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2020 Should See More Asian Govts Lead Blockchain Adoption

As a continent where government-led initiatives favor technology adoption, Asia is poised to see a surge in blockchain adoption starting next year, according to the CTO of public blockchain infrastructure IOST.

Terry Wang, in sharing their outlook for blockchain (and the crypto industry in general) in 2020 from an Asian market perspective, notes that the region will undoubtedly be a major adoption point for blockchain technology to flourish given the lack of legacy infrastructure.

“In Asia, blockchain has the potential to quickly become the foundation of smart cities and enterprise efficiency within a very short period of time,” he says. “Tech adoption in Asia is also typically government-led, and we expect this to become more visible in 2020 as Asian governments are actively stepping up efforts in their respective countries to implement progressive blockchain technology.”

Globally, the 2020s has been touted to likely be the blockchain decade with the emerging technology being considered to be applied in various projects related to supply chain, finance, agriculture, and public sectors as well as others. The United Nations, in its UN Secretary General’s Strategy on New Technologies paper this week, touched on the pertinence of its related agencies to further support blockchain.

Multinationals like Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer based in Russia, recently teamed up with independent technology company Everledger and China’s Tencent to launch a WeChat Mini Program e-commerce blockchain-based solution for Chinese retailers to make seamless buying of diamonds with transparent information possible potentially to a billion people.

With these, the need for governments to be involved across the board in regions like Asia cannot be overemphasized and in a country like China in particular where blockchain has had a buzz of late. Not just with blockchain, but with other emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G which have both been topical in a global context throughout 2019.

China is set to become the world leader in 5G telecoms. Its lead with the wireless connectivity which is expected to be the nervous system of the Internet of Things is predicted to become obvious in 2020 as the number of base stations installed surges ahead of other countries.

Sales from Chinese 5G smartphone makers such as Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo and others are also expected to far outstrip Apple, Samsung and others. This adds to a recent report that Chinese technology giant Baidu has overtaken Google and Microsoft in an AI competition after achieving the highest ever score in the General Language Understanding Evaluation (Glue), a test of machine’s understanding of human language.

“This sets Asia up for real blockchain transformation to take place, and the key players in this piece are foundational blockchain technology providers,” Wang adds, citing IOST’s first movers advantage to work closely with governments including Singapore, China, Japan in less than a year from its mainnet launch as a smart contract platform. “We expect enterprise adoption to feature prominently for 2020, with governments being the driving force of change to make blockchain a truly useful technology that benefits the public at large.”

Right from China to Singapore, interest in blockchain seems to be growing in the region following a shift of attention from cryptocurrencies and their related activities. In China, for example, authorities are reportedly cracking down on such operations and issuing warnings against dealing in cryptos. However, there are hints that over-the-counter trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash is rising supposedly because Wechat Pay and AliPay make it easy to trade for their non-reversible nature.

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