Blockchain Development in Southeast Asia: Thailand Shows Most Interest, Singapore the Most Receptive
Southeast Asia’s top emerging markets are driving blockchain in rapid growth. In the region, Thailand has been the most eager country to adopt blockchain technology, and Singapore is reported to be the most receptive towards blockchain.
According to a report by The Asean Post, Thailand has been most eager to adopt blockchain technology in the region. Since the start of the year, the Thai government has become increasingly outspoken and welcoming of cryptocurrency projects and exchanges, setting up cryptocurrency company licenses to permitting exchanges and ICOs, as well as attracting foreign companies by offering clear and explicit guidelines for their operation. Philippines have a similar policy, though the number of licenses available to be issued are capped to 25.
Singapore has been arguably the most receptive country of all the Southeast Asian countries towards blockchain technology especially when it concerns initial coin offerings (ICO). It has become a top destination for ICOs especially for Chinese companies after China banned ICOs. For Western companies looking to establish a footing in Asia, Singapore is their first stop, which makes it become the crypto sandbox the region needs.
Malaysia’s central bank has been receptive towards the use of such technology within the banking sector. Among others, it has a fintech sandbox which allows fintech companies – even those without a presence in Malaysia – to participate in it for a testing period of not more than 12 months. On top of that, it is taking necessary steps to police and regulate cryptocurrency use within its borders.
Vietnam has a fertile startup ecosystem. Its government recently kicked off preparations for a fintech sandbox which could be utilized by blockchain-related startups. Blockchain will hopefully be included in fintech, insuretech, agrictech, medical and many other possible fields soon in the country, though its government warns companies and funds to stay away from crypto like its neighbor China.
Elsewhere, blockchain technology is still in the nascent stage in Lao PDR, Brunei, Cambodia and Myanmar. Nothing palpable has come out as yet.
Blockchain’s versatility and decentralized nature have gained ground in many countries. These small countries in Southeast Asia are moving quickly in the blockchain space. Blockchain and cryptocurrency startups may take these countries of the region into consideration when it comes to global expansion, alongside those well-known crypto friendly countries like Switzerland, Malta and Japan.