Top Exchange Binance Announces ‘SAFU’ Hackathon, Conference in Singapore

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has announced that it will host the company’s first conference, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Dec. 6.

Binance Blockchain Week is scheduled to be held in Singapore this January and is to include two major events –– the conference itself, along with a two-day “first-ever Binance SAFU (Secured Assets For Users) Hackathon,” according to the press release. As its name indicates, the hackathon reportedly focuses on developing blockchain-based tools for securing crypto assets.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ in the industry, underlines that the firm has chosen Singapore as they consider it “the finance and technology hub of Asia.” CZ also added that the conference will feature the “most notable players and thought leaders in blockchain.”

Earlier this week, Binance announced plans to “help [the] advancement of the industry” by launching its own blockchain, “Binance Chain,” in the “coming months.”  The same day, the industry giant revealed a second preview of its forthcoming decentralized exchange (DEX), as a part of the newly announced Binance Chain initiative.

In October the crypto exchange also revealed the establishment of the Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF) during the World Investment Forum, hosted by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Just last month, BlockShow also held a blockchain conference in Singapore, which saw 2,800 attendees and hosted more than 50 speakers and panelists.

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μNEST Talks IoT and Blockchain at Singapore Meetup

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SINGAPORE, JULY 30, 2018 — On 27 July 2018, μNEST (pronounced “mew-nest”) held a meetup in Singapore, where the team from μNEST gave an update on the progress of their IoT blockchain solution to an enthusiastic crowd.

μNEST integrates solid applied cryptography knowledge with rich experience in smart hardware production to build an ecosystem which will include a public chain network, hardware wallets, smart contracts, and distributed applications (DApps).

Neo Ma, CEO of μNEST, spoke about the overall vision and key technology infrastructure of μNEST. He gave a detailed introduction on how μNEST solves the problem of data security in IoT implementations as well as the issue of transaction throughput levels in blockchain. μNEST’s mission is to “protect” generated data from IoT devices, which is essentially the core value in IoT deployment, by addressing the purity, integrity, and privacy issues commonly associated with IoT data.

At the same time, μNEST seeks to solve security problems for the whole system chain of trust with hardware trust root. Using a combination of local Zone level software and hardware, the team aim to solve low transaction throughput on the blockchain, with a contribution-award algorithm (Proof-of-i/o) to strengthen P2P network robustness and solving ledger and data storage problems. A lightweight virtual machine (nVM) will be used to solve the problem of smart contract running environment.

In the near future, the team’s proprietary hardware wallet can easily handle Machine-to-Machine (M2M) payment scenarios. With hardware and software interface standardizations, secure circulation and exchange of data as well as frictionless M2M payments, non-trusted multi-party value exchanges and efficient collaboration can occur free from counterparty risk.

Hardware and software interface standardizations, plus Clean data securely circulation/exchanging as well as M2M easily payment makes non-trusted multi-party value exchanges and efficient collaboration possible in real life.

The event ended off with an engaging panel discussion with Neo Ma and two other guest speakers, Lee Kwai Seng and Kelvin Ong. Lee is the Managing Director of AIRmaker, a leading IoT accelerator based in Singapore and Ong is the CEO of FocusTech Ventures, a private investment firm with deep roots in precision engineering and technology.

Both Lee and Ong shared their thoughts as investors in the IoT space, citing key challenges in the IoT space such as data security and data sharing. According to them, the fields of medical data and logistics are ripe with opportunities for disruption with blockchain technology. Ma also offered insights on how he envisioned μNEST‘s blockchain solution addressing those issues head-on. The panel concluded with a key takeaway; the combination of IoT and blockchain technology will be a driver for change in the near future.

The meet up was hosted by the Singapore chapter of global blockchain incubator, LongHash.

About μNEST

μNEST is an open source IoT+Blockchain project established by a team of technologists with over 20 years’ experience in applied cryptography and smart hardware production. Using standard hardware interfaces (UART, SPI, I2C) and software interface specifications (SDK, API), the team aims to greatly reduce the barriers that developers face to reaching a Proof-of-Concept, making it easier and faster for projects to realize real-life application scenarios.

For more details, check the official homepage

For Media Enquiries:

Longhash Singapore

Email: [email protected]

In the near future, μNEST team’s self-developed hardware wallet with the EAL5+ security chip and smart contracts can easily handle  M2M payment scenarios.

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Singapore FinTech Enables Instant Blockchain Remittance for Myanmar Migrant Workers in Thailand

Everex, a Singapore-based financial technology firm, has partnered with Myanmar’s Shwe Bank to introduce blockchain-Powered remittance Services between Myanmar and Thailand.

The blockchain firm claims that the partnership will enable millions of Myanmar migrant workers living in Thailand to send money home instantly and securely at much lower transaction costs than traditional remittance methods.

Blockchain in Remittances

The remittance industry stands as one of the most disrupted industries by blockchain technology. The reasons for this are not far-fetched as the comparative advantages which the technology boasts over traditional remittance systems are easy to identify.

The speed of transaction, negligible cost and decentralized auditability of blockchain remittance processes are some of the leading factors that are behind its increasing adoption rate. These factors appear to be suitable for a significant fraction of the global migrant community who are always sending money back home to their families.

According to the UN Migration Agency, there are about about three million Myanmar migrant workers live in Thailand. The majority of this population adopt crude and informal means to send money home in an attempt to avoid the high fees that are charged by traditional remittances. This exposes them to substantial risks and poorly coordinated procedures.

Myanmar people working in Thailand are foreign currency earners of our country, and their hard-earned money is at risk when they send it home via informal channels”, says U Thein Zaw, Shwe Bank’s Executive Vice Chairman.

Zaw elaborates that Shwe Bank and Everex have partnered to offer faster, less expensive and, most importantly, safer money transfers using Everex’s digital remittance platform. I look forward to working with Everex and expect this technology to greatly improve financial inclusion for Myanmar migrant workers”, he concludes.

Reaching the Underserved Population

By partnering with the mid-tier challenger bank, Everex also intends to employ blockchain technology in eliminating high remittance fees, reduce money transfer time to under a minute and provide a clear audit trail of the entire transaction. This is an innovation that is considered as a huge step away from what is currently obtained in the industry.

One area of development where most emerging fintech solutions are focusing their efforts is reaching the unbanked and the underbanked population of the world. According to statistics, nearly 2.5 billion of the world’s population do not use formal banks or semi-formal microfinance services. 2.2 billion of this population are found in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East.

As part of its services, Shwe Rural & Urban Development Bank (Shwe Bank) is working to foster financial inclusion for the underbanked population within its region. To this effect, the bank has adopted financial technology for use throughout its distribution network of about 410 banking agents across Myanmar in an effort to provide quality service for customers currently underserved by traditional banks.

This incidentally justifies the purpose of this partnership between theabove-mentionedd companies. This collaboration will enhance the achievement of financial inclusion for the underserved without the incidental barriers of infrastructure, cost and accessibility that have been responsible for the existing industrial limitations.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Singapore Airlines' Blockchain-Based Loyalty Program Takes Off

Singapore Airlines has officially launched its blockchain-based loyalty program for frequent customers.

KrisPay, a digital wallet developed in partnership with KPMG and Microsoft, allows Singapore Airlines customers to turn travel miles into units of payment, which can be used with partner merchants in Singapore. Most notably, however, the newly dubbed KrisFlyer program utilizes a blockchain to underpin its clients’ loyalty wallets, according to a press release.

Customers who sign up with the program will be able to download an app to a mobile phone. These customers will then be able to convert their miles into KrisPay units and pay with them by scanning a QR code at partner merchants.

The company announced 18 partners in Singapore, including eateries, beauty parlors, gas stations and some retailers,including the nation’s LEGO store outlets. More partners are expected to sign up soon, and the airline says it will offer discounts for early users.

The airline first announced its new blockchain service in February, after conducting a successful proof-of-concept trial with KPMG and Microsoft. The announcement comes a week after the airline was dubbed  it was announced the best airline in the world, winning the World Airline Awards by Skytrax in London. This year, SIA outpaced Qatar Airlines, the 2017 winner.

Singapore Airlines A350 image via Fasttailwind / Shutterstock

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Singapore Airlines Launches Blockchain-Based Loyalty Wallet, Co-Developed by Microsoft

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched its own airline loyalty digital wallet that uses blockchain technology, it announced July 24. The software has been co-developed by Microsoft and KPMG Digital Village, according to the press release.

The new wallet — dubbed ‘KrisPay’ after SIA’s ‘KrisFlyer’ loyalty programme — converts frequent flyer miles into digitized ‘KrisPay miles’ that can be used to pay for retail purchases via a mobile app.

As minimum expenditure, users of the wallet can spend 15 KrisPay miles (equivalent to about  S$0.10, or US$0.73) to make or offset purchases at point-of-sale for food and drink, petrol, beauty treatments, and other products from selected retailers.

According to SIA, KrisPay miles are currently accepted at 18 merchants island-wide, with more merchants to reportedly be added to the platform in future.

As Cointelegraph reported, SIA first successfully tested the proof-of-concept for its blockchain-based loyalty wallet back in February.

U.S. tech giant Microsoft, meanwhile, has been steadily investing in blockchain technology, with early moves to implement an off-chain Ethereum-based protocol by its cloud computing arm, Microsoft Azure, in summer of last year.

This February, the firm announced plans to integrate blockchain-based decentralized IDs into its Microsoft Authenticator app, and Azure formally announced the release of a blockchain app creation service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, in May.

Most recently, Microsoft has been working to integrate blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) for supply chain management solutions, as well as partnering with two major Asian tech companies on an enterprise blockchain platform.

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Singapore: Gov’t Owned CrimsonLogic Launches Global Cross-Border Blockchain Platform

Singapore e-government service provider CrimsonLogic has unveiled its cross-border blockchain network for global trade, according to a July 18 press release.

Dubbed the Open Trade Blockchain (OTB), the platform is principally designed to boost the efficiency of trade corridors between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations.

Various operators have already signed up to join OTB, including the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co., TIFFA Group, and Singapore’s Commodities Intelligence Centre.

According to Eugene Wong, the chairman of CrimsonLogic and its subsidiary, GeTS, which will operate the platform, blockchain tech can “help create greater trust amongst cross-border traders,” adding

“Trade volume between ASEAN and China would become the single largest transaction between two regions and we hope to facilitate this.”

The move marks a further venture into the blockchain revolution for Singapore, CrimsonLogic being owned by a city-state governmental authority and port operator.

In April, a meeting of ASEAN nations saw Singapore pledge wide-reaching support for blockchain throughout the area, with finance minister Heng See Keat noting that distributed ledger tech can “promote financial inclusion for underserved and underbanked segments in ASEAN.”

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‘World’s First’ Trade Blockchain Launches in Singapore to Link China and ASEAN Nations

A Singapore-based e-government service provider – notably owned by a government body and a port operator – has launched a blockchain platform focused on cross-border trade between ASEAN nations and China.

Singapore-based CrimsonLogic, an e-government solutions provider with a presence in over 20 countries, announced [PDF] details of its ‘inclusive and extensible blockchain service’ that the company says will will ‘boost overall efficiency, security and transparency’ for global trade.

The company launched the blockchain platform through its fully-owned subsidiary GeTS, labeling it the GeTS Open Trade Blockchain Platform. The platform will function as a permissioned blockchain network comprised of trusted nodes operated by accredited participating companies. Shippers, freight-forwarders and other key stakeholders in a trade flow will benefit from the blockchain platform, the press release added, due to enhanced security and seamless sharing of trade documents including a cargo’s origin certificate and commercial invoices.

In essence, the blockchain platform will offer a user-friendly interface with ‘drag-and-drop simplicity’ to share trade documents between port operators, shippers and buyers/sellers, enhancing transparency and efficiency in a trade and supply chain.

CrimsonLogic chairman Eugene Wong put the spotlight on trade between China and ASEAN nations as the primary focus of the trade blockchain, explaining:

“We believe that our Blockchain technology can help create greater trust amongst cross-border traders in ASEAN and along China’s BRI and Southern Transport Corridor. Trade volume between ASEAN and China would become the single largest transaction between two regions and we hope to facilitate this.”

Although the blockchain will remain a permissioned (private) blockchain, the company confirmed its ‘open infrastructure’ will enable developers to build new layers and services for specific use-cases in the trade flow.

CrimsonLogic is notably co-owned by the Port Authority of Singapore (PSA) – one of the world’s largest port operators – which sees a 45 percent stake in the company. As reported by CCN last year, PSA entered a partnership with technology giant IBM to develop proof-of-concept blockchain solutions for supply chain networks in the region. IBM has also been working with the PSA for early-stage trials of transnational container shipments tracked on a blockchain, further underlining the wider shipping industry as a prime sector for disruption by decentralized blockchain tech.

Singapore Port image from Shutterstock.

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