Blockchain in Asia — A Continent On The Verge Of a New Digital Revolution
Blockchain technology is developing rapidly not only in The Western market but also in Asian countries too. According to the report of Global Market Insights, there has been significant growth in the blockchain market in the Asia Pacific region in the last couple of years. This is mainly due to the increase in the number of investments and blockchain-based companies. According to the report, by 2024, the market is estimated to have a worth of over 16 billion USD.
During 2016, there were over 135 investment deals made for blockchain-based startups, resulting in 545 million USD going into the blockchain market. However, in 2017, the market had a huge spike of 50 percent, with over 185 investment deals made, netting more than 1 billion USD into the blockchain market. With this rate of growth, a lot of the investors have noticed the blockchain technology and focusing on it going forward.
The blockchain utilizes digital ledger technology, which has become popular all around the world, with numerous companies already working on the adoption of it. These companies are not only startups but large companies as well, such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and many others.
Now let’s proceed to the growth of blockchain technology in the Asian Pacific region.
Healthcare In The Focus
Moving forward, the healthcare market in the Asian Pacific region has seen the highest level of blockchain technology adoption. The blockchain technology can be split into three segments, particularly: end user, region, and application.
The end user segment involves the segmentation of various healthcare providers, healthcare payers, and pharmaceutical companies.
The application segment covers the clinical data interoperability and exchange, billing, claim settlements, and supply chain management. The healthcare industry professionals say that blockchain technology has made the management of data much more systematic and has enhanced security and interoperability.
Blockchain Technology & The Asian Governments
The report by Global Market Insights also implied that the reason as to why blockchain technology is growing in the Asian market is due to the interest and support that the governments are providing for the technology. Out of the many countries in the region, places like Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia are working towards understanding and benefiting from blockchain technology. These regions have had multiple law and policy changes and initiatives that have helped them get the best out of the technology.
In Singapore, the Monetary Authority became a partner of R3 to explore blockchain technology and use it for handling inter-bank payments. In addition to this, the country is also investigating another blockchain technology use case for connecting the National Trade Platform of Singapore with those of other countries.
In Japan, the government is working towards complete cryptocurrency and Blockchain regulations. Payments in digital coins are possible in the majority of places, and even the biggest railway is planning to start accepting cryptocurrency payments.
But, while the rise of popularity of the cryptocurrencies is unquestionable, the adoption of the technology only began to increase in the last three years.
Reason For Adoption of Blockchain in Asia
The adoption of technology is mainly in large corporations, institutions, hedge funds, along with a large number of top-tier investors all around Asia. And the reason why everyone does not adopt it is simple; it is due to the several shortcomings that the trading platforms in the Asian countries suffer from. Drawbacks like sub-par consumer experience, security concerns, high fees, limited usability, and lack of consistency are a significant issue in many Asian governmental institutions as well.
This is especially the case in Hong Kong. There have been many complaints regarding the abused market and assets manipulation that eventually led to the collapse of multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. The issue became widespread, and the Securities and Futures Commission’s regulators had to step in and watch the market. They introduced measures to curb possible scams frequently linked with digital currencies.
Blockchain Technology is a High Priority
After the implementation of these regulations, Hong Kong is gaining a reputation for being an important international blockchain hub. It is working towards building an infrastructure for existing and new businesses to guarantee that innovation and the technology stay as the essential enabler for the growth in their financial sector.
Many projects around Asia are setting up deals and infrastructure in Hong Kong. One example is the Japanese messaging giant LINE that has invested over 10 million USD in setting up their company in Hong Kong using this technology.
Another company is a leading margin trading platform, BitMEX, which is renting some of the most expensive offices in the world, located in downtown Hong Kong.
Cryptocurrency is Going Big in Asia
With all these changes in the Asian market, cryptocurrency is definitely the hottest thing in the last couple of years. The governments have also taken up the initiative to promote crypto investment by allowing the no capital gain tax to crypto investment. This can help boost the industry by pushing investors to invest cryptocurrencies in businesses opening across the Asian continent.
And with the industry growing, the countries in Asia have also begun to gather blockchain professionals by expediting Immigration for Blockchain Jobseekers. This is another key activity that the government has taken to increase the blockchain industry by attracting the best possible talents from the world.
The Asian Countries are leading the way when it comes to blockchain adoption. By adopting and implementing blockchain-based innovative technologies into their systems, governments realize the vast potential of improving efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of their services. This direction can only help and benefit the shifting transition into a digital economy. We can expect to blockchain implementation in Asia will only serve as a propeller for the countries within the region to reach greater heights.