Tuesday November 13, 2018
Home Lead Story Blockchain Te...

Blockchain Technology Could Unblock Southeast Asia

0
//
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
Republish
Reprint

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)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Blockchain-Powered Smartphone Exodus By HTC

The company had also said that the HTC Exodus will launch "definitely everywhere" outside of China.

0
HTC
HTC's Blockchain-based Exodus phone to launch in Oct

After working on its Blockchain-powered smartphone Exodus for months, HTC has finally announced it will introduce the device as early as October.

The company indicated the launch on its Instagram page.

According to the company Vive Founder, Phil Chen, Exodus previously asserted that a smartphone like Exodus with a crypto-currency wallet will provide the most secure wallet on the market, tech website Smarthouse reported on Monday.

HTC
Taiwanese tech giant HTC is reportedly working on a new Android phone named “Exodus” that will be powered by blockchain technology. Pixabay

However, he added that the device will initially target a “niche” audience and will be priced similarly to the world’s first Blockchain powered smartphone, Sirin Labs’ Finney, at around $1,000, the report added.

The HTC Exodus is the brainchild of Chen, who was also the driving force behind the Vive virtual reality (VR) headset and forms the start of a major blockchain push as the company looks to return to the smartphone industry.

Also Read: ‘GOME’, A Chinese Smartphone Company Debuts in India

The company had also said that the HTC Exodus will launch “definitely everywhere” outside of China. However, there are no specific details. (IANS)