peer to peer and transactions take place between users directly through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary.

“The system can act as a payment network that has no down time, it’s operating 24/7, it doesn’t care where and to whom you send money,” says Michael Rauchs, a cryptocurrency and blockchain expert at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.

Bitcoin price, Bitcoin investment
Cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the growing market (VOA)

Why is bitcoin’s price surging insanely?

Like any other assets or currencies, bitcoin price is determined by the amount that people are willing to pay for it. The bitcoin price, surged above $10,000 on Wednesday for the first time, breaking a symbolic threshold in what has been a vertiginous ascent this year. The increasing demand pressure from investors and speculators makes the case for an even further increase in bitcoin prices in the near future. Bitcoin is decentralized and limited which makes it rare. This is a major factor for many Bitcoin users. Bitcoin is hard for government to trace and tax. The Bitcoin price surged insanely after demonetisation in India. Also, unlike fiat money produced by central banks, there is a cap set on total Bitcoin, limiting how much the currency can devalue through inflation.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook : NewsGram.com

On 22nd May 2010, Laszlo Hanyec bought a pizza for 10,000 bitcoins. The Bitcoin pizza is worth $105,830,950 today.

Will Bitcoin ever be a safe investment or always a gamble?

Despite RBI warning, 2,500 Indians investing in cryptocurrency Bitcoin daily. The lack of clarity about its origin is another big issue related to bitcoin. Investment in cryptocurrency is always a subject to risk, you should invest only what you are comfortable to lose. While some investors may be attracted by the massive rises this year, others will be wary of the volatility. In mid-January one bitcoin price was valued at $800. By June Bitcoin price had gone to $3,000. At the end of November it touched $10,000. If you are an experienced investor with a balanced portfolio and relatively small exposure, then BTC is an exciting and potentially lucrative investment. But there is potential for significant losses and investors need to carefully consider the method of investing.

“The general sensible view is that the more volatile the investment, the smaller proportion of your wealth you should consider storing in it,” says Marc Warne, founder of bitcoin exchange Bittylicious. I have heard of people moving their life investments into bitcoin and this is a bad idea.

Bitcoin’s current value and price is based on the belief that it will continue to grow as the main cryptocurrency in the world, but it only accounts for just over half of the crypto market capitalization, new currencies are being developed, launched and spent everyday. The competitor coin Ethereum, for example, launched in September 2015 and is now worth $440 per coin.

If you can stomach volatile kind of risk, you can handle trading in this market. After all Bitcoin Pizza is worth $105,830,950 today.

 

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik