Fintech investments in 2018 double to USD365 million in Singapore

… (SGD492 million) in 2018 as compared to USD180 million (SGD242 million) in 2017, revealed the latest Accenture’s analysis of CB Insights data.

The rise of the fintech sector in Singapore has been highlighted once again as the investment in this field has doubled to USD365 million (SGD492 million) in 2018 as compared to USD180 million (SGD242 million) in 2017, revealed the latest Accenture’s analysis of CB Insights data.

 Fintech investments in 2018 has doubled to USD365 million (SGD492 million) in Singapore. Photo courtesy: everipedia
Fintech investments in 2018 has doubled to USD365 million (SGD492 million) in Singapore. Photo courtesy: everipedia

This has placed the island country amongst the top five fintech markets by funds raised last year in Asia Pacific, behind China, India, Australia and Japan,

In addition to this, the number of deals in the country rose to 71 from 61 in 2017, making it the third busiest market in the region, behind only China and India.

Among the utilisation of the fund, about 28 per cent (USD102.2 million – SGD137.7 million) of the total funds raised last year went to fintech companies in lending, whilst those in payments took 26 per cent (USD94.9 million – SGD127.9 million) and insurtechs 20 per cent (USD73 million – SGD98.4 million), the data showed.

Various important deals were conducted in Singapore in 2018 including the USD60 million (SGD80.8 million) cloud company Deskera raised in November, the USD52 million (SGD70.1 million) insurtech Singapore Life raised in December and the USD32 million (SGD43.1 million) cryptocurrency and blockchain startup Terra raised in August. Eight of the top 10 deals were conducted in the island country.

 Divyesh Vithlani, managing director at Accenture and ASEAN Financial Services. Photo courtesy: Youtube
Divyesh Vithlani, managing director at Accenture and ASEAN Financial Services. Photo courtesy: Youtube

“The fintech market in Singapore is going from strength to strength. It’s great to see it reaching this level of activity and diversification, which just goes to show how much it’s matured the past years,” said Divyesh Vithlani, managing director at Accenture and ASEAN Financial Services.

“The size of the market and the value of deals still have a lot to catch up to regional giants such as China and India, but Singapore is already the third busiest fintech market in the region and this level of activity bodes well for the future expansion of new technologies in many of the different areas of finance,” he added.

If we look at the overall picture, global investment in fintech ventures has more than doubled in 2018, to USD55.3 billon (SGD74.54 billion), led by a surge in funding in China and strong gains in several other markets as investors placed larger bets in more mature startups.

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Ginco launches enterprise wallet for cryptocurrency exchanges

Ginco, a Japanese cryptocurrency wallet company, has announced that it is currently developing a dedicated service package for cryptocurrency …

Ginco, a Japanese cryptocurrency wallet company, has announced that it is currently developing a dedicated service package for cryptocurrency exchange businesses. The blockchain node hosting service will allow exchanges to expand the number of blockchains they support in a short amount of time.

Ginco will be offering the development of a white label crypto wallet for exchange businesses. The aim is to provide exchanges with new opportunities to grow and also to achieve a meaningful cost reduction.

After Japan’s revised Payment Services Act, strict and stable management systems and business operations are now required for all Japanese crypto exchanges. The outcome of these strict standards has left many businesses to flounder under the weight of compliance, limiting expansion, and constricting resources.

Ginco’s node hosting service enables support of new blockchains, quickly and cheaply.

Businesses operating in blockchain are under a constant need to adapt to changing laws and industry-specific incidents such as hard forks and node updates. This can make it difficult to focus on other areas of business.

Available blockchain nodes from Ginco include:
  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum
  • Ethereum Classic
  • EOS
  • XRP
  • Stellar Lumens
  • TRON

A private key is kept securely within a dedicated cryptographic module (HSM), with a multi-signature system applied, distributing control over transactions. Extra security is added by utilizing a fully-private network, disseminating authorization for transactions, making it extremely resilient.

Ginco is fully compliant with regulations, allowing exportation of audit logs and providing functions to help manage audited users. In order to protect against asset loss, Ginco next plans to partner with insurance companies in preparation of potential risks other than system-related hazards.

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Isle of Man Gov’t Executive Agency Forms Global Blockchain Office, Regulatory Sandbox

… a regulatory sandbox for facilitating the development of the fintech industry as part of their work on creating initial coin offering (ICO) regulations.

An advisory body for the self-governing British dependency Isle of Man (IoM) has launched a hub to promote the development of blockchain, fintech news agency FStech reports on Feb. 5.

As a key decision maker for the economic growth of the IoM, Digital Isle of Man initiated the formation of the Blockchain Office, a global blockchain hub to provide a favorable environment for the development of blockchain projects.

Along with founding the Blockchain Office, the government executive agency has also launched an Isle of Man Sandbox in order to guide blockchain businesses through the existing and future regulatory frameworks in accordance with relevant legislation and regulation. Blockchain-related firms will reportedly be able to apply to join the IoM blockchain Sandbox from March 2019, with the office expected to be entirely operational in the spring.

According to the article, the government of the IoM does not intend to “regulate blockchain in isolation,” but strongly encourages the emerging technology and aims to provide blockchain innovations with maximum flexibility. With free access for early entrants to the sandbox, the new formation will provide startups and firms with the possibility to develop and test blockchain platforms.

Lyle Wraxall, CEO of Digital Isle of Man, said that the launch of the Blockchain Office and Sandbox represents a solid commitment of the country to provide a fully supportive jurisdiction for blockchain industry. He further stated:

“We are looking to attract premium blockchain businesses and the world’s top exchanges to the Island, and we will be creating new tech-agnostic regulation inspired by best practice that we’ve seen from other high-quality jurisdictions around the world.”

Daphne Hilary Penelope Caine, Political Member for Digital Isle of Man, stressed that the Isle of Man was among the earlier jurisdictions to adopt a legislative framework for virtual currencies, and has been home to major exchanges since 2013, as well as blockchain firms including CoinCorner, Quanta, Luckbox and Qadre.

In December of last year, the United Arab Emiratesannounced that they would release a regulatory sandbox for facilitating the development of the fintech industry as part of their work on creating initial coin offering (ICO) regulations.

Recently, the International Monetary Fund criticized the pro-crypto position of Malta, which has become being considered the “blockchain island.” The agency claimed that the active development of blockchain initiatives on Malta has created sufficient risks of money laundering and terrorism financing in the island’s economy.

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States Dipping Toes Into Crypto, Blockchain

Legislators appear to show they want their state governments to learn the ins and outs of fintech before they allow crypto and blockchain to live in the …

Legislators in 17 state capitals have introduced bills that could lead to the normalization of crypto and blockchain. Photo credit: GettyGetty

One month into the new year, state legislatures are dipping their toes into crypto and blockchain.

Many of the bills introduced on the issues in 17 states so far call for legislative task forces and joint business-government study groups.

Legislators appear to show they want their state governments to learn the ins and outs of fintech before they allow crypto and blockchain to live in the everyday regulatory climate as other ways of conducting business.

Chamber of Digital Commerce Chief Policy Officer Amy Davine Kim said she sees momentum.

“Legislators want to show they’re open for blockchain businesses to come in. They want to know what the industry wants. They want to be supportive,” said the digital commerce trade group executive.

She said efforts to advance blockchain and crypto in the State Houses have a non-partisan flavor.

“People on both sides of the aisle have an interest on this,” said Kim.

A toolkit devised for state legislators by the Digital Chamber boasts blockchain has the promise to create extraordinary economic growth and cost efficiencies.

Mary Pfaff, who keeps tabs on the legislative activity for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, said she has seen a lot of bills to permit the payment of taxes with crypto and to broaden the use of digital currency.

Wyoming legislators have steered their state to the head of the pack.

“They are trying to make Wyoming the center for innovators in the blockchain and crypto space, said the CSBS’s Pfaff.

Last year, they changed the tax code and other Wyoming laws to encourage fintech companies to come in.

This year, there is legislation to place Wyoming as the first state after Arizona to have a light regulatory system in place for fintech startups.

One bill would establish a special bank where blockchain companies could do transactions with digital currency,

National Conference of State Legislatures analyst Heather Morton said there are more bills now than there were this time last year to allow campaign contributions with digital currencies.

She added legislation has also been introduced toauthorize blockchain for corporate records.

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